via When progress not Mugabe is the priority JANUARY 4, 2014 By Courage Shumba NehandaRadio
I do not think anyone in the establishment, in Zimbabwe, is still laughing anymore. Morally that would be wrong. Politically that would be damaging and suicidal.
It is not time to be laughing at each other whoever the winners are neither is it time to keep staring into history seeking revenge without seeking new angles of relevance. No nation progresses out of its problems by brewing and fanning tension among its own people.
Our country needs to change its mindset and value system from being a general election focused nation to being a problem solving people who come together around useful ideas.
We need to work longer and harder together to understand that injustice by the rich against the poor, the powerful against the weak, the mighty against the fallen, will fail our country and make it prey to more powerful external forces competing for prominence in a world of seemingly limited resources and time.
Besides it will trap us in a never ending cycle of social upheaval and unnecessary chaos.
To win is not always to wield power. To win is not always to annihilate the enemy. To win is not always to be the president, the premier, the big wig; rather it is to set the pace and to determine the eventual.
And as far as that goes let us acknowledge the noble brawl we caused, fought and won over the years to bring some form of discipline and structure into a people that wanted to govern our country as if they carried no emotional or historical connection to it.
But truly we will be as bad as our political adversaries if between elections all we ever do is try by tooth or by nail to bring our country down, to make it worse, and to distract it from any sort of recovery, to sabotage any chance of it getting better unless we are the ones in power.
Such a mentality would make us worse than our colonizers for they had no reason to care.
What we must do is to work with the government of the day to improve services, efficiency, and quality of life and to borrow and bring new ideas that help our country get better. We must want our country to get better regardless of who is in charge. We must demand to bring better and useful ideas to those in charge without assuming all they ever wish for is our destruction.
Those in charge must learn from their increasing rejection, and desperate resort to rigging and intimidation that their way of doing things needs to be visited again with new ideas and strategies brought in from all constituencies to provide effective governance.
For over a decade before my return home I lived in the United Kingdom. Politicians there engaged. They debated. They researched. They talk. They listen. They travel to other countries and regions on fact finding missions from which they nurture and build important relationships from which they can learn new things.
We on the other end are caught up in the freeze of a third world society where ideas must be hidden from political adversaries, unleashed in some manifesto at some election time, and tucked away and developed for the next election some five years later.
We in the third world won’t change what institutions and framework the whites established even if these do not work or were never meant for the size of our new populations.
Look at our electricity situation. Why won’t legislators stop ZESA being the only one who can import electricity having clearly failed our industry and families? In Britain they have six companies that sell gas and electricity. They have a regulator, OFGEM.
Why won’t we get private companies to import, supply and charge for electricity under the control of ZERA? Just why you won’t have one company like, Stay Connected Plc (mine), supplying a whole town like Chitungwiza (on a prepayment system) just the same manner water companies’ distribute the resource.
You could have several companies feeding electricity into the national grid and ring-fencing their zones from load shedding. They would be no need for load shedding. They would be need for more zones to be electrified not less.
There is nothing normal about whole businesses and families being constantly shut down or thrown into darkness or alternative lifestyles because of the failure of a parastatal to do its job in the presence of willing competitors. There is no moral or legal argument for it. It’s unconstitutional and backward.
But it’s these things that highlight our pre-occupation with a politics that is strictly territorialized. We in the NCA must never speak to those in MDC T or N let alone a comrade from Zanu PF. We suddenly become sellouts.
We censor each other very brutally, almost barbarically; we squeeze the flow of ideas so tightly every new idea is internalized protected from the opposition.
In business we won’t go through with an idea unless some chef has pushed it further, some party official has rubberstamped it and got his share. It’s all an expensive circus that destroys us and our children.
What we must do is to throw away this fanaticism with elections and for the next five years bring to the table, engage the present government and help the people of Zimbabwe survive and thrive under what is obviously going to be the government of the day for those years.
If we can make those five years manageable that is a win. If we win the next election we must also be prepared to work with key people, on key ideas from across the political divide to bring about the best outcomes for our people and our country.
Any normal Zimbabwean who has been anywhere will tell you that whatever its shortfalls, or weaknesses it is far better to inherit the ruins of this motherland than the luxuries of some western capital. We must build Zimbabwe together. We must work longer and harder until this country is on its feet again.
We owe that to ourselves, to generations that fought and died for our freedom and the future generations of Zimbabweans we have created or to come.
Courage Shumba is a member of the NCA Party and writes in his personal capacity. He can be contacted by email on: firstname.lastname@example.org