- Leaders who love the country as they love themselves
- Quality Minds
There has been a general decline in the quality of leadership across the board in Zimbabwe. Leadership has declined along with the declines in the quality of life.
The leaders you deserve have to love their country and should have quality minds.
Love Your Country
Authoritarianism is no justification for the absence of basic love and care. There are autocrats that have a love for their countries. Paul Kagame is one of them. The man loves Rwanda. He wants his motherland to develop. Any Chinese president elected by the CCP loves China so much.
In fact, almost every other Chinese person loves China, and if elected for the presidency would do everything necessary to make China great. Every Chinese person wants China to claim her place in the word order as a giant. They want China to be successful. The love sometimes manifests in strange autocratic ways, but it is love, nonetheless. Tough love.
Many human households are organized along the lines of an authoritarian setup, with an authoritative father at the top, who often consults with the mother, in imposing their will on the children, who are not well-equipped to make decisions that are at their best interests. The arrangement is authoritative (and kids rebel against it when they reach those teen years) but it can be argued that it works. Even though autocracy is the default setting, the parents do love their kids. There is love at home.
Love is a powerful force. It is the ingredient that makes things happen. Love drives a clueless president into a listening mode so that he takes advice from the wise and the experts. Love for the country fixes corruption. It is love that drives a sitting president to seriously tackle corruption, foregoing the opportunity to make himself rich by looting. It is love that drives the change and transformation agenda.
A leader can inherit a country with broken institutions. What drives him to empower the institutions and make a better country. It is love for the country. There could be other incentives, such as wanting to preserve peace thus guaranteeing an extended reign, but the most basic overriding force is love.
Now, some will be quick to dismiss the role of love in the political economy. Such a dismissal is understandable, for we do not have the barometers to measure and gauge love as an input.
Do you love your country? Do your leaders love their country? Do they do whatever it takes for Zimbabwe to be great? Many times, autocracy is blamed for something that it did not do. It is not autocracy that fucked up the country. It is a lack of love by the leaders. It is not autocracy that causes a lack of love. It is the absence of love that usually drives leaders to be autocratic.
A leader can love his country and still be an autocrat, taking that route for pragmatism purposes, and not for self-serving and self-enrichment purposes.
America has a penchant for electing leaders that love their country. Whether Republican or Democrat, whoever is elected is highly likely to be someone who actually loves his country. They have done this for 244 years, from the days of Abraham Lincoln to today.
Can any serious person stand up and say Joe Biden does not love the United States? As misguided as he is in his policies, he indeed loves the country and is only trying to implement what he thinks is best for America.
Donald Trump, as misguided as he was, loves America to the core. His entire presidency was centered around him trying to implement what he thought was best for America. Trump can be described as an egomaniac, but even he was demonstrably interested in making America great.
The same love applies to Barack Obama. The same love was exhibited by George Bush. And we saw the same love from the Clinton administration. Yes, they have systems that guard against abuse of office and protect the republic. Systems matter more than love. But yet love cannot be ignored as an ingredient. You need to have a political system that promotes those who love the country.
Now, politicians are con-artists. They all claim to love the country. The electorate has to open their eyes to differentiate the real from the fake. Because of the prevalence of charlatans in our politics, we declare that they are all the same. They are all charlatans. They are all in it for themselves.
We have given up. The good ones never show up at anything political. It is indeed our fault that we cannot identify people who love the country. We keep electing (whether rigged or not) persons who have no love for the country, and we have no systems in place to get them out of office.
We have no systems in place to attract the people who love the country to be our leaders. We are to blame. We are not the victims in this. We are the perpetrators. We are responsible for a political system that accommodates men who love nothing other than their own meal.
The love question comes back to us. Do we love the country? At the personal level, do you love the country? How have you expressed love for your country? Of course, the comforting lie is that there is nothing I can do about it. Are you willing to sacrifice to make a better nation? You tell yourself you are ready, you are just waiting for a leader or a signal from a leader but the inner truth is you are not.
You have to have some love for your country. Home and abroad, Zimbabweans have to see themselves as Zimbabweans. You have to see yourself as a Zimbabwean. You are Zimbabwean. Love your country. The leaders you have demonstrated beyond any reasonable doubt have no love for the country. What are you going to do about it?
Love your country and do what it takes to be led by people who also love the country.
Love is one thing. We need more than love. You deserve leaders with love and quality minds. You cannot afford to have fools that love the country running around like a headless chicken trying to do what’s best for the country.
Even when possessing the highest quantity of love, their actions can be extremely misguided and end up doing no good for the country. The intentions can be good, but the result set can be very bad.
If you choose to be led by fools, you have to suffer the consequences. Fools cannot design a better system to protect the republic and its institutions. Fools cannot chart the way to victory. There is Shona phrase, “takatungamidza dofo kumberi” that translates to “ we let ourselves be led by a dumb person” that comes to mind in relation to letting fools lead the way. You suffer the consequences.
“Quality Minds” does not necessarily pertain to intelligence alone, even though some level of intelligence is an ingredient. Quality Minds, in my reflections, is the information-processing capacity and decision-making prowess. Both intelligence and wisdom are needed.
We currently have fools overcrowded in politics. All sorts of fools. People with a very low capacity to process information and to make the right decisions.
The best among us should lead us if we all love the country. Why do we select the worst among us to lead us? This is across the board. It's evident in government, in Zanu PF, in MDC, in churches, in NGOs, in private companies and schools. It's usually the worst mind that gets to be at the top of the food chain. The quality minds are nowhere to be found in leadership positions in Zimbabwe. Where are they? Have they jumped the ship? Have they given up?
Take Zanu PF, for example, the 60s, 70s, and even the 80s had quality minds at the top of the hierarchy. Simon Muzenda failed to protect the republic from Mugabe’s dictatorial tendencies, but he was nonetheless a quality mind. The same cannot be said about Kembo Mohadi.
Scan the MDC Alliance, for example, only a tiny few quality minds such as the passionate and emotional Tendai Biti and Welshman Ncube are in the camp. The majority is just “brawns” and no “brains”. The quality of the minds of Morgan Tsvangirai and Learnmore Jongwe cannot be matched by Nelson Chamisa and Charlton Hwende. This is not a criticism of Chamisa and Hwende, they are playing their role, it is just a mere observation of the decline in the quality of leadership and quality of minds.
The same observations can be made at the church level, the private company level, and the parastatal level, etc. The parastatal “quality mind” levels witnessed remarkably sharp declines at the top when Mugabe replaced businesspersons with retired army generals as heads of several state-owned enterprises.
Perhaps, the decline of quality minds at every level is due to the massive multi-decade brain-drain that hemorrhaged the country of its human resources. Perhaps all the quality ones died, they say the good die young. But they say as soon as one is gone another one is born. The quality minds that departed should be replaced by fresher quality minds. Where are the replacements? The ones that emigrated, have they lost all interest and hope?
The ones that are inside the country, where are they hibernating? What shall it take to unearth them from wherever they are hiding? What needs to happen to bring them to the fore of leadership?