For approximately forty years, Zimbabwe has gone through unbelievably devastating political recklessness, as a nation—while the apathetic populace watches. Instead of taking responsibility, some of the naïve members of this unfortunate nation took comfort in going abroad, looking for greener pastures.
It seems as if those remaining, mostly believed that looting was a blissful display of joy for independence. The greatest evil that can be unleashed on humanity implies taking away their responsibility. But it is the children whose parents are in the diaspora that are knocked off-balance, the most.
Without responsibility, anything goes. Consider a reckless driver who abdicates responsibility when driving along the highway. The fate of that vehicle is unpredictable. It can land on its rooftop, or possibly fall over the bridge, killing passengers, or seriously injuring others.
Being irresponsible implies uncaring about what happens in one’s surrounding. The passengers in an irresponsibly-driven vehicle could also be adjudged as negligent. Responsibility is the only virtue that guarantees safety for humanity. If responsible, passengers cannot take passive stance—when observing reckless driving, all along.
As humans, we are our brothers’ keepers—including counselling where necessary. This should not be construed as asserting that all accidents result from reckless driving. The intention is to draw an analogy, on issues of taking responsibility.
There is nothing as fallacious as failing to understand the meaning of the word “independence.” On the 18th of April, Zimbabweans consistently celebrate their independence, annually. But it seems there is no clear understanding of the significance and meaning of the word ‘independence.’
Independence implies assumption of responsibility. You cannot be independent and be irresponsible at the same time. When my son shares accommodation with me, he would not be independent. But when granted independence, he departs to stay alone, elsewhere, expected to fend for himself.
From that moment, my son begins to realize the importance of serving money for transport. He also begins to buy his own cooking utensils, bedding and paying rent for accommodation. If failing to pay for those basic necessities, my son finds himself in big trouble.
He may soon realize that he was, actually, better off, dependent on me, rather than accepting independence. This, therefore, shows that independence carries its own price. Our independence, as a nation, is celebrated annually.
But, it seems people take independence to mean allowing the sitting State President freedom to do as he pleases? In some parts of the country, ordinary people, actually, get harassed for not attending independence celebrations.
They get accused for not displaying being members of a ruling party, for instance. The state media gets manipulated to communicate falsehoods, in order to whip everyone into supporting the ruling party and its leader.
The majority of the considered normal people observe such misdemeanors, but choose to remain unobtrusive. They prefer being viewed as peaceable. This is not different from the apathetic passengers, preferring to remain amiable, when recklessly driven.
Many people consider being born a citizen of a country—as devastated as Zimbabwe—unfortunate. However, there is no truth in that postulate, whatsoever. A responsible person is safer wherever he/she might be born—just as an irresponsible person is unsafe, wherever he/she might be born.
Since independence in 1980, there are four categories of people having been involved in Mugabe’s nakedly incongruous leadership. The first group comprises those resonating well with Mugabe’s inappropriate governance.
If Mugabe remained in power—yet without anything to show for proper governance—it was those mentally-deranged people’s rooting for Mugabe’s perpetual governance. This included those choosing to be pliant and peaceful, even though observing the irresponsible behavior in governance.
All this describes a people ensconced in irresponsibility. Most were praise-singers for Mugabe’s geriatric leadership, without reason to show for it. They behaved like passengers, cheering up a lunatic driver on a collision course.
Instead of helping the poor old Mugabe—they left him towards a disgraceful exit—as presently manifesting. Such praise-singers comprised, mostly, the uneducated people—which, incredibly, includes college degree-holders. Good education can only be expressed by a referred person’s dignified behavior.
The second group comprises those envisaging benefits from chaotic conditions. We have people eagerly desiring that Zimbabwe continues in its current state of confusion. To them the lucre in chaotic condition is more enticing, than the prevalence of order.
Such people include those, possibly, counted among the wealthiest in the entire world. They actually despise those languishing in abject poverty, as unintelligent. It is as if they expect everyone to behave like them. Though aware that such scenario would not be conducive for sustaining their privilege in accessing ill-gotten riches.
They are like the Biblical Demetrius—stirring riots among the uneducated people, to oppose Paul’s teachings (Acts 19:21-41). The motives of Demetrius had nothing to do with benefitting those idolaters. Demetrius was focusing more on his business enterprise, than the welfare of the poor idolaters.
This describes the second group that sustained the longevity of Mugabe’s rule. Such people used their ill-gotten gains to effectively influence the majority to remain in stupidity. The third group—as embraced in a failed state of Zimbabwe—describes those involved in opposition politics.
The majority of these come from the slumber of political docility. They may have all along disapproved of Mugabe’s misrule—yet without previously leaving any impact. But, currently, that group includes the ostensibly conscious youngsters—having become cognizant of results from prevailing inappropriate political leadership.
Possibly, Zimbabweans can assume some ray of hope, in the hands of such, apparently, informed youngsters. If properly educated—through analyzing causes of past political failures—these youngsters can, actually, be banked on—in steering Zimbabwe to safety. The possibility is there, for them to introduce novel political leadership in Zimbabwe.
Perhaps, the worst group—among those failing to take responsibility—comprises those preferring to be in the diaspora—rather than face realities in their own country. This does not include those leaving Zimbabwe, due to threats of being killed, for political activism, for instance.
Nevertheless, leaving your own country, due to poor governance by those in authority, displays lack of wisdom, more than irresponsibility. Zimbabwe, being their home-country, provides residence to most of their relatives, as well. The majority of those diasporic parents left children behind—assuming prudence in sending cash packages for their upkeep.
Their generosity planted a dependency syndrome in the minds of their innocent children. Those adolescents cannot work, except depending on handouts from their diasporic parents. These unfortunate children, are knocked harder, than any other disadvantaged youngsters from the impoverished state of Zimbabwe.
Those spoiled children, view hard-work as punishment—yet it can only be hard-work that ensures desirable discipline and responsibility. The inadequately answered, but temperate question remains to be: What happens to the adulthood of those children, in the event that their benevolent parents in the diaspora have passed on?
Additionally, what happens to the spoiled children—growing with the assumption of being lucky—having been bestowed with diasporic parents? What is passed on to the children is always what sustains a generation. What kind of a generation is it that despises hard-work—let alone the responsibilities of survival requirements?
The red-light ticks, to a careful observer. The only alternative source of income—when avoiding work is, obviously, stealing, including other forms of criminality. In this world, nothing is as important as dissemination of proper information.
But how does one force education into the heads of those used to getting things for free? Obviously, whoever attempts to educate such spoiled children would be despised—viewed as one stuck in poverty, after all.
Evidently, most people envy the children of the diasporic parents—compared as superlative—in this poverty-stricken Zimbabwean nation. Yet, such children are the ones seriously in need of rescue, than those languishing in unemployment—willing to engage, even in degradable chores, for instance.
This is similar to what happens with some working parents—having to employ others for household chores. Employing a house-maid is regarded as fashionable—making the employer feel good—as affording to employ house-maids.
Due to effects of colonialism, most black Zimbabweans adopted the behavior of their former white colonial masters. To most of them, employing a ‘nanny’ is a status symbol. What goes on in their minds is that the house-maid—employed to perform household chores—should be treated stiffer for her salary.
This is considered prudent, as recouping whatever little is paid to the house-maid. “The house-maid should sweat for what I pay, as her salary.” Is the common consideration. Therefore, the house-maid is expected to do everything, while the children of the employer do nothing.
The house-maid employer assumes loving her children, by not exposing them to hard-work—taken as granting them comfort. But wisdom is found in appreciating that if that employer appears as being cruel to the house-maid, she is actually, cruel to her own children.
If intelligent, that house-maid could, essentially, benefit immensely from the apparent exploitation—meted by that abusive employer. The house-maid grows to become an effective future house-keeper. This guarantees success and stability in her possible future marriage.
What about the benevolently treated children by a mother who employs the miserably looking house-keeper? To them, work is punishment. This is how the children of the working parents, also become disadvantaged—just like the children of the diasporic parents.
They acquire the false datum—assuming that survival is not associated with hard work. Though privileged in attending upper-class educational institutions—the importance of hard-work remains foreign to those children.
The experience I have acquired in my old-age, includes observing some educated people competing in foolishness with the uneducated. The origin of such educated fools is the parents who assume that love is associated with spoiling children with undeserved privileges.
On becoming adults, the children of the working parents view hard work as degrading. Later in life, the calls of work-responsibility, make them feel confused. To tranquilize their state of confusion, they go into drugs—falling into the same predicament with the children of the diasporic parents.
If our prisons are full of criminals, what is stated here, reveals the source of such criminality. There is no person ever born a criminal. Those involved in criminality are potentially good—having failed, only, due to not being guided responsibly, during adolescence.
This gets compounded by the prevalence of false Christian doctrines—stating that wealth is a result of faithfulness in tithing. The devilish and cunning ministers use the same Bible—designed to set people free—but using it to keep them enslaved.
Such are the ravenous preachers who, unfortunately, are more popular than the authentic preachers. Astonishingly, the media also helps in popularizing such criminals. This calls for genuine preachers to come forward and be more active.
Zimbabweans should be disabused of the assumption that problems result from irreligiosity, necessarily. Our problems are man-made—rather than divinely instigated. For things to come right, exercising responsibility is the key.
The mind-set of the common man, needs changing—more than changing those in positions of leadership. Those involved in prayer groups must be encouraged to specifically pray for mind-set change, in our ordinary Zimbabwean people.
The discourse about praying for good leaders, appears as noble. But good leadership starts with individuals, in their respective responsibilities. Good leaders in governance are chosen by responsible people. Good leaders cannot elevate themselves, without responsible people facilitating their ascension to power.
The principle of good leadership starts with adopting the principle of servitude. This is why Jesus said anyone intending to become a leader, ought to be the servant of all (Matthew 20:22-28). As born leaders, all humans should constantly ask themselves the most fundamental of all questions:
“What is the purpose of my survival, on this planet?” Each of us was born to serve other fellow humans, one way or the other. The basic learning skills for young children ought to be concentrated on principles of servitude. Those poised for leadership get easily noticed—when the servitude culture is adopted.
It is a question of applying what each was created to achieve on earth. There is no-one greater, yet there is also no-one less important. The greatest application of servitude principle is possible when appreciating that all are equal, in God’s eyes. But all are different in terms of talents and capabilities.
Zimbabwe is poised to become the greatest civilization on this planet—as long as this information is adequately disseminated and applied. Blessed are those reading this—when taking the responsibility to disseminate it far and wide. This represents the only anecdote with the tonic to bring positive change, as needed by a nation in apathy. There is hope, after all.
Andrew Masuku is the author of Dimensions of a New Civilization, laying down standards for uplifting Zimbabwe from 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 reliefs to those having witnessed strings of unworkable solutions––leading to the current economic and social decay. In a simple conversational tone, most Zimbabweans should find the book as a long awaited providential oasis of hope.
The Print copy is now available at Amazon.com for $13.99
Also available as an e-copy at Lulu.com for $6.99