Wise leaders must make u-turns where necessary

EDITOR - The media has been awash with the news around Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai's u-turn on his views on homosexuality. People have, including those within the MDC-T leadership, a right to express their views on the Prime Minister’s opinion, and when some in the MDC-T leadership challenge their boss, that is democracy.

Morgan Tsvangirai
Morgan Tsvangirai

We don’t want to have a situation in which MDC-T officials end up being labelled “Tsvangirai’s wives”.

Firstly, I would like to point out that good leaders must always make a u-turn when they have new thinking on any subject. Unlike other leaders who will pretend that their original thinking is the correct position even when they have had a change of heart, the Prime Minister openly demonstrated that he has had a change of heart, and now respects the fact that people were born and brought up differently, just as prophetic singer Leonard sang on his 2004 song Yarutso “Pakuzvarwa takapfumbatidzwa zvakasiyana, ko zvinaaniko, ko taizivei” and “Nemisha inosiyana mirairo inosiyana, ko zvinaaniko, ko taizivei”.

Having said that, let me remind Zimbabweans that it was not the early missionaries, the British colonialists or the Americans who introduced the word “Ngochani” into our language. Unfortunately I don’t know if there is an equivalent word in Ndebele

It is a big mistake if Zimbabweans want to deny that homosexuality exists. Homosexuality, whether acquired or genetic, should not be criminalized.

Tsvangirai should be commended for having realized that while he personally does not subscribe to homosexuality, people have a right to associate as they please. This is the correct way of thinking for a leader – putting the interests of others who may be of a different opinion first.

People should pay more attention to Tsvangirai’s words “For as long as it does not interfere with anybody, who am I to define what individual opinion would be as far as their sexual preferences are concerned?” We should rather focus on penalties that should be levied on perpetrators of sexual abuse, whether the perpetrators are homosexual or heterosexual, especially where the victims or survivors are minors.

This is one of those cases where, in my opinion, Tsvangirai showed his strength of character by realizing that his previous perception was incorrect. I am sure everyone would be happy if Mugabe made a u-turn on all the wrong decisions, positions and actions he has taken or carried out, including the Gukurahundi atrocities, Murambatsvina, the chaotic land grab programme, etc. – Benjamin Chitate, New Zealand

Post published in: Letters to the Editor

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