HomeEditorial CommentOpinion:Zimbabwe: It is time

Opinion:Zimbabwe: It is time

The arrogance of government is misplaced. And so is the corky self-assurance of conventional opposition groupings.

By Mathabelazitha/The Anvil

There is an invariable air of despair — a sorry and decidedly dim view of the future, dripping from the defeated pens of doomsday pundits, drawing only from the established patterns of electoral history. But they too can’t be further from the mark.

A quiet citizen storm is brewing for any ear that cares to listen. A spectacular groundswell of the self-mobilising collective ire and angst of ordinary citizens here, and across southern Africa is building quiet, but effective momentum.

It is certain to rise, repel and jettison these governments gone mad! And the increasingly brazen nationalist dictactorships slowly engulfing and choking us. That this simmering, often leaderless wave of change doesn’t quite fit the conventional frames of thinking of your media and political analysts out there does not make it any less likely!

Conventional assumptions and hitherto irrevocable truisms have been debunked. Political power no longer resides in its usual and obvious enclaves.

There is neither blanket ignorance, nor a captive market of votes guaranteed to the old, better known political formations, where information floats freely and village lumpens are so discerning.

No longer is information and knowledge a manipulable reserve of those with governing power. You may buy and control the person of the chief, but no longer what is known and understood by his subjects.

Access to and control of the military and other state security organs is no longer a guarantee of governance in perpetuity. Neither too is the apparent lack of coherent, robust opposition leadership and structure a useful barometer by which to measure the capacity and organisational competence of angry societies and abused citizens. The claim to numbers does not abode with established order.

Power is spontaneous and government, an increasingly indeterminant, fluid and highly contestable space!

By a mile, the most effective mobilising force of citizen anger is government complacency and opposition arrogance. The most efficient organising secretary of imminent change, is Zanu PF!

Citizens find no use for a government, and reserve the right to withdraw their consent when, as never before, the distance between the governed and government is so huge and increasing exponentially; when their government, an institution ostensibly created by them to control the wanton wickedness of society and to manage the insatiable desires and vices of natural man, finds itself in even greater need to be governed; a government so perverted against its own people, unapologetic of using public office, in the glare of the day, for plunder, self-enrichment and wanton avarice, at the complete expense and shame of common good, of service delivery and public accountability; a government utterly unmoved and unresponsive to the long drawn out and sincere cries of its people; a government openly conspiring against its own citizens, daily increasing its propensity to use coercive power and repressive legislation to normalise and legitimise government impropriety! It is a government whose time is up!

The Freedom Charter of the US is rather instructive in this regard:

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, that among there are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their powers from the consent of the governed, that whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or abolish it, and to institute a new government, laying its foundation on such principles and organising its powers in such form as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness.”

“My people perish, for want of a vision…”

The moral campus of nationhood and citizenship has been irreparably compromised by bankrupt leadership, a leadership that willingly invests so heavily in dividing citizens along faulty lines of race and tribe, of party and patronage; a ruinous party leadership , itself slit into pitiful smithereens of ethnic and factional fiefdoms is utterly incapable of inspiring a robust, coherent and all-embracing national vision and pride-of-flag that must serve to rally the diverse rainbow energies of the country a unison strategy and binding vision for peace, growth and development.

Exclusion and hate is the portion of our leadership, so crafted into the soul of our nation that entire doctors and engineers and institutions and industries cannot think in terms other than ethnic tribes and nepotism and jobs-for-the-hommies! Yet such a cheap sale is hate that it has guaranteed President Robert Mugabe momentary favour and fleeting loyalty with increasingly shrinking pockets of both the national citizenry and his own circle of cronies.

No leader of his own party attracts more hatred from card-carrying members and officials of his own party than the leader of Zanu PF today. It is no business of our own, but only a small window to just how hopelessly divided a nation this inept leadership has rendered us.

That short-sighted leadership style of exclusion by ring-fencing resources and tribalising governance has short-changed the country immensely, but more significantly, its inevitable consequence is that it has galvanised the otherwise dispersed anger and frustration of citizens, who increasingly realise their enemy is not each other, but a self-serving dictator. The victims and beneficiaries of his favour can see through this dimwitted leadership style, and know it has run its course. It is time!

The level of government paranoia and increasing appetite for dictatorial leadership has been increasingly manifest and in grim display, in the politicisation of state security.

Openly defiant and brazenly partisan public pronouncements by army commanders and police chiefs declaring loyalty to a political party in the build up to national elections, have become commonplace.

They do send chilling signals down the spines of citizens, as they are intended, but in time this deliberate, systemic horror, the increase in dosages of fear to citizens generates less fear than it does the collective willpower for defiance. Clearly too, the days are gone when the army was a Constantino Chiwenga-programmed singular block of shout and march! Soldiers are citizens too. In fact, they are citizens first!

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