POLITICS is all about freedom, democratisation, justice, emancipation, happiness, equity and equality; and generally it is held that at the center of achieving all this is power.
As such, in politics there are three main ways of attaining power, namely conquest, entitlement, or election.
Conquest is force; entitlement includes royalty, tradition and any such monarchical privileges, while elections provide us the right to choose who should hold the power to rule us.
Power in the wrong hands can be disastrous, and the greatest challenge at the doorstep of any head of state is to find trustworthy hands in which to place vested power for the day to day running of any given nation. It is not any easier for President Robert Mugabe.
Power needs great character behind it for it to benefit its subjects. It is scandalous when small men and women happen to sit in massive chairs of power. Revolutions have in the past been derailed just because of the small-man mentality.
We have, in the past, seen in our country noble causes collapsing, and mediocrity being triumphant, just because we allowed great visions to be presided over by shortsighted selfish dwarf characters solely propelled by ego and unquenchable ambition.
The way the Zimbabwean revolution has been shaping since the historic launch of land reforms in 2000s does not speak of a leadership manned by revolution makers, and we cannot be as optimistic as to be stupid, if only to please ourselves otherwise.
Zanu PF is the most impressive political party in Zimbabwe when it comes to outlining attractive political benchmarks, and one only needs to look at the party’s policies in regards to land tenure and resource ownership to see this point. Election winning promises has never been one of Zanu PF’s problem areas, and to see this one just needs to look at Election 2013.
The pursuit for power must be guided not only by the ambition of political competitors, but mainly by the greater principle of the collective benefit for all.
The role of the voter is not to ratify the ascendance of any political party to power, but to entrust people of honour with the power to pursue the quest for national happiness.
We are in 2015, a mere two years after our last election, and it is not encouraging that our politicians from across the political divide are talking more about Election 2018 than they are doing about current developmental issues.
Zanu PF pledged to create value of more than US$7.3 billion from the indigenisation of over 1 138 companies across 14 sectors of the economy between 2013 and 2018. It is important, therefore, that our MPs do their work in interrogating the direction of this pledge, especially given that government is now talking about the revision of our investment policy.
If this pledge was on track today, indigenisation would have yielded US$2.92 billion by this time, and we all know this has not happened. Importantly, we must be asking for relevant answers from the minister responsible for indigenisation, whatever his name is.
Well, we have all compelled ourselves to preoccupy our sorry selves with the sideshows of Zanu PF’s dramatic internal politics, and even the opposition has become willing participants–elevating the chaos to national prominence, all at the expense of the pursuit of economic progress.
National development is not the cup of tea for slouching novices in politics, and President Robert Mugabe has repeatedly called for “real men” in government.
The Zanu PF 2013 election manifesto promised to fund Agribank to the tune of US$2 billion by 2018, and the money was meant to come from “the idle value of empowerment assets unlocked from Parastatals, local authorities, mineral rights and claims.” There has to be an explanation of some sort on the progress of this noble sounding intention.
We have endured enough ridicule and deriding from neighbours countries that traditionally have always achieved below us, and it is time for Zanu PF to start fighting for the restoration of our national pride.
We can go on to talk about the IDBZ and the promised US$3 billion by 2018, or the 59 Community Ownership Share Trust schemes, or the 133 Employee Empowerment Schemes, but the bottom line is that the revolution for which Zanu PF stands needs speedy answers on how the leadership has committed itself towards the achievement of all these promises. The welfare of the revolution itself cannot be sound when its principles, goals and objectives are suffering inattention from an uncommitted or uninterested leadership.
We know that as we headed for Election 2013, the Cabs administered Youth Empowerment Fund, the Stanbic Wealth Creation Fund and the CBZ administered Youth Fund had collectively disbursed about US$10 million to some 1 300 youths, and that momentum contributed a lot to the urban vote that Zanu PF got, and indirectly boosted the moral of the rural voter as well.
Post-election, we are not exactly sure if these support funds still exist or not, and it is this political culture that has killed development in the country. No media house, no Cabinet Minister, and no party, is talking about these impressive programs any more.
Zanu PF membership has every right to know what happened to the momentum of these election-winning initiatives, as do all the people of Zimbabwe.
We have a duty to speak truth to power, especially when power is in the hands of men and women that are smitten by huge egos and unquenchable political ambition. We cannot stand aside and watch the menace of small-minded people whose idea of vision is to occupy a party position, or to vacuously carry the title of Honourable in our Parliament, so people can call them such on Facebook.
This writer does not find the happenings on the Zimbabwe political scene mindboggling at all. Like schools, political parties are institutions of indoctrination designed to impose loyalty and obedience. Far from creating revolutionaries or democrats, political parties are notorious for playing an institutional role in a system of control and coercion.
Once you are accommodated in party corridors of power you are initiated into ways that support power structures, you are oriented towards hierarchical power preferences; and you are told that without careful consideration of the importance of the gods running the show, your future is as good as doomed.
You are taught quickly what is expected of you as a party cadre within the power structures, and before long you are more than aware of what questions to ask, and those never to be asked.
You quickly learn the nuances of the chef culture, the strategic importance of pleasing those higher than yourself, and you quickly learn that the role of the masses is limited to the vote, with all other things left to the diktats of power. You quickly learn the art of pacifying the masses through rhetoric and endless promises.
Morgan Tsvangirai’s party is a brazenly privatised entity aptly named after the leader, and some of his followers are openly proud of that, including, but not limited to, Secretary General Douglas Mwonzora.
There are some in Zanu PF who in the past have viewed themselves as private owners of the revolutionary party. We cannot go far as a nation when our politicians subscribe to privatisation of power. As President Mugabe repeatedly says, political power lies with the people.
We have for long had to compel ourselves to instinctively believe that some in our leadership are so blissful in their ignorance to the point of believing that political parties are custodians of public opinion, and that party top leadership can neither sin nor be questioned. There must be an explanation around the nonsense that says politicians are entitled to blind loyalty from their subordinates.
Our economy needs a quick injection of capital funding if we are going to turn it around, and we know that no funding comes without a cost. There is essentially no well-wisher out there waiting to fund us purely on the basis of the purity and nobleness of benevolence, and it is important that our government seriously looks into pragmatic partnerships with sources of capital.
Zanu PF can no longer rely on revolutionary rhetoric for its own survival, and neither can the party continue on the path of bashing people on the head with the propaganda of revolutionary platitudes.
For Zanu PF, the time to walk the talk is now, and like the First Lady recently suggested, the party can no longer afford to keep its focus away from the economic expectations of Zimbabweans. We cannot keep the population busy with succession politics at a time we should be stepping up the reviving of a clearly stressed economy.
In Zimbabwe, it has come to the point where more talk about the revolution has become synonymous with less revolution, and all people are now waiting for is a leadership that will practice the austerities and sacrifices that come with rebuilding a ruined economy like ours.
To instil confidence in all others cuts on privileges and packages for our leaders will be needed, even though these cuts in themselves will not necessarily boost national revenue. We badly need an inspiring leadership that will participate in our journey to happiness by taking the bullet through the skin.
A revolution is practised more than it is lectured. It is not supposed to be the case that a revolution worthy the salt has its identity anchored in newspaper columns, or in television and radio jingles. The true identity of a successful revolution is in its fruits, not in the rhetoric of its advocates.
But our Ministers drive cars worthy a hundred thousand dollars each to deliver the good news of an annual Development Fund budget of $50 000 for a whole constituency, and sometimes we all miss the brazen irony. Our voters have this amazing way of putting up with the nonsense in our politics.
This writer is more than aware that if you do not support the interests of the wealthy and those in power you cannot last long, as everyone else in the political corridors of power also knows. But equally, those so reckless with the imagined invincibility of power do not last long either.
A true revolution cannot survive in a propaganda framework that has the effect of silencing the aspiration of an entire nation.
We cannot allow politicians to coerce our intellectuals and our media into playing the inglorious role of political commissars.
This column will not engage in the public relations mumbo jumbo for politicians, and will surely not give the people of Zimbabwe an anaesthetic while rogue politicians masquerading as custodians of the national interest rape them.
We cannot be complicit in the betrayal of a people’s hope by propagating the falsehoods in the service of powerful interests.
The fact that the MDC-T cannot be an alternative leadership in our lifetime is no licence for Zanu PF to take our people and our country for granted.
Zimbabwe we are one and together we will overcome. It is homeland or death!
REASON WAFAWAROVA is a political writer based in SYDNEY, Australia.