I belong to Zimbabwe and am inextricably bound to this land.
Sunday Opinion with Perry Munzwembiri
Regardless of the perceived or actual imperfections Zimbabwe has, this will always and forever be my home. Like many other Zimbabweans, I am heavily invested in this country and together with others, hold a stake in Zimbabwe and its destiny.
That being said, the Zimbabwe I see is far from perfect. The problems the country is facing have well been documented and there is little need if any at all to dwell on these. What has become apparent however, is that we are increasingly becoming a society that would rather focus on the problems without necessarily discussing or offering solutions to the myriad of challenges we face.
What is needed is definitive leadership that would outline in broad strokes the path the country should take in navigating its way out of the quagmire it presently finds itself in.
Many have lost faith in our politicians and more generally the political system in its entirety. Just a quick glance at any of the local dailies paints a rather sad story; political leaders living in plenty, enriching themselves with impunity at the expense of the masses they claim to serve.
This just shows how these political elites have lost connection with the generality of the people, and how bereft of genuine leaders our country is. Faced with these realities, one cannot really blame the people for their general apathy when it comes to our politics.
This however is unfortunate as Zimbabwe is a republic which by definition is a state in which supreme power is held by the people and their elected representatives. As such the obligation of charting the course the country should take is incumbent upon the political leaders who represent the people of their constituencies. When our politics fail, the nation fails. Hard as it may be to take in, this is the fact. A dearth in leadership at the top will inevitably give way to a dysfunctional socio-economic system.
When a sitting Member of Parliament makes unwarranted claims that the Zimbabwean dollar will be re-introduced and in so doing disturbs the financial markets with such potentially volatile pronouncements, one questions if the leader truly has the interests of the people at heart. When people jostle for power in messy internal politics instead of focusing on core issues affecting the well being of most Zimbabweans, it beggars belief as to how those very same people can claim to represent the people.
Name calling and hurling of insults at each other hardly serves any meaningful process other than to divert the people`s attention from the real issues that are affecting them. Yet it seems this is what our politicians mostly excel at; shouting the loudest away from the corridors of power. Yet in the House of Assembly where their voices matter the most, they are found dosing off instead of participating in constructive debate to shape the country`s prospects. Interesting too is how easily politicians can major in the minors by focusing on issues such as renaming institutions and monuments. While these may be noble undertakings, they are really not bread and butter issues that warrant the time and resources spent on them. The people need jobs, food on the table, access to better healthcare; matters that have a direct bearing on the quality of their lives.
There is a dire need for those who hold the reins of power to reconnect with the general populace and direct their efforts to protect and to serve. The political elitism syndrome needs to be dealt away with as a matter of urgency. We are all created equal! Yes there are many who did not “fight” the liberation war, but that does not make them lesser human beings than those who “fought” the war. What all Zimbabweans want is a functioning government based upon inclusive politics that truly have the people at heart.
Frankly, there is no place here for self serving politicians who are only visible in their constituencies when elections are drawing near. The opposition’s shadow cabinet has to be visible more than just on paper and be relevant by offering alternative policies and strategies and thereby ensuring a vibrant democracy.
As long as our local leaders fail to uphold the true duties of their public offices, the republic’s development will be stalled. Zimbabwe cannot be held to ransom by a select few people who further their own gains while the rest of the people live under economic hardship.
The current politicians regardless of party affiliation need to touch base with the true duty of service and realise that they are involved in processes and institutions that are bigger than themselves.
They need to appreciate that the decisions they make have far reaching implications and as such they hold the fate of people in their hands.