Inculcating a culture of rectitude in Zanu PF can save Zim

Goodday Mr President:Cyprian Muketiwa Ndawana

YOUR Excellency, unadulterated democracy is anchored on the premise that it is important to respect decisions especially those one had an input in their making. Essentially, it grants the majority its way, as it guarantees them a say in decision making.

Inherent in democracy is the inalienable right to be heard. Debate precedes decisions. Yet, your governing party’s brand of politics, much to your detriment, does not embrace dialogue. You make unilateral decisions since you dominate State institutions, more-so the media.

A visitor can be forgiven for assuming that the government controlled media is a mouthpiece of the ruling party. Even trivial events are given prominence by the public broadcaster with news bulletins appearing as soap operas starring the First Family.

Your Excellency, as newscasters shower you or the First Lady with praises when you make donations do you realise that you are nurturing a dependence syndrome which breeds laziness and ultimately deprives citizenry of dignity.

Darn it! Zimbabweans are not parasitic. They are renowned for hardwork and ingenuity. As I see it, the phenomenon of handouts is blatant prostitution of our essence. Methinks by and large, donations have a hidden agenda.

Looked at critically, handouts are not a manifestation of philanthropy. There is nothing charitable about donations which are handed over in front of television cameras. Coal and bricks recently donated to hospitals and a school in Matabeleland are a case in point.

My heart bleeds each time the elderly are paraded to receive mealie-meal, sugar, cooking oil and a laundry bar soap. What grieves me more is that they are made to recite words of gratitude yet, the once-off donation will be too meagre to alleviate their plight.

Your Excellency, it is my fervent hope that you wean yourself from the frivolity of run of the mill politics and adopt a mature approach befitting a Statesman. If ever there is a propitious deed that will elevate you to higher echelons of public service, it is the aforementioned transformation to Statesmanship.

Scripture has it that the fortunes of a prodigal son, who squandered his inheritance, were transformed after he came back to his senses. I have unwavering anticipation that you will emulate him, though mindful that old habits die hard.

If the prodigal son earned himself a place in scriptures for regaining his senses, methinks in spite of you edging towards the ripe age, you can nonetheless gain worldwide acclaim if you do the right thing.

Your Excellency, citizenry is itching for a frank account of the country’s past moments of madness. Under the headline, Why ED is the best man for the job, The Sunday Mail of July 29 2018 exonerated you of the atrocities of the dark era. It argued that you were not president then, but only an appointed office bearer — minister, later on vice-president.

“If we are to measure President Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa’s performance without bias, we have to measure his performance since he ascended to the highest office in the land,” read the introduction.

Further down, it claimed that you suffered persecution for being perceived as threat to your predecessor, the late deposed former President Robert Mugabe. However, it is ironic that in its desperation to exonerate you, the weekly lost sight of the concept of collective responsibility.

Apparently, this argument stands on feet of clay. It is simplistic and it peddles the distortion that you only had a cameo role. It is a public secret that your 38 years under Mugabe were eventful. Obviously, you have a vivid memory of what transpired back then. Methinks you owe it to citizenry to open up, especially on Gukurahundi massacres given that you were the State Security minister when the gruesome events took place. However, Your Excellency, your ascendancy to the throne provided an opportunity for you to change the trajectory.

As CS Lewis said: “You cannot go back and change the beginning, but you can start from where you are and change the ending.” Yet, you opted to perpetuate history instead of ensuring the ending is altered.

Two days after the weekly had sanitised your past, there was a bloodbath on the streets of Harare. A miniature Gukurahundi claimed six lives on August 1, 2018. It is not in keeping with what is expected of “as soft as wool” President that the assailants are yet to appear in court.

It would have made your stay at the helm a lot easier had you given a candid account of the terrible events that happened since independence. As I see it, Your Excellency, owning up to collective responsibility could not have been such a big deal for a listening President.

From my perspective, neither donations nor denials of the gruesome events can sufficiently ease or erase the pain citizenry went through at the hands of the regime you were devoutly sworn to. Little wonder, the Second Republic’s pleas are failing to assuage the people of Midlands and Matabeleland.

Basically, your wish to be the biblical Paul without admitting to have been Saul is proving futile. It compels citizenry to be repulsive against you. Also, by sidelining traditional leaders like Chief Ndiweni from the Gukurahundi deliberations, you essentially betray traces of improper motives and people begin to smell a rat.

The incarceration of the chief was an assault not only on his tribe, but on all citizenry who treasure democracy. His persecution and that of opposition members and journalists belies the State controlled weekly article’s saintly portrayal of you, Your Excellency.

An amicable closure to the massacres runs deeper than making a permanent secretary promise the issuance of death certificates and burial orders. It cannot be achieved by handpicking people to negotiate with. Hasty exhumation of victims is the worst blunder any rational being can make because it has dire consequences.

While dissent is rising over your strategy in resolving the Gukurahundi issue, answers are being sought over your decision to compensate displaced white commercial farmers. It induces shock that Parliament was bypassed and that a whopping US$3,5 million restitution was agreed upon

Your Excellency, it is not out of love for interference that your South African counterpart expressed disquiet over events on the other side of the Limpopo River. His concerns are understandable given that the Zimbabwe crisis has ripple effects on his country’s economy.

Also, the precedent you set in the agreement with displaced white commercial farmers has far-reaching ramifications. Moreover, your inability to inculcate a culture of rationality and democracy in your party is untenable in a country that is dying to be incorporated into the global family of nations.

Your Excellency, your acting politburo secretary for information and publicity, Patrick Anthony Chinamasa, who is a lawyer, should know better how to handle that portfolio. He should desist from breathing fire each time he issues statements, especially those involving international relations. Methinks his utterances from Jongwe House are scaring away investment.

His conviction that opponents are detractors the party must descend on with a tonne of bricks is an antithesis to democracy. His delusions know no bounds. He pounces on anyone who disagrees with the party or government.

He pays no heed to the age-old legal principle of hearing the other side. His intolerance to alternative perspectives is incredible. Contrary to the norms of dignity and maturity for one who practised law for many years, his rantings are devoid of courtesy.

It is foolhardy to berate detractors and blame targeted sanctions for the country’s plight when the highest echelons of the party are manned by firebrands, whose utterances keep investors at bay.

Your Excellency, inculcating a culture of rectitude in the party rank and file is the first step towards true Statesmanship.

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