Coalition Fiasco – Any Hope from the Disjointed Unity?

By Noah Mangwarara.

Harare, Zimbabwe. (News of the South) – Same strategy, same mode of operation, the blame game mantra coupled with too much talk yet little action has been the order of the opposition ever since the turn of the century. Five elections since the year 2000, it appears as though history has mastered the art of repeating itself more clearly in Zimbabwean politics than any other sphere. The news these days is all about the coalition of the opposition parties (if they are really parties per se), leaving one wondering if there is anything worthwhile ever going to come from such, if not merely the waste of time and resources, which are so meagre in this country of ours that doesn’t even have its own currency. At a time when Zanu (Pf) is at its weakest, any leader worth his salt was truly going to capitalize on the goings on, notably the factionalism that has become the order of the day within the ageing entity but alas- who is going to lead the coalition.

It goes on and on with much time being lost as though these leaders do not realize that there are only twelve months to the plebiscite. This probably gives room to our Man of gold (God) to quickly prophesy and see visions of things to come, which any logical man can conclude and articulate that the great revolutionary of all time will be the winner of the 2018 elections, defying all odds at the ripe age of 94. And who is to blame for such; the opposition of-course, with their ongoing circus wrongly labelled leadership or politics.

Foolishness has been defined as doing the same things again and again in the same manner and somehow expecting a different result in the process. The grand coalition can be likened to the behaviour of processionary caterpillars. These are moths with a unique characteristic whereupon they follow each other in nose to tail columns as they go. Jean-Henri Casimir Fabre in 1915 conducted an experiment where he linked the caterpillar in a queue with the one in front linked with the one at the rear forming a circle in the process. He went on to place the food (pine leaves) greatly desired by the caterpillars in the middle of the circle. Amazingly, the caterpillars continued to go round and round in the circle smelling the nice food but failing to access it. After about five days of going the rounds, the moths started dying of starvation. Fast tracking from 1915 to 2017, it appears as though the experiment was a pointer to the present day coalition leaders, with their zeal to lead the country to better pasture but somehow failing to realize that the election is for them to take. Unfortunately, they have chosen to go round and round concentrating on what doesn’t contribute value to the greater good of themselves and the masses at large. It’s no longer a goose chase but a real lion hunt if ever anything is to materialize from the many meetings of the many political entities.

There is urgent need on the part of the opposition to realize that it can’t be business as usual. The processionary route won’t lead the country anywhere; neither does greed and being power hungry for nothing. One percent of an elephant is always better than hundred percent of a rat. Following the path that led to dismal performance in past elections is never going to yield the desired result. With the great opportunity presented by the commotion and factionalism within Zanu (Pf), acting fast is the only solution rather than arguing over immaterial things. The matter before them is very urgent but appears as though they have all their lives to prepare.

Having failed to introduce the electoral changes during the unity government era (when the international community had a heightened interest), one wonders how such reforms can be effected between now and the next election with very little interest from anyone. With the number of registered voters not so different from the last elections, everything points to the same old order and systems. That being the case, upping the game becomes the only reasonable path to follow. Ultimately, the words of Chris Hadfield should echo in the collation leader’s ears that, “leadership is not about glorious crowning acts. It’s about keeping your team focused on a goal and motivated to do their best to achieve it, especially when the stakes are high and the consequences really matter. It is about laying the groundwork for others’ success, and then standing back and letting them shine.”

Noah Mangwarara is a Leadership Expert & Motivational Speaker who has authored a number of inspirational and leadership books.


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