ZAPU-UK elections set for August

I strongly believe that the time for building a firm base for the resurgent ZAPU in Europe has now arrived. A momentous occasion indeed, which will determine the future of this revolutionary party both within and outside Zimbabwe.

As one not directly involved in decision making in the ZAPU, I am heartened to observe that, so far no major hiccups appear to have occurred. This shows political maturity on us Zimbabweans and would like to say keep it up.

It is of no secret that true ZAPU members have treated any reports of schism in the organisation with the contempt – those reports warranted. The discipline in the organisation will certainly hold, especially if those entrusted with overseeing the process proceed with care and caution to ensure that their supervision of the process is above board and the outcome represents the true will of the people.

Choosing leadership of any organisation is always an emotive process. Electors will hold strong preferences and show great loyalty to their preferred candidates. So they should. However, democratic maturity requires that all are afforded the same rights whether in accord or against one’s viewpoint. Besides, politics builds no fixed roots. A winner today may be the dismal loser tomorrow!

There is an expression: Crowds are fickle! Perhaps they are. I would rather like to believe that people are discerning. There is no option that is right for all time. People and ideas come and go. That is political maturity.

The political landscapes in democratic countries reveal the contours of parties that at one time appeared close to oblivion, only to review their strategies, make fresh links with the electors and carry the popular mandate to run governments in subsequent elections.

It would be a mistake to consider the coming plebiscite as merely an in-house issue, with no public outside interest or scrutiny. The world is watching, there is a constituency out there with an interest, muted or expressed to find a political formation that has both maturity and probity to rescue Zimbabwe from the abyss that is about to engulf it.

What happens in our Province, strategic as we are placed, must provide a DNA code for subsequent elections in our country. The recent speech by President Obama, when he extolled the virtues of the Ghanaian people for being at the forefront of democracy in Africa was no mere trite rhetoric. Our friends are willing us on. So are our enemies, the former willing us on, the latter wishing us to falter, to trip up.

A seed sown in here in Europe in our coming election could have ramifications beyond our present comprehension. Micro to macrocosm! We could come up with a template to be copied and utilised back home.

We often hear the truism: People get the governments (or administrations) they deserve!

I like that quotable observation:

If you turn your back to the fire and thereby get scorched on the rear, be prepared to sit on the blisters!

Another one: Eginy’ amaganu ithembe umphumel’ obanzi! I won’t translate that one. Some people might mischievously put an unwarranted rude spin to it.

When we consider our candidates we must remember that people are shaped by their pasts. Everyone is a product of the persons and circumstances with whom or which they interacted in the past, the experiences they have had. It is an inescapable truth.

Also, a leopard never changes its spots. It can paint them, mask them but they are always there. Another truism: Give me the child, I’ll show you the man!

How someone with a true love for his/her people mutate into a fratricidal monster? No, the faults were always there, latent, seeking an outlet for expression.

The callous cold-bloodedness exhibited by members of the present ZANU government was always there. Many ignored the psychopathic traits. They supped with the devil. They rode on the back of the tiger. They showed no sympathy for the 20 000 innocents previously liquidated or empathy for those who grieved them. They too were later mauled. I hope everyone has learnt a lesson to say “Never again, not in my name!” Out of this marasmus we must find our leaders.

There is no intention here to denigrate or de-campaign any of those standing. I deplore negative campaigning in all its forms. Overarching however, must be a concern that we do not repeat the mistakes of the past.

Ours is a serious business here. It requires rectitude beyond the pale. Quite often, sometimes unjustifiably so, organisations are judged by the qualities of their leaders. We cannot afford to slip up.

Some people have a habit of not telling it as it is. Failure to honour an appointment, deliberate misinformation on issues considered trivial can be tell-tale signs of maleficence not to be ignored. As the Shona saying goes: Aive madziva ave mazambuko!

In a world festooned with various forms of media that can uncover even the tiniest of blemishes minor idiosyncrancies in leaders can so easily bring down the fortunes of the organisations they lead.

I would rather be led by someone who openly admits past misdeeds, addressed and corrected than one who portrays him or herself as whiter than white, only to be exposed as a fake.

Our people are generally forgiving. They have the capacity to forgive and overlook a minor self-acknowledged foible. What is unacceptable is to be found out.

The fall out from the process of bringing such characters to book tarnishes the image held of their organisation and often leaves a bitter after taste in the mouth.

Notwithstanding the issues raised, I express total confidence that the coming election will bring out people of stature and vision to take our Party and our country to another level. Our people demand and deserve no less.