PLEASE NOTE:

MyNews24 is a user-generated section of News24.com. The stories here come from users.

 
Tafi Mhaka
 
Comments: 0
Article views: 744
 
 
Latest Badges:

 
View all Tafi Mhaka's badges.
 

Zimbabwe needs a fresh lot of heroes

03 March 2017, 11:49

A great leader inspires the masses by overcoming hardships and working for the greater good of society. Strive Masiyiwa almost sold the shirt off his back as his 5-year legal battle against the government of Zimbabwe for a mobile network operator licence exhausted all his financial resources. He sold his car and house and begged well-wishers for money until the Supreme Court of Zimbabwe ruled in his favour on 30 December 1997. But he left Zimbabwe for good in 2000.

Like millions of Zimbabwean migrants who have been compelled to live and work abroad, Masiyiwa, who is Executive Chairman and Founder of Econet Wireless, a global telecommunications company, found life in his homeland volatile, unsafe and inhospitable for political and economic reasons. So he moved abroad.

Imagine if Bill Gates had been compelled by circumstances to leave the United States of America for a life in France and he had founded Microsoft there. Whose loss would it have been in that unlikely scenario? Zimbabwe can only but dream of what may have been had Masiyiwa not left his homeland. Masiyiwa sits on the Africa Progress Panel, alongside illustrious members like former UN Secretary-General Kofi Anan, Graca Machel, Olusegun Obasanjo and Bob Geldof. He is a trustee of the Rockefeller Foundation in America. Forbes Magazine named him one of the 10 most powerful men in Africa in 2015. He supports 40 000 orphans and has funded scholarships for over 100 000 students from Africa through his foundation.

The Pan-African Liquid Telecom Group, owned by Econet Global, finalised the acquisition of South African Telecommunications Company, Neotel, last month. And Kwese TV, his latest enterprise, is the first competitor to DSTV across Africa. Masiyiwa is so popular; his Facebook page has two million followers. Forbes Magazine estimates that Masiyiwa, who studied electrical engineering at the University of Wales, has a net worth of US$600 million. But Zimbabwe has lost the man – all because he had a vision and refused to bankroll politicians who demanded bribes and free shares in his business before he could get a licence. Look at where Econet is today. Could these corrupt politicians ever in their wildest dreams conceive of achieving so much success in business?

When Zimbabwe loses businessmen like Masiyiwa and professionals like Mthuli Ncube – chief economist and vice-president of the African Development Bank and former dean and professor of finance at Wits Business School in Johannesburg – to foreign lands in numbers, who will formulate and implement a much-needed Marshall Plan for the Southern African nation? The economy looks set to come under further tension as electioneering for general and presidential elections next year gets into full swing and this will possibly have an impact on neighbouring South Africa.

Zimbabweans who are desperate to earn a living might be heading south of the Limpopo River to find work very soon and that should increase competition for jobs in an environment where the jobless rate is currently about 26.5%. Ominously for millions of unemployed graduates and youths who live in Zimbabwe the prospects for economic change are bleak at best: Zanu-PF has chosen 93-year old President Robert Mugabe as its candidate for the 2018 presidential elections and the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) will field erstwhile leader Morgan Tsvangirai.

But I wonder if Tsvangirai holds the exclusive right to stand for presidential elections on behalf of the MDC? Although he has excellent credentials from his time as Secretary-General of the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Union (ZCTU) and virtually two decades at the helm of the MDC, nominating Tsvangirai for the presidency for a fourth time is absolutely absurd and immoral for a party that supposedly champions transformation. Tsvangirai could have chosen to copy Ed Miliband. He resigned as leader of the Labour Party in Britain a day after losing the general election of May 2015 to David Cameron. Miliband had led the Labour party for only five years.

Tsvangirai has however led the MDC for 18 years and lost three presidential elections to date. He may have strong reservations about whether he lost fairly, but he did lose. So for all the superlative values Tsvangirai and his coterie of sycophants stand for: change is not their strongest dynamic. The MDC has manufactured a seemingly ghoulish cult of personality around Tsvangirai in a move that is reckless and not in the spirit of democracy at all. The MDC should know that extreme egocentricity has been the bane of African politics since Ghana attained independence from Britain in 1957. So the struggle in Zimbabwe is not about Tsvangirai.

No. It is about the doctors and nurses who are on strike. And it is also about 75% of the population in Zimbabwe who are living below the international poverty line. It is about economic migrants from across the length and breadth of Zimbabwe risking their lives to cross the Limpopo River to find menial jobs in South Africa. It is not about Tsvangirai. Perhaps he does know that. He has in the past expelled leading political figures like Welshman Ncube and Tendai Biti on dubious grounds and Zanu-PF has banished Edgar Tekere, Simba Makoni, Didymus Mutasa and Joice Mujuru for challenging Mugabe.

This hideous spectacle of electoral Jammeh-ism overwhelming Zimbabwe does little to suggest constructive change is nigh for its long-suffering populace. That is the daunting reality in the making right now. Perhaps Pastor Evan Mawarire can pull off a Donald Trump-like surprise victory on the back of his #ThisFlag movement. Voters in Zimbabwe may well be growing weary of supporting liberation war heroes, securocrats and lifelong legislators who do nothing but lust for authority and big money in elective office. The gulf in fortunes between the impoverished masses and party-aligned elites is growing bigger by the day. So an activist like Mawarire needs to up his game a grade higher: he should write a manifesto and collaborate with businessmen and professionals like Masiyiwa and Ncube.

Times have changed and the economy is the new battleground in developing countries around the world. Zimbabwe requires people who have displayed robust leadership in humanitarian affairs and business to lead the wars on poverty, unemployment and social injustice. Whereas the leaders of the 1970s fought for freedom and equality for all races – that is now a given. Yet economic emancipation for the masses remains ever more difficult to secure. Zimbabwe is drowning in a sea of disparity and deprivation to no end. Given a choice between Mujuru, Tsvangirai or a businessperson like Masiyiwa: who has what it takes to haul Zimbabwe out of this marshland it has been floundering in for so long? Do not believe the propaganda out there. Zimbabwe needs a fresh lot of heroes. 

Disclaimer: All articles and letters published on MyNews24 have been independently written by members of News24's community. The views of users published on News24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of News24. News24 editors also reserve the right to edit or delete any and all comments received.

 

Read more from our Users

Submitted by
Zahid Jadwat
Load shedding: More than just a L...

Listening to the morning bulletin before breakfast, I wasn't surprised when the reader said that Eskom would be implementing stage two, and consequently stage four, loadshedding the same day. Read more...

0 comments 2752 views
Submitted by
Yazeed Fakier
In response to Melanie Verwoerd: ...

The president's image has come undone, and it appears Melanie Verwoerd has come to accept that, in the greater scheme of things, there is precious little there that leaves much room for optimism. Read more...

0 comments 9461 views
Submitted by
Peter Herring962
One month to go – 'tis the season...

May 8 is around the corner. We will maybe have to brave the cold and wind, the long queues and proverbial security checks before we go into a little cubical to make our much desired crosses. Read more...

0 comments 522 views
Submitted by
Mpumelelo Ncube
The confluence of politics and sp...

The downside of separating religion and politics has been the inability of religion to influence political leadership and policies leading to the moral morass that affects individuals in their public and private spheres.  Read more...

0 comments 244 views
Submitted by
Young people leaving SA: Have you...

Write to us what you think about the president's call for young South Africans to stay in the country and help build a better future. Read more...

0 comments 11384 views
Submitted by
Paul Whelan
Brexit: Britain goes mad

As Britain displays every symptom of an advanced stage of madness, the key symptom being total paralysis, here’s what. Read more...

0 comments 5221 views
 

services

Press Code We subscribe to the Press Code.

E-mail Newsletters You choose what you want

News24 on Android Get the latest from News24 on your Android device.

Terms and Conditions 24.com Terms and Conditions - Updated April 2012

 
Interactive Advertising Bureau
 
© 2019 24.com. All rights reserved.
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.