Good leaders cannot claim to be good.

Bad leaders are identified by their declaration of being better than others. Sadly, in Africa, it seems no politician would be taken seriously, as long as not highlighting his own good attributes. Good leaders have to compete with those convincing ordinary people with falsehoods. This is what makes it impossible for good leaders to ever attain power in a corrupt environment.

Good leaders ought to be distinguished by highlighting their weaknesses rather than their strengths. The possibility of good leaders ever emerging from the environment is when the majority becomes aware of this datum. It is not the business of good leaders to highlight their own good deeds. Only the electorate is supposed to determine what constitutes good leadership.

The most ideal condition for those carrying positive strengths is at the point of highlighting their weaknesses rather than their strengths. Bad leaders are good advertisers of themselves. This could as well be taken as an Axiom. Where, in the world, has there been a person who outclassed others by declaring himself as good and produced good results?

Others would suggest Donald Trump? A careful analysis reveals that America was lucky not to have that character voted back into power. Otherwise, America would have gone the Mugabe way. Zimbabwe could be the best example of bad leadership, coming from self-adulation. Even with clear evidence of failure in governance, Mugabeism still haunts us.

As for our beautiful women, please be warned. If approached by a man with flamboyant promises, regardless of how attractive—you would be staring at the worst partner as a husband. Such people are to be avoided like Covid 19. Those are the Philip Chiyangwa-type. Unashamedly heard, ranting against his own son, on social media, refusing to pay school fees for the young boy.

How could a father like that be classified? This projects a reality that goodness is a character that is countered by self-praise or opulent promises. Only God knows what goes on in the mind of a woman impregnated by such a character. As a spiritual component, goodness does not need advertisement. Goodness is a product of humility.

The effects of pride and aggrandizement will always be disastrous, regardless of time, before decomposition. A good person projects his weaknesses more than his strengths. Without being equipped with this data, Zimbabwean voters will always be shortchanged.

This reality ought to have been learnt, after more than forty years of our tumultuous independence. A good person does not talk too much. And a good person does not focus on other people’s weaknesses, projecting himself as better. This is a simple principle, portraying the behaviour of Jesus, whose righteousness cannot be compared to anyone in this world.

“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests but also to the interests of others. Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped.

 But made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death–even death on a cross! Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name,” (Philippians 2:3-9 NIV).

This is a formula that has got nothing to do with projecting oneself as the best among others. Instead, a good leader exudes the best but avoids the limelight. Obviously, that could sound strange to those used to the idea of self-advertising. But for those desiring to know the origins of poor conditions, currently dogging Zimbabwe, this provides the answer.

Since 1980, ordinary people have been promised heaven on earth, but receive the opposite. Currently, everyone appears excited about vision 2030, as if coming from a god. Poor people continue to believe, nevertheless. Such leaders will never take responsibility when failing. Where failure has been realized, it has to be someone else, rather than the fancied leader. Currently, the sanctions are blamed.

Educated, as Zimbabweans assume they are, it seems they cannot fathom this fallacy. Even those of the younger generation, with the gloomy future staring at them, it seems they choose to be blind. One thing such youngsters fail to grasp is that, unlike them, those adults, currently pursuing the destructive agenda, will be gone, in a few years time.

Most of our youngsters are overwhelmed by the term “ideology”.  The so-called revolutionaries told them that there is a thing called “ideology”, needing to be preserved. That term comes with a fanciful description of self-rule, but without understanding what self-rule entails. It cannot be denied that there have been dictators who meant the best for their countrymen.

I suppose this could be true of a Cuban dictator, Fidel Castro? The same could apply to Magufuli of Tanzania and Possibly Paul Kagame of Rwanda? Like Putin of Russia, such dictators have no record of advertising themselves. It might be true, therefore, that this world holds good and bad dictators. Good dictators, appear as seeking to benefit the majority, while bad dictators benefit themselves.

Nevertheless, both categories carry the propensity of being worshipped by others. Ordinary people seek to deify those with strong-man mentalities. North Korea stands out as typical of such people. Ordinary people are often fascinated by bravery, regardless of how wrong, or right, the leader could be perceived, at any given time.

The one and only bad thing about bad dictators is their failure to see ahead. Otherwise, both good and bad dictators are committed to listening to their own voices, rather than listening to other voices. Bad dictators do not think about the possibility of a time that they would no longer exist. Hence, even at 95 years, Robert Mugabe had assumed that his party members still needed him.

Dictators are dictators because of a few who surround such characters for what they can get from such dictators. Those benefiting from dictatorship would continue to urge him to continue. Senile, as some of those dictators might have become, they remain with a semblance of strength, derived from the human shields, surrounding them.

Those highlighting the wrongness of those leaders are often regarded as enemies. This is different from the naturally good leaders, who, actually, crave criticism rather than craving for praise. The services of the former President of South Africa, Nelson Mandela, will, probably, forever remain iconic, for a very long time.

Regarded as statesmen, none appears as poised to reach the level of Nelson Mandela, any time soon. However, in Nelson Mandela, we see a man who remained humble, even with all the accolades, including the Nobel Peace prize attainment. He even opted to retire, when he could have been accepted for another term.

The South Africans could have still voted for him, overwhelmingly. However, good leaders are conscious of their weaknesses, more than they could be conscious of their strengths to be something to boast about. Although doing well, Nelson Mandela considered himself unfit for leadership.

This is why there cannot be any dispute in describing good leadership, better than Paul’s statement in Philippians. Paul was inspired to pen these words, as conferring better living for humanity. What is recorded in this Scripture is commonly misrepresented, even by those who declare being Christian leaders:

“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests but also to the interests of others. Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped.

 But made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death–even death on a cross! Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name,” (Philippians 2:3-9 NIV).

Good leaders are regarded as jewels for humanity. They symbolize any observable goodness in humanity. Any nation is blessed when graced with such people’s leadership. The opposite is true of bad leaders, known for highlighting their strengths and seeking to always hide their weaknesses. Amazingly, their support is sustained by poor people, failing to realize that their poverty is a result of poor leadership.

Therefore, it may not be accurate to point a finger at leaders, without considering those sustaining them in power. Without this knowledge, ordinary people are caught up in the tomfoolery of choosing bad leaders. They assume that pride portrays good leadership. Robert Mugabe could not have lasted thirty-seven years without supporters.

The only surprising thing is that after his dethronement, Mugabe became undesirable, even to those having worshipped him. Therefore, it is easy to observe why it cannot be possible to notice bad leadership. There would be a considerable number of people thinking like him, among those poor ordinary people. Those human worshippers include churchmen.

This is the only reason that many people were surprised by the behaviour of the current president. Instead of correcting the previous mistakes, having brought the country down to pathetic levels, he boastfully sought to advance the status quo. The current leader doesn’t seem to even understand the meaning of bad leadership.

Those surprised by such a development could be lacking the data as provided in this presentation. Ostensibly, it can never be possible for those highlighting their strengths to ever bring acceptable results, except false promises. As long as most people seek to satisfy themselves, ahead of advancing the best for the entire country, the nation is in disarray.

This is where democracy is found to be unworkable. If living in a country where the majority seeks to go to hell, regardless of how reasonable one would be, one becomes overwhelmed. Only strong characters can advance goodness for the benefit of everyone, under such circumstances.

Zimbabwean Citizens must know that they are the masters of their own destiny. If the citizens of this country consider themselves inferior, it is impossible to remove them from their inferiority condition. However, if considering themselves with dignity, as not to be bought by cheap money, the citizens will always be superior.

The value of those chosen for leadership should be considered according to Philippians 2:3-9. The same mind should also apply to those casting votes. Our Zimbabwean situation should not be bestowed on individuals like Mugabe or ED. Those leaders got their supporters from citizens, whether misinformed or manipulated.

The determinant factor is the value attached to individual voters. This is a matter of citizens choosing how they want to be governed. The enlightened ones would be aware of the basic truth: There is no wisdom in voting for those enticing people with false promises, or cheap money.

It takes time to educate people. But with perseverance, one can make a difference when taking the responsibility to educate others in one’s environment. The wicked mindset, used to manipulate the voting patterns, by those making false promises, is the one that needs to be eradicated. In other words, it is corruptible minds, always focusing on benefitting self than everyone, in the environment, rather than the considered bad leaders.

This is different from a mindset that is altruistic, thinking in terms of benefiting others more than self. This is when applying the principle, recommended by Paul, in Philippians 2:4-9. The business of living, as delineated by Jesus, requires thinking in terms of how one can benefit other people in his environment.

Those becoming enticed to vote for corrupt leaders will always think in terms of making quick money, rather than the future. Leaders are a true reflection of the quality of those facilitating their elevation. Hence, there is no point in blaming leaders, without blaming voters.

Vote-buying is real. But it is only attractive to those, unable to value their dignity. This is similar to women who fall for corrupt money and other personal benefits. When making a judgment on the question of who could be a good leader, the evaluator must first ask himself how valuable he thinks he, himself, is.

The value of his vote is determined by the consideration of his own value. This is the answer to the problems that dog this country. The citizens are better off, when considering their value, first, before looking at what happens in government leadership.

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. In a simple conversational tone, most Zimbabweans should find the book as a long-awaited providential oasis of hope.

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