Zhuwao may need help to recover from a worldview where he was automatically relevant on account of his uncle to a world in which the content of his character ought to be the currency.
INDEED, “Welcome to 2018” says former Minister Patrick Zhuwao presumably to ignite and inspire active citizenship in Zimbabwe. I was tempted to ignore Zhuwao’s missive published on the NewZimbabwe.com platform but after having reflected, I took the bait to be Mr. Zhuwao’s sparring partner in a battle of ideas enterprise aimed at broadening and deepening the democratic space in Zimbabwe.
Like Zhuwao, I believe that ideas ought to battle ideas and not their authors. We live in a global space where divisions are often accentuated than what unites or ought to unite us as humans.No one can dispute that power illiteracy is so pervasive everywhere and fatalism and nihilism are the natural consequences without any exception. It is against this backdrop, that I welcome Zhuwao’s intellectual value add, the merits of which will be contested below.
Until recently, Zhuwao was part of what I can describe as an amorphous collection of ambitious political actors who thought that they had almost arrived at a destination where their thoughts and deeds would be the order of the day. It is self-evident that Zhuwao genuinely saw no evil, heard no evil, and spoke of no evil in respect of his uncle’s political hegemony.
In fact, it is clear that his suggested resistance is premised on a nostalgic idea that the Mugabeism ideology and methods should be restored and sustained clearly oblivious of their corrosive and toxic nature on human aspirations and welfare.
Indeed, George Mason in May 1776, penned that all power is by God and nature vested in the power and consequently is derived from the same people. He understood then that no man should have the right to claim a higher moral pedestal than others. If Mason was alive during the +37 years of Mugabe rule, he would no doubt have objected to the attempted deification of Mugabe.
What is ironic is that even Mugabe did not buy the deification but people who pretended to be close to him like Zhuwao invested heavily in the idea of a one-centre of power in the person of Mugabe and in so doing undermined the fundamental basis on which any democratic republican order ought to be founded upon. Mugabe, as we all knew but sometimes failed to grasp, was just another normal mortal and fallible human being.Advertisement
Notwithstanding, Zhuwao believes that Mugabe’s authority and legitimacy derived directly from the will of the people of Zimbabwe and, as such, the new administration led by President Mnangagwa is illegitimate, illegal and unconstitutional hence the bold call for some spirited resistance to remove it.
It would be self-evident to any rational observer that even Zhuwao needs a power literacy boost. I say so because when regard is had to what Mason said in article 3 of the Virginia Declaration in 1776, it would become clear that we need to pause and reflect on the following words:
“The government is, or ought to be, instituted for the common benefit of the people (and not certainly for the benefit of the President and his crew and nephews) nation, or community, of all the various modes and forms of government that is best, which is capable of producing the greatest degree of happiness and safety and is most effectually secured against the danger of maladministration; and that, whenever any government shall be found inadequate or contrary to these purposes, a majority of the community hath an indubitable, unalienable, and indefeasible right to reform, alter, or abolish it, in such manner as shall be judged most conducive to the public weal.”
It cannot be argued whether the Mugabe administration could conceivably have been found to be adequate and fit for purpose outside the four corners of the few who benefited from it, if any test was undertaken or is objectively done today. Indeed, there are people like Zhuwao who hold the strong belief that he was part of the majority, hence the name G40, notwithstanding the fact the President Mugabe could not qualify to be in the group using age as the discrimator unless one could describe him as an overgrown baby.
It cannot be denied that even the former President genuinely believed that he was part of the presumed majority, forgetting the fact that his administration had for so long been found to be inadequate and contrary to any legitimate purpose of any civilian government.
Assuming we can persuade Zhuwao to concede that the Mugabe administration was operating outside the four corners that any government in a democratic order should operate within, the inescapable conclusion is and ought to be that reforming it would not have worked with Mugabe at the top of the political and economic food chain living in the glass tower surrounded by self-serving and pseudo public officer bearers with a gigantic appetite for primitive state-assisted wealth accumulation.
The only alternative after the Bulawayo rally and the events that followed was to remove Mugabe and softly but swiftly restore public confidence in their government. It cannot be doubted that even Zhuwao would agree that the mental and physical attributes of his uncle left a lot to be desired.
I am sure every time President Mugabe publicly surrendered to sleep with the cameras focused on him, even Zhuwao would have been tempted to become a revolutionary in the Masonian sense in calling for him to be relieved of the burden of public service. Many were embarrassed while others were outraged that the people of Zimbabwe in whose name President Mugabe derived his legitimacy had no say at all and out of fear, had no alternative to STOP the continuation of the abuse of the man by his own family and close friends.
I have no doubt that in the quietness of his time, President Mugabe is relieved and perhaps grateful that the people of Zimbabwe liberated him and left him standing after the November storm. The people who must be unhappy are the so-called youths who wanted to use or abuse a tired old man into believing that he was as young as his wife.
I would have thought that no rational person would attempt in the name of intellectualism to advance an idea that the basis of resistance to the inevitable removal of Mugabe ought to flow from an idea founded on illegality and unconstitutionalism in so far as abolishing his government as boldly asserted by Zhuwao but rather on some value-centric premises based on the Jeffersoian principle that:
“When a man assumes a public trust, he should consider himself as public property, and justly liable to the inspection and vigilance of public opinion.”
We can all agree that we are generally not active citizens and the culture of debating ideas and adopting problem solving approaches to life is yet to take root. Is it not ironic that the careerlisation of public service is one of the unacceptable outcomes of the Mugabe dispensation and young people like Zhuwao simply cannot find any alternative way of being relevant to the myriad of problems facing Zimbabwe than to be critical?
Imagine a new Zhuwao resigned to the fact that his uncle needs to rest and download before he expires all the bad and good deeds as well as take time to appreciate the real adverse impact of his ideas and acts of commissions as well as omissions on the generality of the Zimbabwean public. Zhuwao knows and ought to know better yet the foundation of his resistance movement suggests that he may not have any clue as to how a future so promising in 1980 was squandered in fashion under his uncle’s presumed direction and watch.
Even the SADC and AU leaders who had the occasion of watching President Mugabe at close range knew and ought to have known better that although the transfer of the baton was not done lawfully and constitutionally, President Mugabe had personally with the help of people he thought were on his side removed all plausible and viable alternatives of retiring him without drama.
On balance and in hindsight, people like Zhuwao should be grateful for the manner in which the baton was taken from President Mugabe because I can think of many reasons why the soft landing he got angers many. One would have expected Zhuwao as the nephew of the uncle with a chequered history to be at the forefront of congratulating President Mnangagwa for upsetting some citizens who believe that President Mugabe and his crew ought to have been asked to endure the pain that many others have had to endure in the name of independence.
It was only a few years ago that Zhuwao had the audacity of calling me a Speculative Political Entrepreneur (“SPE”) and after trying to engage him with facts, I was shocked that at his age he had unfortunately developed the KNOW IT ALL attitude. Indeed, Zhuwao may need help to recover from a worldview where he was automatically relevant on account of his uncle to a world in which the content of his character ought to be the currency.
If Zimbabwe had a voice, I have no doubt that it would object to the use of the word “resistance” by Zhuwao of all people. Resistance necessarily has to have a source and there are no jurisdictional facts that would support Zhuwao to be part of any resistance aimed for any public and general good.
Even Zhuwao would understand that “to reconstruct” and “to restore” are cousin terms coming from the same parentage. When SMM was extra-judicially placed under the control of a state-appointed Administrator which in political parlance means a coup, Zhuwao celebrated and saw no evil because his uncle was the umbrella of injustice. The same Zhuwao would now want to cry foul when injustices were institutionalized under his uncle’s watch.
It is and ought to be time for all of us to introspect and reflect on what could have been different if we had cared about our common humanity and future. We all know or ought to know that absent greed, randomness, irrationality, selfishness, nepotism, bias, and subjectivity, human life would not be interesting but this should have limits.
Zimbabwe had become synonymous with the Mugabe household and the former President must feel good to at least read a newspaper in which he is no longer the headline feature. Zhuwao should be giving the public regular updates of President Mugabe’s difficult transition from headline to a soon forgotten political past trend setter and grand master.
In conclusion, I think we should take notice that if we don’t reject pseudo intellectualism being used to bamboozle the ordinary public, the risk of Mugabe reinventing himself through unsavoury characters is high. There are many issues pregnant in the change and we all must objectively expose the kind of Zimbabwe of our dreams and work constructively and collaboratively to realize it.
We all have work to do. We can start with investing in power literacy. I host a show on Facebook live as part of the active citizenship initiative being promoted by the 1873 FM radio www.the1873fm.com and the www.the1873tv.com platforms under the theme “The Future I Want.” If you believe that your voice counts, please do inbox me on firstname.lastname@example.org so that we can use the platform to contest ideas.
I will continue to use Zhuwao as a sparring partner as we continue to interrogate his ideas on the kind of future he wants for Zimbabwe. We should no doubt congratulate him for this effort to ignite and inspire people to be proactive and resist any further intrusion of their constitutional rights.
In conclusion, I believe that the opposite of poverty is a competent leader or a BIG MAN and equally that wealth will not be generated unless the idea that government is an address where people should seek a pin number to prosperity.
In the premises, we need to share ideas, insights, experiences, and knowledge about what is missing and required to ignite people to believe in the idea called “independent Zimbabwe” in order to make it great again.