There is a new British Prime Minister complete with a new cabinet! If I had to name one thing has made democratic nation prosper, it will have to be their willing acceptance of democratic competition and refreshing renewal. Whereas monolithic dictatorship like Zimbabwe, Uganda and many other African countries where democratic competition is shunned, under the pretext that it promotes disunity, and change is ruthlessly suppressed under the pretext it promoted instability; have suffered from stagnation and regressed.
PM Theresa May is the sixth British Prime Minister since 1980 and in the same period Zimbabwe has had the same person at the helm, Robert Gabriel Mugabe, surround by a number of the same tired and confused looking faces of three decades ago. If old age, disease, natural wastage, factional fighting, etc. had not claimed many of the first cabinet and parliament, there would be even more old, tired and confused faces in parliament and cabinet. President Mugabe, at 92 years of age, is still talking of running for president in 2018. He reminds me of Headmaster Mapanzure’s rusted old banger.
When Mr. Mapanzure bought the pickup truck, it was already old but still it was his pride and joy. He kept it going for many years even when it was more trouble than it was worth. It must have broken his heart to cannibalized cutting off the back to make a scots cart. He did not have the heart to throw away the rest; the hallowed out shell has rusted away next to his house, an integral part of his home decor.
The Mugabe regime reached the stage of Mr. Mapanzure’s old banger of more trouble than it was worth a long time ago. Unlike Headmaster Mapanzure who swallowed his pride and cannibalized the old banger, we are well and truly stuck with this corrupt, incompetent and tyrannical Mugabe regime.
After 36 years in power President Mugabe has become something of a permanent fixture of Zimbabwe politics; but given his poor health and advanced age, it is clear he is not going to be around for much longer. His inevitable departure, to a nation that has resisted changed for all these years, has the whole nation tense as a cat walking on hot coals. Whilst we would want to see renewal we fear that all those fighting for the crown would want to establish another monolithic dictatorship after their own image. We dread the very thought of decades of the same stagnation and regression!
PM Theresa May’s appointment of former London Mayor, Boris Johnson, in her cabinet is the biggest surprise. He would have been her main challenger in the leadership race if he had not dropped out. In a democracy one has to put yesterday’s rivalries aside because her stay in No 10 Downing Street will depend on how well her government performs in the next years. If the electorate is not pleased with her they will vote her out of office. And so to keep her job she has to appoint people whose performance will help her keep her job.
In a monolithic dictatorship were the electorate have no meaningful say in who rules the nation tyrants like President Mugabe will surround themselves with the most subservient yes-men, “vakadzi vaMugabe” as Margaret Dongo aptly called Zanu PF bigwigs, he can get.
In a healthy and functional democracy the pressure is on to field your best team to win the game or else you are all out. In a monolithic dictatorship the team will play regardless its performance and so the pressure is on to field the worse team so the captain has the chance to shine and claim all the credit for the accomplishments, even when there are none. It is little wonder that democracies are constantly renewing themselves and progressive whereas dictatorships are stagnant and regressive!
In appointing her cabinet PM Theresa May will have made a determined effort to get the best, if not the best then the best there is, on the team; there is no attempt on her part to pick subservient members, “vakadzi vaPM”. We are in this political and economic hell-hole because for the last 36 years this nation has been ruled by a corrupt, incompetent and murderous tyrant with his subservient “wives”. If we are ever to get out of this hell-hole then we must implement ALL the democratic reforms agreed in the 2008 GPA. There is no other way out!
The very prospect of President Mnangagwa, President Grace Mugabe, President Joice Mujuru or President Morgan Tsvangirai with his/her harem of “vakadzi va Mnangagwa”, etc. fills me with dread! And yet with not even one single reform implemented so far, that is exactly where Zimbabwe is heading.