Zimbabwe: Leadership is all about embracing change – Vince Musewe

via Politicsweb – Zimbabwe: Leadership is all about embracing change by Vince Musewe 12 April 2014

Vince Musewe says everything in the country needs renewal, starting at State House.

As Winston Churchill once remarked; Men occasionally stumble over the truth but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing had happened.

We have seen in Zimbabwe that our leaders, despite stumbling upon the truth that it’s time for political change, continue to hurry off as if nothing is urgent. Our leaders actually fear change and the battle in my country Zimbabwe is really about the new challenging the old.

The old continues to dominate simply because of its access to arms of war and control of the security sector and therefore they will always pose a potential threat to destroy or expunge those of us who wish for substantive change. That does not make them legitimate or right. It also does not mean we should give up or cower at the first sign of intimidation, but rather we should be strengthened by their resistance knowing that all we want, all we aspire to be, is a better society that lives under better life conditions. That is not impossible.

Resistance to change seems a common factor is our society; whether in government where we have old dogs that really have no capacity to create the Zimbabwe we want; our private sector which has become less competitive and more internally focused on surviving without any leadership change; in our public institutions where we have seen incompetent and overpaid leadership that is arresting progress and development. We even have resistance to change in our community and social organisations where leaders claim positions for life despite the lack of results. All are seeking to maintain lifestyles and are afraid of the pain of the social transformation which we desperately need.

Because of our unchanging and anaemic political leadership, Zimbabwe is stuck in a time bubble of the past. We can hardly progress were we are continually reminded that the past matters more than the future. That is indeed a tragedy. Societies that progress focus more on the future and most are fast progressing as we remain stuck in the past that has no benefit to our people at all. Our neighbours’ economies are fast advancing and even surpassing ours as we bicker about what happened yesterday and who did what.

As leaders our responsibility must now be to change this narrative. We have to renew everything that we are about so that we may see social progress. We must embrace change and continually renew how we operate and how we seek to change our circumstances. If we do not do that, we will regress as a society as we have seen in the last thirty four years.

What has gone wrong?

If you ask me that my answer is simple; our politics are regressive and enervating. We have personality based fiefdoms that seek to maintain a status quo of the same people at the top and the rest of society following even where we cannot see the results. Mugabe and his crew of yesteryear praise singers are now moribund and hugely irrelevant to the future we want to create. Anyway, as we all know; hapana chisangapere.(nothing last forever) and the chickens will one day come home to roost.

We have seen that recently in ZIFA where despite the obvious imperative of leadership renewal and therefore progress, the same person has been returned to the helm.  A leader devoid of conscience and morality can hardly be suitable. We have also seen that in our cricket, problems continue to mount and yet its leaders have not changed. That is most unfortunate.

Despite the sporting talent of many Zimbabweans our institutions are unable to harness and show case new talent simple because of vested interests of those that have led our sports organisations to the ground and yet today they remain at the helm steadfast in their foolishness. The heartbreak is that some of us accept this trend as normal. How pitiful.

The same applies to our state enterprises. We have in excess of 80 state enterprises which are not performing and yet we have not heard about fundamental leadership renewal because of patronage and political favours that must be met. Yet our people continue to suffer because of non-delivery of services. Nothing will change until we have new leaders whose concern is our country and its people. The cancer continues to be treated like a mild flu.

Everything in Zimbabwe needs renewal, starting at State house and including our opposition political parties who must now lead with a new narrative and strategy; there is no doubt about that.

That is where our only hope for positive and substantive recovery lies; anything else will be us merely postponing the inevitable. Our challenge is therefore to be proactive fearless change agents who embrace the new and avoid complacency and the false comfort that comes with it.

The future is in our hands!

Vince Musewe is an economist and author based in Harare. You may contact him on vtmusewe@gmail.com



  • comment-avatar

    I agree with you and so would most right thinking people.
    But you only have to go to our rural areas and see when the headman/chief last changed.
    Nada! You will find its the same fiefdom running things from year whatever!

    For us to change requires a seismic shift in our cultural attitudes and thats not going to happen in the near future.

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    Fallenz 9 years ago

    I dunno… Zimbabwe embraced change 34 years ago, and look at the result. Obviously, another change needs to take place, but that change has to be based on citizens’ judgment for good government, not greed for what other’ have.

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    Zim Patriot 9 years ago

    Yes we need to change our outlook as Zimbabweans, we need a whole new mindset. No longer will we be taken for granted, no longer will we accept greed and selfishness by a few in both ZPF and MDC. The people of Zimbabwe ALL need to benefit, not just a select few, not just some who think they are more equal than others…..No longer should we accept sub standard leadership and petty bickering at the expense of the nation….we need to look ahead for our childrens sake!!!!!!! Imagine a Zimbabwe with peace and prosperity for all, a Zimbabwe where we love and respect each other no matter race or tribe, a Zimbabwe blessed with a God fearing and fair leader who truly has the nation at heart? Lets pray for our country…

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    Moses 9 years ago

    So long as the culture of self enrichment exists amongst ALL our politicians there will be no change. However optimistic one would like to be just be prepared for at least another three years of hardship and misery. Change , when it comes , will be a process , not an event. There is as yet no one on the horizon to start the process

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    This is unfortunate what is happening in the country. We have said in the past that during a draught Vultures prosper. Now it’s the maggots are having a go at the carcase. As long as there is flesh on the carcase they will not leave it. The positive part although not great is that they start to devour each other. I do agree with Vince that this will end. The only thing is at what cost.

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    Zvichanaka 9 years ago

    Vince,,, good article but the challenge is how to bring about this change you talk about. No doubt a seismic shift in cultural dynamics is long overdue.

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    moyokumusha 9 years ago

    Another good article and I maintain VINCE FOR PRESIDENT.

    As you say there has to be a huge shift and how to implement this is not going to be easy as these guys have the army and police totally brainwashed / indoctrinated and securing them. The only way you can join either is to go through the Border Gezi type camp.

    To effect change you are going to have to get that mind set to change and the only way of doing that is to get them to start thinking out of the box. To achieve that you have to offer them an alternative and safety and the only way to do that is to offer some form of pardon, so are we at the point where we have to consider a truth and reconciliation type commission. We have to give the junior ranks the opportunity to be heard and give evidence against the masters issuing the orders and these need to be charged. So for instance if a private testifies to what he did under the command of his captain, we pardon the private and listen to what the captain has to say and if he proves he issued the order under instruction from his brigadier who in turn says the governor forced him we end up with the governor in the dock and imprisoned. It would not be long before we see the army captains or police inspector arresting their superiors to avoid them escaping and leaving all the blame on themselves.

    I am sure the UN will help with such an exercise, but we have to offer that assurance to the lower ranks. The private may have killed but who wanted that killing done and who must pay for that killing is the question?

    We need our nation, pride and respect for each other back.

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      Foirgiveness is paramount but then ZPF need to come and ask forgiveness and confess their wrongs. A God given tailor made Zimbabwean truth and healing commission would be good. The true church must be involved to the highest level.

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    Buchman-Turner-Overdrive 9 years ago

    Genuine change should mean a change of attitudes; a change of the political culture of violence and tribalism!!

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    Thank you Vince. Another clear, concise article. We can all see the answers but ZPF refuse to budge. We must not forget that SADC, the AU, ZUMA and the ANC and by extension Mbeki are complicit in where we stand today. With the exception of Botswana. it is almost as though they want a defunct, malfunctioning, derelict nation on their doorsteps because they are all benefitting hugely from our demise. ZPF are totally self serving and we call on any half decent ZPF politician to stand up and do the right thing for one. The blame must also lie with a selfish and self serving and dis united opposition and then also with us; the people of Zimbabwe. We are browbeaten, ruled by fear, oppressed, suppressed and treated like mushrooms; fed on manure and kept in the dark. I say zvakwana! zvakwana. Fear is NOT an option. Our voice must now be heard, petitions must carry millions of signatures and millions of peaceful feet must take to the streets to say NO more misgovernment. ZPF must come to the party. Also the opposition and the people must be heard at SADC, the AU and in SA.I am sick of their bulldust. We demand that Zuma release that 2002 and 2008 election documents and we demand that ZEC release ALL 2013 election material. Now! And last but not least: the church in Zimbabwe must repent and become a true prophetic voice to the nation.

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      Fallenz 9 years ago

      The “true church” (ecclesia of Christ) in scripture has no organization… it only defines the saved. So, yes, those who are obedient to God, those who have converted their lives to be disciples of our Lord, Christians (not those who are “Christian” in name only), should be involved in moving Zim in the direction of righteousness, moral goodness, purity of heart, but that ecclesia has no representative or leadership on earth, for that ecclesia is the body of which Christ is the ONLY head… so how do you propose the “true church” to be involved in the reclamation of Zim. I’m just trying to get clarification of your statement, NBS.

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    Reader 9 years ago

    Time to stop Triableism, Culturalism, raceism and all other ism’s.

    now is the time to say what of the future of our family, NOW is the time to realise that the world has got very small and we are part of it.

    we are all here on earth we are not on another planet.

    we need the west, the east, the south, the north as much as they need us, but we will never get it while there is no change in attitude from POWER rules and rules totally.

    Time to care those that don’t will meet their maker and he will make them suffer make no error the time comes soon and those that follow if you dont see the light you too will go down the same road.

    so change in attitude as well as seeing clearly we all have a position to fill from the lowliest to the highest but that does not mean you are better than me.

    unfortunately in Zimbabwe and in Africa a badge or uniform seems to make you superior, well you are not, i might not have your qualifications, your inteligence but i do have a place in society and without me you will be lost. think on and then decide with us or with out us you will need to decide.

    the lord is coming and to some earlier than we realise we need to ensure we have changed our ways and have asked and shown how we forgive and live together not in blue roof houses not in leafy suburbs but in the village with us.

    ISM’S gone because we dont need them to be perpetuated and mostly this is contiued by Black people all over the world. “ITS NOT FAIR” i’m a poor ill treated black person. So i have the right to cry foul.

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    madlinduna 9 years ago

    thanks for the correct diagnosis sir.the truth is this as the saying goes.If there is a weapon than is available at our disposal all,that we are all reluctant to use.{IT’S THE TRUTH}We do this out of two things mostly.Fear nor stance.However given the history of brutality and sadism on the part of our rulers in Zimbabwe,one will rationaly pardon the people on their reluctance to go all-out and face the regime.Importantly to add on,at the offence and difficult of the uncaring and selective if not dithering neighbours as well as SADC.

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    Roving Ambassador 9 years ago

    For on all the comments above ,it makes me realise there is hope for us. We are all patriots committed to a prosperous Zimbabwe .
    As a father and an individual I am wo king towards creating a worth while inheritance for my offsprings.
    I cannot imagine a father of a nation prepared to live the nation in tatters,corrupt and lawless, just because of his on personal agenda of life President.
    Makes Judas Iscariot look like a Saint.
    Treason of the highest order.
    This weekend ,I could sense the tide of a broader coalition of patriots getting stronger.
    Those who refuse to renew are doomed .We are tired of the same old songs .Let’s dump these Zanufied parties .
    Treasonous malcontents.

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    Vince, most Zimbabweans understand the problem so in some respects you are taking coals to New Castle.

    What Zimbabweans desire is solutions. Sadly there are no leaders capable enough to deliver solutions. People like Tsvangirai are so unbelievably off target that he thinks zanupf will come rushing soon to seek his assistance (see today’s Daily news) to fix the economy. How dumb can you get?

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    Buchman-Turner-Overdrive 9 years ago

    Change the culture of voting on tribal lines. Change the culture of appointing people to top positions based on their tribe.

    Change the culture of refusing to learn your country’s other African languages, but your own.

    Change the culture of imposing one’s culture; language and identity on others who are different from you. Change from intolerance and learn to tolerate diversity.

    Zimbabwe is for all who live in it – black African, coloured African, White African and India/Asian Africans!!