By Wilbert Mukori| Albert Einstein, one of the greatest physicist and innovative thinker to ever walk the earth, explained that psychologically, our beliefs and axioms rest upon our experiences. There exists, however, no logical path from experience to an axiom, but only an intuitive connection based on our interpretation of the experience, which is always subject to revocation.
These interpretations shape our beliefs and perceptions which determine our theories about the world. Finally, our theories determine what we observe in the world and, paradoxically, we only observe what confirms our theories which further hardens our beliefs and axioms.
Socrates, the great Greek philosopher, had the antidote against one following a course of action based long held and hardened beliefs and axioms which are, nonetheless, erroneous. He argued that beliefs, axioms, everything must be subjected to rigorous examination.
Socrates was a great proponent of freedom expression, democracy and the importance of and educated citizen for a healthy, functioning and prosperous society.
Four decades of Zanu PF dictatorship; in which all debate and democratic competition were stifle, no freedom of expression and free media so the only voice to be heard was that on the dictator and his minions, etc.; has produced highly opinionated individuals. Their opinions have never been subjected to any serious cross-examination and hence are, more often than not erroneous!
In fact, Zimbabwe is in this economic and political mess because for the last four decades the nation has plough the same erroneous fallow set by dumb and stupid Zanu PF and MDC leaders. They are so dumb they have repeated the same mistakes again and again whilst considering it beneath them to listen to advice.
Zanu PF leaders’ “Misstra know it all” arrogance, as the great Steve Wonder so aptly put it, is insufferable!
“Rome can’t continue to burn while we watch,” and something is evidently going very wrong in our country and I apologise upfront if I offend as I attempt to share national experiences that helped similar challenges in the recent past,” wrote Walter Mzembi, Zimbabwe’s former minister of tourism now living in exile in SA.
“Proverbs 1:9 will acquit me: “What has been done will be done again, there is nothing new under the sun.”
“Great 15th century historian Thucydides rhymes the same: “It is the very nature of humans to act in the future as they did in the past.”
“History repeats itself, and humanity learns from past mistakes and recalibrates its decisions and actions based on these past experiences.
“What can we, in pursuit of solutions to the current crisis, learn from the Zanu/PF-Zapu talks of 1987 which resulted in a broad-based unity government; or distil from the Zanu PF/MDC talks that resulted in the Government of National Unity (GNU) of 2009 and how both talks were triggered?”
The article rubbled on and on enumerating the “success” of the 2009 GNU and arguing Nelson Chamisa and Emmerson Mnangagwa to put aside their pride and selfish interests and do the same.
“Contrary to what is happening now, we soon learnt, and this is absolute reality and advice to the Harare administration, that legitimacy is conferred by your political opponents, not by self, your choir, or opportunity and job hunters. It was Tsvangirai’s legitimacy lobby and endorsement that became the lifeblood of the inclusive government as Nelson Chamisa can do for Emmerson Mnangagwa and his government, God-willing and common-sense prevailing,” argued Mzembi.
Poor Mzembi he had the presence of mind to quote Proverbs and Thucydides but clearly lacked the intellect to digest and understand the wisdom behind the quotations. Having accomplished the initial challenge of correctly identifying past mistakes no one would knowing repeat the same mistake. What Mzembi had failed to grasp is that the “recalibration” based on the same erroneous data will lead to the same wrong destination or be it by another circuitous route.
In this case Mzembi saw the both the 1987 Unity Accord and the 2009 GNU as great success when they were in fact failures. It is no secret that from the time they took power in 1980, Robert Mugabe and his Zanu PF cronies had worked feverish to create a de facto one-party state. Whilst they felt the legal and political constrains slowing them from achieving their objective the signing of the Unity Accord removed most of these constrains!
Zimbabwe is in this economic and political mess because the country has been stuck with a corrupt, incompetent, vote rigging and tyrannical one-party dictatorship for the last four decades. It was the 1987 Unity Accord that made it possible for Zanu PF to impose the dictatorship.
The primary objective of the 2009 GNU was to implement the raft of democratic reforms agreed in the 2008 Global Political Agreement so that the blatant vote rigging and wanton violence of the 2008 elections will not be repeated ever again. The GNU failed to get even one reform implemented and so Zanu PF rigged the 2013 elections and last year’s elections.
Mzembi acknowledges Mnangagwa’s regime has the same legitimacy problems because he rigged last year’s elections just as Mugabe had the same legitimacy problems after he rigged 2008 elections. However he is once again woefully wrong in believing “legitimacy is conferred by your political opponents”. Legitimacy is conferred by winning the majority vote of the people of Zimbabwe in a free, fair and credible elections.
The 2009 GNU was an interim administration appointed to implement the reforms and hold fresh elections. Whilst we need to appoint a similar body again this time, it would be foolish, to say the least, to entrust the same individuals, Zanu PF and MDC leaders, to implement the reforms when they failed to get even one token reform implemented last time.
Mzembi knows that implementing reforms will end Zanu PF’s carte blanche dictatorial power to rig elections and to use wanton violence. Need to implement the reforms to end the culture of rigged elections, the root cause of bad governance. Mzembi’s primary concerned is to make sure Zanu PF remains in power at all cost; even if that means the economic and political mess and the tragic human suffering and deaths get even worse; hence the reason he does not want any reforms mentioned.
“If we had less of him
Don’t you know we’d have a better land!
He’s Misstra Know-It-All
Hey you talk too much you worry me to death”
Sound advice from Master Blaster, Steve Wonder!