TRADITIONAL leaders on Tuesday performed rituals at the site where Mbuya Nehanda’s statue stands and the euphoria from government officials, Zanu PF supporters and stakeholders was telling.
The excitement at the event that caught the attention of many, including the visiting South African International Relations minister Naledi Pandor, and the evident energy, was quite telling.
Of course, the chiefs, with the prize of top-of-the-range Isuzu 4×4 trucks awaiting them, did not disappoint, eloquently telling the ecstatic crowd that the spirit medium had anointed President Emmerson Mnangagwa as the leader of the second republic.
Sadly, the passion shown in coming up with the statue from start to finish has been sorely missing in addressing the economic crises bedevilling the country.
What cannot be denied or missed as has been expressed previously by many, including Pandor, who was a guest at the unveiling of the statue, is the mess Zimbabwe’s economy is in.
We seem not to be getting the same enthusiasm, drive and oomph to deal with the economic mess we find ourselves in.
Lately, Zimbabwe has been a country engrossed in rituals and zeal to exhume dead bodies, including that of the late former President Robert Mugabe. And with her stature getting top billing, there is also a keenness to ship Mbuya Nehanda’s skull from the United Kingdom.
We wish the assiduousness with which the leadership follows ritual processes could be extended to the economy. But the economic rituals need a lot more than spiritualism.
There is need to cast out the demon of corruption, particularly in government officials, most of whom were in attendance at the statue unveiling.
Zimbabwe needs to balance its books to come out of the economic crisis and leadership to get its act together.
We will not engage in the debate on whether Mbuya Nehanda rituals were right or wrong but we sadly note that this country’s leadership is giving the impression that honouring the dead and performing sacraments will deliver this country from poverty.
We have had enough of chiefs endorsing leaders on our behalf but what we are yet to hear from them is their strategy to help the leaders move the country forward in a peaceful environment.
True to the party’s violent nature, Zanu PF youths chose the occasion of the unveiling of the statue to threaten violence on the opposition. And no one from the party’s leadership intervened to reprimand them and stop the stupidity.