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Zimbabwe Briefing - Issue 58
Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition (SA Regional Office)
January 25, 2012

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Let's insist on politics with principles

Recently, I came across what Mohandas Gandhi called the "Seven Social Sins" and these are worship without service, science without humanity, education without character, pleasure without conscience, commerce without morality, wealth without work and politics without principle. The one single "deadly sin" that I will focus on this week is the last one - politics without principle. Have you ever wondered what happens to all the "goodhearted politicians" who, after we elect them into power and they are enjoying the fruits of our votes seem to forget about our very needs? Well, your guess may be as good as mine! They possibly let go of their principles and hold onto self-fulfillment. Let us see what happens when there is politics without principle especially in regards to the Zimbabwean context.

The reason several Zimbabweans have to face the typhoid outbreak that has hit the capital city of Harare is that some politicians have chosen to neglect their duty of ensuring effective and efficient service delivery, among other reasons of course! This, coupled with the lack of commitment to delivering excellent services to the citizens of the once Sunshine City has resulted in a number of people falling ill and some even losing their lives. It is critical that when we look at politics and what it can do, we do not forget that once politicians decide to forget their ethical principles, the people begin to suffer and lose lives. Most of what is happening around us, especially this typhoid outbreak, is as a result of politicians who have decided to ignore the proper ethical conduct and treat humanity like it does not matter at all. It actually does and life is precious and ought to be preserved . . . something to reflect upon if we are going to be transformed and life enjoyed! It is appalling when I look at the quality of lives that we as the majority of Zimbabweans live. It seems the bulk of us are on survival-mode in this jungle of Zimbabwe that seems to be defined by the laws of survival of the fittest. Recently, the civil servants presented their case by staging a series of demonstrations and are wondering how that will improve our situation. Again when we look at the situation, it is politics that has gone wrong by people choosing to abandon ethical principles that could improve the very lives of those that voted them into office. Moreover, how will the lives of ordinary Zimbabweans improve when the powers that be choose to loot what is suppose to work at improving the lives of the people for their own personal gains? Is it no a simple logic that what the government has in terms of income can also be used to care for those that work for the government? Again, this shows how politicians can choose to trash their principles. Finally, looking at what has been happening around the world when politics fails to abide by principles - those affected take action in an attempt to ensure that their humanity is respected. It may not be today or even now that people will stand up and express their displeasure but sooner or later, it will catch up with the politicians and the people will take appropriate action. Just take a moment and reflect on your life and the quality thereof as a result of the politics of this nation. Are the problems you are experiencing, man-made or otherwise? Can these challenges be a result of someone out there ignoring the notion of politics with principle? Well, as my uncle would say, let those who have ears hear and those with eyes see so that when the day of action comes, they that saw and heard are able to be motivated enough to act! To those vying for political office, do practice politics with principle lest you be found on the wrong side of humanity and justice will take its course. Be warned!

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