After a period amounting to more than three decades of political turmoil characterised with economic meltdown, it is going to be very difficult to any emerging leader in Zimbabwe to decisively confront ‘old’ problems whilst striking a delicate balance with the new reality or challenges. Any, new leader who will emerge from the 2013 elections has to face a plethora of challenges. If the MDC is going to win political power, a Herculean task lies ahead of them. Firstly, the new leadership has to confront head on the crisis of governance that has become a common feature in the parastatals such as National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ), Zimbabwe United Passengers Company (ZUPCO) amongst a host of other virtually ‘dead’ parastatals. Therefore, any leader who emerges should take serious steps to do away with misgovernance or bad governance both at a micro and macro level.
In a country were the national economy has been reduced into being a milking machine for the few political elite-there remains a strong need for institutional re-engineering. Thus, the new crop of leadership should address the phenomenon of institutional decay so as to take Zimbabwe back on the road to recovery. The challenge of the new leadership also lies on whether it will be able to create a crop of so called servant leadership. Servant leader must first learn to serve before taking on a leadership position. Servant leaders should be guided by natural love and humility. Literally; the new leadership should prepare leaders who are responsive to the needs and suffering of the millions of powerless masses. These are the leaders who can fit in George Ayittey’s classification of a ‘Cheetah Generation’. It is a generation of leaders who brook no nonsense to corruption, ineptitude, laziness and inefficiency. Taking from our troubled past, you will agree with me, that we now need more of these ‘Cheetahs’ than the ‘Hippos’ in Zimbabwe.
Shockingly, Zimbabwe has also been ranked as among one of the highest corrupt country under the sun. Zimbabwe’s corruption index (C.I) has risen exponentially in the previous years. Coupled with this high corruption rate, Zimbabwe’s bribery index (B.I) has also been on the increase as according to the 2012 results from the Transparency International. It is against such a background that, Zimbabwe now needs a strong leadership that can stir the country into being a ‘developmental state’. It is a leadership that should be able to manage effectively the cancer of ‘lootocracy’ and the ‘grab mentality’ that has been necessitated through the chaos theory and practice (chaos praxis).
As a nation,we need to guard against facilitating the emergence of so called new leaders who are, a resemblance of old wines in new bottles. As a nation, we should have a break with the past. In most cases, many countries suffer from the dilemma of managing change and continuity. Oftentimes, there is continuity without change in the everyday politicking by the so called ‘new leaders’ in Africa. Basically, this is attributable to our poor or weak institutions in Africa. Consequently, many leaders remain prisoners of the so called ‘path dependency’. In a country with recycled ministers who have been sitting on the very same posts with a record of similar results, something seriously should be done.
In Africa in general and Zimbabwe in particular, now it’s the time to nurture a leadership that listens, a leadership that walks the talk and a leadership that delivers. It is a leadership that should rise above the MDCisation of Zimbabwean politics or the ZANUnisation of Zimbabwean politics. It is a leadership that do not play politics on the Chisumbanje Ethanol Project. Rather, such a leadership should address pressing everyday bread and butter issues ahead of sloganeering, political gamesmanship, grandstanding and propagandeering. It is a leadership that will seek to address issues of growth, development, creation of sustainable value chains, employment creation, peace and social harmony. It is a leadership that will look into revolutionising the railway system, breathing life into ‘dead’ parastatals, taping from the Chinese for them to expand power generation at Kariba. The time is now for a leadership that believes in the transparency in the mining, agriculture and industrial sector. It is a leadership that will also prioritise the cutting of government expenditure, taking a cue from Malawi’s Joyce Banda, who believed the inherited Presidential jet was an expense and waste of tax payer’s money. However, as old problems remain, it is still going to be difficult for any leader to manage new challenges without first looking back in retrospect. I don’t want to end on a pessimistic note. Rather, I am of the strong conviction that, with the requisite political will and sound leadership it can be done! Zimbabwe will emerge stronger with a buoyant economy. Her children will live in peace without fearing the knock on the door after dusk!
God Bless Zimbabwe and whoever will emerge as its new Leader. This is my Vision for a New Zimbabwe. A nation were we will all live happily ever after.
1 Peter (5:2-4)
Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care, serving as overseers-not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not greedy for money, but eager to serve.