ZIMBABWE has just witnessed five days of mass action. What does all this mean to us as a businessmen? Should we participate and, if so, how?
Mass action means jus
t what it is. It is the nation lawfully protesting against a government and authority that, in itself, is acting unlawfully in imposing its will on its people. Mass action means that all Zimbabweans should participate in whichever way they can.
We all have a responsibility and that responsibility equates, in part, to making sacrifices. Something that we all have to do when planning our business. There are times when we have to expend more than we receive.
Investments have to be made that are costly in the short-term but beneficial in the medium and long-term.
This is all calculated planning based on predictions and forecasts. These are moves made to ensure the long-term future and viability of our operations in order that we secure our businesses in a healthy state for a return to normality when businesses can expand and vindicate past decisions.
This is a portrayal of a business perspective. What of the moral responsibility? Is the business of business just business?
When Hitler invaded the rest of Europe, many businesses in the US turned a blind eye and continued to make profits and benefited from the upturn, due to purchases from Nazi Germany. This continued until the writing was clearly on the wall. Those that waited this long had to then live with their decisions.
How did they feel when the horror of the Holocaust became known? They had to cope with this guilt for the rest of their lives. Even today legal action continues against those businesses that supported Nazi Germany claiming that it was just business.
Let’s look a little closer at Saddam Hussein and Iraq. Look at the fallout and the present status of “collaborators”. The people of Iraq will never forget those businesses that collaborated with the regime. Do you want to be on the pack of cards?
How is the wind blowing in Zimbabwe right now? What is right and what is wrong? What is done is done and history cannot be changed by rewriting it.
When you sit at home and ponder over the future now, more than ever, is a time when we must study the present. Decisions made now will impact heavily on your business and your moral conscience. God willing, you will have to live with yourself more in the future than you do in the present.
Business expediency now can cost us our reputation, our respectability and even our future.
This stayaway is not a five-day matter. It is part of an unstoppable process and the shorter the process the better for business. It is a case of investing in a short closure and making sacrifices now or risk being closed forever.
Any businessman must now know that change is inevitable and that actively participating will be the best investment you will ever make. Look around you. There are many of your colleagues who are making a brave stand. Join them! Share the experience and benefit from the security in numbers. You will not be alone.
Although you may not be fully aware of the position on the ground, be assured that there were tens of thousands who followed the call and sporadic instances occurred right across the country but were brutally suppressed. Many MPs were arrested on the first day, including Morgan Tsvangirai. Some were detained, Job Sikhala among them. Previously tortured and detained, he leads from the front. Are you?
Show courage and leadership to your workers. Now is the time to cement a relationship that will secure their trust forever! Solidarity is a feature of your association with your workforce that they will never forget.