Most times, I feel like a lonely miserable little child – who is sitting on his home’s stoep, fondly admiring the neighbors’ happy family, whose parents will be joyfully playing together with their children, and all looking healthy, well-fed, and well-kempt.
Yet, I myself staying in a dysfunctional home – whereby, the parents are always in a drunken stupor, constantly entangled in one vicious fight or another, without any food in the house, and not going to school as all the fees had been used to buy booze.
Why do I feel like that?
Well, how else am I expected to feel, when watching citizens of other countries holding their leaders accountable and to high standards – yet, there are those in my own Zimbabwe, who never appear to see anything wrong with what our leaders do, no matter how despicable, unbecoming, or clearly criminal?
I feel like that little miserable child, when I watch the news and witness how the British people are even calling for their prime minister, Boris Johnson, to resign – due to a May 20, 2021 drinks party (labeled, “PartyGate”), and other such gatherings, that were apparently held last year at his 10 Downing Street official residence/offices, in the midst of strict COVID-19 pandemic restrictions.
Let me hasten to remind readers that those calling for Johnson to go, are not necessarily from the opposition Labour Party – who would naturally be expected to constantly find fault with the ruling Conservative Party – but, are the PM’s own fellow colleagues.
Indeed, democracy is beautiful, and I love it!
Not, as a form of vindictiveness, punishment, or adversary against opponents – but, as a method to ensure that we all adhere to the highest governance standards, which inevitably benefits the nation as a whole.
Only countries that know no democracy regard holding each other – particularly, our leaders – to account, as some unacceptable and disdainful tenet of society, that should be treated as a taboo, and never be permitted.
Nonetheless, how else does a country expect to prosper, develop, and succeed – not just economically, as life is not defined simply through monetary terms, but also politically, and societally – when those placed with the obligation to take us forward are never answerable to anyone, nor are specific expectations and standards set for them?
When a country is going through a devastating pandemic, that has ravaged the lives of millions all across the world, and certain strict restrictions are put in place so as to curb and curtail its fatal spread – should those in authority not be expected to adhere to the same regulations?
Yet, in Zimbabwe – in spite of rather constricting laws, that virtually banned gatherings (especially, of a political nature) – the ruling ZANU PF party has never desisted from bringing together thousands of its supporters, without even feeling any aorta of shame about not only wantonly violating the country’s laws, but also callously and needlessly endangering the lives of its followers.
Furthermore, some within the ruling elite have proudly and unashamedly pictured themselves, whilst attending parties and revelries of all sorts – information minister, Monica Mutsvangwa’s frivolous 60th birthday bash in 2020 easily coming to mind – in the midst of these tough restrictions that barred anyone else from engaging in the same.
Besides those in the opposition, and other sober-minded responsible citizens – virtually all those aligned to the ruling party never raised any ire, but actually defended such arrogant and flagrant disregard of the law and public health.
As a matter of fact, regardless of pilling substantiated evidence of high level grand looting of state resources – which has greatly crippled the country’s economy, thereby, driving the majority into extreme poverty and immense suffering – there are those who still believe that such crooked top officials, and their hangers-on, deserve to be shielded and even supported.
Mind you, these sycophants are usually not even part and parcel of the gravy train – but, ordinary citizens, who are bearing the brunt of the same high level corruption, as the rest of the impoverished population.
Now, is there still any wonder as to why I love democracy?
Who would not love an environment where we all collectively ensure that our national resources are jealousy guarded for the benefit of the entire population – even against those with the means, motive, and opportunity to freely loot what should be jointly ours?
Who would not want to live in a nation where, even when those in power abuse this privilege, we can easily make them answerable, for the greater good of the whole country?
We are all leaders in one respect or another – be it in our homes, or companies and organizations – and, should feel honoured to held to very high standards, which we are compelled to meet without failure or excuse, since this guarantees the home, company, or organization’s resounding success.
Surely, are we to – as the little miserable child – lamely sit back, and watch those in other nations move forward and develop their own countries, as they make absolutely sure that no one (no matter how powerful) is allowed to run roughshod over everyone else, with impunity, but all are held accountable for their actions and decisions?
I choose democracy!
© Tendai Ruben Mbofana is a social justice activist, writer, and social commentator. Please feel free to contact him on WhatsApp/Call: +263715667700 / +263782283975, or Calls Only: +263788897936 / +263733399640, or email: email@example.com