Home » Governance » Renewal in Body Politic Imperative

TENDAI Biti and his renewal team are not going backwards. The MDC-T secretary-general has embarked on a countrywide drive for support. He is adamant that democracy is now just a farce under Morgan Tsvangirai’s leadership. Tsvangirai, despite a series of faux pas, does not seem to be aware of his own inadequacies. He just knows he is the right man to lead the struggle for Zimbabwe to reach the political Canaan.

In all truth and honesty, the opposition is better united than divided. The 2013 elections were a lesson which all opposition leaders failed to grasp. Even though they were resolute to stand as individual parties, it was not so much about principle but self-interests. It is clear those who run the country and those who present themselves as alternatives are just big egos.

As Chinua Achebe once said of Nigeria, the tragedy in Zimbabwe is a failure of leadership and everything else hinges on that. State institutions, implementation of policy, management of the economy and natural resources — these are all areas which require reason and level-headed leadership which is not clouded with emotion and rhetoric. It is at the leadership level (ruling or opposing) that caused the country to plunge into a crisis. Zimbabwe has never been the same since.

What is sad is that ordinary Zimbabweans are forced to subsidise the operations of their failed leaders through exorbitant taxes. ZANU-PF is now a party run by plutocrats who are scarcely troubled by laws or taxes, while the poor have been thrown deep into a brutal world of casual labour, insecurity and legal restraint. For a government unchallenged by either the opposition (in its many splinters) or a cowed and passive electorate, they just don’t care. If anything, they are busy creating a world in which they live by their own rules.

Is a new party a viable solution? Biti argues that what Zimbabwe needs is ‘a new paradigm, a new vision’. The time for personalised politics is over. The time for sloganeering your way to State House is over. The time for singing your way to State House is over. You have to create a new narrative. You have to create a new discourse, a new vision and new paradigm.’ However, history in Zimbabwean politics has taught us hard lessons.

We need to be cautious and not take wholesale the promises our politicians make on political grandstands. A new party with ‘old faces’ hardly constitutes a new party. We need thorough structural renewal in our country’s body politic. Our political culture has always been personality driven. It’s time we grow out of the bad habit. Politics is bigger than the leader. In principle it is for the good of all of us.

Source : Financial Gazette