An analogue president in digital age

HARARE - Broadcasting stations using outmoded systems such as the ZBC have been making a lot of excited noise announcing that they will soon be moving from analogue to digital broadcasting.

The analogue is the old while digital broadcasting represents the new world of modern broadcasting.

The irony was lost on the State-broadcaster that while they were looking forward to catching up with the modern digital broadcasting system, they gave us last Thursday an interview with an analogue president far removed from the dictates and demands of modern governance.

Mugabe’s 90th birthday was turned into a national event by bootlicking State and party apparatchiks and it only became clear to all who watched the interview aired by the State-broadcaster that this was an old and tired man who deserves to rest.

It was only befitting that ZBC’s analogue system gave us the interview with an analogue president who is now rambling and mixing his lines like the true old and outmoded leader that he has become.

In our African culture, we respect and love our elders, but we do not have to overwork them.

A 90-year-old president in this brave 21st century is an embarrassment to our culture and tradition.

I stay with my old grandmother whom I love so much, Martha Tamborinyoka Gombera.

Like many of her age, she is currently not in the best of health and was recently diagnosed of gastric cancer.

I often joke with her, that while she whines about her old age and sickness, others of her age are busy at work and even governing countries.

She has often responded with a wry smile that she would want to die in peace; away from the rigours of hard work.

“Ndinoda kuchembera zvakanaka. Haikona saMugabe anoda kufa akabata gejo. (I want to age well. I do not want to be like Mugabe who wants to die at work!)

At 90 years of age, it is a mammoth betrayal of logic to allow a nonagenarian to govern this Facebook generation, in this brave age of Skype and Twitter.

Surely, there is no way Mugabe’s generation, which played tsoro yemakomba and horikotyo, (traditional games) could be allowed to govern in this day and age especially when we have yet to find the two million who are alleged to have voted for him.

The whole country is still mourning in, wondering how this sad predicament has befallen our generation.

When Mugabe became President in 1980, the MDC organising secretary Nelson Chamisa was barely two years old. He sat with Mugabe in the same Cabinet for five years.

Mugabe is not alone.

By 2018, he would have chaired Cabinet for 38 years, almost as long as young Chamisa has lived on this planet.

This is gross injustice to our generation when we have to brave the reality of our elders sharing the national governance stage with their great grandchildren.

Never mind the so-called election which we all know was rigged, it  should be in the interest of our culture for our elders to rest while the younger generation takes over the rigours of hard work and executive responsibility.

Mugabe’s difficulty in walking, his memory lapses and his mixed lines during his ZBC interview last week exposed a man out of his time.

I am reliably told of the unease that grips his technical staff every time Mugabe goes on a public platform. 

He has this penchant to go off-script and his technical team get vexed by the inevitable unpredictable lines, as exemplified by his reference to Lindiwe Zulu as “an idiotic street woman” in the run up to the last election.

The sorry sight of a Mugabe being led around with aides holding his hands reminds me of comments by an ill-advised diplomat a few years back and I asked myself: “Now who needs massive handholding, literally?”
It all exposes an outmoded party that is living out of its time.

Like its leader, Zanu PF is a party that has outlived its shelf-life. It a is party, more than the MDC, that ought to have been running with the message of change.

It is Zanu PF, more than any other party, which should be grappling with the issue of leadership renewal.
Change of leadership and change of political culture.

We cannot expect Zimbabwe’s problems to be solved by the same old guard, which caused them in the first place.

It is true, as Tsvangirai often says, that yesterday’s people cannot solve today’s problems.

Today’s problems need today’s people.

After witnessing the great Nelson Mandela being interred at his home village in Qunu,   Morgan Tsvangirai wrote a profound piece: “Mandela was the only evidence among many of Africa’s old statesmen that indeed age comes with wisdom. The evidence some of us have had to brave in our own countries is that sometimes age comes alone, without any iota of wisdom and unaccompanied by any shred of statecraft or competence.”

Mugabe would do justice to his legacy if he decided to rest and assumed the role of an elder Statesman in the country and beyond.

It may yet be our role in the MDC to tell him to rest. His colleagues in Zanu PF are too lily-livered to give him sound advice such as telling him to go and rest at Kutama.

A 90th birthday would be the best time to introspect and reflect!

His retirement is now an urgent matter of both his personal and the national interest.

It is embarrassing to have an analogue president in this brave, digital age, a president who is eight years older than the mother of his main political rival, Morgan Tsvangirai.

Mugabe has since publicly admitted that he feels lonely because he has no age-mate in his party, except may be Didymus Mutasa.

What crime have we committed as a generation to deserve this gerontocracy?

*Tamborinyoka is the spokesperson to MDC President Morgan Tsvangirai. He writes in his personal capacity.

Comments (2)

go hang luke. better an archaic leader than a womaniser

julius caesar - 26 February 2014

technology for what nhai iwe luke, what is it tht we ar benefitting frm the so called tech heeee, vana vedu including yu ,yu ar busy watching ponography on your websites, chihure chose pama websites for what benefit ,look the rate @ whch yu ar dieing ,too experiemental bcz of wht yu ar watching on these websites, let gushungo lead us for the sac of our moral and human values, mwari ndozvavari kuda izvizvo hatingatongwi nengochadi, imimi kana muchida kutongwa nenguchoni ibvai muno muende ikoko, kwamune freedom of doing all wht is evil, only God has power to remove mugabe achiisa ane maqualities ake aanotarisira in the nation of zimbabwe saka ukwane, yu shld ask yourself why ppl! even if the economy of these country is staggering still they vote for him hazvinei nechekuita nenyaya yekuguta sadza ne technology zvinechekuita nehunhu and principles above all GOD's will, ana tsvangirai venyu ava vanokuchivirai madzimai enyu vava mupower vakakutorerai where do yu report ivo vapanyanga, think youngman before yu lip. he doesnt have any quality which ressembles tht he is of GOD manje achatonga elsewhere not in this beloved nation of ZIMBABWE.

true zim - 28 February 2014

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