As the saying goes – “necessity is the mother of invention”, or better still as a Christian, some of my most favourite biblical verses are found at the beginning of James 1, which, to summarize, say that we should be joyful when we fall into trails, as this testing of our faith produces patience, which in turn, leads us to seek wisdom (which is freely given by Jehovah God Almighty) for us to succeed and overcome.
These principles are what should drive any who seek to be “achievers”, and such is what also defines exceptional leadership.
In other words, a brilliant and outstanding leader never whines and whinges about trials and tribulations – but armed with profound faith – joyously and confidently seeks wisdom to prevail over any challenges placed in his way.
Such is what is clearly lacking in our leadership in Zimbabwe – manifest by the constant, nauseating, and broken-record sounding moaning over “sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe by Western countries, that have crippled the economy”.
No wonder I have repeatedly been on record, dismissing this lame excuse, with the contempt it deserves, as such perennial complaining does not reflect negatively on the said “sanctions” themselves, but on a clear lack of leadership in the country.
As one dear friend of mine once said to me, “Zimbabwe has leaders, but lacks leadership”.
Why run for a leadership role, when you know that all you will manage to do is make excuses for your failures?
That is why I have never ran for any public office, because if I do not have workable solutions, then I have no right, and not worthy, to be anywhere near the seat of leadership.
Similarly, the same applies to the current crop of leaders presiding over the sinking ship called “ZIMBABWE”.
Having a position of leadership, be it over a country, or a company, or an organization, is never, and should never, be about power and prestige – but, solely taking over all the burdens of the institution one is heading, and then leading and galvanizing in the promulgation of viable solutions, and taking full responsibility for any failures… without any excuses.
That is why a national leader who places blame and responsibility for the country’s failures or non-performance, on those he supposedly leads, has no business being in that position, for he is clearly clueless of his mandate.
Which brings me back to the emotive and contentious issue of “sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe”.
Those who follow my writings, will by now know that I have never been interested in whether they were real or not, whether they were economic or targeted (challenging those who have incontrovertible proof of their assertions to come forth, but none have come, as most merely parroted the same old unsubstantiated and largely circumstantial evidence) – but, my argument has always been that, there should never be any excuses for our government’s failure to deliver… irregardless of the real situation prevailing.
Last evening the nation was greeted by the news that the country’s president Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa, whilst touring some industries in the city of Mutare, commented that these “sanctions” were, in fact, a “blessing” for Zimbabwe, as they had enabled us to look inwards and come up with local solutions.
The thought that immediately came into my mind was, “Was this not supposed to be the obvious reaction to these challenges from the day these ‘sanctions’ were imposed in 2001? Was that not how we were suppose to handle the situation, as opposed to wasting our precious time, resources, and energy on senseless “anti-sanctions” campaigns, whilst crying and moaning all the time, and throwing endless insults and allegations towards Western countries and the local opposition? Did it, honestly, have to take over twenty (20) years for the country’s leadership to figure this out?”
Let us not act as if this is the first time this country had sanctions imposed on it, as colonial Rhodesia faced the same fate (imposed by the United Nations), after the 11 November 1965 Unilateral Declaration of Independence (UDI) from Britain, announced by then prime minister Ian Douglas Smith – yet, the leadership immediately galvanized the nation to look inwards for solutions, and to also find sanctions-busting mechanisms, that turned this land into the “once prosperous country” most of us so love to make reference to.
A country whose industries, manufacturing, commercial agriculture, schools, and health facilities were among the best in the world – in fact, most of the major outstanding buildings, and infrastructure still standing today, was constructed during those sanctions years.
So, what stopped the current government from immediately adopting the same approach from day one? Why waste a whole twenty years in shouting, insulting, persecuting the opposition on allegations of “inviting”, and even “crafting” the “sanctions”, as well as irritating whining and moaning like a spoilt toddler – when these were actually a “blessing”?
The country’s ruling elite need to sort out their mess, put their house in order, get their act together, and make up their minds – are these “sanctions” we have been making noise about for twenty (20) years, a “blessing”, or a “curse” on Zimbabwe – and, should they be complaining and making endless excuses for their failures, or looking ahead with optimism that, sanctions or no sanctions, we will prevail as a nation?
Their continued confusion also confuses the nation – considering that, come tomorrow, the nation will most likely wake up to more of the same…”sanctions imposed by Western countries that are crippling Zimbabwe’s economy”…which just makes everyone question whether such utterance are merely a smokescreen for incompetence, only used when appropriate, but discarded in the event of one or two occasional successes”!
© Tendai Ruben Mbofana is a social justice activist, writer, author, and political commentator. Please feel free to contact him on WhatsApp/Call: +263715667700 / +263782283975, or Calls Only: +263733399640, or email: [email protected]Post published in: Featured