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Parliamentary Monitor: Volume 2, Issue 1
Parliamentary Monitoring Trust (Zimbabwe)
October 11, 2012

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Village Observer

First, my condolence to the Mudenge family. Dr Stan Mudenge was an academic and politician. Despite dropping out of school half backed, I really enjoyed reading his history texts. I understood half the contents and wished I had eaten very big books. Maybe I would have understood more about the Mwenemutapa Empire. There was a joke a fellow villager, who once worked for our sole broadcaster before he was retrenched in 2003, always told. It is said the learned doctor with his trademark slow speech was addressing a press conference. In the middle of the presser, this cameraman suddenly shouted, “Minister don't just say uh uh ah ah, because I am running out of film here!” This, it is said was in Shona, making the joke more punchy. This may have been an expose of the broadcaster's shoestring budget and at the same time it was an opportunity for us to look at our leaders in a lighthearted manner. To be able to tell a leader how to speak, hopefully we will be able to tell them what to say also. This then brings me to the topic of the day. How the leaders relate to the people. And how we relate to our leaders. More on the former. Our leaders, especially political leaders, have this tendency of taking us for granted. They think, act, speak, eat, accumulate and do everything on our behalf. We should however do the dirty work for them. The leaders, some of them very young think we owe them everything and they will come and cherry-pick from our open hands. Take for example how the PM handled his marriage and the other affairs. It is his business, but we have problems when suddenly they start appealing to us to be on their side on a very personal issue. What makes it even worse is this sense of entitlement. The people should, have to support me. I have seen the same in Zanu PF. You differ on an issue and instead of addressing the issue, you are addressed. It is often said the residue of democratic centralism has killed internal debate in Zanu PF but what is worse is the sense of entitlement these guys assume. It is time for the current leaders to learn that we the people owe them nothing. In fact they owe us a lot and should start acting in a manner that shows that they respect our power and intellect. Until they realize that we also have our entitlement to own opinions which may be different to their own, the better. This attitude of trying to take us for a ride should end!

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