No political will for change - Vince Musewe - Zimbabwe Situation

No political will for change – Vince Musewe

via No political will for change | The Zimbabwean 26.02.14 by Vince Musewe

I was on a discussion panel recently where we were discussing the problem of corruption and the causes of economic decline in Zimbabwe. I insisted that, rather than wearing an MDC or Zanu (PF) hat, it would be more advantageous for us to discuss the root cause of corruption and poverty so that we may at least begin to talk about real solutions. I failed.

The quality of our discourse in Zimbabwe has deteriorated so much that we avoid facing the true causes of our problems and frame our arguments to fit party lines. For example if you are Zanu (PF) you never admit that you made mistakes. You blame sanctions, drought or the British. If you are MDC you blame Zanu (PF). And so the battle rages, and the people suffer.?

Corruption and economic decline are as a result of the structural deficiencies within our society and the institutions that we created after independence. Unfortunately the GNU, a delusion of fundamental change, failed to change the structural deficiencies that continue to produce our economic decline to this day. Our politicians are the chief engineers of the structure and capacity limits we now face. These structures and processes deliver the current realities!We must now think anew and diagnose the root causes of our problems. This will lead us to durable solutions that will permanently remove capacity limits and other structural problems, thereby enabling sustainable improvement 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 leaders and the public. Often we seek to change dysfunctional results quickly, in months or weeks, when the ‘problem’ might have taken years to establish itself. A clear example of this is how we “fixed” agriculture while actually creating a monumental error. We have to address the core problem. Another example is the hurry to “solve” corruption by changing boards of directors of state enterprises, without looking at the deeper causes of the decline.?

Only when we start to look below the surface to identify the patterns of behaviour will we be able to respond effectively. This takes time and requires patient analysis and contemplation.?

The fundamental problem situation we face in Zimbabwe is the lack of political will by the President to profoundly change a system that has worked so well to achieve his singular objective of staying in power for life. Everything about Zimbabwe – its institutions, its policies, its values, management practices and dialogue – have been manipulated or engineered to achieve just that.?

We therefore cannot even begin to have constructive and fearless dialogue in the public arena or through the media about the “unofficial” future which we can create. 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 – they are hidden and yet obvious.?

Leadership renewal 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 leadership and institutional level. It is not the cosmetic change of titles names or positions – but the complete and irreversible transformation from a caterpillar to a butterfly that we need.?

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. It is the reality of a new age and we need leaders who embrace change and not fight it as we have seen within MDCT-T recently and also within Zanu (PF). 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; it is time to embrace “uncommon thinking”. I am ready are you?

Vince Musewe is an economist and author based in Harare. Feel free to contact him This article was written in collaboration with Professor Louis Van de Merwe, founder and director of the Centre for Innovative Leadership based in South Africa. ?



  • comment-avatar

    Vince as usual good reading. What you are saying will not change the fact that we are under a dictatorship. What you talk about can only come about where there is poor Governance.Then we vote them out. This is not the case. The Dictators mind works to satisfy his whims. The parties like MDC cannot find a solution because the HIVE, that is what Zanu is , are protecting Mugabe’s whims. The Governance is Mugabe. When he says a chair is a table everybody says yes that chair is not a chair. Fortunately for us they did not anticipate the day he turned 9 years old. Now they panic. All the MDC did was to take their eyes off the ball. All the opposition forces need to do is pool their resources together and get rid of a Dictatorship.

    • comment-avatar

      Good way to look at it. And Vince is singing the ZUNDE idea. ZUNDE is advocating for a new type of leadership that is selfless and that puts values above personalities. It also favours good effective and knowledgeable governance systems. When that happens half our problems will go. Thanks for a good contribution. At least the ZUNDE ideology is sinking into the minds of people. I love to read ZUNDE way of thinking on their website.

      • comment-avatar
        Nzou 4 years

        oh c r a p! Musewe is telling us what he thinks, not some political party brand that you aspire to. Some of those in ZUNDE suffer from the same disease Vince talks about

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    Mlimo 4 years

    Inherently Zimbabwean men are lazy corrupt and inept its part of our tribal culture we used to sit under the tree and drink chwala while the women toiled in the fields . To gain wealth we went and raided a neighbours assets and stole his cattle . Nothing has changed in 200 years just the stakes are higher .

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      Zimbo 4 years

      I have to agree with your observation,Milmo.Zimbabwean men are spineless and lazy.No morals.Everything is about making money,and how they achieve their goals matters not.We worship false prophets,steal and cheat.Just look at all the praise singing and bootlicking in our midst.Singing for their supper.It is,put simply,DISGUSTING.

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        African 4 years

        Speak for yourself, It matters to me how I make my money, take a leaf from a good example like Strive Masiyiwa.

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    Fallenz 4 years

    “A lack of political will” is a dubious way to describe a lack of integrity. A change for Zim comes not from a change of parties in control, but from the injection of integrity. But, ZANUPF leadership and serfs have proven again and again that integrity has no platform in their plans or implementations. There are no reports to counter that as fact. If any should exist, they should be publicized. The polling fraud is fact, as is the rampant theft and corruption, and the politicizing of NGO and government assistance, in the theft of farms and their assignment to party bigwigs, in the violence of 2008, in assigning insane salaries, in the handling of the stolen diamond funds, and the disappearance of foreign aid funds intended to help the people. Should I go on?

    Individuals of honor and integrity must take control. The courts must be divested of party influences. Justice must reign. The police and military must become forces of law and order and protection of the citizens from criminality… not mafia enforcers of party edicts or the strong arm of the party. The definition of “corruption”, past, present, and future must be universal, all such activities must be exposed, and the penalties applied without regard to rank. The ZANUPF mindset of corruption will insure that Zim will suffer until changes are made.

    But, change will not happen until integrity rules in the hearts. Where are those brave men and women… they certainly aren’t those now in control.

    The war was never about freedom and independence… it was about capture and looting.

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    chessplayer 4 years

    Vince we can never overcome corruption under this leadership. The MDC itself is slowly becoming as bad as Zanu. What we need is for the People to take a Ukraine approach…impossible as it may seem. One Simon Muzenda once said “Zanu ichatonga kusvika madhongi amera nyanga”, he knew axactlty

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      Don Cox 4 years

      “What we need is for the People to take a Ukraine approach”

      Both sides in the Ukraine are corrupt. Same in Egypt.

      The people are being used as pawns in the battle for power.

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      Zombi 4 years

      After the people do Ukraine style protests, a new leadership will emerge. Of that new leadership, Vince’s article remains true. Just a change of faces without a fundamental change in mindset (of not only leadership, but the people too) will not achieve much.

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    Roving Ambassador 4 years

    What he is pointing out is true ,people turn a blind eye to the realities around the. We need to keep hammering into their thick heads why things have gone wrong . they need to no that their is far much better life beyond ZANU. You won’t be force matched to vote for a particular party. You are free to do your legal activities without anyone to bribe .you have a tight to your house, farm, shop, and no one will steal it from you. Let’s unite and rid us these fleas.

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    chessplayer 4 years

    Muzenda knew exactly what he meant because Zanu had already decided they were Never going to give up power…let us not fool ourselves…Zanu is never going to relinquish power any time soon. These are gangsters we are dealing with and ID Smith warned us about this. Then of course Eddison Zvobgo and Edgar Tekere did say our President was surrounded by dead wood….indeed but they forgot to mention corrupt dead wood. However the most corrupt of them all is the President. No need pussyfooting around the problem…People power is the only way.

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    Nesbert majoni 4 years

    II think it’s unfare for us to put MDC on the same footing with ZANU PF. MDC under Morgan tried every trick in the bag democratically to topple Mugabe from power but Morgan is let down by his so called educated lieutenants. Look at the Gwisais Wehman Sikhala and now we have Biti and Mangoma. Why are these guys stabbing Tsvangirayi on the back when it really matters. It beggars belief. Even if Morgan goes ZANU PF will never give up their throne. And if they do they will go down fighting. Morgan is never a problem in the MDC but part of his leadership is dining with the enermy behind his back. They are sell outs. They are just there to frustrate Morgan and the suffering majority. Where is MDC 99 where is MDC Ncube. The circus goes on

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    Chiwaridza 4 years

    Mlimo – that is the most accurate statement i have ever read in this media. Zimbabwean men are lazy, corrupt and inept ! The talk goes on and on, the only way change will come about is when the people rise up. If, it is well organized and collective it will succeed, the Zanu thugs may seem lke they are tough – but the reality is they are cowards and will run scared when confronted by the masses. Less talk more action !!!

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    Reverend 4 years

    Honestly now, does anyone think there is any leadership to get us back to the country of 1980? I am afraid it is all about power and as much as people and apparant leaders in Africa shout about democracy it has not happened yet, and what makes us think we have the recipe in this country? Wake up and smell the roses, and by the way …your coffe is cold…you overslept.We need to spend more time on our knees………..2nd Chronicles 7:14…
    if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.

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    John Thomas 4 years

    If I was not so sick of it I would feel some sympathy for Musewe in his deep confusion. These logical sounding arguments are diversionary or delusional. The deep underlying problem that trips up so many well intentioned people is they fail to understand that Zimbabwe is built on lies. These lies need to be dealt with before real progress can be made. An attempt to be truthful that may lay a platform to move ahead in a productive way is to understand that there has been no liberation and that there is no entitlement on the part of any person to anything they have not worked for. To understand that public office is not a license to immediately prostitute oneself. To understand the true meaning of words like “duty” “honour” “decency” “morality” “humility” “sacrifice”. To understand that Zimbabwe is a very small place in the world and that nobody owes us anything by right and that if we will not save ourselves it is not the duty of others to do so.

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    kidnille 4 years

    Zim will never ever turn round until after RGM is out of power & there is a reformed Zanu that will remember the ideals of the revolution & why so many paid with tyhrir lives & limbs for the liberation of Zim. Also the people of Zim will neeed to take ownnership of their destiny & never again be conned by the likes of RGM- who really never ever had the interest of Zim @ heart- never.

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    iceman 4 years

    As usual a good analysis of the situation but not to beat about the bush zimbabwe is fast heading into a hybrid of nazi germany mixed with north korea and cuba all because of a simple reason zimbabweans are cowards they have been conditioned by their education and selfish because they are willing to let their children grow up in hell

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    @majoni .Well said bro i cant add any more and to all the progressive forces i say dont take yr eyes off ZanuPf

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    Muronzi 4 years

    What John Thomas said is wright, we need to dismantle the lies that we are standing on start from the ground. ZIMBABWE NEEDS A REVOLUTION, the only problem is that we Zimbos are spineless, we hide behind being educated. What is education if it produces spineless people. We claim to be KIYA KIYAs but why are we not kiya kiyaring this economy to be a healthy economy too much reasoning among us when all that we need now is a REVOLUTION

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    Mthwakazi 4 years

    I can’t believe you even have the guts to say this:

    “The quality of our discourse in Zimbabwe has deteriorated so much that we avoid facing the true causes of our problems and frame our arguments to fit party lines.”

    Really, do you and many of the Shona people in Zimbabwe ever accept that Shona tribalism is also a major contributing factor to the dire economic and political straits the nation of Zimbabwe finds itself today?

    You vote on tribal lines do you deny that?

    You believe the president of Zim should, by definition always be a Shona, do you deny that?

    Many of you had a problem when a number of Mthwakazi people had senior positions in the original MDC prior to the 2005 break up, do you deny that?

    It is a fact that Thokozani Khuphe will never take over from Tsvangirayi, come what may – do you deny that? Even the names that continue to be bandied about as replacements for Tsvangirayi are names of people who are junior to her, all because she is Mthwakazi – do you deny that?

    Mujuru and Mnangagwa’s names have been bandied about as successors to Mugabe in the gukurahundi party for a long time. John Nkomo (whilst he was still alive) and Khaya Moyo were long and automatically written off, despite being senior to Mnangagwa in the gukurahundi party because they were not Shona – do you deny that?

    Notwithstanding what the constitution says, Tsvangirayi and Mugabe have no respect for the language preferences of the Mthwakazi people, as they always speak to crowds in Shona, when in Matbeleland, do you deny that?

    No politician from Matebeleland addresses Shona crowds in Mashonaland/Manicaland/Masvingo in Ndebele, do you deny that?

    You all have double standards whenever it comes to the people of Mthwakazi, do you deny that?

    “..we avoid facing the truth”, what truth in this regard have many of you faced.

    Any one who raises this angle of the debate; many of you are quick to label him a tribalist who is bent on dividing Zimbabweans. This is typical gukurahundi ZANU PF style.

    It’s as if Zimbabweans are united anyway; they are not. Zimbabweans have been divided since gukurahundi ZANU PF came to power in 1980; they still are divided today and will remain divided as long as you dont face the truth.

    Zimbabweans are divided on racial and tribal lines and in the majority of the cases, the divisions are caused by the Shona politicians and their followers.

    As I have said before, during his lifetime I never heard Dr Joshua Nkomo say anything tribalistic against his Shona political opponents. The same can be said of Welshman Ncube or Dumiso Dabengwa. You search the archives for their past speeches to prove this.

    But Morgan Tsvangirayi and Robert Mugabe have said so many tribalistic things against the political leadership in Mthwakazi provinces. Likewise many of you as followers have taken a cue from your Shona leaders.

    The only Shona politician I have some respect for, whom I can categorically say I have never heard him saying anything tribalistic against Ndebele politicians is Dr Simba Makoni. I salute him and respect him. Not those two gukurahundi twins, Tsvangirayi and Mugabe you are so enamoured with.

    So, please give us a break – you are all fake; big pretenders indeed!!!

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    Mthwakazi 4 years

    With Shona tribalism so entrenched in that country, I dont see any next generation of leadership being any different from the rubbish we currently have today!!

    Shonas need to get rid of these embedded cultural beliefs:



    After which we can start talking about the next progressive generation of leadership in Zim. We need to consider MERIT in everything we do, not this “mwanawekumusha” nonsense.

    Otherwise, that country is doomed and doomed forever!!

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    Rich 4 years

    the country of Africa, makes zimbabwe a good country to live, among others.

    It’s quality has fallen, than it once was.

    The black molecules are lack in honesty and its future.

    We white and brown molecules are in a change of direction and continuing the tidal wave.

    whites, brown and black must hide money in safes, underground and we should stop laughing.

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    Maki 4 years

    The problem is the socalled educated politicians they are double swords. The security system created by Nanu Pf does not serve the nation but the party.The judicial does not serve the purpose. There is no rule of law and accountability that language does not exist in Zanu Pf. There is no difference with Egypt millitary rule. We are ruled by the millitary junta. Who ever tries to oppose the junta it is obvious that its a one way ticket.