A resolution for 2014

We need to be realistic. Before we talk about government policies, we need to see someone governing. At the risk of personalising, we need a president. We are tired of seeing that the man who claims that post doesn’t see beyond being president of his party. The last 30+ years show that party is incapable of producing a president for the whole country or a government for all the people.

The latest economic policy document shows they wouldn’t recognise a policy if it slapped their faces. And, after they spent the phase of our ongoing civil war that called itself a unity government sabotaging the government machine in every way possible, especially by denying it money, lining their own pockets with diamond profits and any other cash that wasn’t locked away, will they suddenly start paying their taxes and stop all their corrupt rackets because their party sits in the driving seat of government?

ZANU (PF) seems to be as bankrupt as the government fiscus. All those corrupt profits went to private individuals, not their party.

Before I take this any further, we need to ask ourselves why and how we let this happen. Whatever party forms the government, they don’t seem likely to govern unless we keep reminding them. The MDC’s record during the “unity” period doesn’t give us much hope. They seem to have shared the belief that “being in power” was more important than governing. They relaxed once they had their seats in parliament, nice salaries and expense accounts. They did not do the job they were being paid for.

They would have faced an uphill struggle, but why did so few of them try? Why didn’t they make more noise when any moves they made were blocked or whenever ZANU broke the Global Political Agreement?

Why did they go into elections without seeing any significant part of that agreement enforced? Why didn’t they train their election observers to defend their right to question every deviation from good practice; e.g why were no votes counted in Mbare overnight after the close of voting?

There are bigger questions than that. One party couldn’t get away with those tricks if the other was awake. So they went quietly like lambs to the slaughter. Why did they do that?

And why didn’t we warn them? Why weren’t we on the streets demanding action from our MP s? Why weren’t we even bombarding them with letters?

A lot of people seemed to believe that peace and non-violence mean inaction. Were Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King inactive? They did refuse to obey unjust laws, which might mean not doing what the law commanded or might mean doing what it forbade. Either way, it meant confrontation with the forces of oppression.

The lack of that confrontation here in 2013 was what gave the EU an excuse to play along with the British financiers, the Belgian diamond merchants and the Royal Africa Society’s efforts to clean up Mugabe’s image.

I know it is dangerous to say things like this. It takes courage. I know it is dishonest to urge any action you won’t join in yourself. We need more courage and honesty.

My new year resolution for 2014 is to speak more forthrightly on any abuse of power that I observe, whether it is committed by the president of Zanu (PF), or of MDC, or by a drunken plainclothes cop.

I will do my best to call a spade a spade – not a “manual excavating implement” which is pussyfooting hypocrisy, but also not “a.f*ing shovel” which is the language of young Malema and his pals on this side of the Limpopo.

If more of us made this resolution, the question of who sticks their neck out first when action is required will answer itself. I do see light at the end of the tunnel, but don’t expect that the way to it will be bathed in light or strewn with roses.

Post published in: Opinions & Analysis

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