HomeOpinion & AnalysisColumnistsZim — new constitution, new culture

Zim — new constitution, new culture


As the constitution-making process is on course and a new nation is on the horizon, let us also, build a new culture and behavior that will erase the current culture of politically-motivated violence.

It is true that a new constitution is not a guarantee there will be no violence in the next election, be it in 2012 or 2013.

There is, therefore, a need to change this negative behaviour to complement this process.

Perpetrators of violence think that their opinions must always dominate and must therefore hold sway. Consciously or unconsciously, their thinking processes and institutions are controlled by a State-legitimised force.

Under such an atmosphere, the whole nation will be under siege and people would live in a miasma of doubt and fear.

In an oppressive environment, speaking or campaigning for the cardinal principles of truth, association, freedom and assembly, automatically becomes a menace to a State which has an all-pervading authority and therefore it is always seen fit to silence such voices.

Many times they are silenced by inflicting politically-motivated violence or imprisonment through trumped up charges.

The violence wrought on a person or people by fellow citizens can never be justified, but there is always time and space to be creative and change the way we think and do things.

It is always critical to seriously lobby and advocate for peace through cultural change and behaviour by the populace, discarding unnecessary and dangerous emotions.

History has shown that during election time in Zimbabwe, tempers run high, many times unnecessarily and almost everything is helter-skelter.

At this time perpetrators of violence are marked by some kind of permanent impermanence to scourge, irritate, harass, maim, torture and rape, in the process turning victims into caged animals, with many losing their lives, limbs and even sanity.

This is the mentality and behaviour that needs to be changed as we move towards the new era of nation building.

This sad scenario has also compounded the transformative process from pseudo-democracy to a genuine democratic nation state for many years.

Just visualise a new nation at post-election time, with a courteous and non-partisan police and army, citizens freely and amicably exchanging political and economic views and perceptions, farms flourishing, game reserves intact, teeming with wildlife and pristine natural resources, uninvaded.

God and his only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, had this in mind when they created the earth, Zimbabwe included.

He issued out a commandment to protect these natural resources and everything in them. Yet the opposite is true — violence and destruction. There are glaring societal trappings of bad behaviour and inhuman relationships of ethnical and tribal origins that need to be eradicated from our midst.

This is quite possible and there is nothing impossible with God. This may appear to mock or irritate some, but the present scenario requires divine intervention as part of this new culture and behavior to emerge.

On deeper analysis of this current negative culture, one finds that this has been in existence throughout history, but with drastic and well-intended societal changes mankind can change the way he does things.

He is very different from the wild animals of the chimpanzee and hyena kingdom.

The early leader of the earliest tribe crafted laws for their conduct and enforced measures against those who resisted.

But this enforcement and resistance, arguably, did not create outright animosity to the extent of having politically-motivated violence. Why now? Yes, times change, but conscience always leads and guides human thinking.

In Greek mythology, it is asserted that “we feel raised up as human beings and proud to be of the same species and in spite of all frailties, there must be hope and change in the way we do things”.

Such statements evoke a behaviour and culture of lack of bitterness against one another. They remind us that people’s dignity and esteem are part of humanity to which all races belong.

Indeed, we are responsible for our country and what we construct or destroy in it. Building constructively together can only arouse a determination to improve a nation state, socially, economically and politically.

However, there will always be contrary opinion, but this should not create a culture of politically-motivated violence as recently experienced in Zimbabwe.

The key national question for the Zimbabwean populace is whether or not it should change its political culture and behaviour and if it changes for the better this will assist to usher in peace and the much-deserved wealth by working together in exploiting our natural resources such as minerals like diamonds, platinum, black granite and gold.

To a creative and peaceful populace, progressing towards a new nation state, this is possible.

Behavioural change begins at home, at the workplace, at community level and national level, awakening in the process an imagination that creates tasks born of the need to wipe away this violent political culture with which Zimbabwe has unnecessarily been saddled for a long time now.

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