AS citizens of an acquisitive society, Zimbabweans have a deeply entrenched metric for success that is derived from the external manifestations of a distorted self. Whilst the distinction between serving the self and serving others is powerful and viable, it requires everyone to have that inherent courage to be altruistic and apparent for the sake of transparency. With the recent revelations about the sleaze and salary scandals, the dilemma we are faced with is a loss of individual uprightness and the question to pose is – do those incriminated have the inner sustained stamina and courage to be accountable for their individual indiscretions? The only gate-keepers to losing one’s moral fibre and conscience are courage, self-awareness and empathy which are integral to social and emotional intelligence.
President Robert Mugabe has been rightly dismayed and let down by the recent revelations and instructed that action is taken directly from those responsible ministries implicated in the scandals. Jonathan Moyo has been the most proactive and instrumental in initiating and unmasking these financial felonies and there has been a sense of urgency in defining and driving up processes and national trajectory. Moyo has been putting emphasis on the reframing of the construct of leadership from being heroes and celebrities to being servants of the people.
The recent salary sleaze and economic transgressions by individuals must never be allowed to tarnish the great name of the revolutionary party. Individuals are entirely responsible for their individual impropriety and irresponsibility. The public outrage and associated emotive responses to the revelations are understandable under the circumstances but, in all fairness, we have to exonerate the revolutionary party and target the independent offenders. The revolutionary party is bigger than any personality and individuals are mere component parts of this ideologically-affluent composite structure. The individual is the individual and the party is separate and that distinction must be made clear.
Leaders are human and therefore fallible. Those who lose their way are not necessarily bad people but rather they lose their moral mettle, often giving in to worldly seductions which form the petal paths of their careers. No one goes into a position of power with the sole purpose of self-gratification or to do wrong; we all have that susceptibility to actions and behaviours we will end up regretting unless we stay grounded. Along the way the rewards, the bonuses and other alluring trappings fuel increasing desires for more and succumb many will.Advertisement
Courageous and upright individuals do not make excuses when they are wrong, they come forward and boldly say “I was wrong”. I have utmost respect for George Charamba who has shown no hesitation in admitting his misjudgement. Apologising freely requires a moral backbone and Charamba coming forward and doing that surely must be uncomfortable but the fact that he has done so publicly shows that he is putting honesty and honour ahead of personal comfort and self-preservation. The positive power of acknowledging and apologising for one’s misdoings is not only inspiring but also courageous and morally upright. I am fully aware that excusing people’s behaviour is in essence trying to redefine what is and what is not morally acceptable in society and I am not about to do that. In every unethical predicament the costs vastly outweigh the benefits and in this case the wrong-doers have a case to answer.
Charamba’s morally-conscious stance is a brand new phenomenon in Zimbabwean politics and he deserves credit not outright castigation for admitting that he was wrong. Emotions and outrage aside, Charamba coming out and admitting his involvement in the long run is likely going to increase solidarity, innovation and openness in Zimbabwean politics. Any individual in a position of leadership who can admit to an error in judgement embodies a positive measure of character. Humility and the ability to admit to error and error of judgement are probably the most important qualities in leadership. Charamba is embracing humility and in admitting his miscalculation and by hinting on resigning he is showing a unique understanding of self and those around him.
The biggest fear of admitting error of judgement is the fear of being entirely dipped in the illegitimacy immersion and rightly so. The honest truth though is that I have more respect for someone who has the courage to come out and say I was wrong and I apologise for my wrongdoings. I trust Charamba more than those who remain engrossed in their self-serving egotistical pre-occupations while portraying and preserving a picture of assumed righteousness and imagined impunity. I find Charamba’s acknowledgement sincere and he is secure enough to realise and recognise his weaknesses.
I listened to his interview and he seemed very self-aware and did not seem weighed down by any insecurities. The problem for Charamba is that the fact that he has acknowledged the involvement does not necessarily erase it or make it any better, it remains a miscalculated involvement and error of judgement at the end of the day and that he has to live with. However, his saving grace is that he has been brave enough not to try to conceal any wrongdoing which could have created the perception of a lack of integrity and self-awareness.
There has been a renewed commitment to unearthing and condemning the actionable financial misconduct which has become permanent in parastatals and nationwide. Jonathan Moyo, the media and others who have been upfront in uncovering these misdemeanours of capital crimes are ushering in a brand new political phenomenon in Zimbabwe. Every individual is responsible for their dirty deeds and must never be allowed to drag the name of the revolutionary party into the sleazy slime for their self-serving ends.
There are no ‘external forces’ trying to sabotage the revolution in this instance, this is about opportunistic self-seeking unscrupulous individuals out to super-enrich themselves at the expense of the destitute masses! We urge the media ignore any second ranking calls to stop the digging and to continue unmasking the perpetrators of these commercial crimes. It is the hope that more and more of those implicated are as honourable and honest as Charamba in acknowledging their misjudgement. This is the brand new and brave political new world order that is emerging and will redefine this country forever.
Bernard Bwoni can be contacted on firstname.lastname@example.org/ http://www.bernardbwoni.blogspot.co.uk/