‘‘THERE comes a time in every sect, party, or institution when it stops growing, its arteries harden, its young men see no visions, its old men dream no dreams; it lives in the past and desperately tries to perpetuate the past. In politics when this process of petrifaction is reached, we call it Bourbonism, and the sure sign of the Bourbon is that, being unconscious that he is the victim of sclerosis, he sees no reason for seeking a cure. Unable to adjust himself to change and new conditions he falls back into the past, as an old man drops into his worn-out armchair,” so said William Roscoe Thayer.
Could he have meant our Zanu PF and its president, the elderly Robert Mugabe? The previous few weeks have really shown that the president has indeed become the Bourbon, unable to see his time is up and his party has degenerated into a former shadow of itself. Worse still, the country has not remained static; but been held in suspense watching the twisting turns in Zanu PF as it sets on a national destructive agenda.
We have been entertained by some nasty name-calling, unexpected beatings and violence, accusations and counter accusations, briberies and demeaning conduct by some powerful politicians some of us naively revered. Behold, our thirst for gossip has been quenched with the knowledge of how much wealth our loving and caring leaders have accumulated whilst the rest of us live like paupers despite the shrill voices screaming about land reforms and empowerment policy.
We have seen the classic empowerment of women; the breath-taking uplifting of one Grace Mugabe whilst stunned as we watch her fell another woman with demeaning brutality that would leave the Angel Lucifer with envy! He wouldn’t have fallen from heaven with such a painfully heavy thud! Ohhh dear Joyce Mujuru! To hear that Grace Mugabe can suddenly command the graces of leadership is not only shocking; but serves to show why Zimbabwe regresses as other countries advance.
Oh dear Zimbabwean, how so less than average are we in our thinking and appreciation of our leaders? How dare we let the Chinotimbas of this world determine the future of this great nation? What has Grace achieved in her entire life to be seen as a potential leader even of the so-called Women’s League? It is sickening to hear so many elderly men and women cry ‘Amai, Amai, Amai’ before her.Advertisement
I see so many once-respected men and women going down on their knees asking for forgiveness for having once doubted her leadership. I hear so many vitriolic young men and women prepared to kill and die for Amai. Pity the mind of an average man; pity the thinking of the desperate and poor. They dare not look at their past; neither do they have the foresight to see the future, let alone pause and check the route they are being coerced to follow.
When the dusts settles, as it will one day when there shall be no more running emotions; when the insults have ceased and the gods have taken their high seats and partaken in sharing the cake, where will our youths be working? What will our mothers be doing? Where will the gospel leaders be nursing the pangs of hunger endured by their flock? Once more, we shall all hear the now historic silent cries of poverty, unemployment and the whispers of corruption and brutality. Today’s gusto will be forgotten.
The doings of an average man are so disturbing and self-defeating. Indeed, who once said, ‘’The average person, who calmly sits back in his easy chair and passes his verdict on the acts of great men, does not always allow for the play of emotions which may have influenced them. How can the unimaginative man, who has never been urged by his fellow townspeople to be even Trustee of the Town library or graveyard, put himself in the place of a Leader, who is told by millions of persons, possibly fanatics but not flatterers, that the destiny of the Nation depends upon his listening to their entreaties?”
This is the sad situation that our Zimbabwe faces today, fanatics do not see that they are screwed. All they hear and giggle to is Amai, Amai. World-wide, citizens are used to politicians turning against each other, or squabbling over positions and power. In the UK, the Miliband brothers squared against each other for the leadership of the Labour party, but never before has the world been entertained with the kind of drama Zimbabweans are facing in which the First Lady can be vulgar whilst also frighteningly threatening the VP of the state. Zanu PF itself has not only failed to unite, but has succeeded in ensuring the opposition stays divided. The failure of Mugabe in one area is his success in another.
The challenge is for mature men and women to rise up, unite and save Zimbabwe. It’s not about having numerous self-centred leaders in front of a band of fanatics; it’s about Zimbabwe. Leaders who are committed and who have the love and will to serve the people should prevail. Zimbabwe has had too many of both sweet-worded and hate-filled slogans, but none of us live on slogans. It has had too many political parties and leaders, but none of us has seen their success. Zanu PF has ruled us for almost 40 years, but none of us has enjoyed prosperity and peace except for its leaders and their fellow conmen.
And why can’t astute Zimbabwe use this moment to turn the tide; UNITY. United in electing sober, principled and committed leaders; Zimbabweans are able to reclaim their country from the mafia that is in Zanu PF. We can, together, get rid of the Zvipfukuto and Gamatox drama, threats and obscenities. It is time we united to make Zimbabwe claim its place in the global arena.
Zanu PF has had its time, its arteries have hardened and ‘its young men see no visions, its old men dream no dreams; it lives in the past and desperately tries to perpetuate the past.’ This should be the moment for the opposition to tick. The opposition should be re-grouping to take maximum advantage of Zanu PF’s self-destructive chaos. Let’s us not allow fanatics to decide the future of our country. Zimbabwe yearns for a progressive and effective leadership that will make us feel proud to say we are Zimbabweans!
Chris Dube is a member of the MDC South Africa Province