Freedom entails the right, liberty to choose

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Cyprian Muketiwa Ndawana

BY Cyprian M Ndawana
DEAR President Emmerson Mnangagwa,

Your Excellency, your declaration that you will be in power beyond the 2023 harmonised elections is as ilicit to democracy as it is to society. I doubt if you truly believe that everyone was endowed at birth with inalienable rights to life and liberty.

Essentially, freedom entails the right and liberty to choose. It is a birth right to elect a government, without cession. It raises fundamental questions if at all you respect human rights given that you have already declared that you will continue in power beyond the 2023 harmonised elections.

Frankly, the declaration flies in the face of sound governance. It cannot be dismissed as mere political posturing. It is blatantly despotic that you hedged your declaration to continue in power on the flippant reason of overseeing the projects you initiated to completion.

“I know I will be there until the project is finished and overseeing that everything is running smoothly. I will be in charge,” you declared. What project is there to talk about when the command agricultural scheme and all presidential inputs scheme fester with corruption?

Your Excellency, it warrants a probe to find out if democracy is an achievable pursuit that can flourish with your hands on levers of government. It cannot be said that democracy is alive and well while ideals such as majority rule, individual dignity, equality and freedom are not guaranteed.

Given the documented history of Zimbabwe’s elections which are a far cry from being conclusive, credible, free and fair, your declaration warrants cross-examination. Henceforth, the military has been instrumental in election processes.

Truly, the emphasis with which you made the declaration was indicative of an intent to hold on to power, at whatever cost. It, therefore, is inevitable for thinkers on public affairs to ponder if democracy could thrive, let alone survive, on the backdrop of your declaration.

Your Excellency, it must have been against the backdrop of such disquiet that Plato cautioned against indifference to public affairs. His presage, “The price good men pay for indifference to public affairs is to be ruled by evil men”, is an enduring verity in human society.

Methinks the declaration is a culmination of a series of underhand strategies that you have been scheming. Its genesis is traceable to the Constitution mutilation that resulted in the extension of the tenure of the Chief Justice beyond 70 years.

Your Excellency, there are reasonable grounds to suspect underpinnings of an oppressive mindset in your declaration. It cannot be coincidental that Zanu PF gurus, yourself included, have been vocally assaultive on the opposition, declaring to crush it like mice.

It has of late been reiterated that the opposition will never rule the country. With one party bigwig threatening to invoke the spirit of Mbuya Nehanda, ruling out prospects of the opposition being in power has been topical in the corridors of power.

The same sentiment was echoed by yet another Zanu PF bigwig. She weighed in saying that the opposition would never rule Zimbabwe.

“Locals masquerading as the  opposition while pushing their masters’ interests will never rule this country. Never!,” she parroted.

It was by design that you gave impetus to the declaration by asserting it at the Cyber City ground-breaking ceremony in Mount Hampden, recently. It was beyond being politically bullish that you declared to be there until the project is finished.

Your Excellency, with the country headed towards a hyperinflation crisis, surely, all you are keen on is to consolidate power. As the meltdown is destined to eclipse that of 2008, you are not losing sleep over the plight of citizenry whose livelihoods are in dire straits.

Amid the economic meltdown, you are totally devoid of ideas to open the country for business. As if your inauguration promises were not meant to be binding social contracts, shamefully, all you committed to has turned out to be a pie in the sky.

Your Excellency, your claim to rid the country of corruption, which is one of the investment repellents, has gone largely unaddressed. It is disheartening that  the corrupt and land barons are in a haven, where they are at liberty to flaunt their ill-acquired affluence.

It was said of you almost two years back that you were livid over corruption. Yet, the call by Hurungwe West Member of Parliament Mary Mliswa-Chikoka went unheeded. As I see it, even the recent plea by Senate president Mabel Chinomona, who  implored you to cut the fingers of the corrupt, fell on deaf ears.

Your Excellency, with the public frustraction largely conspicuous, indeed, former United Nations secretary-general Ban Ki-Moon aptly summed up the situation in Zimbabwe.

“Corruption is measured not just by the billions of dollars of squandered or stolen resources, but most poignantly in the absence of hospitals, schools, clean water, roads and bridges that could have changed families and communities,” Ban Ki-Moon said.

Rightly so, confidence in your Presidency is on the wane. As the local currency unabatedly continues to weaken, so does the confidence in you. Methinks, the progressive worsening of the economy will result in the steep decline of your ratings.

Your Excellency, true, capital punishment has not been carried out under the new dispensation. Yet, the military onslaught on citizenry, coupled with threats to shorten lives of the secessionist party leadership, counterbalance the Statesman you are keen to being seen as.

Your Excellency, despite your declaration to continue in power, as I see it, the winds of change are the ultimate deciding factor.
Methinks they will blow you off the pedestal.

“When the time is right, I the Lord will make it happen, (Isaiah 60:22).”

  • Cyprian Muketiwa Ndawana is a public speaking coach, motivational speaker, speechwriter and newspaper columnist.