Today is supposed to be a day of celebration, joy and happiness together with the people we are helping. No serious discussions, one would hope. Unfortunately we cannot stop reminding ourselves of the difficulties we face each day individually and collectively.
Over the past ten (10) years, day-by-day, life has become so difficult for most Zimbabweans - at least 99.50%. This means that if the estimated population is at 13 million, only 65,000 people are living happily and well. A sad situation indeed! This is not the work of the Creator of Mankind and all that is living because he loves us all, and equally so. We are in this situation because of human greed and selfishness - the 65,000 Zimbabweans who have got the power, i.e., financial or political. They have the power to change the situation for the common good, but they are not. This is a minority of the population.
Ironically, this new minority has forgotten that Zimbabwe was at war with itself (leading to independence) because the then minority section of the population was exploiting the majority in various ways for its own exclusive benefit. Zimbabwe wanted, and still today wants a fair, just and equitable society – a free society where opportunities are available for all regardless of race, gender, class or political affiliation. That’s all there is to our desires. The question is why is Zimbabwe what it is today – a hungry and unequal society worse than it was 25 years ago. What will it be in 2010 and beyond?
Some say we are in this situation because there is a political crisis in this motherland. I say there is a moral crisis in Zimbabwe. Those in government administration, and those who seek the political administrative power – all lack compassion and moral responsibility towards those they are not connected to in one way or the other. In a foreword to a book called “Nonviolence”, His Holiness The Dalai Lama says and I quote:
“ To experience genuine compassion is to develop a feeling of closeness to
others combined with a sense of responsibility for their welfare”
Now are those we have entrusted in the past, and will in the future entrust with the responsibility of public administration have the compassion and do they care about our well-being? No! They do not care about you, him, her or me. They have blocked their minds and hearts, and have turned a blind eye to the plight of mankind – the pain and suffering. They do not feel it, experience it. They do not have the capacity to develop the compassion because they do not have the moral will to do it. So knowing this, what do we Zimbabweans want today, tomorrow, next year, in 2010 and beyond? I will briefly talk about what I think we should have in place to achieve peace and prosperity for all.
1. A Progressive, accountable leadership
We start by choosing a progressive, responsible and accountable leadership to occupy government positions. Thereafter, all Zimbabweans must remain active custodians of the collective interests of this country. We must also explicitly define the kind of leadership we want - a progressive or destructive leadership? We must make this distinction. This is because leaders are found everywhere – among gangsters, thieves, bandits, drug dealers, the Church, governments and so on. Those seeking to destroy or exploit others - the society, are destructive leaders. Remember that anytime a “so-called” leader begins or seeks to benefit more than those they purport to lead (in proportion to their individual effort) then that’s manipulation. We must reject those kinds of leaders. Progressive leaders serve people, and not just get served. They work hard for the common good.
2. Food security
Farming is critical to the development and well-being of this country. Farms must be fully utilized. Those who got farms must do what farmers do, i.e. farm. We do not want part-time farmers. If you are a teacher, you go to school and teach. Similarly, if you call yourself a farmer – you must go and farm.
3. Education, training and jobs
We must wok to ensure that the education and skills-training standards we had, and the honest, competitive but productive spirit that existed among Zimbabweans twenty (20) years ago is restored. Teachers, social workers, nurses and doctors must be trained, retained in work places and be paid well as they play a critical role in social development and well-being of this country. Many professionals have been lost to other countries.
4. Infrastructure development
Infrastructure development – transport and communication networks, dams, alternative energy sources, sports and so on must be a priority. Industries must be developed in the different regions across the country in line with available resources or commodities produced in those regions (taking into account set-up costs and environmental matters). This will ensure opportunities are created, and all regions are uplifted in Zimbabwe.
5. An integrated societal development programme
With a good integrated transport and communication network, development must de-centralized, i.e., move away from urban development. Focus must be on providing services to rural communities so that urban migration and poverty can be reduced.
Ladies and gentlemen, I believe these are some of the basic steps required to provide a solid platform for sustainable development, eradication of poverty and the building of a healthy prosperous nation.
In conclusion, I say let’s start again as a country, not individuals. We have learnt our lessons in the past – I hope. Let’s start with choosing the right progressive leadership. Let us use the most powerful weapon we all have, i.e., the power to choose those we should trust with administrative positions. Let’s choose good men and women with genuine compassion and hearts. Lastly, a quote from the Bible, the Book of Luke
“ The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart…. For out of the overflow of his heart, his mouth speaks”
I pray to GOD that you will succeed in all you do. Thank you
Joseph Makamba Busha
Bulawayo, Mpilo General Hospital, Zimbabwe
21 January 2008, 12hrs00