The harmonised elections are gone but not dead. The results or its ghosts will bring a backlash against immediate economic recovery and because of the unattractiveness of the so-called victorious model — the new epoch will definitely pay a price for the sleazy three decades and the treacherous victory. That politicians will always be politicians pre-or post general elections has been amply demonstrated since time immemorial. At a time the country is poised to head back to the dreaded former dark days, there is need for economic policy renewal and recovery.
REPORT BY TONDERAYI MATONHO
At a more tactical level, the policies proposed by the two major contending parties, Zanu PF and the MDC-T, provide pointers to the much-needed renewal and recovery, particularly the latter, despite its loss. It is a matter of making tough choices between the good, the better and the best. The proposals might look elusive but they are critical.
Caught between a collapsed central government and a moribund economy, Zimbabwe suffers above all from a lack of political leaders capable of pulling together a viable and vibrant country and holding together the disparate forces which now threaten to fragment the country. At the moment, given the outcome of the elections, there is little sign of anyone capable of keeping this ship afloat. There is a lot of unfinished business.
There is no running away from the simple truth that Zimbabweans are conscious of the problems or challenges bedevilling the country. A simple survey will reveal that the people, despite their diverse political perceptions and deep-seated party ideological positions, have a social fabric that binds them together — a consensus and the need to move the country forward. Living is association or conflict and this takes many forms from the smallest-scale relationship of, for instance, two or more infants at play in the home or outside to the largest-scale spread of culture over vast areas of the country through trade, conquest or both.
All these forms are obviously interconnected in many ways, both within total societies like Zimbabwe and beyond. It is the task of social and political analysts to establish knowledge about all these kinds of interdependency among associational and contradictional forms that have existed in the past and still existing. Zimbabwe finds itself at the cross-roads but desperately needs to move forward as a nation.
Societies and communities display both consensus and conflict, others more relative consensus, some more conflict. Notably, the latter has largely characterised pre-and post election Zimbabwe. We have yet to see institutions within our society resting upon consensus more than others do.
Zimbabwe is a gem of a country which has to occupy a place of honour in the Africa region and on the international scene, though it is a small country by progressive world political standards and a conservative society in which the upper and the middle class play a dominant role. It would not be far-fetched to say that it has diverse forms of an equilibrium of classes. The country has been under a record 33 years of one-party rule but it would be forthright to consider the continued one-party rule as a cyclical phenomenon. It is an aberration of the last three decades. There is need to revisit the social contract upended between the state and the people since political party governance began. It is high time we should develop a special kind of imagination that allows us to examine our lives in a new way and how we are governed. The belief in the possibility and need for a rational re-ordering of our society should remain critical undercurrent in post-election Zimbabwe.
Monkeys and baboons do not ponder why some should be leaders and others followers. Yet, humans do wonder and worry about the conditions and meanings of their lives. In fact, even pondering why some should be leaders forever even within their own families without the father delegating or passing on the baton of fatherhood to the most deserving senior child. This is the basis of the family unit.
One of the most ancient of human institutions is the family and another is the government whose only legitimate purpose is to promote human happiness through moral enterprise. Throughout the ages, many bonds binding families together have been broken and destroyed by the most immoral of governments. Again, people as citizens are bound to these two units through social contracts.
It is true that governments are a necessary evil with powers which ought to be limited to the enforcement of natural rights and implementation of basic reforms to bring about complete human happiness. Any incoming government this time around should take heed at a time where there is small comfort for the millions who live in the lost world of black economic desperation and despair. Or is it still a game of chess, and who are the pawns? Our leaders should be God-fearing.