Tanonoka Joseph Whande – Zimbabwe’s politicians must change mindset

Tanonoka Joseph Whande

Thursday, January 10th, 2013

There is nothing to indicate that the situation in Zimbabwe will be treated any differently by those concerned, both in and outside Zimbabwe.

As we start another year of expectations, prospects of more violence and the continued abuse of human rights are clearly on the horizon and rising.

There does not seem to be any seriousness on the part of politicians to find a final and lasting solution to our long-drawn out quagmire.

To add more danger to it is the prospect of elections when politicians of no consequence, who have done nothing to address our problems in past years, suddenly come out of the woodwork promising this and that just so they can be voted for to, once again, stagnant the nation’s progress.

Even Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai has ignored his party’s failure to become a real governing party but trudges on as if elections under all these dubious circumstances will bring peace to Zimbabwe.

Tsvangirai claims he will win the next elections by a wide margin as if that in itself is a solution. But if he does so win, what next? He says he is ready to rule and so is his party. Does he mean that we are going to get more of the same of his leadership style because, quite frankly, while the MDC as a party is a viable project, Tsvangirai as a president does not seem to excite me in anyway.

He has allowed party issues and personal matters to cloud up his judgement while putting personal matters ahead of national interest.

His party now campaigns for the removal of targeted sanctions against some ZANU-PF individuals, with Tendai Biti allowing himself to be used to ask foreign governments to remove the sanctions while the very reasons those sanctions were slapped on those individuals still exist.

I salute the Canadian government for its stance to maintain sanctions against ZANU-PF malcontents. Tsvangirai’s party no longer cares about the need for real  political reform in our country, something the very same people have always been clamouring for since they formed their party.

There is urgent need for a new constitution to be put in place, let alone holding a referendum over it before its installation.

Violence and human rights violations need urgent attention as both are on the increase, particularly against Tsvangirai’s supporters.

But the MDC does not seem to care about all these issues like they used to do because now they are part of the unsavoury unity government.

Tsvangirai said he is going to enlarge the cake if he gets elected. I am surprised he has been eating cakes all this time and now that he needs our help, he wants to throw a few crumbs at us.

His party has already launched its economic blueprint code-named Juice (Jobs, Upliftment, Investment, Capital and the Environment) which they say is “designed to correct Zimbabwe’s weak economic structure characterised by high levels of poverty, social underdevelopment, decayed infrastructure and a crippling debt overhang”.

The MDC sent Biti to canvass for foreign investment whilst ZANU-PF fat cats continue to sabotage commerce and industry through opaque indigenisation policies

While the likes of Tendai Biti have shown commendable effort and foresight in the execution of their duties, the same cannot be said about others in his party, including Tsvangirai himself.

Be that as it may, we are starting another miserable year with the same tired failed politicians on whom we are forced, once again, to put our trust in.

We are dealing with the same South Africans who have lied to the world about us over the years, giving out tough press statements against Mugabe while empowering him by deliberately ignoring particular issues of immediate concern.

We are not anyone’s priority and South Africa has shown us that.

Jacob Zuma should not even be president of South Africa yet through the presidency, South Africa yields a lot of sway in the Southern African Development Community where it has proved beyond doubt that, although with Africa’s largest economy, South Africa cannot be Africa’s leader.

On top of that, running the comatose African Union is another South African, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, a former bed mate of the South African president.

And yet another South African, Navi Pillay, is the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights at a time when human rights abuses have increasingly become common place in Zimbabwe and beyond.

I feel sad about what African leaders continue to do to a continent that has been so good to all of them.

I cannot understand how a group of people, always referred to as “Your Excellencies”, perpetrate the kind of horror on their people such as we see around our continent all the time.

Has the misery not run long enough? Who really do African leaders care about because, certainly, it is not their citizens.

Africa has known no peace throughout history. We still remember the brutalities of colonial subjugation, which gave birth to radical thinking among African politicians. After regaining our territorial imperatives, the very same African leaders turned on us and, today, we are unfortunate enough to be nostalgic as we regrettably view colonial times as better when compared to what the African leaders are doing to us everyday.

There are always several flash points in Africa running concurrently.

Somalia. Kenya. Zimbabwe, Central African Republic. Swaziland. DR Congo. The list is endless and yet Africa continues to fail to solve its own problems because of sheer greed, misguided camaraderie, looting and the absence of civility among our leaders.

Collectively, African leaders are a disaster and, individually, are worse.

Americans, whose country benefitted so much from enslaving the African people, has twice chosen an African-American to be the leader of the “free world”.

Africa and its leaders suddenly found themselves with an opportunity to convince the world that, indeed, we are equal in everything and behave accordingly.

While Obama is busy appointing opposition members to his cabinet, African leaders are busy killing members of the opposition. While European leaders hold meeting after meeting to assist fellow European countries in dire financial problems, African leaders are busy illegally amassing wealth to the extent that some individuals in cabinet are richer than the state they supposedly serve.

How is it that in 2009, Spain gave 240 million Euros to fight hunger in Africa yet King Mswati of Swaziland is by far richer than the King of Spain?

Mswati is actually richer than British Prime Minister David Cameron, than the presidents of Brazil, Mexico and Argentina and is by far richer than President Barrack Obama.

Closer to home, Zimbabwe is doing its part in the promotion of bad governance; it is a sad example of idiocy, corruption, nepotism and all ills that move nations backwards instead of forward.

Tsvangirai, just like Mugabe, seems to be afflicted by wrong priorities.

The heart of the matter is that there must be change among our leaders and politicians. Unless the politicians and those in leadership change, there is little hope for any meaningful change in our country. It is of no value for Tsvangirai and Mugabe to preach peace while their people do the opposite and not get punished or to rant and rave about corruption while somehow doing very little to stem the rot.

Punishing a lone struggling councillor in some distant constituency for corruption, while leaving to go free those who make $40 billion disappear from state coffers, is not the way to fight corruption.

Our nation cannot be expected to survive and thrive on rhetoric.

It is our hope that as we start the New Year, our politicians rededicate themselves to serving the nation in an honest manner. We want to hope that our politicians were born and brought up by those same Zimbabwean parents who have made us proud of our nation.

We desperately want to expect decency to shower our nation. We came equipped with the right intentions, with the right mind set and with an unquestioned desire to change our environment.

Zimbabwe does not need to be the kind of state it has become and time for its sons and daughters to reform it is slowly slipping away.

There is greater need for Zimbabwe’s politicians to change their way of thinking and re-dedicate themselves to service to the nation not to themselves.

I am Tanonoka Joseph Whande and that, my fellow Zimbabweans, is the way it is today, Thursday, January 10th, 2013.

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One Responseto “Tanonoka Joseph Whande – Zimbabwe’s politicians must change mindset”

  1. Chimbwido Warvet says:

    ‘I salute the Canadian government for its stance to maintain sanctions against ZANU-PF malcontents.
    The MDC sent Biti to canvass for foreign investment whilst ZANU-PF fat cats continue to sabotage commerce and industry through opaque indigenisation policies’.

    Everything else you have alluded to is acceptable except the above warped views and opinions and I explain why here-under:-

    1. Zimbabwe is a sovereign and independent state that does not need Canada to interfere in its domestic affairs. Canada never imposed economic sanctions against the Ian Smith regime, a regime that was was diabolical and illegal in the eyes of the international public opinion. If anything it helped the illegal regime of Ian Smith in what famously became known as the bursting of sanctions by the western world, all in a bid to the ensure the illegal regime survived at the expense of the indigenous people of Zimbabwe. We know our history boy and do not try to show-off on matters you are not very conversed with.

    Canada only imposed sanctions against Zimbabwe when our government decided to take our stolen land to resettle the previously neglected and abused Zimbabweans by the former colonial power and later by the Ian Smith regime. It is blues lies that it has anything to do with the observance of human rights in Zimbabwe because the so-called human rights they talk about were only brought to the country by the freedom fighters of Zimbabwe in 1980. We never experienced human rights and human dignity during colonial times and rhodies times. It is all fucking lies you are telling the world.

    It is all blue lies that the MDC has sent Biti to canvass for foreign investment whilst ZANU-PF fat cats continue to sabotage commerce and industry through opaque indigenisation policies. The MDC formations decided to join hands with ZANU PF to form the government that is in power today and Biti being a cabinet minister in this government has a responsibility. And canvassing for foreign investment, is one among a number of responsibilities that fall under the purview of Tendai Biti. Whether you term the indigenisation policies ‘opaque’ is obviously your valued judgement which has nothing to do with what is happening on the ground in Zimbabwe. There is no going back on this as the world can only see us as a nation if we own and control our economy. In other words, owning and controlling our economy is the basis of nationhood. We already enjoy political power but our hands are tied economically by foreigners in our own country. And why is that? It is simply because of stupid and foolish journalists like you who do not promote the fortunes of your own country.
    The current practice where almost 99 percent of our economy is in the hands of foreigners who remit most our wealth abroad is unsustainable to say the least. We should be masters of our our destiny.

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