via The responsibility lies in our hands | The Zimbabwean by Vince Musewe 12.03.14
Zimbabwe is a young democracy that still has to go through growing pains as it finds its rightful place in Africa. Those who are going to determine its path are the current generation – who have found themselves imprisoned by their liberators.
I am convinced that, despite the seeming lack of tangible and visible progress, the minds of those that will lead us out of this quagmire are working on a new vision and a totally new political, economic and social reality – which must be accelerated.
I for one definitely know that our current leadership is not good enough and will really never grasp our vision for a new Zimbabwe. Somehow our potential has been lost or delayed simply because we have expected too much from the wrong people.
I contend here that very few of our leaders have been able to capture the fundamental need to transform our country into a modern state. This has been demonstrated by their priorities and the political discourse that we have seen. Leadership should never be an entitlement of past conquests, but rather a privilege based on who you are and your commitment to something larger that the title and anticipated benefits therefrom.
The leadership we require in the future can never be limited to a man or a woman who believes in control and personal power. Rather, we shall need a diverse team to grasp the challenges and opportunities we face. We shall need deep thinkers who understand the interrelationships of complex social systems and are there to facilitate their unconstrained growth. We shall need openness of mind and the ability to recognise that the talents and skills needed to manage a modern state in the power of our diversity.
We shall need value-driven and purpose-driven leadership that acknowledges that the continuous transfer and sharing of new knowledge must be central to our future agenda. The politics of slogans or the struggle must die their natural death as we shape a new narrative for Zimbabwe. That narrative must come from us and must be enriched by the experiences and opinions of the millions of Zimbabweans who have left the country. It must be informed and based on well researched and argued possibilities and not on rhetoric and populism.
Our responsibility is to force this new narrative into reality. It is now a war of ideas and new knowledge. A war that requires that we are all empowered first through information and then through each and every one of us taking the necessary action to make that narrative a reality. We cannot leave the responsibility for our future in the hands of the West or the East. We cannot afford to leave it in the hands of Zanu (PF) or MDC.
Millions of jobs
Last week I touched on how we can revive agriculture by doing nothing but accepting that land owners need title in order to develop land assets. This applies to all farmers. Our simple task is to put the value back into our land and an agricultural revolution will happen. This must be underpinned by better land administration and planning on all rural properties.
Our second task must be to rehabilitate both urban and rural infrastructure to improve not only commerce but the quality of life of all. This will create millions of jobs. Our third priority is to expedite the development of our society by embracing new technologies and investing heavily in education, health, new skills and access to new information for the majority of our population. The information age must assist us to restore the years that Zanu (PF) has stolen from us.
You see there is nothing stopping us except ourselves. We must totally rehabilitate our institutional capacity to manage and to deliver on projects. Corruption must be stopped in its tracks because all it does is to postpone our development.
We certainly have what it takes and this should be our attitude as a nation. We are not victims of the past but champions of a new future. If all this is to come to pass, it means we must ensure that in 2018 we have a platform that includes talented, competent, principled and passionate Zimbabweans in leadership positions to take the country forward. –Vince Musewe is an economist and author based in Harare. You may contact him on firstname.lastname@example.org