One can easily become reckless in his life decisions, or never able to address his own shortcomings – if he does not realize and admit where he lacks – but rather choosing to believe a reality that only exists in his own head.
In fact, without honest critical self-evaluation – an individual can never genuinely expect to improve himself.
That is how someone like myself was finally freed from years of struggles with alcohol – since, I had to come to a place where I ceased blaming others, my circumstances, or my past – for my own self-destructive decisions.
I had to admit that the disgraceful revolting creature, as well as the abject failure, I had become – was a function of my own doing – and, no one else.
In facing this truth – no matter how painful and unpalatable it was – only then was there hope for my recovery and re-emergence as a respectable person with a bright future and a purpose in life.
Without that admission, I would have never become the man I am today.
This simple, but profound logic, applies to every other facet of human existence – including the most dominant aspect of life on earth…politics.
The greatest impediment to any human society and country’s success and development is a leadership that is self-deluded and lives in Lala Land – never realizing and acknowledging their own failings and shortcomings – but rather, opting for the more convenient, yet destructive, path of denial and blame-apportioning.
It becomes even more troubling when the said leadership actually believes that, what should normally be a shameful failure on their part, is actually a source of pride and joy.
This is the case when I was listening to President Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa addressing a huge gathering of Johanne Marange apostolic sect members in Marange yesterday.
To say I was shocked would be a grave understatement – but, I was left utterly dumbfounded and appalled.
When he was announcing that the WHO (World Health Organization) had agreed to help fund the training of health care professionals in Zimbabwe – Mnangagwa proceeded to make a startling claim.
He alleged that the real reason Zimbabweans were fleeing the country in their droves to foreign lands, was a result of the high demand for our professionals – due to the exceptional education system his administration had created.
He sought to portray the mass exodus of millions of our people, in search of greener pastures in the diaspora, as some badge of honor for his government, and a sign of development and success.
It was apparently lost on him that the real cause was a dysfunctional economy – which had led to the untold suffering and impoverishment of the ordinary citizenry – due to his government’s own ruinous failures in governance, further exacerbated by the wanton plunder of our national resources by the ruling elite.
Surely, how many of our nurses, teachers, doctors, engineers or any other professionals ever left Zimbabwe simply because they had been courted by other countries, due to their outstanding qualifications and skills?
Or, was it not as a consequence of an unbearable painful existence in a country where nearly half the population survives on less than US$1.90 a day (extreme poverty), with two-thirds of those employed earning below the poverty datum line?
Who would want to continue staying in a place where they can not afford three square meals a day, and owning a house and car a luxury and thing of status and prestige – only accessible by those who have some semblance of wealth?
On what grounds would our professionals remain in Zimbabwe when their only hope for making ends meet is through street vending, or either becoming a prostitute or robber, or all of these?
Why would a normal person want to be in a country where falling ill – even with the most preventable and curable sicknesses – is a potential death sentence, on account of a health care system that is on the verge of collapse?
Even the education system that Mnangagwa was bragging about – which, indeed, was once upon a time the envy of the whole world – now lies in shameful tatters, with most schools lacking the most basic learning material, let alone modern science and technology facilities.
Let me remind our president that some of his own fervent supporters based in the diaspora also left because they could not stand the suffering and pain – some of whom even ended up pursuing career paths they never particularly liked, and were not initially trained in back home – simply so that they could secure employment opportunities overseas.
We can look at those healthcare professionals he focused on in his address to the gullible Marange apostolic sect members yesterday.
Who does not know that most of these are forced by circumstances to resort to taking care of the elderly in-home care facilities, particularly in the UK – as a result of sheer desperation – when they would have preferred other professions, had the economy back home been normal?
In actual fact, I was hurt and my heart bled, when a niece of mine – who had just graduated with an information systems degree from the MSU (Midlands State University) in Gweru late last year – was already asking my mother (a retired nurse) to assist her to secure a nurse aid training place so that she could leave for the UK to work in a home care facility.
Surely, is this something of which Mnangagwa can be proud?
Instead of celebrating the addition of new brains in our ICT (information communications technology) sector – the country is already losing her to the UK – certainly not because of her exceptional education, but a lack of opportunities in the sector in which she was trained.
Instead of having a new IT guru – the world now has an extra nurse aid!
If these are the things Mnangagwa has the audacity to glorify and pat himself on the shoulder – then, we are in deep trouble as Zimbabweans.
We definitely have no future with such self-deluded leadership!
Here we are losing many of our young and older brains to foreign lands – where they are developing those countries, as they flee the misery and poverty in their own Zimbabwe – and, the person at the helm of this chaos and madness believes that it is a good thing!
That is not to say that there would have been any consolation had he admitted that the real reason for this mass exodus was due to a dysfunctional economy.
No, not at all!
In all likelihood, he would have placed the blame squarely on Western countries, and the so-called sanctions they are supposed to have imposed on us – of course, deliberately forgetting to mention that only 171 people were on that list.
Where are we expected to go as a country when we have a leadership clearly impervious to honest correction and introspection?
Surely, how are they to do a better job when they are totally unable and incapable of truthful self-evaluation?
The first stage to any real change is for one to admit, accept and acknowledge that his own faults and shortcomings are solely responsible for the sorry state in which he finds himself.
It does not matter what other factors are at play – regardless of how legitimate – but, the ultimate responsibility lies totally with the affected person himself.
Mnangagwa is the leader of Zimbabwe – as such, the buck stops squarely with him, and there is no one else to pass it on to – no matter what other reasons and excuses there may be.
Had I spent my time (as I surely did in the early stages) faulting others, my circumstances, and even my past for why I had chosen to drink so much – I would still be the pathetic disgusting drunk I was those years ago.
Only in admitting and acknowledging one’s weaknesses, wrongs and faults can there be any real hope.
This also applies to Zimbabwe!
Until and unless we have leaders who accept that they failed the country and people of Zimbabwe – then, we can never start dreaming of a better nation.
There is nothing more disastrous for a country than a self-deluded leader.
- Tendai Ruben Mbofana is a social justice advocate, writer, researcher, and social commentator. Please feel free to WhatsApp or Call: +263715667700 | +263782283975, or email: [email protected]
well said …..bravo