Blessed are the peacemakers

President Emmerson Mnangagwa

GOOD Day President Emmerson Mnangagwa,

Your Excellency, as I see it, on your ascendency to the Presidency, your assumed power should have been deployed towards inculcating democratic values in Zanu PF and government. It fell squarely within your ambit to champion plurality.

It was imperative for you to practise discerning leadership. Uppermost on your to-do list must have been the inculcation of national tolerance.

Essentially, it was my expectation that you were to guide Zanu PF in particular, and the nation at large, towards embracing the tenets of equality.

Methinks the period culminating in the deposal of the late former President Robert Mugabe was extraordinarily volatile. Intraparty battles erupted intermittently. Yet, there were no leadership strategies to halt the recurrence of dog-eat-dog internal antagonism.

Your Excellency, Zanu PF has a checkered history. It has a reputation of fatal intraparty battles.

Ever since its formation in 1963, at the Highfield home of the late Enos Nkala in Harare, the party has had few and far between periods of cohesions.

Formed as a breakaway faction of the then Joshua Nkomo-led Zimbabwe African People Union  (Zapu), the party has never had recess from factional battles. It has been a fractious entity, red in tooth and claw. Yet, even now, factions still prevail.

It has a long list of casualties who died at the hands of fellow cadres. It includes such luminaries as Herbert Chitepo, who perished in Zambia together with one of his staffers.

Currently, due to factionalism, some Zanu PF members are in exile, fearing for their lives.

With Mugabe refusing to be buried at the National Heroes Acre, a shrine he established, it is apparent that Zanu PF is strife-torn. He chose to be buried at his rural home, thereby foregoing the rituals he performed for others.

He died in exile, a bitter man having lost power in a military-orchestrated coup d'etat. He disowned the party he had been loyal to all his life.

He barred his former cadres from participating at his burial. Indeed, there was no gun salute at his burial.

His family did not entertain government‘s request for him to be reburied at the national shrine. Apparently, his absence at both the National Heroes Acre and the Museum of African History is a yawning void that never ceases to embarrass your so-called new dispensation.

Methinks your party is in disarray, bedevilled by intraparty bickering which was expedited by the overthrow of Mugabe.

He likened himself to the invincible Chief Nanga, who was described by Nigerian novelist Chinua Achebe as a born politician who could get away with anything he said or did.

Your Excellency, as I see it, your taking over of Zanu PF did not add value to the party.

With all due respect, the party was dysfunctional. It was a prolific source of ructions; a Pandora's box whose lid was already open.

Methinks at your assumption of power in November 2017, citizenry had lost trust in both Zanu PF and government.

There were no ethical considerations whatsoever. Depravity had been so conventional that positions of power had become a licence for corruption.

Yet, those who were arraigned  before the courts as the case with two former Cabinet ministers, were freed on procedural oversight which even a novice prosecutor could not be forgiven for committing.

Apparently, even bigwigs brazenly settle people in undesignated areas.

Against this backdrop, restoration of confidence in the State and unification of the ruling party in particular and citizenry in general, ought have had your undivided attention.

Methinks these were the two leadership challenges that went unheeded, in spite of them crying out for your attention. Unfortunately, you pursued the hound instead of the hare.

Your Excellency, considering that your Presidency is now on a single digit countdown, it is time you sat down to think seriously about your legacy.

It would be a boon to your legacy if you were to singularly focus on the promotion of human dignity and equality.

Ideally, it takes principled leadership to discern the scriptural verity that blessed are the peacemakers.

Essentially, Zimbabwe, especially the post-Mugabe era, could not have been totally devoid of civility and cordiality had there been diligent Statecraft.

Despite the commemorations of Unity Day, subjugation of human rights remains rife. There is perpetual decadence in the quality of leadership, resulting in the widening mistrust between the political elite and the citizenry they claim to lead.

It would be a fundamental revelation if it were to dawn on you that Zanu PF, under its current aged leadership, is no longer relevant to the aspirations of the young and middle-aged.

If ever there was an insight you needed most, it is that of the generational disjoint.

Failure to implement a leadership succession plan is a setback for Zanu PF. It is hastening the diminishing significance of the party.

With all due respect, a leadership in its sunset cannot fufil the aspirations of a vibrant young generation that is in its infancy.

Your Excellency, probity warrants you to reconsider the endorsement to run for a second presidential term you received at the party congress last year.

It is my fervent conviction that time is ripe for succession and it will be credited to you as your most gallant and patriotic deed.

There inevitably comes a time for every mortal that aging becomes an inhibitor, marked by bodily frailties and diminishing mental faculties.

Your Excellency, given that today is my 66th birthday, I attest to the inhibitions wrought by age.

Truly, the demands of the Presidency are not compatible with the natural frailties of one in their second childhood.

Methinks Mugabe authored his fate by disregarding the verity that he who lives by the sword dies by the sword. As I see it, it is about time the sword was turned into a plough share.

A leadership that shortens people's lives is beastly and bereft of conscience.

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