Zimbabwe’s crisis is a crisis of leadership

via Zimbabwe’s crisis is a crisis of leadership September 24, 2014

The political crisis gripping Zimbabwe has reached its lowest point; a point at which it might tip into the abyss with no chance of early redemption. To say this is not to be alarmist!

The ruling Zanu PF party is in turmoil; so is the mix of opposition formations that once formed the formidable MDC.

Forget about the other little groupings that emerge now and again and call themselves political parties.

Zimbabwe’s crisis is a crisis of leadership.

Zanu PF is mortally divided along factional lines.
It is difficult to surmise what the outcome of the intra-party fights will be.

Even the most optimistic observer avers that whoever takes over the ashes will not be good for the country.

This is a simple extrapolation. From a dirty fight only the very dirty will come out alive.

It is difficult to envisage a situation in which a mud wrestler transforms immediately into a reformer, a leader who is ready to wash away the mud and lead a battered nation.

The battles being fought in the ruling party are surely dirty wars; soon they will deteriorate further — and God forbid – into open bloodletting.

So far the wars are being fought in the media, but only a few – apparently one faction — have got access to newspapers and radio.

Those without will obviously get frustrated by the continued onslaught on them.

They will eventually seek and find other avenues through which to vent their bottled-up emotions. That presents a great danger, for no one knows where they will get their relief and how they are going to act it out.

President Robert Mugabe doesn’t seem to fully comprehend the danger to national security and national stability posed by the situation in his party.
One hopes he doesn’t think the fights tearing it apart can simply be wished away.

He needs to be decisive and put an end to the succession fights which have become a grave threat to the national interest.

The turmoil in the opposition is equally worrying. Many people across Zimbabwe and abroad have begun to have serious doubts about all the individuals leading opposition groupings.

It would seem Morgan Tsvangirai missed his chance to be a great statesman when he resisted the winds of change. It now seems well-nigh impossible for him to rebuild his stature to the height it was a few years ago.

But the dissidents are not very inspiring either. Their mortal mistake was beginning their rebellion from the top.

It will be almost impossible in the near future to seep their thinking down to the grassroots.

Without the support of the people, they are doomed even if their idea of forming a grand coalition comes to fruition.

Such a grand coalition would just be another high-sounding club of failed politicos who have no clue about what’s really happening on the ground.

But Zimbabwe is not such a completely hopeless country. Obviously there are great leaders lurking somewhere in the woodwork.

Their time to emerge is now.


  • comment-avatar
    I am not the one 10 years ago

    Quote from above”…But Zimbabwe is not such a completely hopeless country. Obviously there are great leaders lurking somewhere in the woodwork.”
    I must be in the wrong movie!

    • comment-avatar

      Exactly. How often reading the press do you sit and think I must be in the wrong country, this is not the country I live in. This is fantasy land, and somebody else’s fantasy at that.

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    Mapingu 10 years ago

    “Zimbabwe’s crisis is a crisis of leadership”. I wouldn’t dispute this title and/or reasoning at all, simply becoz that’s a fact which no one can over emphasize.

    Yet I still wouldn’t shy away from going further and pose the question, and provocatively so: “Is it simply a crisis of leadership, particularly at this juncture, or the crisis is much deeper than that”?

    In my view, the crisis is now much deeper than just leadership, yet the leadership (particularly our ‘god-given’ leadership – yokutendegwa kutonga kusika madhongi ameranyanga iyi) remains the epicenter and author of the same.

    Actually what we now have now is more of a ‘crisis of nation-hood or state-hood’. Selfishness and/or individualism, which was skillfully inculcated into us, as a people, by the leadership. Of course, it was started by former colonial masters (that’s why we had many real sell-outs during our liberation war), then taken a few gears up by post-colonial leadership.

    Most of us really don’t have a sense of belonging, not to mention the leadership itself. That’s more than clear that the leadership is more at home in China, and elsewhere than they are in Zim. Check the mansions and other investments they do out there; and then check what they do in Zim. In Zim all they do is one thing – stealing, stealing, stealing, stealing,…; and taking the money out, where they really invest it. Zimbabwe is simply their hunting ground, nothing more. Now, to gauge the attitudes, of the commoners on the ground who don’t have enough to invest in the outer space, one needs to listen at their newly invented mundane language and behaviours: rarama nezviripo; siyana nazvo ndezve ruzhinji; ita zvinoita kuti vana vako vaende kutoireti chete – zvakawanda siyana nazvizvo; iwe-iwe unonditi ndisa cheka waya ndeya mai vangu here kana vako – mombe dzacho dzikatsikwa nemota ndedzako?; iwe, unofunga ndinga siya kuchera mari nokuti bhande racho radambura nemuroad, road yacho inondipa chingwa here – mota yacho handina futi; uri kuti akaba akaba mari yacho yaakaba ndeyako here – haaa, pfutseki ziva zvekumba kwako; eee, kana akaba mari yehurumende, so what, ndiwe hurumende yacho iwewe – ziva zvako zve nhamo yechirombe chako kumba kwako; ….

    These are just highlights of the mentality crisis in the country. Its really much deeper than simply the leadership, however it is indeed a creation of the leadership, colonial & post-colonial leadership in particular.

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    unbiased 10 years ago

    It is such a pity and a shame raising children in this country. Now people do not work hard with their hands anymore. It is all about who you know and how much you are willing to pay. The once beautiful country has gone down the drains. There is no rule of law, corruption at its highest in every sector such that even the anti-corruption team is the most corrupt, there are no standards anymore (buyers are taken advantage of and there is no where to report to), those who commit crime are walking freely out there and committing more, the leaders are so selfish, all they think of is making more and more money for themselves and nothing about the people they lead. Most of the people who are over 60 at the moment are the poorest as they do not have pension anymore. We used to say the white people are the problem but actually we are the problem. We took away the land and all that. Its been 10 years or more now but we still do not have anything to show for it. SHAME SHAME SHAME on you Zimbabwe, my heart cries out for my beloved nation. What legacy are we leaving for our children? Lord help us and bring back the sanity.

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    revenger avenger 10 years ago

    Go back to 1980. It was foretold. So reap what you sowed

  • comment-avatar

    David Coltart for President.
    Fair, unbiased, focussed on outcomes for the people, not involved in political infighting, respected by all.
    Yes – lets have Coltart for an interim president.

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    nyoni 10 years ago

    The question What is Leadership must be tackled first. Leaders do come in different shapes , shades and sizes. Some are committed while others are not. You can take your pick. The examples are there for us all to see. The problem we face is that most leaders including our senile one believe once elected or rigged in they only can rule the roost. These people become Gods amongst themselves. Untouchables. They then become COMPLETE ARSEHOLES AKA MUGABE.

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    Rwendo 10 years ago

    Well spoken Mapingu. From the nation’s capital at least, we have become a people of ‘Me, myself and my family’ and ‘If there’s something in it for me, its fine’ and ‘Keep your head low and don’t rock the boat.’

    As for leadership, while the jails were full of political leaders in the 60s and 70s, these days the few political prisoners there are usually rank and file. And the only exiled leader I can easily name is Bennett.

    We have been reduced to a nation of refugees and cowards, fearful of our government and resigned to our fate. It is undoubtedly a phase we will eventually pass, but all the same an ignominious chapter in our history.

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    Phunyukabemphethe 10 years ago

    It will remain so; a crisis of leadership, as long as that same leadership is chosen on tribal lines!!