Leadership is all about embracing change

Everything in Zimbabwe needs renewal, starting at State House.

Vince Musewe

As Winston Churchill once remarked: “Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing had happened.”

We have seen in Zimbabwe that our leaders, despite stumbling upon the truth that it’s time for political change, continue to hurry off as if nothing is urgent.

Our leaders actually fear change and the battle in my country is really about the new challenging the old.

The old continues to dominate simply because of its access to arms of war and control of the security sector and, therefore, they will always pose a potential threat to destroy or expunge those of us who wish for substantive change.

That does not make them legitimate or right.

It also does not mean we should give up or cower at the first sign of intimidation, but rather we should be strengthened by their resistance knowing that all we want, all we aspire to be, is a better society that lives under better life conditions. That is not impossible.

Resistance to change seems a common factor is our society; whether in government where we have old dogs that really have no capacity to create the Zimbabwe we want; our private sector which has become less competitive and more internally focused on surviving without any leadership change; and in our public institutions where we have seen incompetent and overpaid leadership that is arresting progress and development.

We even have resistance to change in our community and social organisations where leaders claim positions for life despite the lack of results.

All are seeking to maintain lifestyles and are afraid of the pain of the social transformation which we desperately need.

Because of our unchanging and anaemic political leadership, Zimbabwe is stuck in a time bubble of the past.

We can hardly progress were we are continually reminded that the past matters more than the future. That is indeed a tragedy.

Societies that progress focus more on the future and most are fast progressing as we remain stuck in the past that has no benefit to our people at all.

Our neighbours’ economies are fast advancing and even surpassing ours as we bicker about what happened yesterday and who did what.

As leaders, our responsibility must now be to change this narrative. We have to renew everything that we are about so that we may see social progress. We must embrace change and continually renew how we operate and how we seek to change our circumstances. If we do not do that, we will regress as a society as we have seen in the last 34 years.
What has gone wrong?

If you ask me that my answer is simple: Our politics is regressive and enervating. We have personality-based fiefdoms that seek to maintain a status quo of the same people at the top and the rest of society following even where we cannot see the results.

President Robert Mugabe and his crew of yesteryear praise singers are now moribund and hugely irrelevant to the future we want to create.

Anyway, as we all know; hapana chisangapere (nothing lasts forever) and the chickens will one day come home to roost.

We have seen that recently in the Zimbabwe Football Association where despite the obvious imperative of leadership renewal and, therefore, progress, the same person has been returned to the helm. A leader devoid of conscience and morality can hardly be suitable.

We have also seen that in our cricket. Problems continue to mount and yet its leaders have not changed. That is most unfortunate.

Despite the sporting talent of many Zimbabweans, our institutions are unable to harness and showcase new talent simply because of vested interests of those that have led our sports organisations to the ground and yet today they remain at the helm steadfast in their foolishness.

The heartbreak is that some of us accept this trend as normal. How pitiful.

The same applies to our State enterprises. We have in excess of 80 State enterprises which are not performing and yet we have not heard about fundamental leadership renewal because of patronage and political favours that must be met.

Yet our people continue to suffer because of non-delivery of services. Nothing will change until we have new leaders whose concern is our country and its people. The cancer continues to be treated like a mild flu.

Everything in Zimbabwe needs renewal, starting at State House and including our opposition political parties who must now lead with a new narrative and strategy; there is no doubt about that.

That is where our only hope for positive and substantive recovery lies; anything else will be us merely postponing the inevitable.

Our challenge is, therefore, to be proactive fearless change agents who embrace the new and avoid complacency and the false comfort that comes with it.

The future is in our hands!

Vince Musewe is an economist and author based in Harare. You may contact him on
vtmusewe@gmail.com

7 Comments

  1. Zimbabwe has been made to over-awe fictitious ideas and live falsehoods. That is why Chaminuka and Nehanda and Lobengula are all deemed to be card-holding members of ZANU-PF even though the Party came on long after their time. The “second” chimurenga is the only war that the country has ever experienced, which should not be forgotten, even if history tells us that Changamire Dombodzvuku and the Mwenemutapas before all fought against invading Portuguese incursions into the land for more than two hundred years. Robert Mugabe is the only founder of ZANU and author of the liberation struggle of the 1960s and 1970s.
    Historians will tell that Ndabaningi Sithole did both and that Mugabe himself was actually away when ZANU was formed. Nehanda is very important for killling one white man, the district commissioner of Mazoe, and must be made to outshine Mashayangombe who was the first to join the 1896 uprisings in areas closer to Salisbury, and the last to be defeated by the Whites in that vicinity. She is greater than Mukwati, the inspirational envoy who carried the fighting idea to Mashonaland and therefore to Nehanda herself. Joshua Nkomo and others became members and even leaders of the Rhodesian A.N.C. Nobody wants it known that it had been founded by the likes of Rusike back in the 1930s.
    These do not matter. The truth does not matter.
    But, As long as we glorify lies and falsifications of the truth, we will be a doomed people.

    1. And so, what is the best wayforward? It is alright complaining and shouting criticisms. Proffering solutions is even better.

  2. An interesting article packed with facts and laying the truth bare..As long as we allow ourselves to continue doing business as usual lets not complain, this is our lot.As they say, you make your bed, you must lie in it. There is one consolation to all this: Hapana chisingapere. Who in their wildest dreams ever thought the white man would be sent packing with all the arrogance like ‘Never in a thousand years’ and so on? In South Africa Vorster and Botha after him was so entrenched many mistook him for God, but where is he now? In DRC Mobuto was King of the universe ditto Idi Amin in Uganda. Up north one Gaddafi had 42 years to meet his destiny but it came.

  3. Rejoice Ngwenya

    Chikavakava, this is NOT a complaint, but an opinion. The best way forward is in two forms: if leaders like Mugabe, Tsvangirai, Dube etc do not want to be humble enough to accept change, if they have appropriated these positions through lies that PEOPLE till need them, OTHER people who don’t want them should go onto the streets and push them out. The other way is for people to select their own leaders and leave these ‘handiendes’ to run empty halls.

    1. Rejoice, I like that. Let us choose our own leaders to take us to the land of milk and honey. Question is where do we find them?

  4. Vincent all in the name of renewal give others a chance to write that column. You seem to have lost the incitefulness of your previous articles .

  5. Thank you very much Vince. you inspired me and made me brave. am not afraid of death. in fact am ready to die for the cause am advocating for.

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