Recalling the President will not change anything.
Zuma is a lesson in "How not to choose our Leaders". He is a blunder of the ANC that we played part in making. The political process within the ANC that led to his election and retention to this position is a big part of the issue that we will unpack below. It is the same populists who are complaining today that ushered him to the throne many years ago. Unfortunately for them and all of us, he has fortified his political position and support base. KZN, his home base, is 25% of voting ANC members. He has support in Free State, Mpumalanga and Eastern Cape - though not at the same levels as KZN.
The ANC Top6 are seen to be defending him - as ridiculous as it is to try to defend the indefensible. Just look at Gwede and Duarte last week going at the public protector to defend Zuma. They reminded me of a certain young Lion who not so many years ago used to say, "we will kill for Zuma".
It was then, when populists were agitating for his survival, that it should have been recognized that he was unfit. Mbeki did see this coming and that is what he was trying to show us but he was cast out and now we want him back? Forget it. You cannot reverse the situation.
It was when he was on trial for rape and corruption that we should have recognized that he was unfit but we allowed the populists to rule the order of the day.They ushered him together with many of us who are crying foul today, to the throne with great aplomb and gave him the keys to the kingdom then when they realized their mistakes they tried to fight him, but he cast them out using the very same power that they gave unto him.
Zuma is not going anywhere; he has fought to be in this position, tooth and nail and remember he is no Mbeki who would bow out gracefully and we know for sure he is no Mandela, so he will remain whether we like it or not. And judging by his power base aforementioned, it would take a virtual miracle for him to be recalled. Trust me, Nkandla, Guptagate is not enough. Sorry, but those are facts.
So I ask once again, what to do in this absent space of young intellectuals?
What is required is a careful introspection of how we choose our leaders? Why Zuma came to be the leader of this party? And what are the lessons we can learn and apply going forward so that we can choose better leaders in future? We also need a careful review of the constitution and electoral system is it right that people vote by party and the majority party chooses the President? Is that fair to all the people in the country who are not ANC?
I like it because I am ANC and I am in the majority. So when I have a good leader in place, no problem but when we have made a mistake like this, it even counts against us. Once you have made that analysis Comrades, then decide what action must be taken: in the branches (of whatever party you belong to), and even at the stadiums (whether at a political rally or a memorial service). Once you have decided on a right course of action then take that action, agitate for change, create influence and look to a different future.
Booing Zuma at a rally is fine for the populist massesm, It is a catharsis that they indulge in to express their own regret for having brought into power a leader that they should have not in the first place. Let us think carefully about what will create real change going forward and let us look to the mistakes of our past to learn from them that they should not be repeated.
Rest assured Comrades, the ANC will win the elections in 2014. They will be the majority and Zuma is our President of the Party, therefore current practice is that he will once again be President of the country; boos or no boos.
Muzi Mthembu-kaMabika is a Progressive Activist
Follow me on Twitter @MthembuMuzi
Africa's fate will be changed by its ordinary citizens, NOT its political leaders! Power to the people!!!
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