Nelson Chamisa: Towards the great African promise!


May 25 is Africa Day. This is the day we, the people of the great continent of Africa celebrate the day when the then Organisation of African Unity (OAU), the precursor to the African Union (AU), was formed in 1963.

By Nelson Chamisa

Africa Day is a day we solemnly acknowledge the progress that we, as Africans, have made, while reflecting upon the common challenges we face as we venture into the exciting future. The girls in Nigeria are worth remembering in our prayers. Of course, not forgetting those who either don’t sleep or go to sleep hungry across the continent.

Just yesteryear , we celebrated the 50th anniversary of the African Union with the theme Year of Pan-Africanism and African Renaissance.

The AU occupies that cardinal place to spearhead the continent’s renewal and renaissance process, aimed at making a break with a past that has been characterised by political instability, stinking corruption, deadening poverty and unprecedented underdevelopment.

On this day, many African countries celebrate the hard-fought achievement of freedom and independence.

As we commemorate Africa day through formal gatherings, panel discussions, street marches, great speeches by political and social leaders, special university lectures and rallies, we need to pause and reflect in order to give a fuller meaning to this historic day.

To punctuate this day with befitting tribute, we must unpack what Africa’s challenge and solution thereof is.

To sculpture solutions to Africa’s challenges, it is vital to locate what the problem of Africa is.

The problem with Africa is principally a problem/ crisis of governance and leadership. The crisis articulates itself in the failure of Africa’s leaders to rise up to the rectitude of accountability and yardstick of probity.

The inability to think beyond subsistence and clientalism. We have the twin evils of prebendalism (Big-men syndrome) and neo-patrimonialism (corrupt kleptocracy). A parasitic elite in charge of rent-seeking and racketeering activities for personal aggrandisement to the detriment of the common good. The story of strong men as opposed to strong institutions tells a story of African leadership from Cape to Cairo and East to the West of our great continent.

In my view, Africa is beyond just mere geographic expression of the map called Africa. It is an embodiment and articulation of the great aspirations of all those who live in it.

It is an idea of self determination, free politics, culture and happiness.

Sadly, the great people of Africa have been unwitting consumers to raw deals on account of betrayal by those in leadership positions entrusted with the authorship of a template of happiness and prosperity for the continent.

The tale of the barbaric terrorism on the continent courtesy of the Lord’s Resistance Army, M23, Seleka, Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (Aqim), Al-shabaab and Boko Haram and Chipangano is an antithesis to the Africa our founding fathers ever imagined.

When the avalanche of problems far outweigh the supply of solutions, then leadership is in deficit. This is our story in Africa.

Propelled by the human urge to be free, our fore-comrades carrying the liberation obligation and burden upon their shoulders, felt duty bound to institute a liberation effort.

The Africa of today is self-evidently the sum total of and a creature of liberation politics. A product of blood, sweat and toil of the gallant sons and daughters of the soil. A job well done indeed!! We are indebted to generations past and we shall forever cherish the heroic feat. We salute and celebrate you.

We, however, now need to move the continent from the hands of liberators to the hands of democrats. Yes, from the mindset of just mere liberation to the mindset of both total liberation and full democracy.

Armed with a rich heritage and well decorated history we owe it to those before and after us to do the best for most.

Further, appreciating and acknowledging that the liberation culture is not necessarily a democratic culture, we need to build a superstructure of democracy on the base and foundation of liberation. We have had and seen liberators, but now is the time for democrats, mordenisers and transformers to stand up and be counted to rescue our mother continent from the jaws of tyranny, hopelessness, barbarism and backwardness.

We owe it to our past heroes and posterity to protect and crusade the ideals of social justice, an abiding culture of human rights and a gratifying social order.

As we honour the traditions and legacy of our predecessors, we need a generation that thinks beyond their time. Visionaries in the mold of Kwame Nkrumah, Marcus Garvey, Joshua Nkomo, Herbert Chitepo and Julius Nyerere, to mention but a few. A generation that inspires innovation and the unleashing of the fullest potential of our best talents.

We must move beyond lip- service pan Africanism and begin to act pan African. 50 years on, we have not moved much to transform our way of life. Most of the citizens of Africa are Africans who are either British or American.

Very soon maybe an African Chinese. We seem to admire Western civilisation forgetting that our own African civilisation is perfect and a superb upon development.

Pan Africanism is broader than the narrative foisted upon us. It is regrettable that many African comrades want to parochially confine and define Pan Africanism to and for themselves.

Africa should be the home to great sport, arts and entertainment. Africa deserves to be the portal of great entrepreneurship and world-class business. We ought to be a reservoir of great schools, universities and hospitals.

With our great natural resources and mines, we need great minds to build great industries and factories. We must create profit our of the great climate we have, the great soils, flora and fauna. We also have great people — the population dividend.

We also need to build strong political and economic institutions to mobilise and energise our collective skills for the profit of this and future generations. The United States of Africa is a good starting point. We need a vast African market to stimulate investment and mobilise our capital base.

We must induce the dawn of democracy. We have to make Africa and with it, Zimbabwe, a better place. We have to build millions of homes, millions more people have access to water and electricity, quality education and better health care. What I call the pillars of civilisation. We have to create jobs, provide social grants, safety nets to the poor and create new opportunities. We need to keep on improving people’s lives and opening up opportunities and possibilities. Africa, it is possible as it is opportune!!! The future is our past.

The future should be both revolutionary and legendary.

Going forward, as countries and a continent, we need;

– a rethink of our macroeconomic management approaches to deal with structural distortions in our economies,
-A developmental state and a conducive business and investment environment.
-Strong governments with strong arms of the State entailing craft competency and craft literacy in both the components of the selectorate (securocracy and bureaucracy).
-Strong institutions reflecting oversight roles by strong parliaments, judiciary, vibrant and free press, active civil society, strong and organised labour unions, thriving business , supported academics and the church.
-Infrastructure investment into roads, electricity, water and communication constituting the very oxygen of growth and development.
-We need a radical agrarian reform much broader and deeper than, but not replacing land reform.
-Migrate from subsistence to a commercial farming mindset. Farming and agriculture for business and surplus as opposed to just for consumption and food security.
-lDecent jobs and decent pay
-A focus on entrepreneurship as opposed to employment seeking.
-A focus on consumer facing industries with an emphasis on technologies, skill and innovation.
-Developmental focus on youth and women of Africa to harness the population dividend.
-The target for SMEs should go beyond expanding tax base, but to capacitate small industries.
-Value addition to our raw materials. Africa is exporting foreign currency in addition to raw materials.
-Africa should protect also its borders from the influx of poor quality products.
-Climate Change and human security issues can be related to poverty

We have a duty to do the best for the rest. Each generation carries a mandate in perpetuity and succession, one to the other, for the great advancement of humankind. That is the whole essence and full import of human existence and a generational mandate. The struggle for a better society is our struggle.

We hold our positions and roles in trust for future generations. We are marching to the great African Promise. It is possible!!!
lNelson Chamisa is the organising secretary of the main opposition MDC-T.


  1. Wish you could practice what you say! You and your party are the most disgraceful thing to happen in 21st century Africa after the party of Raila Odinga!

  2. Articles and borrowed statements don’t get things done. Morgan Tsvangirai is the one who single handedly convinced his party to form the GNU with bob and thugs and they went on to be ZANU P’S subordinates. …the results are there for all to see. It was Morgan who abandoned any talk of a united front against the tyranny and foolishly ganged up with bob and Arthur against Welshman Ncube. Donors are people who observe certain values and principles. The countries they come from don’t allow their leaders to go around impregnating young girls, marrying a different woman the next year or so and divorcing her the next week! It’s a no go area for anyone who wants to be taken seriously in a nation ravaged by AIDS. Chamisa! You once glorified Robert Mugabe using almost the same words you use to glorify Tsvangirai now. Shut the fuck up

    • Donor nations I guess include France and Germany then look at their marital status and historical marital statuses be fore waffling. You impregnate girls as a bachelor no problems with that, Zuma has how many wives and how many has he impregnated outside marriage and yet we borrow money from RSA.

  3. Much ado abt nothing from a political parasite slowly n systematically eating n destroying from inside, the once formidable but now disfunct opposition movement! Newsday how dare u publish this rubbish from these political clowns and moribund sellout bandits! Notice how Chamisa gives away himself by purporting to despise ‘ strong man opposed to strong institutions’ he himself an avid henchman for strong man Tsvangirai who, it turns out wants to contest the election a record 4 times!, with Chamisa’s full blessing of course! Chamisa save yo inept sermons for gullible MDC-T supporters at yo next rally!!

  4. chamisa is a mokey. he is the coz of mdc losing the 2013 elections as he imposed candidates resulting in bhora musango by supporters. he has a Mugabe mentally as he always says that I was there when the mdc was formed. in fact he is just an imbecile. let him lead the party as his supporter swould want him to do and you will see chaos. this boy has not grown up from a polytech hooligan. I support morgan 100% but I am very sceptical about the machinations of this boy and doglas!!!

  5. This is overwritten and says nothing specific in many words. I would expect something more deliberately focused and precise from Chamisa. This sounds like a speech by an ‘A’ Level student in a debate. At best you sound like Mutambara – verbose yet inconsequential.

  6. chamisa akavhurika ndovatungamiriri vakafunda. Zvirinani kutungamirirwa nemunhu akafunda than ooooo vet

  7. Thank you all who shifted their attention from the issue at hand to hurling insults at me. You are great guys! You are the reason why we are having hunger and no democratic leaders in Zimbabwe, why, because you don’t accept different opinions from other ordinary Zimbabweans, whilst you demand the same from government!

  8. ****************************************************
    up to I looked at the check saying $4286 , I didn’t believe that my mom in-law realey receiving money parttime at their computer. . there friends cousin has done this for under twenty two months and resently cleared the dept on there condo and purchased Chevrolet . official website,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, w­w­w.W­­o­­r­k­s­6.ℭ­o­m

  9. Good article well thought, vanhu vanongogona kushora chete yet they are empty vessels. Keep up the standard man.

  10. What is constructive to be expected from a Taliban? Please leave that idiot alone.He may well be one of those!!

  11. u are a good example of a tru leader Chamisa, keep it up, as long as u dont rebel against yo leader just like Biti didi, u wl be presideent Mfanami

  12. well said young man .together we will go its the time to start prepair for democracy

  13. Excellent and I would give you full marks Mr Chamisa. You’ve summed up just about everything people include everyday in their discussions as to what they want and look forward to in life. We do not need to be reminded everyday about how they fought colonialism as if they did it all by themselves withot anyone else’s help, what we need to hear is how to escape from the economic doldrums we are wallowing in and what we can expect in the near future in terms of development and general well being. We need to be assured we can make personal plans for the next ten or even twenty years without the fear that populist and disastrous policies will be implemented at any time, and this is one of the reasons why banks will not issue out long term loans. We need forward thinking leaders like you Chamisa and not emotional driven ones like Chinamasa and crew.

  14. You are a leader,remain what you are ,you never know what the future holds for you.Keep up the good work.

  15. Excellent and for this I would give you full marks Mr. Chamisa. We need progressive forward looking leaders like you who make us feel hopeful and eager to work harder towards the Zimbabwe that we want. What we do not need are backward looking and emotion driven leaders like those in ZANU who take us back to the liberation struggle days at every chance they get as if they won it all by themselves without any help from us the povo. Well done Chamisa, keep it up.

  16. Writing garbage this young idiot, Chamisa. Abstract nonsense.

    We were a BILLION times better off under white rule. Colonialism was to me, the biggest and best thing that ever happened or will ever happen to Africa. Colonialism was the biggest force-multiplier ever.

    Here are real life facts on Africa…..
    Africa is viewed by the rest of the world as a scar on the planet. In African countries governance is more a matter of seamanship and less one of navigation – that is, striving to stay afloat rather than, going somewhere. Too many African states exist in name only, and their appearance on the maps is the only thing coherent about them and ceased to exist as functioning entities. Many have disintegrated entirely [Somalia]. The only circumstance that defines them is an orderly set of connected lines drawn on a map that distinguish them from their neighbours and in the middle of which the name of a country is designated. Some states exist merely because the outside world as*erts that there is a state. These so-called nations are currently demarcated solely by civil wars, ethnic conflicts, tumultuous tyrannies, cross-border invasions that threaten international peace and security, countless refugees, long-harboured racial animosity and brutalities that are often of an unspeakable nature. Africa has the largest refugee population in the world: one of every two hundred Africans is a homeless victim of war.
    Nowhere are people dying needlessly from starvation, from disease, from conflict. Deaths caused not by acts of fate but acts of man. By bad governance, factional rivalries, state-sponsored theft and rampant corruption. Most African states are de facto one-person rule backed by a personal army. African personal rule is characterised as authoritarian, arbitrary, ostentatious and inefficient. In the West, attempts are made to distinguish between the individual and the office of state they hold. In Africa no such effort is made. Presidential-monarchs linked their private interests and their public interests, and many seek to display the wealth accumulated as a result of high office. Consequently, African leaders operate in a world of private jets, over-the-top motorcades, limousines, palatial residences and ceremony. Symbols of the President are also important. Photographs of the leader and reports of his movements [however inconsequential] appear in the press on a regular basis, portraits are displayed in prominent public places, as well as private homes. T-shirts and posters are produced featuring the image of the President, stadiums, schools and hospitals are named after him. Personal rule is arbitrary. Patrimonial leaders, neo-patrimonial autocrats may also ‘refuse to be bound by formal rules and agreements, even those that they have signed and made themselves’. The rule of law cannot be taken for granted in African political systems. African leaders ignored rules, bent rules and made new rules to serve their own interests. The rules of the game are changed overnight. In this manner, opposition forces, as well as the President’s own followers are kept off balance, while the leader himself is free to satisfy his own whims. African politics is unpredictable. Groups jockey for position under the leader, offering support in return for resources and patronage. Everyone is kept off balance. Everyone must vie for his patronage. Above all African personal rule breeds inefficiency. African administrations allocate resources on the basis of demand, not need. Powerful factions receive the lion’s share of the state resources leaving less-well-represented groups at a disadvantage. Similarly, public policy receives little or no feed back or scrutiny under African one-man rule. There’s little or no incentive to evaluate policy systematically in countries where success or failure is neither rewarded nor punished by the cowed electorate. Indeed, nobody is in a position to challenge the president’s chosen policy path anyway. Africa has gone backwards in terms of development while the rest of the world has advanced in leaps and bounds. Africans are seen as inferior, volatile, and artless victims of their own political environment.
    Africa’s per capita income is lower than it was in the early 50s. Seventy per cent of the world’s poorest nations are in Africa. Africa is the most successful producer of babies in recorded history and the world’s least successful producer of food with the world’s highest infant mortality. Gains made in health and education in the 60s have been lost in many parts of the continent to economic anaemia and population growth rate that is still accelerating. Africa’s export earnings have declined mas*ively in the past two to three decades. The foreign debt burden, relative to Africa’s income, is the highest in the world. Interest payments bled away one of every three dollars Africans earned. The region has become more dependent on foreign as*istance than any other part of the developing world. Africa accounts for only 2% of world trade. African states are consumers rather than producers, importers rather than exporters, of ideas, institutions, and products.
    Some African countries which were never British colonies have joined the British Commonwealth sorely to try and receive financial aid after finding that ‘independence’ was a mirage. Some of these countries are Mozambique, Namibia and Rwanda which even had to adopt English as a second language instead of French just to get aid.
    The benevolent Tony Blair and Gordon Brown urged the G8 countries in 2005, after seeing that African states were among those unable to pay off their cataclysmic debts, to give them debt relief. Unfortunately, Zimbabwe was not among those who were given debt relief because of their atrocious human rights violations – Benin, Bolivia [S America], Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Ghana, Guyana [S America], Honduras [Central America], Madagascar, Mali, Mauritania, Mozambique, Nicaragua [Central America], Niger, Rwanda, Senegal, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zambia. This has proved to be a temporary relief because African states are still unable to stand on their own. At one stage African leaders were in Tripoli, Libya to meet the EU leaders to discuss financial aid once more – Mugabe was one of the dictators present at the meeting, with cap in hand and fingers crossed, and he is blaming the EU for reneging on its promises to eradicate poverty in Africa.
    In short African solutions to African problems is a lot of cobblers, a lot of hypocrisy by tinpot dictators who are trying to avoid being monitored by the neutral international community.

    I am ready to take on any low intelligence idiots on what I have stated.

  17. a political swiping speech unc but allow me to tear it up for you for now its not important.

    rather turn all attention to assisting these underclassmen of yours realise they are misdirectin themselves and misrepresentin the essence of our noble vision on indegenisation which neoliterates have misleadingly purported as an easy street direct access to money and banks.
    just tell them to call in experts to the drawing board and to desist from thinking about tasks that are beyond their comprehension.
    basically indegenisation will thrive after a carefully structured firm foundation of industry (hardwork) and commercial studies yet to be accomplished by key groupings.

    to indegenise commerce you first need to commercialise indegents ie brand empower them with bankable knowledge and discipline which has always been a part of our culture as zimbahwens.
    i would say for now thats the priority area not women or monuments !!

  18. musona is the worst creature god ever allowed to exist in this world. what is true with you musona is you are a human worst deep in my blair toilet. am off dont bother retaliating wont read yo rubish. dodo romunhu.

  19. Musona’s comment has all the hard hitting facts we face as Africans and I think painful as they are they are very true. Chamisa was saying almost just about the same thing but at a different angle. I support his views and I also challenge anyone who thinks differently to put their points on the table, I might learn something new.

  20. Musona calls a spade just what it is- a spade and I can’t for the life of me understand why all of Africa allows the same kind of governance to prevail except in a handful of countries like South Africa and Botswana. Look at what is happening in Malawi, Libya, Sierra Leone, Sudan- a few greedy people and most of them too old to be still in politics getting away with their own selfish deeds at the expence of their nations’ development.

  21. I am shocked by this article:-
    Its shameful to put chipangano at the same level with M23, Boko Haram,Al shabaaband Seleka.It just shows the mindset of a psychopathy-how you wish the worst for your country.This is exactly what you hallucinated when you called for sanctions!Of course chipangano should never be gloried but this comparison from someone who dreams to be a national leader its just shameful.Chamisa!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    You appear to have a vision but instead of articulating it in your 2013 manifesto you spent time glorifying the hopeless Baba Jukwa and shamelessy reading the ZANU PF manifesto at your rallies.!
    Chamisa unonyadza!

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