GOOD day President Emmerson Mnangagwa. Your Excellency, the global gaze is on Zimbabwe. It is inevitable that your presidency will be monitored, given its culture of political delinquency and disputed elections.
My patriotic prayer is that you are not found wanting. Yet, my profound expectation is that your constitutional mandate to ensure that the rights of citizenry to freedom of electoral choice is followed to the letter.
Given that you assumed the Presidency in 2017 pledging newness, it is not a big ask to implore you to be true to your word. There is an ethical obligation on you to deliver the Zimbabwe the people want.
Your Excellency, my view is that accountability is the bedrock of veritable leaders.
As I see it, the ability to resist the temptation of carrying oneself as superior separates statesmen from opportunists who masquerade as leaders. Rather, leaders listen attentively and seek to understand before they are understood. They thrive on hearing divergent views.
Methinks a bonafide leader is distinguished by their shepherd spirit of striving for harmonious co-existence. They care at heart for the safety and security of all and sundry, including those who are critical of them.
Ideally, visionary leaders are conscious of the fact that they are primarily responsible for sharing the responsibility of ensuring progress and advancement of fellow citizenry. They cherish the ability to differ with respect.
Your Excellency, true leaders are discerning. They are insightful in their fight for equitability and humility which Jesus taught several times and particularly in the Sermon on the Mount.
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It is foundational for progressive leadership to love thy neighbour as thyself. Their deportment is tempered by age-old admonitions laid down by the prophets. “What does the Lord require of thee but to do justly, and to love mercy and to walk humbly with God?” (Micah 6:8). Actually, scripture is replete with themes of sagacious leadership.
It has long been confounding me that of all the churches you frequent, none of the preachers took time to admonish you. Given that it is beyond me to tie your shoelaces, determining how you score on a leadership scale is similarly out of province for me.
Methinks the righteous indignation by the Anglican Church faithful when you begged for votes during their recent annual convention at Bernard Mizeki shrine was precedential. Their regarding your presence at their shrine as intrusive to their faith has far-reaching effects.
Their eloquent abhorrence of your politicising churches with the lure of funding was apt and long coming. As I see it, the image of Jesus angered by the turning of the house of prayer into a den of thieves and robbers must have come to their mind.
Regrettably, there has been untoward ingratiation passed as scripturally based during your visits mainly to the indigenous churches. Recently, a video of a leader of one of the white robe-wearing gatherings went viral, commandeering congregants to vote for you.
As I see it, insightful leaders are mindful of the tendency of people laying flattery with a trowel. They do not get puffed up with ingratiation, neither do they deem themselves infallible.
It struck me with the force of a bolt from the blue on hearing you being described as the Zanu PF’s best foot forward. It latterly came to my attention that the late former President Robert Mugabe was once described as such, only to be deposed months later.
Masvingo Provincial Affairs minister Ezra Chadzamira claimed that you will be in power forever. He said your leadership was following the scriptural path of empowering citizenry with land.
Your Excellency, as I see it, the key result area on which you are destined to either rise like a star, or crumble like a deck of cards, is the delivery of conclusive, credible and verifiable elections. That is the yardstick with which your Presidency will be measured.
Yet, reality on the ground points to an antithesis of a free and fair election. With revelation of fraudulent registration of candidates under the opposition Citizens Coalition for Change banner at the nomination court, disputes are inevitable.
With the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission embroiled in dispute over the delimitation report, coupled with the promulgation of the election date before the electoral laws were amended, the build-up to disputation is gathering momentum.
As I see it, prospects of credible elections are rapidly waning. Methinks the two statutory instruments on electoral laws that were proclaimed in the immediate aftermath of the sitting of the nomination courts were portentous.
Your Excellency, keep in mind the words of William Shakespeare: “This above all, to thine own self be true.”
It is my fervent conviction that time-honoured leadership precepts bids you to be true to yourself about retirement.
- Cyprian Muketiwa Ndawana is a public speaking coach, motivational speaker, speechwriter and newspaper columnist.