The Legacy We Want To Leave Behind!

  • Posted on: 11 September 2015
  • By: admin

Have you ever wondered why some problems persist and don’t seem to go away? Then there is that inner voice that asks uncomfortable questions. You try to subdue it, but it persists. Why are there some issues that we just can’t or don’t seem to want to talk about. Even in our homes, it appears standard practice to sweep some dirt under the carpet, literally.

At some point we have to quieten the voice that asks the uncomfortable questions about what is going on?

In so many things, as a people, Zimbabweans find themselves having to hope that zvichagadzirika chete rimwe zuva - one day everything is going to be fine, in good working order.

There is one thing that stands out. In every situation where “problems” are discussed, the issue of leadership seems to crop up as an inevitable constituent that either causes or addresses problems.

For a long time now, the slowdown of the economy, unclear market conditions and retrogressive laws that have been demonstrated as failures elsewhere, have come to define our life in Zimbabwe. It’s up to us as a people to ask ourselves what has led us into this quagmire.

A famous American rap/hip hop group asks:

“…whatever happened to the values of humanity

whatever happened to the fairness and equality

instead of spreading love we are spreading animosity…”

Without pointing fingers I want you to ask yourself: what are you leaving for your children and grandchildren for the years to come. I‘m not asking about the material things. Oh no! What immeasurable legacy are you leaving?

Let’s start with you. Are you the leader you want, at your household level? Are you passively accepting a collective system that denudes the very foundations of the lives of future generations? After all, an age old Shona adage shouts: “nhamo yeumwe hairambirwe sadza” meaning “I cannot stop enjoying life at my house because someone else in trouble somewhere”.  Is this the value that we should use as a basis for nation building, for our businesses and for shaping our communities as a nation?

I came across a tough-talking statement on the internet:

Our moral duty as citizens of this earth is to hold leadership accountable, and no one is beyond critique. Failure to critique leadership is far more than a lively fun opinion on a social platform. We can ill afford to let nostalgia, hero worship, cultism, good PR and media charisma cover our ability to review all leaders in their capacities. Without a sharp critical assessment of leadership and the duties of leadership, we will select entertainers, sweet faced teddy bears, orators, cool cats, as opposed to strong visionaries…[1]

That is why we have to hold all levels of leadership accountable.We need to make sure that we demand that the structures of governance, parliament, senate, business associations, professional associations and other bodies constantly perform their oversight functions.  

We must keep asking ourselves: What kind of leaders do we want? Then we must make sure that we push for those qualities. We must insist on the leadership qualities that we value. We should not be satisfied with living a legacy of: dog chop dog - indoda iyazibonela,  and munhu anozvionera - each man for himself.

Our society is accustomed to such perverse individualism!

I am pained and shocked when I realise that we - the citizenry - find nothing wrong in political grandstanding and ubuntu claims by our leaders. Is this the leadership we want?

Do we, when we lie down to sleep, feel proud of the fact that our world is really one of brazen self-interest and catalysing  poor people’s slide into deeper depths of their penurious lives with leaders turning a blind eye and us ignoring this too.

Are our leaders really interested in the welfare and sustainable growth of our communities and nation?  The ones who allow the broken disc of corruption, land grabbing, poor service delivery in local authorities, appalling macro-economic and fiscal management? Deep-seated, chronic and self-justifying nepotism, cronyism, stratagems-and-spoils and nefarious governance systems cannot be the legacy which we leave behind.

Are these the leaders we want?

For the sake of our children, descendants and country, let us be ruthless in telling each other the truth, agreeing on the kind of leaders we want and how to assess their performance.

Daniel Mususa 11.09.2015


[1] African Leadership: The Root of Failure in Africa  April 2012

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