#mugabe blames the system he created – Vince Musewe & Prof vd Merwe

via Mugabe blames the system he created – Nehanda Radio Mar 20, 2014 By Vince Musewe and Professor Louis van der Merwe

President Mugabe continues to blame the system he created. Zimbabwe is now perfectly designed (at a structural, or systemic level) to get the results it now delivers.

Corruption and economic decline are as a result of the structural deficiencies within our society and the institutions that we have created after independence.

Unfortunately the GNU, a side show for fundamental change, failed to address the structural deficiencies which continue to produce our economic and social decline to this day.

This provocative paradigm, deliberately seeks to discourage any denial by leadership about their role in the systems which are delivering the current performance of their organizations be they political parties, private sector companies, state enterprises, or government departments up to the office of the President.

Our politicians are after all, the chief engineers of the structure and therefore create the capacity limits that we now face. These structures and processes which they created are delivering our current realities!

Until our leaders take responsibility and accept this fact, we will continue to see decline and the blaming of imaginary exogenous factors as the main cause of our economic problems.

Our politicians are good at reframing problematic issues and always exclude themselves as the chief architects. It is critical that we intelligently diagnose the root causes of specific problems or dynamics.

This will lead us to durable solutions that will permanently remove capacity limits and other structural problems, thereby enabling sustainable improvement in our socio-economic condition beyond a ‘quick fix’.

Clearly most of today’s problems come from yesterday’s ‘solutions”, but we continue to focus on symptoms thereby missing the deeper causes. Unfortunately, the ‘quick fix’ is what is usually asked for by leadership and the public.

Often we seek to change dysfunctional behaviour quickly, in months or weeks, when the ‘problem’ might have taken years to establish itself. The way most of us typically see the world is at an events level.

The media, for instance, talk of and look for a ‘Who event’ not a ‘What event’ to write on or to broadcast. We all fall into this trap, and we become trapped in a reactive mode, because we see only part of the dynamic and react to counter this.

A clear example is the hurry to “solve” corruption by changing the boards of directors of state enterprises, without looking at the deeper underlying causes of the decline. We are wasting time and resources and assuming that we have addressed the root problem.

We haven’t.

It will be only when we start to look below the surface to identify the patterns of behaviour can we begin to better understand the events level information and therefore respond more effectively.

The key to understanding and therefore intervening effectively in all complex dynamics is to observe and understand the structural level of the dynamic. This enables us to change structural aspects so that improvements are generative, permanent, and thus, sustainable.

It takes time and requires patient analysis and contemplation.

The fundamental problem situation we face in Zimbabwe is the lack of the moral authority and political will of the President to profoundly change a system that has worked so well to achieve his singular objective of being a President for life, and to be able to bestow patronage on those whose support he must endear to stay in power.

Everything about Zimbabwe; its institutions, its policies, its values, it management practices and its dialogue have been manipulated or engineered to achieve just that. Small wonder, that these habits are now deeply engrained.

In this context, the freedom that was gained as a result of escaping from under colonial rule has again been lost to the ‘BIG MAN problem in Africa. This seems to have been achieved as unintended consequences rather than by design.

President Mugabe was once a true freedom fighter and liberator! But look what we have now!

We have an inherent limited potential built within our national psyche that continues to arrest our development into a modern state. The logical and apparent solutions to our problems as a nation remain unspoken about, they remain sacrosanct, hidden and yet obvious.

Whenever a specific dynamics becomes ‘undiscussable’ this collusion of undiscussability enables that dynamic to quietly seep into the fabric of society. These undiscussables can also be described as ‘learning disabilities.’

Our political parties naturally promote these “learning disabilities” as their leaders seek to hold onto power and purge dissenters. Leadership development as moral renewal and transformation is the only way out, but I continue to wonder whether we understand what renewal is.

It is the metamorphosis of our society both at personal and institutional level.

It is not the cosmetic change of titles, names or positions that we will no doubt see in our public institutions and political parties, but the complete and irreversible transformation from a caterpillar to a butterfly at a moral and ethical level.

Effective sustainable change requires looking with new eyes at complexity as well as developing and using new assumptions.

Rapid disruptive change is now a permanent feature of the leadership landscape and is not an irregular event to be discussed and resolved at one day conferences.

We now need leaders who embrace change and not fight it as we have seen within MDCT-T recently and also within ZANU (PF) for a very long time. The next generation of leadership in Zimbabwe must be fundamentally different from what we have now.

The Zimbabwe we are going to create is profoundly different from the past and must be led by those amongst us who think and act differently and embrace “uncommon thinking”.

We must now begin to have constructive and fearless dialogue in the public arena on the “unofficial” future which we can create. A future far removed from the official political party line peddled incessantly through our state media.

The people come first!

Vince Musewe is an economist and author based in Harare. This article was written in partnership with Professor Louis van der Merwe, founder and director of the Centre for Innovative Leadership based in South Africa.

You may contact Vince at vtmusewe@gmail.com



  • comment-avatar
    zvichanaka 8 years ago

    Objective analysis. A fundamental change in the political mindset is the key to future leadership. A leadership which will be able to put the People ahead of everything else. Zanu and MDC have both failed us on this…the People come first.

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    Rumba 8 years ago

    The entire population needs a fundamental mind set change -the lack of respect on the roads is just one symptom of a lack of respect for rules created to ensure each one of treats the other with respect. Qualified franchise -qualified legislature

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      gwabu 8 years ago

      what you have said is true reality. there are people who think and behave as untouchables on the roads.

      there is the claim by many of these fools that they emanate from the opc. I have always presumed them impostors. but it also shows how opc or the president himself has let loose his office on the people.

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    Zvakwana 8 years ago

    Change must start at the top.

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    Roving Ambassador 8 years ago

    Am with you Vince. Tjhe politics of patronage is destroyed our nation. Mugabe is a Kean student of Kamuzu Banda and Tsvangirai is not far behind.
    We need a total paradigm shift,new political dispensation, new crop of leadership. We should start now ,regrouping and forming a broader coalition.
    The ball is in our court.Zanu is in a tail spin. The appetite to pillage has overwhelmed them.
    The are dead.
    We cannot live sacrifice our future to the Zanufied MDC. Not with its clueless leadership that took us to a fools paradise thus giving Zanu a false mandet to rule.
    This is the time.
    Calling on the real patriots to come out.

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    Reverend 8 years ago

    Im afraid this is a lot of big words and basic philosophies using words like metamorphasis to tell us what we already know. You say ” President Mugabe was once a true freedom fighter and liberator!” Is this the same man who murdered his own family friends and comrades to get to the top? Who killed 20,000 innocent people in a splurge of genocide to increase his power? The man who has intimidated, caused rape, murder, torture and division in this wonderful country, and you have the audacity to call this monster a “true freedom fighter and liberator”! You need to take a deep breath and have another dip at checking your history pal…

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    reverend is right. Why do we keep trying to paper over the truth?

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    Bhora 8 years ago

    In as much as the government makes excuses for the current mess, we as Zimbabweans are guilty of the same. We blame the government for everything! Some might even blame the government for their failure in the bedroom! What does Zan PF have to do with a person throwing their chicken inn box out of their moving car?? What does ZPF have to do with motorists failing to stop for school children at a zebra crossing? What does ZPF have to do with the failure of home-owners to look after the front of their yards? We set examples for our children and it reflects in their behaviour? When I used to walkt to school, I obeyed the rules of the road because my parents taught me that, and because if I acted the fool while wearing my school uniform, I was guaranteed that some motorist would stop at my school and report me. ZPF has nothing to do with this. And we should stop blaming them for everything. Yes, our roads have pot-holes, but what does that have to do with the litter that we throw everywhere? If we are expecting a Messiah to come in after RGM and change that mindset, we are mistaken. Our social conscience needs to return, and no political party will be able to do that.

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    reader 8 years ago

    The mind set we have set is that the top guys have forgotten who put them there in the first place (Polititians I’m talking about) they forget that we the people are their masters we pay the wages, this goes for Civil servants as well, they laugh at you if you tell them we contribute to the wages via taxation, they think that Mugabe just pay them. So Our problem is Lack of responsibility, lack of acceptance and hence the dictatorship. If we the employees and taxpayers could persuade our employers to stop paying tax (PAYE) on our behalf and we decided not to make any payments the Government would disolve rapidly as would the civil sevice then maybe just maybe they would see who holds the purse strings but it does mean biting the bullet as we will have to go without for a while. the whole system has been geared up for the operations carried out by government and there departments in a caotic mode nothing is allowed to run smoothly Nothing, unless there is a queue then the Job is not done properly.

    Change of MIND SET yes by all Public servants, but in AFRICA no change will ever happen because we refuse to Humble ourself when in power and yes it is a black thing, I see it in myself and i am trying to change and slowly succeding but only because people that work for me now refuse to work with me, i am changing and its time we all tried to accept we are all equal and desreve to be treated as an equal no matter what level of standing you are we cannot all be Chef’s, Chiefs, ETC., but we all need each as without the cleaner the boss will have to do the cleaning with out the boss the business will not flourish.
    Time for us all to equalise ourselves and accept that no matter, RACE, RELIGION, ETHNIC BACKGROUND, we are all human and need to act that way.

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    Nyoni 8 years ago

    The Prof and Vince have hit it spot on. These academics are people that should be looked on and their words taken heed of. Unfortunately it is obvious that our politicians do not want to see our country progress. Zimbabweans we must stand up for our rights and do what is right for ourselves and our futures.

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    The fundamental problem that Zanu pf has had from the onset of their Governance in 1980 is that they fail to understand that you should learn from your failures rather than your successes. All the failures are either swept under the carpet or blamed on someone else. This causes them to go backwards and then in their quest to try to correct with out being exposed they end up putting up structures with no foundation. We know what happens when there is no foundation. What happens? Structures collapse. For example to get the country going they would have to first admit that although Zimbabwe has the potential to be wealthy we are at this stage a very poor country. They can’t do that so they won’t learn from their failure. What they will do is parade around the rich that have benefited from their poor governance and hide the people in the slums from the international community. But the internet has change all this. You can no longer hide anything and people can chat without being together. For Zanu the Internet is a virus. For the suffering it’s hope. Keep it up Vince..

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    Ooh God please interverne to make all this mess happening to end.Amen

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    ntaba 8 years ago

    Zimbabwe is in perfect Mugabe/Zanu equilibrium – the eco system in the full sense of the word is at one with the dynamics, environment and drivers of it. The people of Zimbabwe “are the happiest in the world and Mugabe/Zanu have delivered this wonderful liberty to the people.” A US$5 million wedding is a small price to pay for the peoples’ eternal gratitude to Mugabe and Zanu for creating such a utopia or heaven on earth. Zanu and Mugabe are simply absolute legends. Their level of genius is unparalleled in the history of mankind.

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    An excellent assessment which is 100% accurate. Well done Vince Musewe & Prof vd Merwe.

    How to fix it?

    It has affected the entire nation and it could take generations to fix unless Zimbabwe suddenly sees a leader who has the vision and the capacity to bust it.

    At this time, I see no leader with anything near the right credentials to bust the iron grip that Mugabe has created. So I guess that Zimbabwe’s chefs will continue to embed dire poverty on an ever increasing basis on the masses.

    The only way out of it mass uprising and revolution.

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    Brian 8 years ago

    Mugabe’s legacy? Poverty, genocide, torture and corruption in all its manifestations. Seek not a messiah. Rather, organise the resistance.