“The most successful tyranny is not the one that uses force to assure uniformity, but the one that removes the awareness of other possibilities, that makes it seem inconceivable that other ways are viable, that removes the sense that there is an outside” — Allan David Bloom
Source: After Mugabe goes – NewsDay Zimbabwe June 16, 2016
ANY genuine effort to revive the Zimbabwean economy in an inclusive and participative manner, which puts the needs and aspirations of people first, will never be a reality under Zanu PF and the leadership of President Robert Mugabe.
The pursuit of the political kingdom first, at all costs, has destroyed Zimbabwe’s economic and social potential and in fact, one could argue that the Zanu PF regime has destroyed more value in its 36 years of rule than the colonialists did.
If we consider it more seriously, the colonialist actually did more to build Zimbabwe’s productive capabilities and infrastructure, which Zanu PF has methodically and systematically destroyed, as they sought to dominate. That will be Mugabe’s legacy .
Unfortunately, when Mugabe goes, we shall remember him not for the good he may have done, but for the untold suffering he has caused. Some of the blame must, of course, lie with us Zimbabweans. We tolerated and supported a one-party State, and we focused on our personal needs at the expense of the country. We inadvertently bred a dictator in our midst and when things got rough, a good number of us left our country for him to do as he likes.
However, I am glad to see that things have changed now and young Zimbabweans are saying no to tyranny, corruption and non-delivery.
As we move from what has been a disastrous chapter of struggle politics towards creating a democratic developmental state, it is important that we put a new political leadership in place. This new leadership must be characterised by a new generation of Zimbabweans with a significantly different and new paradigm and not the deadwood of Zanu PF. Their time has surely come and gone
I believe that Zimbabwe can be a great nation indeed once it unleashes itself onto a different trajectory unhindered by the clutches of a history of oppression and fear. The archaic paradigm of victimhood, which accepts that we, as Zimbabweans, are incapable of creating our own prosperity and cannot create a self-sustaining economy, despite the fact that we have all the necessary knowledge base spread all over the world and the necessary resources to do so, must now be rejected and expunged from our minds.
In order to do that, we must look at other nations that have come out of worse conditions than our country is in. We can build a formidable economy if we choose to learn from countries such as Japan, Singapore, Taiwan, Germany and others and acknowledge what they did right.
Political leadership is crucial, yes, but what do we do when our politicians are unable to imagine what we want? What do we do when they are limited in their thinking on how far we can go? When they have no vision beyond their lifetime and are only interested in power and what they can get from it?
We have no choice but to create our own new paradigm as free citizens of Zimbabwe as demonstrated by the #ThisFlag movement. It is, therefore, important that every Zimbabwean of a new generation gets aboard.
In my opinion, for Zimbabwe to truly grow to its full potential, it only takes us to change our attitude that government is not the driver of growth nor does it have all the solutions. Government is actually a net cost to society, a liability and cannot continue to be at the centre of the economy.
Yes, we need a new political order in Zimbabwe, but let us not be naïve and expect this to be smooth transition.
The most dangerous assumption we can make is that Zanu PF is ready to let common sense and popular sentiment prevail. Theirs is an incomprehensible insensitivity and a clear lack of moral obligation to the suffering people of Zimbabwe caused by sheer greed and selfish ambition buttressed by their misguided policies over the last 36 years.
My greatest fear is that we wait for 2018 only to be disappointed, as we were in 2013. If we all naively wait and think that we can ever have a free and fair election administered by the current electoral architecture in place, we shall all be shocked once more. Biometric voting does not guarantee free and fair elections and, in fact, the technology may be used to intimidate rural folk. We must, therefore, insist for the 2018 elections to be administered either by a new local public body that represents all stakeholders or an outside independent body.
Nothing else should suffice.
When Mugabe goes, we will certainly have an opportunity to re-invent Zimbabwe. After Mugabe, we will have an opportunity to begin to create the Zimbabwe we want, but that will take all of our collective efforts to ensure that he goes and never again should any Zimbabwean be oppressed in his or her motherland.
Yes we can!
Vince Musewe is an economist and author based in Harare. You may contact him on email@example.com. He writes in his personal capacity.