I am a fan of literature, of which most of George Orwell´s portrayals have stood the test of time, remaining as true, if not truer, more relevant and clearer today as they were on the initial time of scribbling.
Animal farm is one such piece. After conquering the fight against the humans and gaining independence, the Animals had a short lived honeymoon of freedom and equality before the wrath of chaos descended upon the rest, and inflicted under the leadership of their fellows, the pigs. In their fight for liberation, the animal had focused sorely on defeating their oppressive ruling class, of which the humans were leaders.
Little effort had been invested towards their future and molding the kind of leadership they expected to replace the humans. Their justified indignation towards the humans and anything human had clouded their realistic conception of the future or insight into the society they envisaged together with the work and structures they had to invest before reaping the rewards.
Unsurprisingly, years after independence, “The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again; but already it was impossible to say which was which.”
One would be forgiven if they concluded chapters of Animal Farm were contemporary writings of Zimbabwe. Infact, I thought of it more today when Patson Dzamara vehemently declared his support for Themba Mliswa. To put it mildly, I was shocked!
Here was Patson Dzamara; a progressive or so he purports, declaring his unwavering support for Themba Mliswa, a man whose track record of leading and unleashing the pogrom on the opposition before being booted out of Zanu PF is well documented.
The same man, so eloquent in the language of violence, whose exploits were utilised in brutalising people during the farm invasions and in the recent past is now a darling. Preposterous!
Some people would then argue that: Every Saint has a past and every Sinner has a future. However the weakness in such an argument is it´s extension which, for the sake of justice, would be applied to exonerate some of the most corrupt heads who have also taken part in some of the most heinous acts since independence and whose exploits have led us to where we are today, of which Themba Mliswa is an element.
Had it not been enough, Patson Dzamara paints himself as a social justice warrior and an advocate for the emancipation of women yet supports a man whose history of denigrating women is as naked as the night.
In fact, as recent as last week Themba Mliswa declared that: he was not a fan of marriage and went on to beat his own chest about having 10 Children with 10 different women. Allegations of sexual exploitation and abuse over the years, have through power and abuse of public office been thrown under the rag.
How irresponsible for a leader of a country whose teenage HIV AIDS prevalence rate has been on the rise as shown by recent statistics published by the national AIDS Council? What happened to integrity and leadership?
Fellow Zimbabweans, in our sight is a crucial juncture not only politically but for our futures and those of the generations which will inherit this land from us.
I agree with the notion raised by Burke in his social contact, ensconcing that: Society is indeed a contract. It is a partnership . . . not only between those who are living, but between those who are living, those who are dead, and those who are to be born.
What I urge my fellow country men, of which I am an element, is to desist from being hypocrites, being short sighted, and avoid supporting opposition for the sake of it. Why not make it a goal to support and elect leaders into public office who have demonstrated, through word and deed, a desire and willingness to fight and advance our society.
Men and women, role models, who can go on to inspire and challenge us to be better beings not only by rhetoric, but whose track records bear testimony to the words they spew.
If we are not careful, in the not so distant future, we will look from our “new leaders” to the “old leaders”, and from the “new leaders” to the “old leaders”, and from the “new leaders” to the “old leaders”; but already it would be impossible to say which will be which, and too late to correct.
What good would it be to replace a devil with another? Would it be the kind of revolution we are after where we identify and cite poor leadership as the core reason we are entangled in this mess, and yet go on to replace it with a new one whose probability of following the path taken by the previous is as close to One as One?
The choice is ours!
Note: Gratitude is extended to Lucas K Oswaldo for providing the foundation ideas on whose shoulders this piece was built.
- Rational Zimbabwean is a political analyst and social commentator – Khuluma Afrika