Consider the greater good

I HAD a brief and uncomfortable conversation recently with a friend.There is much confusion and its difficult to sort out the truth from the propaganda.
In the end, we will all go into the voting booth on March 29 and make our choices. Our vote is indeed our secret.

The last eight years have been extrodinary as well as difficult and stressful; we have made the first major challenges to the status quo and many have lost a great deal and all of our lives have been changed beyond recognition. I acknowledge and respect the role that Morgan Tsvangirai has played in that process; and he will always hold a special place in my heart and in our history. He, and many others who we may have already forgotten.

Nevertheless, the last two years have not been good ones in Tsvangirai’s faction and I have increasing concerns about his leadership ability, especially looking at the inevitable changes ahead.

Whether we like it or not, we have to live in the same space as those who have perpetrated acts of aggression against us or who have remained silent.

We are all complict one way or another — let us not forget that many of those in the oppostion were at one time members of Zanu PF; that while farmers were under siege, urban voices were silent. There are many shades between black and white, between the good and the bad.

I think we have become very polarised and are stuck in an MDC/Zanu PF dynamic and that this is no longer productive but only continues to deepen the divisions between us. How much longer can we hold these fixed positions while everything around us crumbles and dies?

Loyalty is a great quality, but we have to ask to what exactly are we being loyal. The argument that we should continue voting for Tsvangirai because of his past contribution, is the same argument used by Mugabe as to why we should vote for him.

Didn’t he liberate the country from colonial shackles and therefore we should continue loyalty well beyond his ability or willingness to deliver “the goods”?

Sometimes, we have to step back from emotional loyalty and look to the greater good. In this circumstance, I always think of the politics of post-World War II Britain. Winston Churchill had led them through the dark and difficult war years to success, yet in the first election afterwards he was voted right out.

While Churchill’s role was applauded and appreciated, the voting public also realised that he was not a peace-time leader and out he went. Despite that, 50 years later he still remains one of the most popular British leaders of all time.
Not voting for someone is not necessarily being disloyal to that individual.

People’s contributions to a cause, does not bestow the entitlement of office or reward.

We do what we do because it is the right thing, not because we expect high office. If Tsvangirai doesn’t make it to the presidency, I will stilll respect and honour him. I just want to see my country begin the road to recovery.

V Mundy,

Bulawayo.