Paralysis by politics of positions

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ACROSS the national political divide the shift towards jostling for political positions has taken over the real purpose of any polity which is policy priority and nation building. The national leadership is rightly enraged by the widespread muddle and that is a trend which urgently needs foregoing for the sake of individual party and national trajectory.
That politics is not a career but a service to the people is not just a mere statement but exactly why the people vote in elections. The rush for positions is a clear indication of the malfunction of focus on policy which relegates pressing economic challenges to the margins of the national discourse whilst elevating politically-predatory tendencies to the forefront.
Zimbabwe is currently facing economic challenges of a magnitude that requires those entrusted into positions of influence to have sleepless nights yet the main preoccupation seems to be rank, order, flashy cars and fancy pants. It is a telling sign of misplaced priorities that under the current economic environment in Zimbabwe that one’s preoccupation is reduced to mere scramble towards the upper echelons of power rather than addressing the immediate concerns of the ordinary man, woman and child. The hallmarks of extraordinary leadership was shown when President Robert Mugabe had to personally intervene and dipped into his pockets to address the subsistence challenges of the recently concluded youth conference. All this is indicative of a deep-rooted manifestation of the deliberate neglect of the hard-done-by electorate by this politics of positions.
Whilst the difference between those who serve the self and those who serve others is obvious, it requires those aspiring to positions of national influence to have that basic determination to seal the cracks before the fissures emerge. There is an urgent requirement to redefine the construct of politics from being a trade to that tireless readiness to serve the people. It is understandable that all politicians are of flesh and blood and therefore far from perfect. It is true that those who lose their way are not necessarily bad people and therefore it is up to those who remain focused to refocus others to stay grounded.
The state of intentionally remaining anonymous and keeping a cool head is a representation of the required inner spirit and strength to prioritise actual action as opposed to empty words to mislead the people in this greedy and egotistical quest for the now over-subscribed political positions. The rumpus and fracas over political positions points to unholy lateral linkages of self-obsessed fixation with politics of profession as opposed to that public duty and enduring commitment to carry forward the hopes and expectations of those who entrusted the politicians with their vote.Advertisement

The country is currently facing what seems like an insurmountable mountain of economic obstacles and now is the time to drop that self-serving attitude and to embrace the totally altruistic determination to serve the perennially short-changed citizens. It is this individual inward-looking and self-absorbed outlook which prioritises the narcissistic wants of the few over the genuine and basic needs of the economically-challenged majority.
This needs to be emphasised over and over again that politics is not a vocation but a public duty and with this duty comes responsibilities, accountability and that caretaker opportunity to serve those who voted the politicians into power. People look up to politicians who prioritise persistency, consistency and transparency. The political position is a mark of respect from the electorate and the respect is earned not asked for or demanded through this covetous quest for that elevation. The electorate want the simplest of things, the basics and practical approaches to the country’s debilitating economic challenges. No sane person cast their vote for squabbling and unconcerned aspirants.
All aspiring public officials must give weight to a renewed commitment to politics geared towards serving the country’s long suffering citizens and shy away from this extortionate pursuit of positions. There must be a political commitment and a genuine willingness to serve the people. Politics is not just a gateway to affluence and bounty but requires those who enter into this service for the people to have both reflective and affective emotional intelligence. That simple respectful and genuine acknowledgement to serve is a sure way to endear aspiring officials with the grassroots.
Those who are clamouring for political positions have a duty and responsibility to the citizens of this country and they must address those pressing issues which have incapacitated many in Zimbabwe. It is that simple and that is why people vote. President Mugabe has led by example, our heroes led by example and all these new aspirants must learn from the pioneers. Those hustling and tumbling for political positions will not endear themselves to the electorate. Political harlotry is ‘rubbish’ to say the least and political refuse belongs nowhere else other than the political dustbin of history.
Now is not the time to scrummage for political positions but the time to hit the ground running and tackle the basics that drive up the nation. There is an urgent need for national dialogue on practical and sustainable ways of cutting the disproportionate government spending, ways of reviving the country’s industrial base, ways of retooling the country’s in-need-of-repair infrastructure and how to make life better for all the citizens of this country.
The scurry for political positions is not in any way associated with that sensitivity to the plight of the downtrodden citizens of this country and those who are rushing for the positions have deliberately put misery-repellent plugs to the suffering of the people of Zimbabwe. As President Mugabe rightly put it”You are as, more also, just rubbish as the person who has given you the money; both of you, the giver and the given are alike.”
Bernard Bwoni can be contacted at