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People, not leaders must rise to the occasion

THERE was a note of desperation in Vincent Kahiya’s Editor’s Memo titled “Let’s see you rise to the occasion” (Independent, August 25) call to MDC leaders.

Kahiya was critical of the MDC’s past and present performance because the party

lacked quality leaders.

As a people we believe only our political leaders have the answer to our problems and we, the ordinary people, are powerless and helpless. Even when there is overwhelming evidence to the contrary we have turned to our leaders again and again.

For the last three decades, we have turned to President Mugabe and Zanu PF for answers. The economic mess we are in speaks volumes of their leadership credentials.

They have failed dismally but they are so wrapped up in their own greed and self-importance they do not see it, hence President Mugabe’s efforts to stay in power despite his pathetic record.

Now it seems we are placing all our national hope for economic recovery and freedom in the MDC. The MDC’s performance to date, few people will disagree, has been very disappointing. Indeed MDC leaders are Zanu PF by another name as regards their lack of leadership qualities, lack of vision and lack of democratic values.

We have a failed ruling party and an opposition party that has failed to hold them to account. The solution is that the people should hold both to account.

Our challenge in 1980 was to safeguard our basic human rights and freedoms and ensure our leaders remained accountable to us, the people. We failed dismally at that. We are paying dearly for it. The cost of our economic failure is now paid in human lives. Life expectancy in Zimbabwe has dropped from 64 years to 34.

This tragic trend will continue and get worse with each passing day until we, the people, stand up and demand our rights, freedom and finally hold our leaders accountable to us, the people. Let’s see the people of Zimbabwe rise to the occasion.

Wilbert Mukori.

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