What We Have in Zimbabwe Isn’t Politics

Paul Bogaert

What we have today in our country is not Politics. Politics is the election by informed citizens of representatives who will make informed decisions. Decisions based on debates about what is in the best interests of the people as a whole. What should our society’s rules be? How should we divvy up our financial and intellectual resources?
What we have now is politicians pretending that they do just that. But there is no real debate. Decisions are made in the dark, by lobbyists and lawyers and the rich cronies of the incumbents.

Really, what our celebrities-pretending-to-be-statesmen do is run for political office. It is an industry. How much money do the networks and Television stations make? The newspapers companies? Media consultants and poll takers and the horse race handicapping pundits? Writers and directors and actors and techies who make and run the ads? Hotels and halls for rallies and conventions? Bus companies that fly people around to them? Money circulates like the life blood of a Vampire that has sucked all the vitality out of public life, leaving nothing but an empty shell of spectacle behind. Bread for the Election Industry, Circuses for the Electorate, and starvation for the political process we call Zimbabwean Democracy.

Their tactics and schemes are a direct threat to the people of Zimbabwe. By wielding unchecked power and resources, the ZANU PF has gone beyond abusing the trust of their citizens; they have turned their backs on the very principles democracy was founded on. And they will not stop unless democratic action is taken.

In a bid to retain power, the ZANU PF’s ruthlessness has no bounds. They label anyone who challenges them as opposing their ‘revolutionary’ aims, rendering them enemies of the state. Through intimidation and outright violence, they have managed to cling to power for several decades. Yet, their methods have only served to widen the chasm between the citizens and those that represent them.

Corruption and impropriety in ZANU PF have reached epic proportions.

If we take a closer look at the operations of the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority under a certain Karikoga Kaseke, it staggers the imagination how empty the central function of promoting tourism through advertising becomes; shamelessly gobbled up by a retinue of ideologically ‘sound’ appointment of senior managers and a meteoric rise in salary scales.

It is perplexing to note, that instead of cracking down on the root cause of the problem, dissenting individuals are often removed and replaced with cronyistic accomplices. The cancer of corruption has metastasized to every organ of the state, with the people feeling the burden of these anachronistic practices.

If Zimbabwe desires to build a prosperous future, it is essential to address the tumors of corruption that threaten to bring the whole system down. We must implement a zero-tolerance strategy for malfeasance in government, a policy that empowers individuals to speak out and a system that allows wrongdoers to face the full brunt of justice. The extent of political and financial corruption in Zimbabwe is appalling, and if the government is incapable of solving the problem, then a real political reform is the only way to save our future.

In the decades since we gained independence, Zimbabwe’s politics has been characterized by a zero-sum game that has robbed the public service of the talent and commitment required to optimize the opportunities provided to us. By creating a culture of obedience and fear within their ranks, the ZANU PF has suppressed the very values that would have helped catalyze development in the country.

The citizens of Zimbabwe deserve the truth, and it is our role as the watchdog of democracy to ensure that the culprits are held accountable and brought to justice. The state must also acknowledge that this decay was a considerable product of its actions or inactions.

It is time for a new paradigm in Zimbabwe, one in which there is a genuine culture of transparency, accountability, and democratic participation. A Zimbabwe new order is where any service rendered is based on merit coupled with astute accountability mechanisms. It is imperative that senior government officials, from the President to the Ministers of its departments, lead by example and eschew any form of corrupt practices that have dented Zimbabwe’s reputation.

The power of democracy lies in the trust that citizens place in their representatives. Therefore, when these representatives engage in corrupt activities, it not only undermines their legitimacy, but it also threatens to uproot the very foundations of democracy.

We can no longer ignore the consequences of inaction when it comes to corruption in Zimbabwe. It is time to stand up and demand justice. The future of Zimbabwe depends on it.

Kumbirai Thierry Nhamo |

Writer, Blogger, Poet and Researcher

Call/WhatsApp: +26378002 2343 | +263716984317

Email: kumbiraithierryn@gmail.com

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