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Our biggest problem is our rulers

A LEADER leads by serving his people, protecting their rights and promoting their freedom but a ruler takes his people as subjects, controls them, suppresses them and dictates what he wants them to do.

“Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif”>Use of all arms of the security forces to protect his position makes him superhuman and master of all the people as he robs the country of its wealth, leaving people impoverished. In the end people are left in abject poverty while the rulers live in riches.

These politicians are mainly business people who want to get to positions of authority so as to protect and cover their dirty deeds. Examples are plenty.

Put simply, a leader serves while a ruler is served. These are the kind of people that we have in Africa, Zimbabwe included – rulers who want to be served.

Africa’s greatest drawback has been, and still is, its rulers. These people who masquarade as leaders but practising rulership instead of leadership have driven Africa into murky waters of poverty.

These rulers take people as their subjects and property just the same way they do with their household property which they can use and manipulate at their own discretion.

They want to control every part of life, every aspect of people’s lives from what they see, hear and say, thus robbing people of their freedom.

The Zimbabwean government has closed virtually all avenues of freedom and human rights. It has shut down independent radio stations and newspapers which are critical of its wrong-doings. Of late it has been frantically trying to control the Internet and Information minister Jonathan Moyo has been hollering for the shutdown of Studio 7.

Our president is not a leader but a ruler because of the control that he is exercising on people hence his claim “My Zimbabwe”, as if we are his piece of property.

Not only have we seen such behaviour in Zimbabwe, but other places where we have conflicts and wars. They have originated directly or indirectly from bad governance. These rulers drive their people into a very difficult corner but people are bound to fight back.

Rulers employ divide-and-rule tactics declaring anyone who says anything against them an enemy, use everything in their powers to fight all elements of opposition which unfortunately is not destroyed, but goes underground to regroup in order to return with more vigour.

Furthermore, their control of people does not ingratiate them but further alienates them against their regime.

These rulers use their positions to rob the wealth of poor countries using the police, army and even the Green Bombers to suppress the people.

The constitution is twisted and turned to protect the ruler’s position at the expense of people he must serve. In the end the constitution protects the few ruling elite while oppressing the masses it must protect.

In Zimbabwe we have seen several amendments to the constitution and new laws being promulgated to protect the ruling party which effectively survives at the expense of the tax payers and the freedom of the citizens. Because of this, all aspects of the economy have collapsed together with all facets of societal organs, eg education, health and transport.

We have seen the deterioration of living standards of most Zimbabweans while government stands aloof fingering the West as a scapegoat.

This rulership is entwined in dictatorship to such an extent that the two are synonymous. But what I finding pleasing most is that these rulers and dictators will at one point face the full wrath of the people.

Ironically, these same leaders, after an uprising by people, will be quick to demand the rights and freedoms they would have denied them. Examples include Saddam Hussein’s demand for justice which he denied the people of his country.

He now wants his life to be spared yet he did not spare the lives of people during his rule and even went to the extent of killing his sons-in-law when they defected to Jordan after the Gulf war.

Oftentimes rulers have left their respective countries in turmoil, serious conflicts and bloodshed as happened in Iraq, DRC, Somalia, Uganda, Rwanda, Haiti, Afghanstan, Sudan, Algeria and Nigeria.

Are we going to wait and see bloodshed again as happened during the Gukurahundi era? Are we going to wait for this catastrophe to befall us before we act?

We have been given the chance to remove our rulers from power through elections in March next year. We should use it or live to regret if we ever survive.

It is up to us to unite and remove this rulership and replace it with good leadership.

Wesley Sanganai,


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