Self-criticism: the wonder drug

HARARE - Most politicians believe in something. This is what drives them to dare to do the extraordinary.

Being cynical, I know this is what drives them to make more money that is worth all that lying.

I am, by any means, one who has little time for politicians. They are good and bad politicians. Politicians can be as ugly as boxers, willing to hit below the belt.

They can be like soccer players too, biting off an ear, as you-know-who has done a number of times — to his grief.

Politics is not for saints. Neither is it just for sinners either. These men and women are willing to take big gambles.

Some of the more erudite among them might say politics is for the intellectual who can distinguish between sense and nonsense. Which of them can make piles of money and which can’t?

Politics is a dirty game. Nobody gets into it entirely to save souls. Certainly, they want to save their bacon, but they probably would not put their lives on the line to save a voter from hell. 

So, not many politicians are willing to be entirely self-critical of their doctrine. Yet, those who indulge constantly in self-criticism are to be believed more than the others.

What is self-criticism? Take Zanu PF, as an example. Even now, before a crucial congress, there is not much self-criticism among the leaders.

There is still the same old rigmarole. Take the much-glorified land reform programme. Its aim was to revolutionise agriculture, so we would grow our own food — not the white farmers.

We would end dependence on them. They were assumed to be prone to holding the country to ransom: they would continue to grow the maize, tobacco, wheat and cotton as long as they were accorded the huge rewards due to them.

They would remain the billionaire-dollar class while the new rulers remained in their particular belt, hardly in the same class.

If there had been any self-criticism, things would have gone differently. The entire programme would have been revised. Emphasis would have been shifted from political rhetoric to agricultural success.

Zimbabwe would have retained its status as the breadbasket of the region. There would have been a few hiccups of adjusting to huge financial and human input requirements.

But what happened was that the political element was given “palaver preference” to the economic one. The new farmers were glorified until their egos were overblown.

Yet the country imported grain again and again because the land reform programme was not the glorious success it had been blown up to be.

The new farmers’ dependence on government help played havoc with the overall State budget.

Where was the self-criticism? Most of what was heard from the bravest among the critics was treated as “blasphemy”, or “souped-up” messages originating from the West, which had imposed sanctions on the country over the same land issue.

There were attempts to inspire new farmers to be as adventurous as their white predecessors. But they appealed for help from the government.

They ended up blaming their failure on the government.

Meanwhile, there were other demands to be tackled — health and education. Which of them rated priority over the others?

There was little self-criticism from the politicians. Sanctions were blamed. And food was imported again for the former “breadbasket of the region”. 

Self-criticism was shunned — again.

There is nothing suicidal about self-criticism. If anything, it emboldens the politician, like a new wonder drug.

To be ordinary is to douse the flame of inventiveness. It’s a dead-end.

    Comments (1)

    the internet is a powerful media. thats why you seeing us trying to make the best out of it in trying to put our messages through. the daily news has and has always been very popular hence we take advantage of sites like this which offers a platform for everyone to be heard. we believe its every citizens responsibility to make ones country prosper and its really our responsibility as patriotic Zimbabweans to make sure our economy starts working again. We need not rely on Politicians to achieve that. One might say this is ambush marketing but our real intention is to try to push for positive thinking and at the same time proposing solutions. we all need to plan ahead as individuals to achieve one collective good, that is a resuscitated and healthy economy. Zim economy is going to recover and we need to start positioning ourselves strategically so that we benefit both as individuals and country. Be optimistic and start your own project/business venture now. Flixcom Solutions will help you register a company in Zim. we will also help you register with Zimra and be compliant. we will also help you with your bookkeeping and accounts, prepare business plans, company profiles, secure various licences required in your line of business. there are plenty of opportunities in Our country in retail, mining, agriculture and even manufacturing. you dont need to start big, you can start very small, but with a vision of growing big. email: flixcomsol@gmail.comor call us 0771 419 294 or 0776 228 760

    Flixcom Solutions - 24 October 2014

    Post a comment

    Readers are kindly requested to refrain from using abusive, vulgar, racist, tribalistic, sexist, discriminatory and hurtful language when posting their comments on the Daily News website.
    Those who transgress this civilised etiquette will be barred from contributing to our online discussions.
    - Editor

    Your email address will not be shared.