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People are not that idiotic


WHEN people are on the rebound, they are at their most irrational and, thus, most vulnerable.Qhubani Moyo, as seen from his previous political life, has a tendency of speaking too soon.


That is why he has made a complete political U-turn from being the ideological warrior of the Welshman Ncube-led MDC to staunch defender of Zanu PF, his former sworn enemy.

Moyo now refers disparagingly to those pointing out the many failures of the ruling party as “disgruntled people who have given up on fighting Zanu PF and are now resorting to wild imaginary predictions to suit their own imaginations”.

Well, he might as well be talking about himself because he was the first top-level defector in the whole opposition movement as he gave up the fight after his party performed dismally in the 2013 general elections.

This upside-down way of looking at reality could be because he is on the rebound. Moyo has thrown himself into the clutches of Zanu PF possibly because he could be still be still reacting to or recovering from the shock of July 31 2013.

For instance, how many times have we seen some men and women, hurt and confused because of heartbreak after a close, romantic relationship ends, plunging straight away into another, even worse, relationship without giving it much thought after the unhappy experience and calling their former partners all sorts of names?

Indeed, Moyo could be in such a rebound relationship with Zanu PF. This could be more of reaction to distance himself as much as possible from painful failure than conviction. So, rebounding in Zanu PF, the complete opposite of the MDC, has that maximum distancing effect.

The rebound effect has led to defeatism on Moyo’s part. He now belabours to make his point that Zanu PF will rule forever and that anyone thinking otherwise is wasting their time. The lengths he goes to explain this, the sheer weight of excessive detail he gives in arriving at this betrays a weak basis for his conclusion.

Referring to axed Zanu PF secretary for administration Didymus Mutasa’s camp as “a gang well versed in security matters of the State and working in cahoots with bloodthirsty owners of international capital who have always wanted to destabilise the country” is as equally absurd as saying former Vice-President Joice Mujuru was a sort of brothel madam who organised girls for Mutasa in Mozambique during the liberation war in the 1970s. Defeatists jump on the bandwagon.

Defeatism is a dangerous attitude to have. Defeatism takes away your objectivity. It leaves you unable to handle events in an effective manner. It also robs you of the fighting spirit you need to succeed in what you set out to do. With this attitude, you give up too quickly at the first sign of trouble — which Moyo did in 2003.

Such defeatists fell down rolling on the floor laughing at fellow blacks who decided that it was now time to confront the Rhodesian racist system head-on starting with rudimentary weapons like stones and catapults. They viewed Rhodesians as unconquerable in the same way Moyo now regards Zanu PF with awe as invincible.

They believed Rhodesian Prime Minister Ian Smith, an unrepentant racist, when he said: “No majority rule in my lifetime.” Well, Smith lived to see it and live in Zimbabwe.

Now Moyo has totally embraced unrepentant Stalinists in Zanu PF who are essentially saying to Zimbabweans: “You are forever bound to us because we liberated you.”

You cannot be free when you are tied to someone forever, but that’s the sick and twisted logic that is operative in Zimbabwe, which Moyo now appears to be endorsing.

Furthermore, they know how violence terrifies people and will resort to it any time, which, again, Moyo seems to be now acquiescing to, by not raising any objection to the infringement of others’ rights, continually referring to Mugabe’s coercive instruments of State power whereas Zimbabwe is supposed to be a constitutional democracy with separation of powers.

It’s anachronistic, not modernistic, to talk of Mugabe as the dominant bull in the kraal. Mugabe would be impeached for using State instruments for partisan political purposes, the same way Richard Nixon had to resign as United States President in 1974 for abuse of office.

Besides avoiding defeatism, there is need for intellectual humility. But what another losing MDC candidate Sindiso Mazibisa said in the wake of Moyo’s resignation from the MDC following his defeat is the opposite of that: “The people of Insiza constituency and indeed Matabeleland let him (Moyo) down and many of us down. It’s easy in one’s rocking chair to feel betrayed by Dr Moyo, but many of us feel let down by the people of Zimbabwe, especially Matabeleland and Midlands . . . the people must stop to take the personal sacrifices for granted.”

Equally, those in leadership should not take people for granted. It’s two-way street. Talent and ability exists in so many places. There are many undiscovered brilliant people out there who are PhDs in every way, but titular. Academic success isn’t always a sign of exceptional ability. In fact, it can be a hindrance where university can be an “artificial environment” that conditions for one type of thinking

This ties in with the findings of Google head of people operations Laszlo Bock, who has spent years analysing who succeeds at the company. Says Bock: “They (the degreed types lacking intellectual humility) . . . commit the fundamental attribution error, which is: If something good happens, it’s because I’m a genius. If something bad happens, it’s because someone’s an idiot . . .”

Thankfully, ordinary people are not that idiotic as to fail to see the real cause of their dire plight — and they are not defeatist.

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