Zimbabwe after Mugabe

via Zimbabwe after Mugabe | The Zimbabwean 24 September 2014 by Vince Musewe

Without a fundamental moral regeneration after Mugabe goes, our country will continue to regress.

We must work diligently to overcome the constraints of our history if we are to discover the full potential of our future. We must accept that history has dealt us a temporary blow from which we can recover. Other nations have become great because their horrible past experiences under dictatorships have showed them what they do not want. To this day, they continue to galvanise themselves against making the same mistakes. We must do the same.

We have learnt that the politics of personality cults leads to regression; a leadership that is not accountable leads to absolute corruption. We have learnt that power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. We know that if we are to learn from the past, the inconsistencies and lies must be exposed.

It is obvious that our nation cannot be united without national healing and unity of purpose. Our society can only develop if we take the responsibility to do so. Fear is only imagined – yet it robs us of our potential, our humanity and our dignity as a people.

We must therefore first destroy that fear in our minds and also destroy the thrones we have created in our hearts for politicians, spies and parasites of Zanu (PF). We must dismantle the propaganda machinery they have established. We must fight abuse and the sense of entitlement that permeates our politics and its self-appointed leaders. We must fight the discrimination against women, racism and the use of violence to win arguments. We must destroy our cultural limits and the belief in witchcraft as a means of access to position and material wealth.

We must build new political and economic institutions with strong foundations of social justice and equity. Our army, police and intelligence services must protect our citizens and our country and must never be used by an individual to oppress others as Mugabe has done. Our state enterprises must deliver services to the people and not be used as instruments of patronage and reward for political cronies. Local government must never be controlled by politicians but must be accountable to communities.

We must re-programme ourselves from the focus on accumulation of material wealth. We must lift others as we rise. We have learnt that popularity does not lead to leadership competence and therefore our standards and criteria for leadership must be value based and centred on sound principles, humility and the willingness to serve others.

We have to create a participative democracy where citizens’ rights are protected by our institutions. We can never afford apathy and hopelessness to return to our people. We must take our power back.

After Mugabe, we must insist that no individual is above the law and that no individual can abuse our state resources for his or her own gain. We must ensure that our President is accountable and we will therefore need a strong Parliament that can keep the President on check. We will have to strengthen Parliament – it must not be just a rubber stamp, but a force for accountability and transparency in governance.

We must encourage a multi-party democracy that is balanced and not dominated by a single political party. We cannot afford to have a situation where this country is run by a single political party. We must put the country first.

We must expose all the corruption that Mugabe has presided over and clean up the rot in all government institutions. We have to manage our land assets better and plan better so that they can be more productive. Our mining resources must be exploited to the benefit of all – not only the army and party cronies. We will have to account for every ounce of mineral and every cent earned.

The liberation struggle was about social justice and equality and we have to continue to pursue these ideals because they have not been achieved. In fact, the Zimbabwe we have seen under Mugabe is not the Zimbabwe we want nor is it the Zimbabwe that thousands perished for. The struggle for the emancipation of our citizens is not yet over. It was derailed because of selfish interest and cowardice. After Mugabe we will have to start over to create a new nation.

The last 34 years have shown us what democracy is not and what society we do not want. It has taught us much and if Zimbabwe is to benefit from its past experience, as many other nations have done, we need a fundamental moral regeneration. More important will be to whom we give the responsibility to create that Zimbabwe we want.

I have no doubt in my mind that it is possible for us to create the Zimbabwe I imagine – but it will not emerge on its own nor can it be created under Mugabe. We can no longer afford to give that responsibility to anyone who has been complicit in aiding Mugabe to create his Zimbabwe. We reject it.

– Vince Musewe is an economist and author based in Harare. You can contact him at vtmusewe@gmail.com


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    Mr Mugabe’s self-serving and small minded leadership has been and is a disaster of enormous proportions for all Zimbabweans. Mr Musewe is correct to target the ‘head of the snake’ as the source and the well spring of all the decay and evil that has befallen Zimbabwe since independence.

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    I loved this piece by Vince. And I pray that God in His mercy will give us the opportunity to build our destroyed nation. RGM, as President, must take the responsibility. The bible says much about oppression and all the other things Vince wrote about. “He who oppresses the poor reproaches the Lord.” I wonder what bible these people read or if they read it at all. I know many go to church and profess Christ and yet their lives tell a completely different story. Judgment comes! It will be better to repent!

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    Reverend 8 years ago

    There are many things that Vince says that are right and how we should be and react and create etc but there is a deafening silence about the realities of fear and creation and the total blunder of certain statements he makes….

    “We must therefore first destroy that fear in our minds.” This believe it it or not is the biggest weapon RGM has and be assured that no one has the ability of “destroying fear” on their own. You have to have something that relieves you of that fear in that your confidence is uplifted like the knowledge of God and the fact that through Him we can live without fear. All mans strength cannot destroy his fear and many in this country have learnt to live with the horrors of the evil fear and oppression brought on them by the powers of darkness in Zimbabwe.

    “We must re-programme ourselves from the focus on accumulation of material wealth.” What a silly remark! You smoking something?? Mans desire is to accumulate wealth for goodness sake. It is in our nature and we all want to do well, and we need to see that corrupt wealth is brought to book. Try being corrupt in Gods presence!!

    “We must lift others as we rise.” No, we must lift Christ as he draws us up with Him… He said “if I be lifted up I will draw all men unto me”

    “We have to create a participative democracy where citizens’ rights are protected by our institutions.” Let God create our democracy…

    “We must ensure that our President is accountable and we will therefore need a strong Parliament that can keep the President on check”. All presidents are flesh and blood and corruptible, and we need one president that holds himself acountable to God first and then to man is easy.

    “We must put the country first”. No No No we must put God first and then He will take care of our country!!

    “After Mugabe we will have to start over to create a new nation.” Let Christ, the God of creation create our new nation, we do not stand a snowballs hope in hell of creating this nation with out the Lord.

    We have good Godly people in Zimbabwe and God is raising them up and they will stand in His Strength not their own, and this alone is where change will come from…Not mere man!

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      mark longhurst 8 years ago

      sadly bud, religion has only helped Mugabe and Zanu’s henchmen, it has been hijacked by political expedients and in most cases they simply rip off the community by selling and peddling lies and rhetoric in the name of some god or other, the only way to get rid of Zanu is by pure numbers,law and order, if there is a god he is also being bribed by Mugabe…

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    The usual naive gullible academic musings bereft of action. Old hat claptrap. Mealie mouthed compromise

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    Uncle 8 years ago

    Seek God not good days my Friend no mo good days coming insteady wars are coming

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    Phunyukabemphethe 8 years ago

    A successful and prosperous Zimbabwe can only come about once the Shona admit that they erred in their support for ZANU PF/Mugabe in the 1980, 1985 and 1990 elections. That their choices were essentially driven by tribal considerations as driven by Mugabe and his ZANU PF; and not merit.

    These are the elections that were decisive in entrenching ZANU PF rule; since the Shonas even chose to ignore the fact that ZANU PF openly campaigned for a one-party state. All other elections that came later were not elections at all, since the groundwork for thuggery and rigging had already been laid out in those past three elections.

    Many Shonas, Vince included keep talking about a new Zimbabwe after Mugabe; but non are prepared to let go Mugabe’s ways of conducting politics or revising the Chigwedere history that is currently being taught to our innocent kids in schools and is the very basis of the divisions, tribally and racially polarised environment in Zimbabwe today.

    Once you start with the premise that some of your country’s citizens are more legitimate citizens than the others, based on time-differences in settling on the land they find themselves in; there is no hope in hell that you can ever build a modern, progressive, democratic human-rights centred united nation. The constant harping about WE ARE ONE PEOPLE, without attending to the causes of the divisions amounts to time wasting, as far as I am concerned.

    Its very stupid to claim that, because the name of the country is a Shona name; therefore it implies the country belongs to the Shona people. Its nonsensical to justify dominating other citizens, especially in their own regions/home provinces where you are actually a minority on the basis of a disputed historical narrative of the country; re-written by the then 1980’s victors to suit their own agendas. Mugabe could have been principally responsible for all these divisions, but at 90 he has now become irrelevant to the solutions. Most of these problems have now assumed a life of their own and are being perpetuated by the ordinary Shona. Blaming Mugabe or ZANU PF will not solve anything.

    Reading between the lines, one can sense that most Shona opposition to the Devolution system of governance for our country is based on the ZANU PF’s historical narrative of who owns the country. They will differ and fight ZANU PF and Mugabe on virtually everything else; but on the question of Matebeleland or any socio-political solutions that originate from politicians or people from these regions, they all close ranks in opposition; they are one!!

    Arguments to justify why not, are constantly manufactured; fear-mongering instilled, no matter how unreasonable. We are told Zimbabwe is too small for Devolution, yet at 390 757 sq kms, it is actually bigger than both the UK at 243 610 sq kms and Germany at 357 021 sq kms respectively; themselves longstanding devolved states. Across the boarder, the Republic of South Africa stands out as a magnificent politically stable example of a devolved state (no secession), to which many of these same Shona people are flocking in numbers in search of citizenship and greener pastures – what a contradiction!!

    Instead of arguing around the issues that give rise to the calls for devolution; insults and labels are thrown around in typical ZANU PF style, based on Chigwedere’s history of Zimbabwe. So much for the so-called most educated people on the continent.

    So Vince my friend, there is nothing wrong with wishing for a united and prosperous Zimbabwe post the Mugabe era. What is wrong is expecting this to just happen miraculously, while at the same time psychologically embracing those very divisive tendencies that define everything ZANU PF. Only a complete psychological paradigm shift can bring about that united Zimbabwe you keep writing about in your columns; united in its diversity for a common national purpose; not united through uniformity or assimilation, as currently appears to be what the majority Shona people seek; very much in line with ZANU PF’s teachings as enunciated in its 1979 Grand Plan!!