Accountability is part of the deal when democracy matters!

Posted: August 24, 2011 in Uncategorized

“What is this intended to achieve? Discover “the truth”? Provide competing perspectives? Further promote hate that we seek to douse?” (Response on Facebook) “Stop lying and disinforming people guys, Mujuru never killed nor served anyone. He had a right to remain silent and remember soldiers are not allowed to participate in politics he was abided by the constitution.” (Response on Hararesunset)

The above quotes were some of the responses I got when I posted my article about Mujuru. The reactions above were clearly written to attack the views of those who saw Mujuru as a villain, rather than the hero most sought to see him as. Moreover, they were intended to question my patriotism and objectivity as the writers claim I am used this platform to misinform people. Well, if you felt that way, I have questions for you as well…

Divorcing responsibility from accountability?

Some people professed ignorance about the involvement of Mujuru in some dark part of history in the country. In detective work, when you are found to be knowingly hanging around with a serial killer while police look for him/her, it’s called “an accomplice or an accessory to murder” and it’s a serious crime.  Believe me, I am not trying to attack the persona of Mujuru, but I am trying to

Democracy Health-check. Is it something you want to build on the truth?

understand how whether it is okay for people in positions of power to be excluded when it comes to responsibility and accountability? The way I see it, power comes with responsibility and if the kitchen is too hot, get out. If Mujuru hated the way people got killed in the 80s, he had a chance to walk out or at least to speak out, and the question is why didn’t he do so?

What of the GNU? To stay or to go…

In some ways this applies to the GNU where of late we have seen the harassment, arrests of MDCs politicians and their supporters. In this case, nobody is arguing that the MDCs have the power to prevent these abuses but we are still left with questions asking what they should do about this. Should they pull out of the GNU on principle or stay put? If they pull out, what is it that they can achieve from going it alone? If they make the pragmatic decision to stay, is the risk of legitimising abuses and giving the impression of a functioning government outweighed by the chances of them making a breakthrough or being able to prevent even worse abuses? As our elected officials we’re relying on these people to think about these bigger questions and not just decide on the basis of what suits them personally.

Is it divisive to talk about ethnicity?

The mention of ethnicity in my last article raised a few eyebrows. The way I see it is that it will not work if we build democracy while sweeping other issues under the table. If ethnic matters are a worry in Zimbabwe, why not provide platforms to have one or two words about it and try to move beyond it. Maybe we can actually help solve the problems if we find ways to discuss without attacking.

…As for Zanu PF, we can slowly predict their future!

While I could not predict the impact of Mujuru’s death on Zanu PF last week, this week I’m ready to. In the next few months or so, chances are that Mugabe will lose total respect of the party members and he won’t be taken seriously, opening avenues for a new leader to emerge. This will be so because there are too many suspicions that Mujuru was murdered and by the look of things, Mugabe has no way to please both of the two main factions within his party. It’s simple mathematics of each man for himself and there is no god. That’s the new Zanu PF, at least the way I see it. Add to that, who would want to be with Mugabe when the revolution hits Harare? Knowing Zimbabweans, Mugabe might be alone towards the end.

Anyway, I will end by saying its sometime good to be confused (as we seem to be nowadays) as one newspaper columnist called Molly Ivins once said “The thing about democracy, beloveds, is that it is not neat, orderly, or quiet. It requires a certain relish for confusion.”

  1. I agree with most of the things that you said about the late Mujuru in your other article. However this is Africa and some people are judged not in terms of absolute purity, but relative purity. Mujuru was one of the top brass in Zanu Pf since the liberation struggle and that fact humstrung him to a great extent in terms of what he could do. People considered him a lesser devil as qualified by his efforts to moderate the excesses of Robert Mugabe by speaking up to him and challenging him at various points in his political career albeit with little success. He could not get out of the kitchen because obviously he was going to demise earlier out in the cold.

    The MDC is also in a huge quagmire at this moment regarding the decision to stay in or leave the GNU. There is no doubt, the GNU has brought some positive relief in the suffering of Zimbabweans or at least halted the worst from happening. True, abuses are continuing, but i do not think anyone with even traces of common sense should blame the MDC of legitimizing ongoing abuses mainly because they are also targets of abuse themselves and have spoken out against them from time to time. This is a struggle and by soldiering on the MDC have shown considerable courage that should be commended.

    The issue of tribalism is endemic in most countries especially African countries and should be addressed. Wars erupt when one or more tribes feel neglected on the basis of their ethnicity. We should strive to ensure that the only limitation to any countryman’s woman’s success SHOULD BE their natural abilities.

    • Mathula says:

      @ Paradzai…After reading a lot of material written about Mujuru, I find myself in a rather disciplined nature as to how I would describe him. It is true that he was somehow a lesser devil and somehow likable chap in the country, its hard to take that away from him. This is the matter again with our politics in Zimbabwe. One day history will be written maybe to satisfy the truth *depending on how selfish are those who write it*. To bury the Mujuru matter, lets agree he played his part in the struggle and agree to disagree on how we saw him after independence. Somehow, we are required, as Zimbabweans to develop pur home grown struggle with much praise for our own. Indeed, the MDCs are in a dilemma. But again, what is it that is expected of them? My worry is that if politics continues as it is, we might have permanent places for violence and corruption which amounts to hate and less development in the country. But then you start to think of options and get stuck. One good option for sure is to continue engaging and hope politicians will hear one or two things from us. Tribalism is one dark side of our history. My approach is to talk about the problem areas in it and continue to do so every time as we might be aware that we will not be able to end it but we have to live beyond it.

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