The curse of patronage and tyranny

When a man’s power is derived from the pathos of the weak and fearful, there is no greatness in that.

When men ascend to the highest offices because contenders are afraid and purged if necessary, there is no greatness in that. It is selfish ambition and banality clothed and presented to us as greatness. Greatness surely only materializes when the world has become a better place because a man has lived.

As we look towards the dawn of a new Zimbabwe, we must always remember that other nations have suffered tremendously under tyranny and yet they have risen beyond expectations. Let us therefore not lose hope.

Our beautiful country Zimbabwe deserves the same and it will be our responsibility to do what those who claim to have liberated us have failed to do. We can create a better nation that belongs to all of us regardless of race -a nation that puts the people first and led by those who the people choose without limitation or manipulation.

This, in my opinion, can only happen when we ensure that never again do we participate in a charade of elections that can be manipulated and the results manufactured at the army headquarters. I am saddened by those political parties who think participating in by elections will change much-it will not and it’s a waste of resources.

At independence in 1980, our minds were pregnant with dreams of a better Zimbabwe. The true character of many of our leaders did not matter to us then nor did we fully comprehend who they truly were because everything about them was overshadowed by our euphoria of becoming an independent state.

We gave them all credit and the benefit of the doubt despite the fact that our liberation struggle was waged not by ZANLA, ZIPRA or ZIPA alone, but by the ordinary civilians of Zimbabwe, who supported the effort however they could. Without that, the struggle would not have been effective.

The people of Zimbabwe must therefore lay claim as the architects of their own freedom. No man or woman must ever take that away from us.

We, Zimbabweans, through our apathy, naivety and cowardice have allowed our politicians to become little gods in our midst- unaccountable, unstoppable, selfish, uncaring, self-important, unquestionable, greedy for material wealth and totally devoid of any conscience whatsoever of the suffering and pain they have caused to millions of Zimbabweans who to this day still dream of a better life.

Most of our political leaders have been deployed neither for their competence nor for their wellbeing and progress, but rather for the dictator to exercise absolute control over them. The corridors of our political history are lined with dead heroes and destitute would-be contenders to the throne whsoe ambitions were stifled and suffocated through sheer greed for power.

To keep our politicians in line, the dictator has employed despicable means to keep them under his total control and hypnosis. State security agents are used, lies are manufactured in the media, threats are given at gatherings, accident are arranged, half-truths are traded to discredit those who would aspire for the throne.

To oil the wheels of patronage and complete subjugation of his underlings the the country’s wealth and resources have been abused by the dictator to reward, punish and provide material comforts and temporary contentment for those that are favoured as loyal.

The intellect, creativity and brawn of our ministers, senators,governors and somewhat educated praise singers have all been put to use only for the gratification of the dictator who through his cunning intellect lavishes them to feed their unlimited material objectives. They can only preserve their modest honour, benefits, comforts and station in life afforded them by the charity and generosity of the dictator,nothing else.

They will connive against each other, backstab, lie, cheat and continually seek attention from their supreme leader and admonish him to mediate and solve their petty jealousies and quarrels. In that way, the dictator is able able to divide and rule them and thereby attain their undivided loyalty and veneration.

The ministers, senators, governors and beneficiaries of the dicator’s largese, truly suppose that they are special little gods. They are caught in a spiders web of patronage, lies, selfish ambition and tyranny unable to extricate themselves. How wretched they are and yet they must pretend that all is well.

That is the Zimbabwe we have created and it should be to no one surprise that things are falling apart. We cannot expect much from these men and women in ZANU (PF). They are truly cursed never able to rise above party issues, never to have a conscience and take the responsibility, never to admit that the emperor is indeed naked.

Unfortunately the internal fights we see now in ZANU (PF) are not about Zimbabwe or its people, they are fights for personal power and its benefits alone. They are fights to protect the dictator from interrogation and challenge.

If there is any time this regime should fall apart it is now. They have nothing to offer us and continue to drain our resources as we pay for their lavish lifestyles. They are living off the fat of the land and will do anything to keep their positions.

They are destroying our economy with each cabinet decision they make. Look at what they have done to Telecel, the issue of the RBZ debt, the food shortages which they are denying exist including the ill-informed idea to merge diamond firms. It’s a comedy of errors that only exposes their confusion.

In a little while they will be gone and we shall start afresh to build a new society. The Zimbabwe we want is coming, sooner than we expected because patronage and tyranny can never prevail over good.

Let us not give up and be unshaken in our quest for a Zimbabwe that we all want.

Vince Musewe is an economist and author based in Harare. You may contact him on [email protected]

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