Intolerance ruining Zanu PF

HARARE - When the MDC witnessed the first split in 2005 over whether or not to participate in senatorial elections, there was a lot of talk about the absence of democracy in that institution.

The reason being, why would Tsvangirai want to force Welshman Ncube and company to agree with his position.

Lately, when Tendai Biti, Jacob Mafume and crew abandoned ship to form the renewal team, again Tsvangirai was on the receiving end for not allowing people to think differently in the MDC.

However, when people think differently, in Zanu PF it is deemed to be criminal. 

The whirlwind rallies addressed by First Lady Grace Mugabe are testimony that Zanu PF has not changed in terms of their perception of opposing views.

In any society, criticism brings about accountability, especially in public office bearers.

However, in Zanu PF, leaders are God-ordained and showing ambition in taking over from them, in their view, is akin to an act of treason.

Back in the 1990s, politburo member Dzikamai Mavhaire, who hails from Masvingo and was then a disciple of the late national hero Eddison Zvobgo, was condemned to the political dustbin by none other than President Robert Mugabe himself after daring to suggest that the latter’s time was up.

Intolerance on the part of the ruling elite, especially Zanu PF who have had a stranglehold on power since independence in 1980, has not been scary for politicians alone but professionals as well.

Zimbabwean health workers are subjected to odd and menial chores in the United Kingdom, the US, Australia and several other countries.

The brain drain has been evident in the southern African nation with other professionals like journalists running away from the untenable political and economic situation at home resulting in some using pseudo names or disappearing from the media field altogether for instance  investigative journalist Benjamin Muwadzuri who has been quiet for a long time now.

Writer Chenjerai Hove has been living in exile in Norway following his publication of articles critical of the establishment.

chimurenga music maestro Thomas Mapfumo has extended his self-imposed exile in the United States. Once a staunch supporter of Zanu PF and President Robert Mugabe going into independence, continued disillusionment with the direction the country was taking, turned him into one of the fiercest critics of the ruling party and the endemic corruption in the country.

Vice President Joice Mujuru may not have committed any crime beyond showing ambition. What is wrong with being ambitious?

One wonders why Mujuru, as the sole vice president following the demise of John Landa Nkomo, takes over the reins of government, albeit in an acting capacity for the full period of the president’s absence, should not aspire for higher office.

Government business does not stop functioning because the president is away because then the acting president can still step in and keep things going.

It is not only in government that succession policies have to be clear. When a chief executive of any corporate entity goes on leave, is fired or dies, someone acts in that capacity on an interim basis.

Having ambition and aspirations is not out of this world. Even in football, it is any footballer’s  sights to play at the highest level.

Ambition breeds competition and therefore, success. There is no way an intolerant society will develop because it does not look at change ordinarily.

No wonder why State enterprises have not performed since independence. 

People are recycled, transferred laterally to other State enterprises after failing in the other.

Mediocrity must never be rewarded, but the Zimbabwean system appears to reward it, and quite handsomely too.

A society that remains intolerant of others’ views has itself to blame because such a scenario is not healthy for constructive debate that can bring about development.

Besides, the otherness has to be celebrated and respected.

The failure to respect the otherness has led to many conflicts the world over as ruling elites ignore the phenomenon in pursuit of purely selfish interests.

Comments (1)

Its an African problem, surely a party cannot split because Welshman wants a senate, and Tsvangirayi doesnt! Or that Mujuru has ambition, and Mugabe doesn't her to have. There are underlying problems and differences, but as a people we haven't learnt how to manage diversity and live with it, hence the persecution of minorities and opposition parties

Nduna - 10 November 2014

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