Decency is critical … even in politics!
By Bill Saidi
Immorality in politics is not unusual, particularly in developed countries. Most developing countries, as a result, are not at all alarmed when immorality creeps into their political systems.
It seems to bring them up to speed with their adult, developed competitors. Why being licentious is said to display all the signals of an adult, civilised nation, is beyond me.
So, I was particularly struck with a little shame when I saw this picture in a newspaper of a young woman, who announced she was divorcing her husband on the grounds of adultery.
She could easily have been less than 35 years old…younger than her country.
What did not alarm me one bit was the fact that the offending Honourable gentleman was a Member of Zanu PF.
I am so sorry to be so blunt, but that party has a notorious reputation of being…loose.
I am aware that the MDC has raved up a dirty reputation of its own in this respect, but it comes nowhere near that of the “pati yeropa”.
The truth is that a party which breeds a membership which favours licentiousness as a mark of respect is to be shunned and damned by all self-respecting members of society.
There is, among many African political parties, a tragic and often total lack of respect for the leadership, in respect of decency, unity of all members, respect of all members — whatever their rank — and total unity on all issues respected by the party.
But above all, it seems to be that, once a member is accorded the respect of representing the party in Parliament, they ought to respond to that with an equal measure of respect for the party.
If any punishment is inflicted on the offending MP, then there will be a relief of some kind.
If nothing at all is done against him or her, then we should all throw our spears away and surrender our party cards in total despair.
Most political parties, at the beginning of the struggle against colonialism, were modeled on violence against the colonialists.
This was largely because the colonialists themselves trusted force to subdue the colonised people. So, the reaction was force, as well, even though it was not of the same level, which was why there was “a loud call to arms”.
What has bedeviled most political activity against the colonialists and weakened the strength of the colonised was their rivalry for power.
If you study the rivalry for power among the Zimbabwe nationalist movements since 1957, you will discover how much shorter the war would have lasted it the leaders had decided unity was better.
At a certain period, when I was in Northern Rhodesia, before it became Zambia, in 1964, there were Zimbabwean nationalists who would not unite for the purposes of receiving aid from neighbouring countries in one lump — because they were jealous of each other.
This continued up to the period before 1980. There is no argument today that, had the nationalist movements coalesced into one movement, independence would have been achieved with much less violence, malice and hesitation than eventually occurred.
Why is the fact not conceded today that if all the leaders had accepted one leadership for the struggle for the election, there would have been much less acrimony and violence than eventually occurred?
The great lesson for all the surviving leaders today is that if all of them accept that peace, unity and understanding are possible today, the country can move forward more speedily than it ever did.