My President must appreciate the fact that Zimbabweans will never live up to their full potential until we heal the deep wounds of the past.
Guest Column by Vince Musewe
It is such a humongous and prodigious responsibility and honour to be called President of Zimbabwe. Unfortunately, this title has been earned to date by a man who outfoxed and outplayed everyone, a man who ensured that none could compete with him for the position; a man who surrounded himself with yes men and insulated himself from the people; a man who sacrificed his life to be there and then sacrificed our well-being in order for him to stay there. That is not leadership.
I am not convinced that those aspiring to take over from Mugabe have any different inclinations or dispositions from him. I worry that they could even be worse than him, given what we have learnt of their insatiable appetite for personal wealth accumulation at all costs and the fact that they certainly have learnt from their master for the last 34 years.
Zimbabwe needs a president who serves only the Constitution and puts the people first. A president who does not owe any favours to anyone, and has a high self-esteem not from what he has done or his material wealth, but from who he is and what he stands for.
Our president in the future must appreciate the fact that Zimbabwe will never live up to its full potential until we heal the wounds of the past.
Too many of us have been emotionally, psychologically, physically and financially harmed by this regime. Only recompense and healing will create a new door to a better a future. The past is gone and we cannot continue to blame our history, but we have to acknowledge those things that have gone wrong and correct them. We must look to the future, but only learn from our past. It will take courage and humanness to cross that bridge, but the ultimate benefits to our society are much higher than the costs.
The rot in our society, in general, must be arrested; our values as a society are repugnant. We shall need a man or woman at State House who ensures that we change direction as a nation in what we value most. This I think will be the hardest thing to do. We shall need someone to begin to reengineer our society in all spheres so that we can start a new chapter centred on the respect and dignity of our people.
Our churches have deteriorated somewhat in giving spiritual and moral guidance to our citizens and this trend must be arrested. My president must play a significant role on this through leading by example, it is important.
The president I want must clean up the police from the top and also ensure that those in the army that are no longer of service to the future objectives of the country are retired. The struggle is over and inculcating this in the brains of the top echelons of our army will take some doing, but is important. A new ethos of service, honour and the respect of our Constitution must arise. God help us.
We need an open-minded individual in State House who does not fear change and recognises that open societies develop better and faster. This will demand a new paradigm and leadership style based on persuasion and vision, not on threats or violence.
I want a president who recognises that as more citizens participate in creating the future, the more exciting and sustainable it will be. We can only create better solutions through an inclusive agenda that acknowledges that all of us in our diversity have something to contribute.
An open media, universal access to new information, freedom of association and speech all create empowered societies and everyone wins. My president must promote this.
I want a president who is not a racist or tribalist; a president who understands that all Zimbabweans, regardless of the colour of their skin have certain inalienable rights that he or she must protect at all costs. He or she must not blame others for our problems, but take full responsibility for them.
My president must truly believe that we indeed have the capabilities and resources to come up with solutions to whatever challenges we may face in our country. That is the patriotism I expect.
Zimbabwe has fallen behind so much in the last 20 years in all spheres. As a result, our quality of life has suffered despite us having the resources. As long as we have someone in State House who does not understand future trends, we will continue to regress. We, therefore, must expedite the use of new technologies, ICT to accelerate development. We need a grand vision and strategy on how we can catch up. The future is no longer what it used to be.
I want a president who embraces Zimbabweans in the diaspora who offer our country impressive talents and have a critical role to play in creating a developed state.
So, whoever is there at State House, must not only be technologically literate, but must acknowledge that our country will remain underdeveloped as long as we remain internally focused and ignore the reality that the world out there is moving on, faster than we can imagine.
I want a president who is not arrogant or self-important. My President must know that he or she will not have all the solutions.
My president must put Zimbabwe first!