It cannot be the people’s voice, and it certainly is not God’s voice that, in pursuant of peace, accountability and hard work, you appoint and flaunt known perpetrators of fear, corruption, intimidation and tormentors of people into government leadership.
By Mathabelazitha/The Anvil
“The voice of the people is the voice of God!’’ Repeatedly now, President Emmerson Mnangagwa has invoked the voice of God to ring loud and clear through the channel of his people to give him divine guidance, direction and power to steer this sinking Titanic Zimbabwe out of the doldrums of a storm and into clear waters of hope.
There is something of a perennial clown and a morbid joker in his deportment, something which tends to dampen the faith you invest in his words every time the man takes to the podium. But because you so wish it to be, the citizen in you remains convinced that divine spoken word on his lips will, with time and the power of mantra, convert the speaker to a true believer of his words, so help you God!
The Zanu PF congress came and went with its usual dosages of comic drama and dozing golden oldies, but with very unusual and quite refreshing swift brevity. Sharp and short. It was over as we blinked, saved a couple million important bond notes and more or less set the tone of business -unusual as promised by the wily Croc.
Yet some gnawing feeling in the citizen in me “fears” that Mnangagwa’s clarion call for the people’s voice is, indeed sincere. Fear because indeed God may speak, and so may His people, but the hearer may be hard of hearing! Fear, because Mnangagwa’s ears may hear loud voices issuing from the general direction of heaven, but in fact coming from hell.
Fear because his maker, mentor and predecessor, Robert Mugabe verily believes, even on his Singapore bed, having so dismally failed to listen to, and to hear the people’s voice — that he had unparalleled ability to listen to the voice of the people all his political life! I have fear that a deaf man, convinced of his own hearing, will tell you what to say to him and repeat your words to the world as indisputable proof of the sharpness of his ears!
I have fear that Mnangagwa may mistake the multitudes of voices that on Monday so gleefully sing “Pasi naMujuru [down with Mujuru]”, Tuesday “one centre of power”, Wednesday “Munhu wese kuna Amai”, reading 10 bold resolutions purportedly from the people, facing East, only to wake up Thursday, singing with similar glee “Kutonga kwaro!” and pronouncing similarly bold resolutions facing West. What if he mistakes such voices for the voices of God? Where would such voices lend this country by Sunday?
When political leaders clear their ears and pronounce a readiness to listen to the voices of the people, we the people have an immediate and consuming duty to speak and speak aloud, without apology. Great fear must grip the nation when an entire chairperson of Zimbabwe’s traditional leaders, the primary custodians of the people and the culture and the fabric of our humanity, pronounces unapologetic allegiance of that critical stratum of the state to a voluntary political formation.
Fortune Charumbira continues to reduce a most critical pillar of society to the whimsical purpose of a political interest group. His voice Mr President is neither a voice of the people, nor is it the voice of God. It is an utterly misinformed voice from hell.
The loudest voice of the people is media and civil society. While he is willing to listen, it is incumbent upon civil actors and the media not only to advise His Excellency of the fundamental danger and strategic short sightedness of cementing an unholy marriage between Zanu PF and institutions of the state, but also to institute well-researched and vigourous legal challenges to these dangerous public pronouncements in the constitutional courts.
Constitutionally, it is a voice from hell and the nation must shudder at the dire implication of the unabashed declaration of the electoral partnership between veterans of war, the national army (ZDF), the Association of Traditional leaders in aiding the ruling party. It is simply a democratic taboo! Absolutely nothing can be more dangerous to a fledging multi-party democracy. Watching the very militarisation of government coupled with the express celebration of the formalisation and consolidation of state capture by a political party and the accompanying deafening silence of all opposition formations and civil society gives one the sinking feeling that in fact, we may just have moved three steps forward, and 30 steps back in the last couple of weeks in the political development of the country.
The biometric voter registration and voter apathy has been holding sway in public discourse for a while now. Indeed, it should be so, and no stone should be left unturned in ensuring that every Zimbabwean who can vote does vote. However, listening to the voices of hell and horror that are at the very epicentre of the fundamental architecture of the forthcoming elections, it is not unreasonable for a Zimbabwean not to bother casting a vote. Urgent and greater attention needs to be paid to delivering the genuine and unequivocal voice of the people and voice of God to President Mnangagwa about the minimum demands of the people building up to the election, about the indicators of evident, real and potential rigging of elections that are setting root, about our sincere desire to participate actively in the Zimbabwe he seems to dream of, and the basic assurances we need to guarantee every shoulder on the deck.
The voice of the people is the voice of God indeed! The tingling and itching of the ED’s ears is because we are talking good and ill about him as we must. He must know, having lived that close to his boss so long, that often the loudest voices are voices from hell, and God speaks softly!
Mnangagwa must surely hear voices from hell! He must also hear voices from Heaven! Having resolved to serve all, he must ask his God where the midlands is — but hear he must!