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Mnangagwa’s vision can’t be Zim’s vision

Opinion & Analysis
THERE is one main reason Zimbabwe will never develop under the administration of President Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa.

THERE is one main reason Zimbabwe will never develop under the administration of President Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa.

We do not have a national vision.

What we have witnessed over the past six years has been the personalisation of mantras, which have been attributed to Mnangagwa’s vision. All we hear when government or ruling Zanu PF party officials speak is the packaging of the country’s supposed visions as if they were Mnangagwa’s own personal visions.

How many times have we heard this statement: “We are implementing this programme/policy in line with President Mnangagwa’s Vision 2030?”

Or: “We are building this school in fulfilment of President Mnangagwa’s mantra of ‘Leaving no one and no place behind’.”

This is not the only one attributed directly to Mnangagwa.

We also have “Nyika inovakwa nevene vayo (A country is built by its own people)”.

Even the new Zimbabwe Gold (ZiG) currency is associated with Mnangagwa’s “visionary leadership”.

It gets worse with other such nonsense being spewed by Christopher Mutsvangwa (Zanu PF spokesman) that the President is now called “Mr Strong ZiG”.

This reduces what is supposed to be a collective national vision to a single man’s vision. In so doing, millions of ordinary Zimbabweans end up not feeling being part and parcel of this vision and not relating to it as their own.

In the end, we have an entire nation not buying into these ideas as they perceive them as Mnangagwa’s personal dreams that have nothing to do with ordinary Zimbabweans.

Any country that hopes to develop and attain a certain agenda without the buy-in of the population is doomed. The worst mistake any government can make is to personalise a national vision.

Let me give an example.

Before writing this piece, I googled the phrase “Make America great again” (MAGA) and what came up was not entirely surprising.

Wikipedia characterised this as “an American political slogan and movement most recently popularised by Donald Trump during his successful 2016 presidential campaign”.

It goes on to say: “MAGA is also used to refer to Trump’s political base, or to an individual or group of individuals from within that base (“a MAGA”, “MAGAs”)’.

As can be immediately deduced from this description, the mantra, which was supposed to be a national vision under Trump’s administration, ended up only being identified with a section of Americans.

In other words, its personalisation by Trump and his supporters resulted in it not being adopted and embraced by half the population. It was reduced to nothing more than a Republican Party — in fact, a Trump camp — slogan.

As such, during and after his tenure as president, the US had not identified itself with “Making America great again” — leading to this vision never being fulfilled. The main reason was that it was politicised as a party or individual vision.

It never transformed into a national vision.

This is the same we witness with such mantras as “Vision 2030”;  “Nyika inovakwa nevene vayo”; “Leaving no one and no place behind” or even the structured currency.

The main reason these will fail is also that they have been politicised and personalised into a Mnangagwa thing. It does not matter whether the mantras were actually Mnangagwa’s brainchild or not, they simply need to be transformed into a national vision that each and every one of us can identify with.

That is their major weakness.

As we witnessed in the US — where the “MAGA” vision became only identified with Trump — in Zimbabwe, “vene” are now just Mnangagwa supporters.

Instead, government should not have associated these mantras with the person of Mnangagwa, but made them a truly Zimbabwean thing. If those in authority were genuine in their belief in these slogans as sincerely national in nature, then they should have adopted more inclusive and all-embracing language when referring to them.

We need to hear such words as: “We are implementing this programme/policy in line with Zimbabwe’s Vision 2030”.

Mnangagwa’s name should simply be kept out of these visions, period. That way, they will receive the buy-in and total support of the people of Zimbabwe.

Mnangagwa and his administration should not blame anyone (particularly so-called “detractors”) when their policies and programmes are inevitably resisted by the nation.

They only have themselves to blame.

  •  Tendai Ruben Mbofana is a social justice advocate and writer. Please feel free to WhatsApp or Call: +263715667700 | +263782283975, or email: [email protected], or visit website: https://mbofanatendairuben.news.blog/

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