Mr President, collective citizenry unease over your suitability

President Emmerson Mnangagwa

DEAR President Emmerson Mnangagwa,

Your Excellency, as I see it, it must have been on the backdrop of a nagging disquietude that Karl Marx presaged, “Men make their own history, but they do not make it as they please; they do not make it under self-selected circumstances.”

Methinks the verity of his presage was divinely inspired. Given that Marx lived, both his boyhood and adulthood, through a tumultuous era, he must have providentially had an encounter with the omnipotent as did Apostle Paul at Damascus, for him to receive such a transcendent revelation.

His premonition surpasses the confines of the philosopher he ordinarily was.

It is by the stretch of my wild imagination that I liken the poignancy of events that must have been unravelling around him to Zimbabwe’s perpetual socio-economic meltdown.

Your Excellency, true to Marx, political history abounds with leaders who were compelled to make decisions neither as they pleased, nor under self-selected circumstances. It is not given to yokels like me, but to time, to tell if you are destined to be among such leaders.

Your predecessor, the late former President Robert Mugabe was one of the leaders whose resignations were not made as they pleased, nor under self-selected circumstances. Also, south of the Limpopo River, former presidents Jacob Zuma and Thabo Mbeki were forced into resignation.

Further afield, in Great Britain, several prime ministers resigned under circumstances they neither chose, nor were pleased with.

Despite her being the first female prime minister, Margaret Thatcher was nonetheless pressured to vacate 10 Downing Street.

It was apparent amid the hardening negotiations of quitting the European Union (EU), odds were mounting against her.

Yet, on arrival from a heated EU meeting in Brussels, when asked by the media if she was resigning, Thatcher defiantly quipped, “I fight on. I fight to win.”

It, however, was not to be as her governing Conservative Party bigwigs demanded, rather than implored her to resign as prime minister.

Also, Boris Jonhson, a demagogue given to charm and charisma, had his prime ministerial term aborted midterm, not to his liking.

Your Excellency, methinks henceforth your ascendency to the presidency, there has been a collective citizenry unease over your suitability. It was argued that your decades-long association with Mugabe rendered you an unsuitable successor. It was expressly argued that you were a Mugabe in essence, differentiated only by name.

Yet, the privileged kingmakers nonetheless settled for you. Notwithstanding that you had been dismissed from Zanu PF, they had to hit the ground running to facilitate your coronation. As I see it, it was their eureka moment as you took the oath of office.

Unfortunately, amid their gloating, none was sufficiently insightful to implore you to inculcate the propitious plea by King Solomon: “Give me an understanding heart so that I can govern your people well and know the difference between right and wrong. For, who by himself is able to govern these great people of yours?” 1 Kings 3:9.

Your Excellency, the euphoria of your ascendancy speedily receded and fizzled out. Apparently, the falling standards of living never ceased to slide. Their downward trend increased with intensity. A growing frustration with the poor living conditions persisted in gnawing citizenry.

It was against the backdrop of the perpetual despondency that your New Year’s message, in which you called for peace, was roundly dismissed as disingenuous and devoid of sincerity. Methinks it was a disjointed speech with no appeasement and encouragement to the impoverished citizenry.

Apparently, there has been a steady build-up of mistrust, if not an aversion, of government in general, and your presidency in particular. It is a widely shared conviction among citizenry that as the case with the previously hyped economic programmes before it, Vison 2030 will not culminate in the delivery of the proverbial golden pot.

Desperation of citizenry has become dire. It is now a bruising battle to survive. Consequently, there is an upsurge in violent  crimes such as armed robbery and murder. Life is now a grind amid the biting combination of the falling economy and the systematic shrinking of civil liberties.

Your Excellency, hard times have encamped. Sadly, whatever great expectations citizenry had on you following your ascendancy after the military-orchestrated overthrow of Mugabe have disappeared. Now, citizens are crying for their beloved country as things fall apart.

It is my abiding conviction that your Waterloo is nigh. Its dawn was heralded by the disowning of the delimitation report that was recently presented to you by a tiny fraction of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) commissioners.

Considering the State institutions partisanship, the unprecedented revolt by the majority of commissioners was ominous for your presidency. Their steadfast rejection of the new electoral boundaries report was your historic initial public square off with bureaucrats.

Methinks there is an inherent premonitory build-up of political gale force winds in their defiance. Granted, there could not have been a clearer preamble to the probability of your making history not under self-selected circumstances than the revolt by the commissioners.

 Basically, the report must be discarded in its entirety. It was an affront to tenets of collective responsibility for the Zec chairperson, Justice Priscilla Chigumba to insist that there is no legal requirement for consensus among commissioners before the submission of the  draft delimitation report.

Your Excellency, as the crescendo for the rejection of the draft delimitation report rises in tempo, I humbly beseech you to imbue yourself with the wisdom of US President Joe Biden: “No fundamental social change occurs merely because government acts. It is because civil society, the conscience of a country, begins to rise up and demand change.”

It is my patriotic obligation to dare postulate that the draft delimitation report is bound to be the catalyst for your dislodgement from the presidency. As I see it, it is deficient and devoid of credibility. Essentially, the conscience of the country has risen.

  • Cyprian Muketiwa Ndawana is a public-speaking coach, motivational speaker, speechwriter and newspaper columnist.


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