By Wilbert Mukori- “Angela Merkel, leader of Germany for the past 16 years, is stepping down,” wrote Ngomakurira in The Zimbabwean.
“Much is being written about her legacy to Germany and the world but one comment, by Matt Qvortrup of Coventry University, is eye-catching: ‘She has turned German politics into a discussion about policy rather than politics.’
“Policy is about what we should be doing here and now to respond to the needs of the people for whom we are responsible. Politics is about what we should be doing to get the votes of those who support us. The others, for whom we are also responsible, can be ignored.
“Policy is focused on the common good and builds community. Politics is about responding to sectional interests and is divisive.”
Germany was in ruins at the end of the Second World War and yet, like Phoenix rising from the ashes, bounced right back to be one of prosperous nations on earth. Ask any student of history to name some of the qualities behind Germany’s success; hard work and meticulous attention to detail, they will answer.
It would be her meticulous attention to detail that would have forced Chancellor Merkel to value policy over politics. The spineless politician would go for the politics and the votes; she stayed the course, and pursued policy and the common good.
It must be said, she was luck to have to have in the German electorate a people with a discerning mind who valued Chancellor Merkel’s rational, calm, pragmatic and solution orientated approach to the rumble rousing empty rhetoric of other political leaders.
When Zimbabwe gained her independence in 1980, the country had a robust economy, had a very productive agricultural sector which was the engine driving the economy, had mineral wealth, flora and fauna and, unlike most other Africa countries, a well educated population. The country was “the jewel of Africa, look after it” as the late Julius Nyerere, President of Tanzania, told Robert Mugabe at the time.
Zimbabwe had the potential to become the South Korea of Africa; dynamic, prosperous and above all free and justice. Mugabe and his Zanu PF cronies were after absolute power and moved swiftly to establish a de facto one party dictatorship modelled on the likes of North Korea. The ordinary Zimbabweans were never given a meaningful vote to pick on the Zimbabwe they wanted.
Ever since 1945, Germany has had a healthy and functioning democracy and the nation has had the democratic space to allow quality debate and democratic competition to weed out the mediocre leaders to allow quality leaders, creme de la creme, to be elected into office.
I would say in 1980 Zimbabwe was a glass-full of wholesome milk to which was added a few drops of cholera infected sewage in the form of Robert Mugabe and his Zanu PF cronies. The glass-full of milk was transformed into a glass full deadly sewage! And from the pond of sewage scum, not cream, has risen to the top.
Zimbabwe, even after 41 years of corrupt and tyrannical Zanu PF rule, is not in the sorry economic state Germany was in 1945 and can easily rise from the gutter, dust herself off, and still be a proud, prosperous nation at peace with itself. The one thing stopping the national revival is the thick scum of corrupt and incompetent leaders who now believe they have the divine right to rig elections and stay in power.
The thick scum has bloated out the light and fresh air making the ordinary people weak and powerless to asset they basic freedoms and rights including the right to a meaningful say in the governance of the country and even the right to life. There is no doubt that some day the people will break Zanu PF’s strangle hold on the nation but the chances are it will be to replace the corrupt and tyrannical regime with one mediocre regime after another.
Zimbabwe has the great misfortune to have corrupt and incompetent thugs like Robert Mugabe as leaders at the nation’s formative years, the rot has been woven into the fabric of the nation, it is near impossible to pick out and remove very one of the rotten fibres. Zimbabwe is like a broken clay pot, even if it can be put together again; a scratching finger nail will reveal the tell-tale hair line cracks.