Zimbabwe closer to the inevitable! But quo vadis?

via Zim closer to the inevitable! But quo vadis? 08/03/2014 by Melusi Nkomo NewZimbabwe 

ONCE again the celebrations of Robert Mugabe’s birthday came and passed. Again the day provided occasion for speculation, not only about the aged leader’s health, but also about the size of the birthday cake and the amount it cost. For those in Mugabe’s Zanu PF party, the occasion heralded open season for fawning at his feet and the intensification of scrimmaging over his succession. Speculating, fawning and scrimmaging that usually border on the ridiculous has become a yearly thing in Zimbabwe. Year in, year out, the sheer amount of tomfoolery can evoke laughter even in the midst of the most uncertain times in Zimbabwe. But sooner or later Zimbabwe has to realize that the issue of leadership is no laughing matter.

At 90, Mugabe is surely in his twilight years. He is flesh after all. So every birthday (at least since five years ago) is bringing the country closer and closer to the inevitable – his death. And this is coming at a time when no thought has been given on where we are supposed to take our beloved country as the era or mistakes, blunders, buffoonery and even devilry seems to be coming to a close. Mugabe’s reign will never be missed. The same goes for his purported opponent, Morgan Tsvangirai.

The era of the duet provided the nation with important lessons of things that should never be repeated. For those of us who still hope for a better Zimbabwe for ourselves and for our posterity, our recent history taught us that a nation should never allow the leadership of a country to be a one-person pet project or a possession to a coterie of servicemen, who serve nobody else other than themselves. It is a great lesson that some even in our main opposition movement seem to have completely missed.

There’s ample evidence to suggest leadership failure, if not the total absence of leadership in Zimbabwe. One should not look further than the experiences of the victims of man-made floods in the Tokwe-Mukosi river basin in Masvingo to see that there is a huge problem with leadership in Zimbabwe. Yes, the floods were man-made because the Tokwe-Mukosi dam which could have been completed years ago, and could have easily held back the gush, is now nothing more than a campaign tool that is paraded before voters every campaign season. There are many more uncompleted projects across Zimbabwe than are now presenting dangers for people in Zimbabwe.

That said, the lack of response from leadership in the ruling party and also in the opposition parties was nothing less than callous. At a time when an estimated 60,000 fellow Zimbabweans were struggling against vengeful floods the ruling party and the First Family took part in unrestrained bacchanalia. Members of the MDC-T were engaged in an embarrassing catfight for positions in Harare. Not even moral support was rendered to the poor souls in Masvingo. As far as I know, the only visible public figure who gave the people of Masvingo something close to empathy was musician, Alick Macheso; hats off to Alick.

Anywhere else in the world, at least where real leadership exists, such levels of debauchery by a country’s leadership at a time when a significant section of the population is facing a dangerous emergency like flooding cannot go unpunished. In fact by ignoring people during a time of emergency a leader’s survival in the next election is not guaranteed, if they do not get impeached. We often hear of leaders like Barack Obama cancelling important foreign visits to attend emergent domestic problems, for example during the Gulf of Mexico oil spill. Recently, leadership in the United Kingdom jostled to visit the flooded coast of south England. At least they showed up. Whether these leaders did it out of concern for their people or not, is another debate altogether, but at least they showed concern. The Zimbabwean leadership’s answer to that comes in form of uninhibited revelries, miles away from their piteous subjects.

The challenges facing Zimbabwe today are so daunting, and there is an urgent need for committed individuals. To put it bluntly, Zimbabwe does not need ‘anointed’ leaders, or leadership based on any other pseudo-religious entitlements. Time and again we have been told by some religious and traditional leaders alike, that Mugabe was ‘chosen’ by God. And as if not to be outdone by Zanu PF, members of Tsvangirai’s MDC-T party are beginning to deify him, declaring him an ‘anointed’ one. But again we have already seen and experienced ‘anointed’ leadership since independence in 1980. The ‘anointed’ ones are larcenous, licentious, and murderous – the list of their vices is endless. The worst thing about their vices is that they do not affect them, but they do cost the country dearly. It is the ordinary Zimbabwean who bears the brunt of such reckless leadership.

As a new dispensation is in the offing for Zimbabwe, we also need a new caliber of leadership-groomed and ready to lead, not those who get into leadership positions by accident. For the past 33 years Zimbabwe has been getting a raw deal when it comes to the issue of leadership. There has been a constant recycling of the deadwood in government and other institutions critical to the country. Mind you some of these people have recorded failure after failure in their generation-long careers. If anything they have participated hands-on in plunder and misrule, turning the country into a place where entropy rules supreme. Our recent history is pockmarked with horrendous corruption scandals, sex scandals that boarder on misogyny, and even assassinations, but very few, usually scapegoats, were held accountable. It is public knowledge that the real culprits are usually left free to strike again and again and again. This lack of accountability by our leaders is the proverbial elephant in the room and we should not ignore it as we brace for the end of a forgettable era in Zimbabwe.

The future Zimbabwe that we want has to come out of a blueprint drawn up by a congregation of people who genuinely want to see the country bounce back from oblivion. One thing that could feature in that blueprint is the establishment of non-partisan academies across the country, and these will groom the brightest young minds for the future leadership of the country. Whatever political party they join afterwards will be a personal choice; in fact an inalienable right. Those who pass through such grooming will never see the government as a gravy train, but will put the prosperity of Zimbabwe ahead of their own interests.

Those who will lead the country have to be tried and tested in junior positions of less responsibility where the consequences of their blunders are not too grave. Making mistakes or misbehaving while carrying out duties that affect a population of nearly 15 million people should never be tolerated in future. The current unfortunate culture of cruelly stifling voices of dissent and curtailing the talent and innovation of able people should be discontinued, because that has been the bane of our nation.

The Mugabe era is in its twilight hours and we do not want to find ourselves stuck with another selfish ‘anointed’ leader for another two generations. We do not want to experience another era of leaders who are keen to hear sensual voices than dying mothers in maternity wards of rundown clinics. We do not want another generation of leaders that go on a binge while ignoring the voices of their drowning subjects. Never again to a generation of leader plan vanity projects, like building a new city close to their rural homes, while millions of their fellow countrymen and women sleep in the open through the cold and rainy seasons.

Melusi Nkomo is a Ph.D candidate at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies (University of Geneva) Geneva, Switzerland. He can be reached at melusi.nkomo@graduateinstitute.ch


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42 comments on “Zimbabwe closer to the inevitable! But quo vadis?
  1. Mugabe forever says:

    in an ideal world …all those measures you spoke of will happenbut in reality..mugabe will just be replaced by another like him …..

  2. thembani says:

    Excellent article.

  3. John Thomas says:

    I do not see any new leaders anywhere in sight. The zunde guys sound exactly like others. Biti, though I do nt like him, at least appears to be a little bit honest and has actually earned his own living. Colthart has no idea of business but also appears to be an honest and humble man. If we look at those very few MP’s who are not shouting for new vehicles and exit packages we might have some material there. But that is all futile if we will not vote for those who are truthful. In the last election voters voted for those who promised to give them something for nothing. The result is that we got nothing. The voters are likely to do this over and over in the future. Truthfully we have the government we deserve.

    • Parangeta says:

      I vote for Cathy Buckle – someone knowledgeable, a Zimbabwean with a heart!

      • apolitical says:

        some one who thinks she’s knowledgeable. I f you challenge her version of events she will moderate you comment. – Wrote a few propaganda books – realizes there’s money in propaganda, not to be taken seriously.

  4. Dave says:

    An excellent article that touches on the real issues facing the nation re leadership. The culture of greed reflected in all echelons if leadership in this country gives great pause and we pray for God to raise up a those who will choose a more selfless path. Zanu pf is incapable of leading and putting the needs of the nation first. Nothing shows us otherwise.

  5. Iceman says:

    An ideal new zimbabwe your dreaming of but in reality it cannot happen soon because the greed and gravy train mentality is now a part of the people what is needed now is serious action like taking a few pages from our chinese friends on theft of public funds. Heads must roll literaly

  6. Jenandebvu says:

    The article shows this is a student of PhD, gudluck, I trust u will pass.

    The real world is very much different from PhD theories. The split in the MDC is the hand of the enemy. The MT led MDC will be a stumbling block to a divided Zanu pf. Thus why ZPF is using diamond money to the mangomaz and councillors. MT must defend his party from the internal and external enemy

    • nesbert majoni says:

      You are correct Jenandebvu. These academics are at times politically myopic. MDC T is not as bad. Its only that the party has been invaded by the enemy who is using financial muscle to tear the MDC T leadership apart.Zanu PF know very well that MDC T with Tsvangirayi as its leader will remain a very strong opposition party.

    • apolitical says:

      Don’t need money to destroy MDC-T, just look at the corruption where they were put in charge, they self destructed.

  7. apolitical says:

    Brightest young men?????
    This is an article by a youngster pretending to be intelligent and of superior intelligence, unfortunately the only one fooled will be those of less IQ and there are not many around.
    Read the rubbish, its about wanderings with little or no thought, what a mess.
    A Psychologist could make a living out of the author!

  8. The CIO idiot comments again. Good article Melusi.

    • apolitical says:

      Idiot is a strong word for someone with a substantially higher IQ than yours, with a 1 its not hard to beat.

      • You don’t know me nor what I do but I am independent and don’t have to lick someone’s backside for a living. Talking about IQ everybody on this forum knows what yours is. And I still think you are an idiot because you lie and don’t make sense at all.

        • apolitical says:

          Where you fail is you don’t have even the IQ to search in Google before you make a fool of yourself.
          Frankly I wouldn’t want to know you or anyone who tries to protect their lack of knowledge by simply calling truth lies with no evidence. That is evidence of low IQ in that you are not even prepared to learn.
          All I stated may be researched on a computer even minutes of meetings in the commonwealth office in years gone by – no lesser a person than Winston Churchill(he wanted to know building costs in Rhodesia were in those days) sat on the Rhodes compensation committee, that’s how well I research what intelligent bit of truth do you possess? 0 of course

  9. Godonga says:

    What excellent article? His entire analysis is out of context and ignores some important and historic role players that will remain relevant in a post-Mugabe Zimbabwe.

    I have no doubt that Mugabe’s legacy will endure wel beyond his life because of a significant support base he enjoys from the war veterans and the empowered new landowners. You can not wish away a history so rich in blood and sacrifice; you can not just wish the Heroes Acre to disappear; It is my contention that the legacy of the liberation struggle and the influence of the military wil still determine the pllitics in post- Mugabe era.

    This writer is like a buttler telling tales of mighty Kings. He has located his analysis far away from the real context, rendering his arguments irrelevant to a Post-Mugabe Zimbabwe.

    You can only ignore history at your own perile.

    Bayethe Mzilikazi.

  10. dsct says:

    A good, articulate article here, rightly pointing out the extreme lack of leadership in Zimbabwe from all sides who are committed to the improvement of ordinary Zimbabweans. Indeed Mugabe has done nothing in that area and in reality has beaten the population down over his whole rule to the point that they are cowed and totally incapable of picking themselves up.
    And herein lies the flaw with this article. There are too many reports from intelligensia stating very sound articles on what should be done but not how these initiatives could be carried out in Zimbabwe today, or since 1980 for that matter. Neither Mugabe or Zanupf would allow any initiative to undermine their “Plan” of self betterment. Until someone realises Zanupf is not a government but a gang of murdering, theiving individuals herded together by a Godfather no improvement will ever happen in Zimbabwe.
    Those who think, as this article does, that the death of Mugabe will somehow bring a change of fortunes are sadly disillusioned. Apart from the possibility he may live for another ten years or more (afterall he has the best Asian doctors looking after his health, no doubt at great expense to the country) Znupf is ably run by other crooks ready to step in as Godfather and undoubtedly will run their fiefdom along exactly the same lines. Why would or should they change when they can continue to live their lavish life style? Absolutely no amount of legal and constituional laws or elections can remove them from power. The Zanupf history is proof of that.
    The only way that they can be removed – and justly punished is to follow the example of other countries in North Africa and potentially now in Ukraine. It may be bloody but at least they are free and moving forward.

    • Roving Eagle says:

      Totally agree with you. MDC is not a bad party. They probably beat zpf in all elections but their mistake is adopting a single approach strategy with no room for change. They have managed to show us all that the Democratic route will not bring change to Zimbabwe. High time we looked at other means to bring change.

    • apolitical says:

      rather than Zanu your description is more worthy of MDC.
      aNti corruption did nothing , not one case under MDC!!!
      Its just starting now, give credit where credit is due

  11. Gomogranny says:

    Beatrice for President, Simba, Arnold, Tendai, Dave, Roy working for her. That’s enough politicians to get the job done. Not too many cars, houses and taxes needed. Just people committed to rebuilding the country they love. These are people who understand that it is about giving to the people not taking from them. Bin the rest.

    • apolitical says:

      Beatrice is a bad lawyer and has no legal ethics – one of the law societies mandates is to promote the law. What a lawyer does is go to the constitutional court if she doesn’t like a law, if she claims to be a lawyer, what you don’t do is demonstrate outside the High Court setting a bad example – she should be kicked out of the law society, she is no lawyer and oblivious/ useless if she doesn’t understand the law, she is simply an activist disguised as a lawyer and should be packed off back to Swazi where she comes from as we don’t need trouble makers here.
      If she doesn’t care about law and order what kind of politician would she make.

  12. Tongogara says:

    Time for cde Chinotimba to take us to promised land. Vote Chinotimba for president!

  13. MikeH says:

    Roy Bennett for President I say.

    • apolitical says:

      This is a real example of a crooked politician lets see.
      He announces take my farm because ive borrowed more than the farm is worth.
      called fraud.
      Then in parliament he thinks he is insulted forgets his constituents and fights his own fight dumping those who voted for him.
      Due to his obvious crooked character taking the bank for a ride, they make him treasurer of a crooked party.
      He belongs in jail, think of the bank manager that helped him with finance for his farm that he dropped, what kind of a crook he.
      Of course all crooks will think he’s a hero because so far he’s got away with it.

  14. roving ambassador. says:

    ZANU will never move away from its criminal activities. Corruption is the oil that drives the zanu machinery. We definitely need a new brand of leadership, and i see Gomo has given us an instalment of a few good names ,and I love Mtetwa to bits. I have thrown in Nkosana Moyo and Strive before, with their international experience and links ,its a must.
    But its also about integrity and patriotism .
    We all know zany and mdcs have lost it .

    • apolitical says:

      You have obviously been roving too long to realize what’s happening around you.
      City of Harare are corrupt because they are control by MDC-T.
      Zesa is corrupt because they had an MDC minister who formed crooked boards recently dissolved by the new minister.
      Keep dreaming until they steal from you, if they already have done so.

      • Funny that Zanu pf cadres are selling each other out but you keep on rambling like an idiot.

      • Abbu says:

        Apolitical pls don’t parade yo ignorance here. Who doesn’t know Chombo is e prblm at Hre City Council? The prblms at HCC began during e days Solomon Tavengwa. Was he from e MDC. Who doesn’t know electricity shortage is a result of lack of investment in that sector since independence? Tell us any power plant built by e zpf gvt

  15. Jack the rabbit I’ve said to you ignore this man. To him IQ means how much you can steal and how well you can do it. No need to tell us what he is..we know.

    • Small axe says:

      I don’t know about this guy Apolitical but his IQ is also not that great. He say’s “City of Harare are corrupt because they are control by MDC- In English you would say CONTROLLED. He also says “if they already have done so.” In English you would say “if they have NOT already done so.” His Grammar stinks…

  16. He is most probably NORTH KOREAN.

  17. Small axe says:

    The best one is ” what kind of a crook he” referring to Bennett.

  18. Jack I warned you…….

  19. This guy sounds like Joseph Chinotimba himself. Listen to his ramblings about Winston Churchill. It’s like he is having a psychotic episode.

  20. roving ambassador. says:

    Some one is getting desperate. Really desperate.

  21. Hutu says:

    I have told you that we are in there. I sit next to some of these guys. I see what they do. I told you guys about the happenings that were going to happen. Now I have to say goodbye on this website because Hutu has done his job and I wont be here on this website…Stay safe my friends.

  22. stobbs says:

    excellent article,it strips the present regime naked,,but sadly misses the fact that mugabe is at the moment not as powerful such that his leaving offers us hope of an overhaul,,,,you may be dreaming there things could actually be worse when the real powerplayers finally choose to unveil themselves,,,our struggle has only one solution,,we all know it but the price paid is high,,it has always been that way,with this land of ours

  23. BLESSING says:


  24. Godonga says:

    Cursed by shonalism in Zezuruland. I hav also decided to take flight from this censored and rigged site!

  25. gwabu says:

    Its foolish to think/suggest that there are no leaders in Zimbabwe. all institution including marriage, churches there is leadership.
    people should learn to differentiate leadership circumstances. a countrys/party leadership is chosen by the people through the the vote.

    in the case of Zimbabwe the leadership then abused their positions and entrenched themselves through all sorts of bad things. and their choice of followers ensured they abused their positions and continue to abuse that position.

    so in reality there is leadership.

    to blame tsvangirai for what has happened is really off topic. the culprit is known for destroying Zimbabwe to the level it is. those who think tsvangirai is inappropriate they should form their parties and go down as makoni, mutambara, Welshman ncube and others.

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