Ethics should come ahead of elections

via Ethics should come ahead of elections – The Standard December 22, 2013 by Andrew Masuku

Childish games do not play any more. The vanguard of a country is a government of the people, by the people.

The current expository question in this country is: Does Zanu PF have a mandate of the people to rule this country or not? The answer does not need complicated political analyses, giving either positive or negative responses, but net results of people’s projects, not farcical empirical answers to please the ego.

We are like people in a ship, where we sink together or survive together, regardless of which political party we belong to. The sanctions mantra, with all its political rhetoric is a past sale, when it comes to prevailing life and death issues.

The world has moved. One has to convince me that US President Barack Obama, whose origins are African, has not colonised America by being the first black president of that country, if the shadow of colonialism is still our cause for concern.

The problem with despotism is that it compels you to aim the machine gun towards the very people who provide pedestal platform in your ruler-ship.

After destroying all the people, how and who do you rule? Democracy implies that the person you so despise has the right to either choose you to govern him, or choose another, after having been fully equipped with reasons on purpose for doing so.

Defence forces may claim the biggest share on the national budget, but unless the underlying fundamentals are addressed, we are as vulnerable as chickens without a hiding place.

As a country, our problems need collective resolutions, not blame games; with unassuming questions like: Should ethics be regarded as convenient or inconvenient? If the answer is yes, we are well-advised if we follow dictates of logic without delay.

However, if the answer is negative, that, in itself, could be an indication that we are in slumber, after a dose of the most debilitating tranquilising pill. There is need to be awakened to perceive the most tragic state of emergency we are collectively fast running into. Under those conditions, do we need to wait until the ship hits the impending iceberg, or take appropriate precautionary measures before the looming disaster?

In such conditions, it is idiotic for any passenger to gleefully appease him/herself in letting fate take its course, seeking only to prove how wrong the captain of the ship has been. A matter of life and death requires extraordinary behaviour, as there is nothing to prove after people have perished. This country is too precious, with highly sophisticated people, to be allowed to succumb to being a case for whims of international donors.

I call upon each and every one of us to introspect, leaving our ageing president alone; asking either, “what have I done for my country; or what have I not done for my country?” We are collectively responsible in averting the looming disaster.

While I may currently not have any prescription to address the prevailing conundrums of economic ills, I believe there is need to avoid taking comfort in being passengers, even when it is clear that our country is headed for disaster.

The well-fed few cannot avert the brutalising effects of the scrounging majority, surviving at the mercy of the donor countries.

Andrew Masuku writes about social, economic and political issues. He is based in Harare