Recently, strenuous debates have emerged on the question of a CCC elective congress. Understandably, previous experiences could be regarded as a model, thereby, invalidating new ideas. This comes from the truth that it is unnecessary to reinvent the wheel.
One can copy and paste from previous experiences and still succeed. But not all previous experiences carry some workability when compared with new ideas. People with different backgrounds view things differently from those from another background. But nothing is permanent in this world, except change.
Zimbabwe is a republican country, founded on democratic principles for self-governance. In a properly constituted democracy, there is no need to criticize, except to advance what is workable for the majority. Ordinary people exercise their right to vote, to decide matters that favor the majority.
This world is full of new ideas, most of which remain unexplored. The only challenge facing the proponents of new ideas is the opposition from the conservative people. Without the willingness to explore new ideas, we would still be stuck with postal services, for communication purposes. Ideas are aplenty in the world of freedom, alleviating life’s challenges.
The newly formed CCC party could have workable ideas, compared with what currently prevails. The starting point would be to craft a constitution, enforcing the guiding principles for representing the CCC party. This includes the code of conduct for the parliamentary candidates having to agree and sign before representing the aspirations of the citizens.
The kingpin of the CCC party constitution should be that it is owned by the citizens. No one carries some power to reject or accept a candidate, based on personality differences, as long as chosen or rejected by the people. The barometer is with the citizens, empowered with the custodianship of CCC values.
For instance, a wrong candidate could be erroneously voted for, by citizens of a particular constituency. The citizens would be expected to bear the responsibility, but using the constitution to recall the candidate. That provision is necessary for making corrective actions.
The CCC party constitution should be clear on handling such matters. The responsibility of citizens is to select candidates to represent citizens’ interests, and not necessarily the leadership interests.
Elective congresses, commonly, grant leaders the empowerment to guide the party policies. However, this prejudices the citizens, as the power would be vested in the leadership. The seven flaws suggest invalidating an elective Congress, in a democracy.
Elective Congresses are designed to formulate party structures. Members congregate in one location to elect the executive committee members. Such a committee would be invested with powers to decide matters on behalf of the citizens. This sounds noble but is what has caused Zimbabwe to be poorly governed, since 1980. The first flaw of congressional elections is misrepresenting citizens.
Even a million people gathering to formulate executive structures cannot represent everyone’s interests. That would be a small portion, compared to the majority. What is adopted at the congress would be deemed authentic. But missing the dimension of what would be the result, if the majority would have participated.
An elective congress favors dictators who simply influence sidekicks to elect preferred candidates. The preference at the top cannot, necessarily always represent the citizens. Unless that distinction is clarified, this projects a flaw, associated with congressional elections. In ZANU PF, the political spent-forces, having been re-elected since 1980, can project this reality. Power is in the executive, more than it ought to be with the citizens.
The second glaring flaw with the congressional appointments is the invested ego, of those holding leadership offices. Power is distributed according to ranks, rather than functionalities. For instance, decisions coming from the Organizing Secretary may be overridden by the Secretary-General, viewed as senior to the Organizing Secretary. This confuses, leading to disharmony, for a party considered to be democratic.
A truly democratic organization ought to operate as a physical body. A hand cannot superintend over the functions of a shoulder, and an eye cannot supervise an ear. But everything would be coordinated according to principles, governing the entire structure. Opinions coming from bona fide members are decided according to the workability towards benefitting the aspirations of the majority.
The third flaw of an electoral congressional gathering is logistical arrangements. Bringing people from various provinces to congregate for an elective congress can be a daunting task. This includes funding, which may not be available. As long as the project remains to be that of the citizens, funding has to come from the citizens. If not possible, it is the citizens who have to apply workable ideas.
Funding, for logistical purposes, should be purely voluntary by the citizens concerned. “He who pays the piper calls the tune.” This is an old proverb meaning that the person who pays for the service has the right to determine what tune is played. Crudely put, the person with the money has the right to determine how spending is done.
The citizens may find themselves without the right to pursue their aspirations, where the sponsor is involved. The sponsor becomes the owner of the project, rather than the citizens, assumed as benefitting from the sponsorship. The most valuable gift is the one given according to the Biblical principle.
“Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven. So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you”(Matthew 6:1-4 NIV).
The fourth flaw is in the removal of the responsibility from the citizens. Challenges have always been centered on the citizens’ inability to take responsibility for matters that affect them. Since 1980, citizens have been the spectators in a country ruled according to the ZANU PF agenda. The ZANU PF political agenda has always been imposed on people, without their approval.
By default, the country has been run through what is decided by Politburo. There is an element of idolatry, where the Politburo members are viewed as more important than the rest of the citizens in society. The meaning of freedom is self-determination. The manipulation of the structural rankings is what causes dictatorships in the world.
Blaming leaders in countries having gone awry indicates a failure to take responsibility by citizens. This starts with elevating elective congressional structures, where authority is granted to structural leaders. With power, citizens can take it upon themselves to correct the wrongs committed.
The fifth flaw is in the categorization of humanity. The idea of categorizing humanity is ungodly, as not carrying God’s approval. God is the source of life and the guarantor of goodness for the welfare of humanity. Life is, therefore, achievable when doing everything according to God’s will.
The designation of an elective congress assumes that all the decisions passed by the participants in that congress would be correct. This tends to invalidate ideas that may be suggested by those outside the congress. Any civilized nation can be identified by its ability to treat its citizens with equality. Everyone should be equal, in the eyes of the Law, as enshrined in a democratically enacted constitution.
The sixth flaw comes from conferring one section of the community to be viewed as owning the entire country. We have often heard a political leader declaring “Nyika inotongwa ne vene vayo”. (A country is governed by its owners). This would virtually mean that no one else is entitled to complain, when not belonging to the ruling party.
In a weak country, this is what leads to secessionism. Promoting ideas that some sections of the society do not belong to the land, invites unnecessary skirmishes to destabilize the country. The structures produced out of congressional elections, assume powers of authority, suggesting the ruling party represents everyone in the country.
An uneducated populace may accept that arrangement to be the fate designed by God. This would be incorrect, as misrepresents the true position. This comes from those with skewed minds. Minority groupings ought to be granted the rights of self-determinism, deserving to be respected as well. A civilized nation causes citizens to respect other people’s rights, regardless of background.
The seventh, but not the least, a flaw with the elective congress before the forthcoming elections is the pressure exerted by ZANU PF operatives. The calling for a congress cannot be right, as long as pressurized by ZANU PF. One has to evaluate the origin of the elective congress idea. As long as coming from a party, projecting failures, in the last four decades, one takes that as a confirmation of that suggestion’s unacceptability.
The idea of not going for a congress is wrong when encouraged by the opponent. But this would be the right decision, as long as opposed by the opponent. The unwise thing would be to assume that what the opponent encourages to be done would be the right thing to do.
The support by the opposition should not be viewed only as insinuating the possibility of infiltration by proxies. There would be no need to form another political party if opponents were doing the right thing. The fact that CCC is a different political outfit should be a good reason that it ought to be structured and governed differently.
Having highlighted the flaws, against the idea of a congress, we have to assess the reasons for avoiding such a congress. There is a need to put forward the advantages of workable ideas for the citizens’ project. Congress cannot be the only idea for national unity.
The CCC can devise an idea that could even be incorporated into our national constitution. This is a new political party that could come up with a new structural idea, with a new dare/indaba. As free people, the citizens should not be obligated to follow any of the past ideas.
Everything should be based on the citizens so that the citizens should not feel inclined to represent any political agenda. The previous MDCA has been buried with Douglas Mwonzora’s formation. Let there not be anyone blemishing the CCC for the sins of the MDC, whose leader is Douglas Mwonzora. What now remains is what to do with the archaic ZANU PF?
No one in his normal sense should be offended by the fact that ZANU PF has become an archaic political outfit. Only those benefitting from the trinkets, or freebies coming from ZANU PF structures, would defend the indefensible. Forty-three years of ZANU PF misrule should be regarded as having exhausted everything representing workable revolutionary ideals, if any, for normal people.
Before the formation of ZANU, in 1963, there was one political party formation called ZAPU. That party was swallowed up by ZANU PF in the year 1987. The Unity Accord of 1987 is projected in the current ZANU PF, which should now be regarded as archaic.
There may not be anything wrong with an archaic formation, except that it belongs to the National Archives. As a National Monument, it needs to be carefully preserved. What better place can this be, other than what appears at the country’s liberation archives hill, opposite Warren Park suburb?
The new CCC party should be regarded as an innovative political project. Good citizens are those providing contributions in the CCC party’s formative years. It takes the patriotic people to wish the best for the future generations of this country. The new party should not be associated with anything good or bad about ideas of the past.
In its simplicity, the new political project should listen to the citizens on the ground, based on whatever would be good for citizens. The paternalistic ideas of the past should now be thrown in the dust bin. The citizens know better, about issues that constitute goodness in their communities.
The most important thing to observe about CCC is that ideas are taken from the bottom up, rather than from up to the bottom. Good people cannot see anything wrong with that arrangement. Only the psychotics feel challenged. Such psychotics can be very dangerous, as bent on harming the majority of the citizens.
The clarion call is to put our hands on the deck and encourage one another in coming up with workable ideas. Nobody should be regarded as unimportant. As a peaceful country, let us create a culture that seeks to serve other fellow human beings, more than seeking to benefit ourselves.
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.
The Print copy is now available at Amazon.com for $13.99