By Kuda Bhejana, Nehanda Radio, May 23, 2017
Nations come and go. The strong survive, the weak perish.
The same way Rhodesia is gone is the same way we might not have a Zimbabwe on the map 50 years from now. And it would be negligent to say Rhodesia perished because she was weak. Rhodesia was mighty, but she was built on a very weak idea; less than 300 000 whites ruling 6 million blacks.
The ruling of nations is a science – it’s not a freestyling session where we make sense of things as we go. Politics and economics are based on systems, with clear cause and effect paradigms.
Governance and nationhood are the observance of certain values, rules, and laws; observance which is an acknowledgement and endorsement of the viability of these factors towards the achievement of desirable outcomes. Nothing is accidental – rules and laws are equations.
Unlike Rhodesia, Zimbabwe is imperiled not by flawed ideology, but by the worst ofhuman vices –arrogant politicians, unbridled love for power, gross administrative incompetency,weak institutions,and corruption.
This month President Robert Mugabe grabbed the headlines after announcing that Zimbabwe is the most developed country in Africa at the World Economic Forum – Africa summit.
I think stage fright set in. How could Mugabe confront the question that after being in power for 37 years, he is presiding over a fragile state?So he lied – we are not the worst, we are the best!
Despite all the physical indicators of a country in turmoil, Zimbabwe is in more trouble that what meets the eye.
We have lost our sense of civilization as a people.
We have become averse to very basic rules and laws civilizations are found upon. We don’t respect basic laws of economics – we can just create currencies based on nothing, but another country’s currency.
Our politicians have become full time thugs, swindling public coffers of hundreds of millions and billions of dollars. And they obscenely rub their corruption right in our faces. With the judiciary in their pockets, impunity is normal.
The law is manipulated to always align with Zanu-PF’s expediency. Constitutional amendment threats are issued every day without the slightest fear for the supreme law of the land.
The unpleasant truth is that living in these unfortunate circumstances produces a certain kind of citizen – rebellious as his government. Rebellious less to the government, but more to his fellow citizens with whom he suffers.
Citizens also become cynical and untrusting. What is society without hope and trust?
Because of the very harsh “dog eat dog” environment we live in, few Zimbabweans today are trusting and trustworthy. I cannot trust my neighbor to pay me back if I loan them money, because I know my neighbor lacks the means to pay me back.
As much I might understand my neighbor’s plight, if I loan him money I will never get it back.
How ridiculous is it that the same is true with my bank! If I deposit money in the bank, I cannot get it when I need it.
If I vote, I do not trust the electoral commission not to give my vote to someone else I did not vote for.
Listening to the campaign rhetoric in Zimbabwe, it seems as if we have acquiesced to the reality of vote rigging as a normal feature of our “democracy.”The state and the government are entangled and have become one entity. No wonder why opposition politicians decry voter apathy.
Our young people do not trust in education anymore because whether they go to school or not, they are no jobs. For our young people who have never worked, God willing -if they finally do, can we trust them to know how to spend money wisely? To save and to invest?
Because of unending poverty, we now seek the shortest ways to wealth.Unfortunately, there are none. We do not understand the importance of process, and the value of having a consistent work ethic.
We have abandoned true religion and spirituality to worship of mega-church practitioners, “prophets,” who use sophistry and demagoguery to gain fame and enrich themselves.
What about our future politicians? Without a revolution, how are we going to ensure a new breed of competent and accountable politicians?
Trust does not exist anymore, between people and the government and amongst the people themselves.
We are back to the days of the war. American diplomat and former Secretary of State who was facilitating negotiations between the warring parties observed,
“This maze of incommensurables—that those with power had no legitimacy and those
with legitimacy no power, that the passions of the parties were matched by their distrust of each other—defined both the limits of our African strategy and its prospects.”
Unless a revolution happens, Zimbabwe is fated for mediocrity or utter perish. We do not have a country any more.
Kuda Bhejana is a media entrepreneur currently working on technology to crowdsource and aggregate public opinion to provide online real time polls of politicians worldwide. You can follow him on Twitter: @kudabhejana