Where do we go from here

Despite your promise to name and shame land barons, they are still allocating residential stands in undesignated areas. Surrounding areas of Harare are teeming with citizenry who reside on unserviced land with no provision for water and sewer connections.

GOOD day, President Emmerson Mnangagwa. Your Excellency, the diminishing returns of the contested recent harmonised elections have daunting implications on your presidency. It cannot be honourable for you to bask in the aftermath of your said electoral victory.

As I see it, the flawed electoral process left you at odds with the convention that democratic governments derive legitimacy to govern from the consent of the governed. It was small wonder that Zanu PF endeavoured to pour scorn on observer missions.

Duly, your statement that you were aware that some observer missions went beyond their call of duty was devoid of sincerity. With all due respect, it was tantamount to blaming a manufacturer for the crookedness of your boot, yet the boot took the shape of your foot.

With the observer missions concluding that the August 23 and 24 elections fell short of the credibility test, your membership to the august league of bona fide leaders is doomed. There is no credibility that can ever accrue from an election which was an overwhelming sham.

There was consensus among observer missions that the elections were not credible, free and fair.

Initially pencilled to be a one-day activity, voting had to be extended to two days owing to administrative blunders by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec).

There were yawning irregularities in the process. Consequently, the Southern African Development Community (Sadc) observer mission stated that the elections fell short of the requirements of the Constitution of Zimbabwe, the Electoral Act and the Sadc Principles and Guidelines Governing Elections (2021).

Your main challenger, Nelson Chamisa, leader of the Citizens Coalition for Change oftentimes raised the red flag over many violations of the electoral laws. Over 100 of his party rallies were disallowed, while his interactions with Zec were akin to a rivalry.

His refusal to concede defeat and to seek recourse in the courts was a well-conceived stately strategy which boldly underscored the conclusions of the observer missions. His distancing himself from your inauguration ceremony was an eloquent protest.

Methinks the change citizenry want will come when all and sundry heed the presage of Voltaire: "Those who make you believe absurdity can make you commit atrocities."

Given the partiality of State institutions, the Judiciary included, it could have been akin to shoeing a galloping horse had he bothered to litigate. A bench comprising judges whose palms were greased by the Executive cannot be expected to be independent.

Your Excellency, it is against this bleak backdrop that my conviction is that Martin Luther King Jr’s book titled Where Do We Go From Here: Chaos or Community? is relevant to Zimbabwe.

With your inauguration having been attended by only three regional heads of State and government, your legitimacy deficiency became apparent. Ideally, your speech ought to have resonated with exhortations on citizenry to embrace the moral path that leads to harmonious co-existence.

It was an anathema to Statesmanship that you opted to blithely denigrate the opposition, accusing it of mismanagement of urban centres. Yet, it is in the public domain that successive Zanu PF Local Government ministers frustrated opposition councillors with all manner of destabilisations.

Despite your promise to name and shame land barons, they are still allocating residential stands in undesignated areas. Surrounding areas of Harare are teeming with citizenry who reside on unserviced land with no provision for water and sewer connections.

Your Excellency, editorial space constraints forbid me to elaborate on events which were unfolding when King posed the question of chaos or community. It suffices to state that his country was in a state of socio-economic throes. Even the privileged class was afflicted, despite its affluence.

It was not for rhetorical purposes that King posed the question. Rather, it was a topical discourse. It warranted an answer. He posed it when segregationists were no longer feeling safe and secure under their very own supremacist policies.

This era was marked by intense determination by the segregated class for the establishment of equity across the board. Although the emancipation law had been passed long back, segregation was rife, perpetuated unashamedly on many generations.

As I see it, the practice that gave rise to the question: "Where do we go from here?” compares well with the supremacy of Zanu PF. Despite claims of not leaving anyone and any place behind, opponents are subjected to flagrant deprivation and subjugation.

It never occurred to me that the day would come when my country will be the pitiable verity of the observation that "an evil man will burn his nation to the ground to rule over the ashes", by Sun Tzu. Your Excellency, where do we go from here, chaos or community?

Cyprian Muketiwa Ndawana is a public speaking coach, motivational speaker, speechwriter and newspaper columnist.

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