Kuda Bhejana: Pastor Evan Mawarire for President of Zimbabwe, 2018
By Kuda Bhejana
Pastor Evan running for president is the most powerful idea in Zimbabwe politics at this time, with an immense shock and awe effect.
You laugh? I say, you need to start respecting your imagination more. Ask the Americans, and ask Donald Trump.
The Shock and Awe Effect of Anointing Pastor Evan
Imagine if opposition would coalesce around a fresher, younger brand of politicians like Pastor Evan.
As much as Zimbabweans want to be pragmatic and stick to the opposition leaders who have “experience”, Zimbabweans yearn for younger leadership with new energy, new ideas and which can try new strategies.
Statistical data tells us that the majority of Zimbabweans at this time are under 40 years old. It would be very strange to say that our people, (the majority of which are young, and have been failed by both Zanu-PF and the opposition), do not wish to try something new.
Pastor Evan has fresh political capital to exploit. He is very promising, and quite threatening to Mugabe, the Zanu-PF government, and the opposition which continues to make opposition a money-making and subsistence exercise.
Pastor Evan has not tried and failed yet, which some may use to discredit him as a political novice.
But politics is never about experience. It’s about winning. That’s what it’s all about. You can win without experience; the same way you can have lots of experience and continue losing.
I remember vividly one of the three presidential debates in the United States where Hillary Clinton was flaunting her broad experience in politics, selling it proudly as the reason why she was more qualified than the now president, Donald Trump. It took The Donald just one zinger to silence her. He said, “Yes, you have experience, but it is bad experience.”
Pastor Evan may not have the experience of being an MP or an officer in the opposition, but here are the things that he brings.
- Eloquence: Pastor Evan is blessed with poetic eloquent, the prime skill needed to succeed in politics. He has outstanding oratory skills which make you proud to be Zimbabwean when you listen to him. He not only knows how to talk; he also knows what needs to be said.
The way Pastor Evan articulates Zimbabwean problems brings a fresher perspective to the problems of our country. He articulates our problems with solutions in mind, like someone who knows more than that things are wrong.
He speaks as someone who knows what the state of affairs should be and how to achieve the desirable state of affairs; like one with a philosophical understanding of the underpinnings of our predicament.
To date we have been exposed to a whiny, desperate and often frustrated articulation of problems from the opposition, one which would bring a mediocre government that looks elsewhere for solutions.
Instead, in Pastor Evan what we get is a self-starting, self-determined, and assertive leader.
- Inspiration and International Attention: Leadership that is proactive is very attractive. Leaderships that is vision-inspired grabs the attention and affection of the citizens and international journalists.
No wonder why because of #Thisflag campaign, Zimbabwe got back on the international radar, getting news coverage once again. Before Pastor Evan’s #ThisFlag we felt as if the world had forgotten all about us.
Pastor Evan understands that the change we seek will come from an inspired citizenry, and not from alms seeking leadership which goes to Britain and America to ask help without first inspiring its people.
And the irony of this dynamic is that, once we as Zimbabweans express, in word and deed, an understanding that change will be delivered by none other than ourselves, then the international community shines a light on us.
The leader who has shown both the capacity to inspire “fellow citizens” and attract international attention has been Pastor Evan, not anyone else.
- Moral Compass: As I have said earlier, Zimbabwean seek to be inspired – not to be ruled. We will not settle for less. Pastor Evan has the capacity to inspire Zimbabweans through his moral integrity.
He is a family man, who passionately loves his family the same way he loves his country and his countrymen.
He has not used any office, or his new found fame and influence to pursue personal gratification. Some of us thought he had gone to the United States to get asylum and do well for himself. But here he is.
He is back, fighting for us again. If he had thought of running away, we have proof now that he is a self-introspecting man, a man with some conscience, very sensitive conscience for that matter.
- Community Organizer: Give it to him, Pastor Evan organized the biggest stay-away demonstration in the 37-year history of Zimbabwe without holding a rally or printing posters. Pastor is the archetypical modern day community organizer, who understands the power of social media as 21st century prime means of communication.
Do you remember when he organized the meeting with the Reserve Bank Governor over bond notes? He even brought new players like Fadzayi Mahere to the scene.
Why is Mugabe persecuting Evan Mawarire?
We should think very hard about this.
Robert Mugabe has realized that Mawarire is a political heavyweight in the making. That is why at every opportunity, Mugabe has denigrated the clergyman, and is currently taking him through the courts, trying to accuse him of stealing a needle.
We have seen this before. It has happened with other opposition leaders at their prime.
The reason why Morgan Tsvangirai and his friends are not harassed anymore is because they are now part of the system. They don’t pose any new threats.
Mugabe understands that it is the masses who vote and politics revolves around attracting and acquiring the affections of the masses. This mass affection and likability translates into influence.
Pastor Evan’s likability and ability to organize people is very threatening to Zanu-PF’s hegemony.
Over the last 12 months Zanu-PF has proven to be less perturbed with the prospect of a grand opposition coalition than it is perturbed with the presence of Evan Mawarire in Zimbabwe.
They anticipate he will have a big influence in the 2018 elections. Let’s give Pastor Evan that platform of influence. Zanu-PF could be right to fear losing power to a political novice who came to the scene a few months ago.
We should have adopted the Western political party organizational structure anyways, where politicians do not own parties. Politicians should come and go.
Parties should be institutions run by technocrats and administrative executives who are custodians to a set of values and ideologies.
Politics be a competition, where the best thrive and the weak acknowledge they’ve had their chance and give way to new players.
The rise and fall of politicians should be normal and eventless. Shakespeare said, “All the world’s a stage / And all the men and women merely players; / They have their exits and their entrances. . .” Pastor Evan Mawarire for President of Zimbabwe, 2018.
Kuda Bhejana is a media entrepreneur based in the United States. He is currently working on Voxsta.com, a politician-targeted social network which crowdsources and aggregates public opinion about politicians to provide real-time polling. Visit his blog, kudabhejana.com