HomeOpinion & AnalysisColumnistsArchaic war mentality hinders our progress

Archaic war mentality hinders our progress


Last week I wrote about how the African liberation soldier is neglected by post-independent African governments.

Develop me with Tapiwa Gomo

Maybe the neglect may not be deliberate but a result of lack of ideas on how to help them in a world that is dictated by economic factors.

Nonetheless, the African liberation soldiers remain challenged by poverty and yet they continue to be a potential threat to national stability unless something is done.

However, the lack of ideas goes beyond the African soldier. It goes further to many spheres of human progress. And there lies one of the reasons why Africa has not progressed and may never progress unless its leaders start thinking outside the box.

The war mentality dominates how our African leaders view problems and how policy response is formulated. For every problem faced, they see a war of some sort which requires a fight to solve it.

The war against British imperialism has been presented before us for almost two decades now. Millions of dollars in resources have been injected into fighting this imperialism, but, Zimbabwe remains poor and struggling to keep itself together.

Britain has moved on three times while we still deploy our battalions and propaganda machinery in the illusionary battleground of imperialism.

Instead of putting our youth at the centre of innovation and inventions to lead the country out of poverty, we trained them to be “green bombers” (militias) whose terms of reference bordered on forcing people to vote for a preferred party.

That, by our definition, is fighting imperialism. Instead of being creators of the economy, we converted our youths into expenditure on our national coffers, one of the reasons why our economy regressed.

We made them to believe the country needs to be defended instead of being promoted.

A defensive strategy that is weak in its attack is self-destructive and that is why we find ourselves where we are today.

A few years back, the Reserve Bank governor declared war on corruption, which according to his ranking, was the number one enemy. Again, a lot of resources went into the machinery to fight corruption.

Since then, corruption has been the order of the day simply because you do not fight corruption in abstraction and in isolation of its perpetrators.

Corruption is not a problem, but an effect of bad policies and poor governance. In a fair world where everything functions properly, no one is willing to pay extra for what it is worth.

Nonetheless, our dear governor has not updated the nation on how we are fared on that battle against corruption.

There is always a problem when a society views every challenge in the form of a fight and not an opportunity to be creative.

Addressing such problems implicitly limits the solutions to a myriad of battlefields, some illusionary.

Let’s take for example our neighbours Zambia. The country adopted an economic structural adjustment programme some two decades ago under the guise of fighting poverty.

The main cog of this battle was to open up markets for a battalion of foreign investors on favourable conditions.

In no time the Zambian economy was bolstered living conditions for many people improved.

But as soon as that phase ended characterised by capital flight as the soldiers of this battle were foreigners, their economy took nose-dive leaving many languishing in poverty.

But Zambians have taught us that there are not only resilient, but quick learners. They did not fight imperialism, but found ways of releasing the potential of their citizens which has created an entrepreneurial and enterprising Zambian society that holds the fort of the economy today.

The language of imperialism has little or no place in Zambia. While they may still have some economic and poverty problems, Zambia for Zambians.

China too did not fight imperialism head-on because they knew that was not the way to improve the condition of their people.

They also teach us that before declaring wars, it is important to go back to the drawing board and understand the meaning of the problem.

They also taught us that one way of not winning battles against imperialism is to fight it head-on.

If imperialism is about power and domination, then you don’t ward it off through revenge battles and propaganda, but you boost your economic base by promoting innovation and new inventions, especially among youth and not converting youth into “green bombers”.

The African liberation soldier is justified to feel aggrieved by being neglected by those of his own or her own, but it can be also concluded that the country has regressed similarly because it has been run under an archaic war mentality in a world where innovations and inventions are the global currencies of power, progress, poverty reduction and prescriptions against imperialism.

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