Ideas, thoughts and actions have the ability to shape and define the character of a nation.
Column by Mutumwa Mawere
Knowledge if properly used can provide the bridge between poverty and prosperity yet the amount of words that Manheru weekly unleashes on the unsuspecting public would suggest that it is an end in itself.
If the journey of independence was to be described through the words used, it would, indeed, be a rich journey but regrettably words will never produce food on the table.
Bread and butter issues require a different approach.
The key economic indicators show that Zimbabwe is heading in a direction where the destination is as unpredictable as it is inevitable.
Although a journey of 33 years should produce a mind that is enriched by setbacks and triumphs that any human experience inevitably generates, it would appear that the state of mind of Manheru has not moved from the Zimbabwe of 1979.
A careful analysis of Manheru’s response would confirm that he has chosen to live in a fantasy world.
It is obvious to him that Zimbabwe will always be a baby, of its liberators who assume the position in Manheru’s world of superhuman beings.
The fact that some of the liberators have died does not account for anything to him as a view is held that as long as the remaining ones are alive, the country should remain a hostage to their ideas of what should work for all Zimbabweans.
For how can the liberators let go of their project? How dare anyone dream of being a President of a country that has effectively been appropriated to a certain class of people? Did God anoint the current leadership?
Even when the ship is heading in the wrong direction, it would appear that the cheer leaders and praise singers would want everyone to believe that hanging tightly to the 1979 idea is what God intended for Zimbabwe.
Why would one hang tightly to a wrecked economy? Even when the signs are all over that the economy is in bad shape, the leaders still have no mechanism of knowing how bad it is.
A sinking titanic has no reverse gear and surely if the last 33 years have not produced economic miracles, how can one expect the next 5 years under the same watch to produce extraordinary outcomes that inspire hope.
One would expect that the choices made by not only the current principals in government to externalize their children would signal that the leaders know what we think they don’t know about the quality of education in post-colonial Zimbabwe.
Zimbabwe needs to move forward by re-launching itself. What kind of leader does Zimbabwe need?
Is it in the national interest to hang on to something that is literally dying?
If God were to send a governance inspector, would he be satisfied that Zimbabweans have been well led and more significantly that change is a foreign inspired term?
It is Zimbabwe that is asking for sanctions to be removed suggesting that the country has no plan to work itself out of the current economic quagmire.
The President has indicated that the inclusive government is dysfunctional and provides no reliable bridge to deliver the promise of the revolution as he would want to take the country back to the good old days when the currency was not worth the paper that it was written on.
Even Manheru would be aware that the Prime Minister’s office let alone the incumbent, Rt. Hon. Tsvangirai, was not created out of the benevolence of the President but was a consequence of the choice made by the people of Zimbabwe.
If the people can create a voice in the name of MDC, they can surely create a voice that is not ZANU-PF in government.
Both ZANU-PF and MDC-T did not win an outright majority and the President also has openly acknowledged that he did not enjoy the support of the voters to allow him to claim victory in the first round of the 2008 Presidential elections.
If the mighty could be bitten in the first round, then respect is called for.
Although the last election was a wake up call, it would appear that its lessons have already been forgotten.
To serve or to contest?
The fact that Manheru is angry at any perceived threat to the political status quo is evident in his own words: And as you read through his reposte, you get a clear sense of an identity enigma which expresses itself as anger against the world.”
If Manheru were to be honest, he would express himself differently for the millions of Zimbabweans who dream for their children a future outside the very project that Manheru and his principals believes has no equal have encouraged their children to vote with their feet.
The people who joined the independence bus in 1980 believing that the driver knew where to go have their own ruined stories to tell.
It all started like a honeymoon and after 33 years, the scars on the class of 1980 are all too obvious for one to blame the colonial past for the squandered opportunities that the post-colonial state has offered.
Manheru describes me as a person who curses the world to spite his fact in response to my observation that President Mugabe like any person in his position for an extended time, is just like any prisoner.
He has been confined to a world that he cannot willingly wiggle out of.
His worldview is shaped by people, who see in him a little God but are sufficiently exposed to him to allow them to know that he is after all a man of flesh capable of disliking and liking people.
The President also has human needs and is not infallible.
He knows what any human being is capable of knowing and digesting. He is not exposed to the universe called Zimbabwe but to facts and information that his handlers would want him to know.
By now Manheru knows what his boss wants to know and see and he behaves accordingly including taking the role of an attack dog even when this is not called for.
He observes that President Mugabe is now my political rival. The choice of words is not accidental but reflects a worldview that sees evil in competition.
As a businessman, the day I regard competitors as rivals will be a sad day for customers.
Complacency always takes root where competition does not exist and the poor pay the ultimate price where the political world is monopolized.
It would appear that Manheru has not understood the message in my recent articles on the story of African mobile phone network operators and how competition has improved access and lowered user fees.
If competition in business produces efficiency and effectiveness, no competition in politics has its own consequences compelling any rational thinker to ask the question: “Where would Zimbabwe be if President Mugabe had retired after two terms in office?”
Obviously this hypothetical question will never find an answer because the reality is already known.
The response by Manheru would confirm the widely held view that President Mugabe’s enemies are in his circle for if they were not, he would know that all is not well.
It is President Mugabe who said that he was lied to. Accordingly, the job of Manheru would be to find evidence to confirm if indeed this is the case.
Regrettably, he sought to characterize my input as driven by a desire to be a passenger in President Mugabe’s bus.
It is always the case that small minds have the capacity to imagine even what is laughable.
I have no wish to replace the civil servants for their behavior confirms why change is necessary. The fact that they now know their client, President Mugabe, so well is evident in the writings of Manheru and the confidence that he displays in making policy in a random walk fashion.
Manheru should know better that no rational person would wish to be part of any decay. Even ZANU-PF needs a facelift and the starting point is obvious to everyone except members of the party.
President Mugabe has no rival for his record ought to be the basis on which he should seek a new mandate.
Attempting to create rivalry where it does not exist is an old tactic that is used by failed leaders to distract attention from core issues.
President Mugabe as the sole driver of the bus during the last 33 years has no rival and, therefore, he should take full responsibility for the good and bad that has occurred under his watch.
A 33-year old Zimbabwean has not known of any other leader than President Mugabe for Manheru’s assertion that: Why does he sound like he pities the incumbent, sound like he craves to serve the incumbent?” to be valid for it would be nonsensical for anyone to crave to serve a failed state.
The incumbent will never know the true state of affairs. The voters whose future is daily compromised by attempts to insulate the leader from the truth hold the answer to what Zimbabwe needs.
The job was almost done but evidently the lessons have evaporated calling for vigilance and focus.