We are a country with a reputation for highly educated people in Southern Africa. The talk about Zimbabwean electoral processes requiring UN supervision seems to be gaining momentum. This is because rigging elections has now commonly become acceptable, even by our esteemed Courts. Others have even attempted to advance a narrative that democracy cannot be workable in Africa.
This suggests that Africa comprises people who should be treated as different from other races. When falsehood is repeated over and over again, it eventually becomes acceptable. It is inconceivable that educated people can fight over something that needs sharing. Civilized people use logic to solve problems.
However, primitive cultures assume that depriving another person is a display of wisdom. In the wild, a cheetah uses its natural abilities to kill a gazelle for its food. However, a leopard comes to chase it away, so that the meat becomes the leopard’s food at the expense of the cheetah’s hard work.
Before long the leopard gets chased away by a hyena. As the hyena appears as enjoying the meat, inviting those of its family, a pride of lions comes to claim the entire carcass. This describes how the animal kingdoms ought to be different from human kingdoms. There is no confusion in animal behaviour.
Weaker species are food for stronger species. The soil feeds the grass, while the grass feeds the gazelle, which feeds carnivorous animals. Those carnivorous animals survive when the least strong, hunt for the stronger species. However, this is not the behaviour of human beings, created in God’s image.
A human being was created to be above everything physically created. To rule over God’s creation requires responsibility. The endurance of those things under the control of humanity survives at the mercy of humanity. But this does not mean that humans would be killing them without reasoning.
Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.” So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; (Genesis 1:26-27 NIV).
Civilization implies a way of conducting oneself in a civilized manner. Of vital importance is appreciating that another fellow human is not different from oneself. Humans are in control, as long as aware of this legendarily pristine principle. The value of education is limited to the principle of serving other fellow humans.
Success implies the ability to serve other people. A successful farmer produces farm products to nourish other people. A car manufacturer produces cars for the requirements of potential automobile users. The same applies to any other industry. Anything produced ought to meet customer expectations.
The flavour of restaurant meals attracts clients who are willing to pay, in the food industry. Successful organizations are preoccupied with customer service. This describes common sense, associated with humans. A country that is unable to meet the quality of civility needs assistance.
Humans are the same, regardless of where they come from. The weakness of one section of humanity is the entire humanity’s weakness. Humans should be treated as one. Different backgrounds should not be regarded as humanity’s condemnation.
The informed people should always be there for those in need of educational support. People’s intellectual understanding cannot be the same. One section of humanity can be more informed, in terms of access to survival information. The curse of this world lies in not caring for those, considered intellectually misinformed.
When asked about his brother’s whereabouts, whom he had murdered, Cain insinuated having not been his brother’s keeper (Genesis 4:9). That reasoning is erroneous, as not having come from the source. It describes a lack of education.
Humanity implies caring for others. Professions are of significance, only if tailor-made to cater for fellow humans. We are civilized only when we understand the principle of catering for others. Lack of civilization reduces one to behave like animal species, where the rule dictates survival of the fittest.
Under normal conditions, an informed family member is responsible for educating other family members. This leads to educating the entire clan, leading to educating the entire nation. This is different from keeping one’s knowledge to oneself. Degraded societies cause an assortment of problems in the environment.
The wrong behaviour of educated people is the one that deserves blame. One may feel innocent when blaming uneducated people. It seems we live in a world that promotes blaming ignorant people. But the more ignorant people are blamed, the more the problems prevail.
The principle is applicable on an individual level, before spreading to different societies and nations. If one nation displays a lack of civility, it is incumbent upon the civilized nations to instil civilization in poorly educated nations. This cannot be enforced, of course. An uneducated person can be susceptible to vilifying progressive information but deserving not to be blamed.
The blame always lies with the informed personalities, when having kept the knowledge to themselves. What should one do when observing a brother walking straight into the burning sulfur? Tact is necessary, as failing to use tact may lead to rejection. An ignorant person assumes to know, even without a record of success in that area.
Jesus carried the most vital knowledge ever to be found. But His audience could not assimilate. They killed Him, instead of testing the workability of that knowledge. His prayer was; “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing” (Luke 23:34). With His unprecedented knowledge, Jesus took the responsibility to die for the ignorant people.
The only challenge when helping ignorant people is that they carry a false impression that they would be the champions of knowledge. Ordinary people prefer associating with the pompous, more than humble people. Yet the acquisition of knowledge is as easy as being humble, which is the opposite of pomposity.
Pride is very powerful in preventing a person from accessing the desirable knowledge. What is common with humanity is to assume that pride is dignity and humility is the opposite of dignity. The most difficult thing is spotting the differences between pride and humility. Knowledge without certainty is what makes a person proud.
Knowledge creates the impression that one is superior to others. However, true knowledge does not boast, as it is the opposite of boasting. This is why Jesus insisted that the greatest among His disciples ought to have exercised servitude to others (Matthew 20:25-28). This is axiomatic, requiring adoption by all humans.
The acquisition of knowledge ahead of others requires humility more than pomposity. Pomposity should be left to ignorant people, rather than it ought to be adopted by knowledgeable people. A person who knows does not need to be conferred with professorial titles. He also does not always have to try and convince others that he knows. But that person knows that he knows.
Jesus, whose behaviour contrasts with the Professors in Theology, is the only standard in portraying this reality. Do Theological Professors ever question why Jesus was not conferred with an approvable educational profile? It doesn’t look like they do when considering the credentials that make them respectable worldwide.
When comparing their behaviour with that of Jesus, one can easily tell that a person displaying a theological degree is most uneducated. This is true for those looking at Jesus as the stable datum. But, this cannot be accepted as true, by ordinary humanity used to the idea of educational credentials.
As a country, Zimbabwe can be assumed to be well above the need to be supervised by other nations in electoral processes. Over forty years of experience in domestic electoral processes, as a sovereign country, makes Zimbabwe regarded as above maturity. Suggesting for the UN electoral supervision in Zimbabwe cannot be easily accepted by the Zimbabwean government.
The obvious rhetoric is that Zimbabwe is a sovereign state, without any need to be supervised by other nations. The strength of that statement is that there is no war in Zimbabwe, to warrant international electoral supervision. This, obviously, throws a lot of confusion, making it difficult to persuade the UN.
We have a regional organ in the form of SADC. In order to maintain peace, in the region, SADC has an agreement on how to conduct elections. The only problem, making it difficult to enforce their agreement, is the lack of a clause to enforce what was agreed on. There are three reasons causing such a handicap:
The first reason is a lack of clarity, in the event that a SADC member state fails to conduct elections according to the regional agreement. Diplomacy is considered virtuous in human relations. But I suppose diplomacy can be a handicap when a member state fails to meet the required standard. The issue of pride comes in the way, thereby, causing insecurity. This has been the case with failing nations, across the world.
The second reason is the clause about the lack of interference in the internal affairs of a member state. This presents a real conundrum. The critics of SADC formation have advanced this as the real reason for SADC’s failure, in maintaining stability in the region. The member states are incapacitated in the event of one country’s violations of the agreed principles.
The third reason points to the possibility of the pioneers of the Organ having been dictators. They sought to be lenient on the violators of such agreements. The leniency was applied, hoping to attract sympathy from other member states, when faced with similar situations in future.
The eternal truth is that no independent nation should be in need of electoral supervision. The constitution of a country, with powerful institutional provisions, should be able to successfully conduct its own elections. The success of any country should be judged by the ability to peacefully conduct elections. Bad governance arises from the inability to conduct peaceful elections.
It appears impossible to blame the entire populace, in the event that a country fails to successfully carry out electoral processes. The problem is commonly the dearth of leadership. Not many people are gifted with leadership skills, but every human being was created to be a leader. The African problem, including Zimbabwe, is making leaders gods. This is derived from a monarchial culture.
This could be defeated by a strong constitution, as long as followed properly. There are countries known to have not had electoral problems, due to their water-tight constitutional provisions. As innate with leadership skills, each person is capable of restoring order in his/her own environment.
It is unnecessary to even require outsiders to come and help in one’s country’s affairs, for educated people. Nothing can be more embarrassing than requiring an independent country to seek UN electoral supervision, for an educated community. Educated people do not fight over leadership. It takes only the uneducated people who fight over matters of leadership.
When appreciating the principle of leadership, it is unnecessary to fight for leadership, which appeals to servanthood. Unfortunately, uneducated people assume that leadership means lordship. That is only the reason why leadership is problematic. Africa carries people who assume that leadership is monarchial, hence; it even becomes difficult to change leaders.
Leadership implies what one gives to others, as compared to what one receives from those people. The reason why there is a failure in African leadership is that people commonly assume that the accumulation of wealth is important. Opportunities are described according to how much money one accumulates, rather than how helpful one could be to other people.
The teachings of Jesus could change that kind of mindset. But unfortunately, the most popular Christian practice is the opposite of what Jesus taught. Such type of Christianity advocates for the accumulation of wealth, rather than adopting responsibility for the environment. True Christianity is the only activity that could instil leadership among people.
“You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot. You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead, they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house” (Matthew 5:13-15 NIV).
The above passage bestows leadership on God’s people. To be a leader one does not need a leadership position. It means that one should not allow improper leadership in one’s environment. For instance, if a Christian, one is capable, as an employee, to cause one’s superiors to even become responsible.
Andrew Masuku is the author of Dimensions of a New Civilization, laying down standards for uplifting Zimbabwe from the current state of economic depression into a model for other nations worldwide. A decaying tree provides an opportunity for a blossoming sprout. Written from a Christian perspective, the book is a product of inspiration, bringing relief to those having witnessed the strings of unworkable solutions––leading to the current economic and social decay. Most Zimbabweans should find the book as a long-awaited providential oasis of hope, in a simple conversational tone.
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