HomeOpinion & AnalysisColumnistsTo hell with partisan politics!

To hell with partisan politics!

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THIS past week was exciting in so many ways – totally inspiring for me! I spent sometime with a middle-aged man working and living in Australia who is working on a project to support boys and girls from Chihota communal lands.

His aim is to get as many of them into school so that they broaden their perspective on life and heighten their changes of a better life through access to education.

The other space I got inspiration from is Mabvuku — there is a coach running a soccer-coaching clinic to integrate young boys into sport as a life skill technique. The aim is to have them actively involved in sport so that they escape the drugs and all sorts of social challenges that come with being young and being socialised in Mabvuku – very noble!

What struck me the most is how life is happening all across Zimbabwe whilst people bicker, fights, argue and politicise everything form development to social interactions. I am confident there is an alternative and that Zimbabwe will not be the same until we learn that there is more to life than partisan politics.

Life in itself is politics. Deciding what we will eat, how to cook it, who cooks it and so on is political. Every aspect of our life is about politics — you think of anything that you deem as part of your daily life. Indeed dear reader, exactly what you are thinking, that too is political. However, the challenge we face as Zimbabwe is that partisan politics seems to have taken over almost every function of our being.

Well, being a partisan politically conscious people is not bad — it is good as it supports our analysis of our lived realities.
The paralysis of analysis is what then is the challenge, as we seem to do much more analysis than action. If you do a random pick and seek to unpack the situation of Zimbabwe from various people, they will give you a clear thesis of what the challenge is.

It is the challenge of developing solutions that we are faced with that is more difficult. In order for me not avoid being caught up in this analysis paralysis, let me proceed with my reflection. So whilst most of us are busy stuck in a rut of complaining and analysing what is going wrong and also holding hands in this partisan politics reality, some are out there living life and thriving whilst they are at it.

I took my two young children with me to Mabvuku and it was not the contrast of the language or texture of their skin that intrigued me. It was the difference in lived realities and how they all coped.

There was no worry or concern of what they lacked, it was about holding hands and seeing that what they wanted to achieve was accomplished. It was about soccer and everything else took last precedence. The lesson I got here is that sometimes we do not have to agree and disagreeing with you and how you think or even view things is not a personal attack.

Neither should it result in forming of a small splinter movement. It is about sharing one’s thoughts and yet at the end of it all, we join hands in charting a way forward that is beneficial to the “us” more than it is for the “me”.

Yes, challenges will be there and personality clashes will be witnessed just as was clear in contrasting the children at play with my own. It was not always about agreeing to eating the large chunk of bread with a shared bottle of diluted Mazoe orange (our popular brand of cordial beverage in Zimbabwe and elsewhere) crush, but it was about getting the body energised in whatever form each one deemed necessary so that the soccer would be played.

Realities will vary, opinions differ and so on, but at the end of the day, there is need for some form of consensus that will facilitate for a moving forward and this by the way is also political just not partisan.

Life can be painful and render you paralysed to act and that is life. However, it is that ability to bounce back and begin to pick up oneself in a bid to chart a new path as we trend this journey of life. That middle aged man I spoke about — he had his chances of an education threatened and yet he soldiered on having to go to school with people three years his junior but he moved on.

Graduates

It is about moving forward and making sure there is a vision for this life that we hold onto and at all costs we do what we can, in a healthy way to ensure we reach that goal.

We will face obstacles, challenges and even feel like giving up, but the truth is that if we push ourselves enough, we can get up, dust ourselves and move on. The reality is that there is a certain level of realisation that needs to happen and action taken towards charting a new course.

I did also read in the media this week that Zimbabwe could have lost 20 years of development – great we realise. The question is so what? What do we decide to do going forward? Every birth process is painful and yet necessary for us to have some sort of germination of life.

All this right here is political, just not partisan politics. It is not based on a political party manifesto or what personality has been where doing what.

It is about a collectivity that is based on ubuntu that ensures that one is leading to the sum total that is necessary for progress and development. Zimbabweans are blessed with some of the most brightness brains the continent has ever seen.

We have what it takes to get to where we ought to be. It takes looking beyond partisan political party interests or even selfish personal political interests. It is about the one that makes the whole.

Whilst we are busy distracted by and bickering on and on about partisan politics guess what? Life is continuing as there are no political parties that determine people’s lived realities. Most people are busy trying to make it work for them at various levels with little attention to political parties plus their drama and clearly the voter empathy has revealed this. It is about how we can thrive in our spaces at many levels.

I believe in a Zimbabwe that has this, that makes it happen and whether you are Mavambo Kusile Dawn, Zanu PF (weevil or gamatox), MDC-T, Renewal or Zanu Ndonga, emerging or whatever political party you choose to belong to, Zimbabwe is for all Zimbabweans. We hold hands and make it work for each of us just like that man who decided to make it work for other children in Chihota and those young boys at the soccer clinic.

No one will “rescue” us from this doldrums’ reality; it is us for our beautiful motherland Zimbabwe. Lets’ do this!

 Grace Chirenje writes in her personal capacity and loves stimulating conversation. She would be excited to hear from you.
You can contact Grace on graceruvimbo@gmail.com, follow her on twitter @graceruvimbo or Facebook Grace Ruvimbo Chirenje. Chat soon.

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