I wish Mandela had been Zimbabwean

The late former South African President Nelson Mandela would not have boasted of having degrees in violence.

Opinion by Vince Musewe

At times like these, we are forced to examine our own lives.

Are we going to live ordinary boring lives dominated by the mundane routine of daily life and accept the circumstances shaped by others without our consent? Or are we going to be like Madiba — as Mandela was affectionately known by his clan name — and dedicate our lives to challenging the status quo and fighting for the creation of the circumstances we desire?

Are we going to be victims and claim that we are powerless, poor and unable to rise above the circumstances which we find ourselves stuck in?

Mandela rejected this mentality and so should we.

I do not think that we should let sadness overshadow the joy of Mandela’s achievements and the principles which he lived by so that we all could be free.

We must celebrate that, for once, in our lifetime, God looked kindly upon Africa and gave us a man who selflessly confronted the bondage of racism, hate and poverty.

He was a man who was even prepared to die so that Africans could be free.

It is, therefore, our duty from today to do whatever we must to carry his flame forward.

We must create a better Zimbabwe, free from racism, hate, poverty and the oppression of men by other men. This we must do at any cost.

In reading the history of African politics, it is apparent that most of our leaders ran out of steam once they became used to the comforts of political power.

We have a clear example here in Zimbabwe where a President has occupied the highest office in the land and refuses to let go despite his failures.

Likewise, his minions continue to hang onto their positions simply as a means to an end.

In fact, in Zimbabwe we promote failure and persecute competence and independent thinkers and yet these are the very people we should celebrate.

We only celebrate “heroes” once they are dead and gone. This is the very reason for our regression.

I wish Mandela had been a Zimbabwean. If that had been the case, I doubt we would be where we are today where political power, and not the people’s aspirations, is the priority.

Where those in power suppress their conscience and do the wrong thing for the wrong reasons.

Where adhering to the Constitution even at the highest level, is an inconvenience; where a President on “winning” elections announces that those Zimbabweans who did not vote for him are enemies.

Mandela would not have boasted of having degrees in violence, nor would he rule by fear, but through persuasion.

He would never have allowed the killing of thousands in Matabeleland and Midlands, nor would he have approved the displacement of
700 000 families.

He would never have allowed the plunder of our national resources or the violent displacement of white farmers. Mandela was no racist.
As we move towards 2014, we must declare it the Year of the People’s Revolution where all Zimbabweans demand good leadership and the expunging of all laws and institutions that continue to oppress us.
At his death, we must all let the Mandela in us come out so that his legacy may live on through us.

Nothing is impossible!

Zimbabwe must rise and we must make it rise to the ideals that Mandela imagined and lived for.

Robert Mugabe has had his time and it is time for him to relinquish power and hand over to others. That would be the best gift he can give to Zimbabwe in 2014.

When true heroes go, we are obliged to acknowledge our own dispensability so that we know that we are here only for a brief moment of time.

We are suffering from the entitlement of power. The false belief that only a select group of men and women can lead us.
The people come first!


  1. I wish Mugabe Robert was a South African, and Mandela was a Zimbabwean. There are just wishes. Some chose to die heros and some chose to be Dictators and some chose to retire and die in peace but some prefer to lean against rails of the plane entrace going to be among mourners mourning the world hero still as a President, zvakaoma chokwadi.Ko Mugabe kana akazofa who is he going to be remembered by the majority, not vana Dumbuguru Mpofu????

  2. Inkosi uMzilikazi

    Cry the beloved country; Tswangirayi the man many would want to see in office as President is equally divisive just like Mugabe.

    Mandela never accused his political opponents of being regionalists without producing evidence? Tswangirayi and Mugabe do this ever so often.

    Mandela never went around the nine South African provinces imposing his isiXhosa on the different language groups that make South Africa? Tswangirayi and Mugabe do this ever so often.

    Mandela was a nation builder and a unifier. He promoted unity in diversity, devolution, discouraged hatred. Zimbabwe does not have nation builders – Tswangirayi and Mugabe are two sides of the same coin; they are no leaders at all, no nation buildersl!!

  3. South Africa, Africa’s economic powerhouse; also the country with the most unequal distribution of wealth in the world. Its crown jewel is Cape Town, where this inequality is most vivid, but what a beautiful city it is. The V&A Waterfront is breathtaking! It is just too expensive for the ordinary black man to enjoy and just a little bit too much of the homosexual thing happening.

    I wish my black brothers and sisters to have access to the best that South Africa has to offer. I also hope for the President of Zimbabwe to do as he promised and make it possible for the ordinary black man in Zimbabwe to enjoy the diamond money and have a decent life. We won’t be held hostage by corrupt public officials for ever and black South Africans can’t be at the mercy of a few forever.

    1. Inkosi uMzilikazi


      Yes, its true South Africa is one of the most unequal societies in the world, its gini coefficient is unparalled when compared to many developing countries. This is historical, after all this was the very reason why Boers implement apartheid polices.

      The issue to be debated is whether the current South African leadership recognises this and what policies they have put in place to overcome these inequalities and the accompanying high poverty levels.

      I hasten to say yes, the leadership is very much aware of this. This is why there are so many anti-corruption watch dogs in South Africa to ensure state resources are not wasted, but are channelled to address poverty. The current furore against security upgrades at the president’s rural Nkandla home are a case in point.

      There are about 17 million people on social grants – the highest figure in the whole world; totally unparalled in Africa. There are Broad Based Black Economic Empowerment (BBBEE) programmes in place to empower black people economically, though implementation is proving problematic; there is a Preferential Procurement Programme for Black owned companies procuring from the state; there is a Reconstruction and Development Programme (RDP) housing programme to house the millions displaced by apartheid; there is also an Employment Equaity Law to ensure companies, and different institutions and organisations’ emplyees are representative of the country’s demographics.

      All these programmes are meant to address the evils spawned by the apartheid past. Apartheid was instituted in 1948, and colonialism predated this period; the 19 years the ANC government has been in power is just too short to overcome this legacy.


      1. You can have 100million people on social grants but that is not a measure of success, but rather a reminder of the scale of poverty. Success is when there is no person needing a social grant. So long as 80% wealth is in the hands of 8% you can set up as many anti corruption watchdogs as you like but poverty will persist.

        2 cases of corruption to compare:
        Nkandla as an example of corruption at the highest level of the state governance is a drop in the ocean compared to several billion Rand corruption cases by big construction companies during the world cup. Compare the coverage these two cases received and you will see the extent of this inequality. Compare the way the billions of Rand case was swept under the carpet and the slap on the wrist to the guilty party vs. the crusading baying for Zuma’s blood and you will see the great inequality.

        Addressing the evils of apartheid without taking radical measures to correct the staggering economic imbalance is an exercise in futility. One example of how the South African Constitution addresses the land question is the willing buyer willing seller model. How is it ever going to work if at one end you have millions of willing buyers and at the other end you have a hundred thousand unwilling to sell? Food for thought..

  4. You are stating the obvious here Vince..many countries, not just in Africa wish they too had Mandela as their leader. In an even contest Zimbabweans would have to take their place on the queue behind Eritrea, Somalia, Angola, DRC, Swaziland, Belorus, North Korea, Cuba,and so on. One would go for on for weeks unumerating the countries! So you see Vin, why would Zimbabwe alone deserve this special man?

  5. What would have been Mandela’s response if De Klerk, after some years of their agreement had turned around that their agreement was no longer valid and revert back to apartheid?

  6. kambiri, mandela would have tried to find out why de cleck was deciding to go that, rather than just call him a racist. thats mandela for you.

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