via Zimbabwe: Beyond the Zanu PF hegemony – NewZimbabwe 19/01/2016 by Obert Gutu
ZIMBABWE is at the crossroads. The political trajectory along which the nation is travelling has never been so slippery and unpredictable. Our country is at the tipping point. One doesn’t have to be a rocket scientist to appreciate that President Robert Mugabe’s hold on power has become increasingly tenuous and unstable. The old man is definitely experiencing the twilight zone of his decades-long and rather controversial political career. This is the end game for both Robert Mugabe and the deeply fractured and divided political party that he fronts; Zanu PF.
The political vultures are closing in; ready for the kill. It’s all systems go. Indeed, it’s now dog eat dog in the crumbling Zanu PF edifice. Zimbabwe is currently experiencing a historic and unprecedented political and socio-economic evolution. Things will never be the same again in the next few months. New political alliances are being formed and hitherto sworn political enemies are suddenly comparing notes. The Zanu PF regime has seen better days and it’s now only a matter of when and not if the Zanu PF regime will eventually cave in and collapse like a deck of cards. The political Armageddon of the regime is now a done deal; sealed and dusted. Finish and klaar!
As a nation undergoing serious political and socio-economic transformation, Zimbabwe should now prepare to open a new chapter of accountable, honest and transparent governance. The Zanu PF dictatorship is now on the homestretch and the million-dollar question for Zimbabweans is: What next for our beloved motherland?
Of course, post the Zanu PF dictatorship that has ruined and trashed the national economy, we need to develop and sustain a new value-based governance culture. Gone will be the days of rampant and unmitigated corruption, thievery, misuse and abuse of public assets and resources. Robert Mugabe and his collapsing Zanu PF regime had perfected the ‘art’ of looting, indolence, laziness and mis-governance. Now a brand new chapter beckons for Zimbabwe.
The new government that will soon be taking over from the crumbling Zanu PF regime should prioritise the following issues:
- Economic development and stability
- Respect for the Constitution
- Maintenance of peace and stability
- Creation of a new governance culture based on honesty, integrity, accountability and transparency
The old baggage of impunity, corruption and greed should be permanently confined to the dustbin of our political history if Zimbabwe is to prosper. More importantly, all ill-gotten wealth and loot should be promptly recovered and restored to the State. No single person, no matter who they are, should be seen to be getting away with the fruits of corruption and looting of the people’s resources.
In fact, there should also be a thorough due diligence exercise to determine what exactly happened to the alluvial diamonds from Marange and Chiadzwa. If heads have to roll, so be it! There should be absolutely no sacred cows. That is the new, prosperous and democratic Zimbabwe that the people would want to see. Nothing short of this will be acceptable.
A new Zimbabwe should deliberately focus on creating strong institutions as opposed to creating strong personalities. There should absolutely be no deification of anyone. After all, we are all created equal before God. Private property rights should be respected and enforced by the courts of law. The law itself should be clear and unambiguous.
More importantly, everyone should be equal before the law and this essentially entails that our judiciary should be truly and honestly impartial and apolitical. The entire justice delivery system should be cleaned up to uproot any instances of bribery, corruption and incompetence. If it means establishing an entirely new judiciary; so be it! Zimbabwe is not short of human resources.
The people of Zimbabwe are sick and tired of political rhetoric. They would like their political leaders to walk the talk and not only talk the walk. The game has since changed. The government of the day should be answerable to the people and not the other way round. We should also appreciate that Zimbabwe needs the world more than the world needs Zimbabwe. As such, a new Zimbabwe should abandon anachronistic international relations where we choose to create unnecessary foreign enemies.
A new Zimbabwe should not only look East; it should actually look everywhere i.e. East, West, North and South. A belligerent and hostile foreign policy can never catalyse our socio-economic development. For example, the stupid and emotional decision that saw Zimbabwe exiting the Commonwealth of Nations should be promptly reversed. Zimbabwe should never seek to be a pariah State. We are actually too small a nation to embark on a belligerent and bellicose foreign policy. On the global geo-political scene, we need more friends than enemies.
Of course, there are certain values that we should always hold sacrosanct. Our national independence and sovereignty is not for sale. As such, we shouldn’t seek to be a client state of any super power; be it China, Russia or the United States of America. We should always resolutely and uncompromisingly defend our sovereign right to exist as an independent and self-governing nation.
The joint hazards of climate change and cultural imperialism are upon us. A new Zimbabwe should develop appropriate and sustainable strategies to deal with these modern day challenges. It would be utter and complete folly to base our agricultural policy on a rain-fed template. As such, we should heavily invest in irrigation technology in order to curtail the devastating effects of climate change.
As a nation, we should desist from embracing some foreign cultural practices that are inimical to our values and traditions as a people. We should teach our children to be proud of their own culture and native languages. Of course, culture is dynamic and it can never remain static. Be that as it may, we should steadfastly hold on to those progressive values and traditions that distinguish us as proud Zimbabweans. Not everything foreign is bad and in similar fashion, not everything local is good.
We should now develop a new mind set of prosperity and innovation. If a small country like Japan, with hardly any significant natural resources, can be the world’s third largest economy, what can stop Zimbabwe, with all our abundant natural and human resources, to be the new Japan or the new South Korea or even the new Singapore? Yes; this can be done. But first all, we should ensure that the Zanu PF dictatorship is dead and buried.
Obert Gutu is a Harare-based lawyer. He writes this opinion piece in his personal capacity.