Wednesday, 11 January 2017

American erred in electing Trump; they will learn, they always do - beauty of democracy. By W Mukori

In 9 days’ time America, will be witness the peaceful hand over of power from President Barack Obama to President-elect Donald Trump. It is this willingness to renew itself that has made America such a dynamic and successful nation.

President Obama is leaving office with a staggering 56% popularity rating, one of the highest of an outgoing president in American history. He certainly has plenty of gas in his tank and would has won if he had contest the election. He could not contest because he had served his maximum two four-year terms decreed in the American Constitution.

Incoming president Donald Trump could well turn out to be one of the worst US President, he has not yet moved into White House and already dark sinister shadows such as the allegations that the Russians hacked his Democrat challenger in last November’s elections are already hanging over his presidency. If electing Donald Trump was a big mistake, the American people will pay for the mistake, like everyone else; scrutinise what went wrong from all possible angles, learn all there is to be learned from the mistake and, in four years’ time, kick Mr Trump out of White House – something many of us cannot do.

To be the President of America, one is subjected to a rigorous selection process first the grinding mill of the party’s primaries where one must prove to party members that he/she is the best followed by an even tougher national electoral process. Anyone can be the president of America as long as they can garner the majority vote in free, fair and credible elections.

Maximum fixed terms of two four-years or two five-years is reasonable; any reasonable competent leader can accomplish a lot in that time. Even if a leader is foxed to leave office when they still have gas in the tank, it is no lose; they can burn the gas by contribute to the nation in many other ways. The main emphasis for fixed maximum terms is renewal as contrast to stability.

The incumbent regime will always have the advantage over the new comers because we all fear change, specially the unknown. Indeed, it is this fear of change and that totalitarian regimes and tyrants exploit to justify the imposing of one-party cum one-man dictatorship. The difference between stability and stagnation is as subtle as woodland and grassland, who is to say!

Still, after 37 years in power and the country in an economic mess and political upheaval and, due to old age and ill health, Mugabe now 92 years old, is physically and mentally exhausted. He took office when President Jimmy Carter, the 39th US President, was in White House and now America is going to have its 45th President. Mugabe not superman and the sorry economic state of Zimbabwe bears testimony to his blundering incompetency and greed.

Whatever ideas Mugabe had in he first took office in 1980 it was soon clear that they were not working because Zimbabwe’s economy has been in decline ever since. The only reason he has managed to stay in power regardless of his growing reputation as a corrupt incompetent and murderous tyrant is because he rigged elections. Zimbabwe has yet to hold free, fair and credible elections.

Mugabe has already said he intends to contest next year’s presidential elections. He will be 94 years old. After 37 years of enjoying absolute power and all the influence and material wealth that comes with it; Mugabe and his family are now so addicted to it they cannot give it up. It was the prospect of giving up her “Gucci” lifestyle that forced Grace Mugabe to take up politics and spear head the booting of former VP Joice Mujuru out of Zanu PF because she was the greatest threat to Mugabe’s continued rule. She is eyeing the presidency herself and thus has crossed swords with VP Mnangagwa who too is hoping to succeed Mugabe. Meanwhile Grace wants her husband to remain in power ever if he cannot stand up; she will “buy a wheelchair for him and wheel him around herself,” she said.

“There are no cats in America and the street are paved with cheese! But back home in mother Russia … hihihiiii!” so lyrics from American Tail.

 Well, America has certainly been a land of opportunity for the great majority of people who called it their home. And the key to America’s success is its ability to reinvent itself, especially at the highest level – government.

In Zimbabwe, our fight for independence has turned into a nightmare; the country is to all intend and purpose the Garden of Eden and yet we have long lost our bread basket of the region and are starving. The insatiable greed of the ruling elite, the fat cats, knows no bounds. And, for our part, we the people, cannot even articulate what we need to have free, fair and credible elections; even now, 37 years after independence and with the benefit of all human history!

As we watch the swearing into office of President Donald Trump; remember that even if electing him was a mistake, Americans will learn from the mistake and emerge an even stronger nation for it. To err is human and the beauty of a healthy and functioning democracy is it forcing you to learn from the mistake.

In Zimbabwe, we have not only been stuck with a corrupt and tyrannical regime for 37 years but worse still we are at sixes and sevens as to what to do to end its iron grip on power. Meanwhile the tyrant is squandered $36 million, according to recent reports, in the first 10 months of 2016 on globetrotting at a time when even major hospitals have no money to buy something as basic painkiller.


Patrick Guramatunhu said...

In a call that is set to send temperature soaring higher within the warring Zanu PF, vocal supporter of VP Mnangagwa, Energy Mutodi, has called on the ruling party to hold an extra-ordinary congress to install Mugabe’s successor.

President Mugabe has had the great fortune of having some of the most corrupt and incompetent politician both in the opposition and in Zanu PF itself. President Mugabe is hanging on to power although he is the one who has landed us into this mess. The failure by both opposition and Zanu PF leaders to remove Mugabe is a measure of just how useless these men and women are.

Patrick Guramatunhu said...


Who failed to deliver free and fair elections in 2013? It was not SADC or the AU but Tsvangirai.

No one in SADC or AU is amused by people like you who keep blaming the AU and SADC for MDC's fault. It shows that Zimbabweans are not yet mature to understand democracy and/or to accept responsibility for their own weakness. 

Tsvangirai is corrupt and incompetent and per se no serious leader will ever take him as a serious leader. Zimbabweans are refusing to accept that Tsvangirai is useless but that is our problem and not the AU or SADC's problem.

SADC advised MDC not to take part in the 2013 elections with no reforms and now it is clear the opposition is making the same mistake again in 2018. We are inviting problems on ourselves by refusing to follow advice. Or, as one would say in Shona, "Kurumwa nechokuchera!"

Patrick Guramatunhu said...

You are right Zanu PF leaders are stuck with President Mugabe as leader. When one hears of how the country has never had an cabinet meeting in 37 years unless President Mugabe was there to chair it, it is then that one begins to understand how utterly powerless Zanu PF leaders are. Margaret Dongo was onto something when she dismissed Zanu PF leaders as "vakadzi vaMugabe" (Mugabe's subservient concubines). Here is a case where the need for unity and stability has meant being subservient to the point of being a door mat.

Mugabe has often talk of "my Zimbabwe" and it is clear that he means that literally, the country complete with all her material and human resources ,are all his own personal properties to use and dispose of as he sees fit. He has seen it fit to squander $36 million in globetrotting when hospitals have no painkillers, who is to question him since the cash and the people are all his to deal with as he pleases. In this case his extravagant life style is more important alleviating the suffering of hundreds of thousands of Zimbabweans. God only knows how many thousands have lost their very lives in 2010 alone as a consequence of his selfishness!

If we are ever going to end the Zanu PF dictatorship, then we will have to be a lot smarter and elect competent leaders to champion the cause instead of counting on recycled rubbish like Tsvangirai and Mujuru! Any hope of Zanu PF transforming itself from within is totally misplace, the party will have never sunk this far if there was anyone in the party with a working brain!

Zimbabwe Light said...

I never said electing Trump was a mistake. I said IF it was a mistake the Americans will learn from the mistake because that is the beauty of a working and health democracy. We in Zimbabwe have a dictatorship, we definitely made a mistake in electing Mugabe in 1980 and, because we have a de facto one-party dictatorship, have been stuck with the tyrant for 37 years.

Even if I had said the American made a mistake and you and time proved me wrong; I will admit I was wrong. I am not going to be silenced by anyone because I fear making a mistake, particularly if I learn from the mistake.

You need to get off your high horse, you might learn something too!

Nomusa Garikai said...

We are mortals and per se are fallible. Those who have made progress in life have always taken a chance and not be paralysed by fear of making a mistake. The trick is to learn from one's mistakes and move on and that is the one thing healthy and functioning democracies have excelled in.

In a tyrannical dictatorship, the emphasis on doing as little as possible, stifling all debate and democratic competition to hide the system's inactivity, inaptitude and mistakes. Some of our Zanu PF government's mistakes, such as the seizure of white own farms to leave the nation starving or fuelling inflation until it soared to 500 billion per cent, are mind boggling.

Patrick Guramatunhu said...

"To be president in America one is subject to a torturous electoral process" the toughest test being winning the majority vote in a free, fair and credible election. Pass the test then you are likely to be very, very good indeed.

To be president in Zimbabwe, all one has to do is rig the elections; the more ruthless you are the greater the chance of successfully rigging the vote. Once in office you can then use the state's resources to help you rig election. It is no wonder President Mugabe has turned out to be a total disaster to the nation - he has been too busy being a murderous tyrant to do anything right!