By Blessed Mhlanga
Opposition leader Nelson Chamisa, who turned 42 yesterday, has said he wants to lead Zimbabwe before retiring from public life and politics.
In his birthday message, Chamisa, who will only serve two terms as MDC leader, said he had a dream of carrying the country out of poverty, human rights violations to a true democratic path.
“It is my humble desire and cherished pledge to build, create and lead a new Zimbabwe before I ultimately retire from active public life. I have this strong vision and drive to make Zimbabwe great. We will make Zimbabwe a powerful, successful and wonderful nation,” he said.
The MDC congress held in Gweru last year passed a resolution limiting all its leaders, including president, to two terms each, leaving Chamisa with just the 2023 polls as his only realistic hope to achieve his dream.
Chamisa said he was a very difficult man to please, calling himself a perfectionist, who is driven by excellence.
“But I have a confession to make. I am a perfectionist. I’m difficult to please. I even hardly please and satisfy myself. I keep trying to be better. Excellence is my goal. I carry this infinite craving for knowledge and insatiable curiosity for wisdom.
“I love learning and books. I cherish knowledge, information and education. I love the Bible and the word of God. I love peace and bringing people together. I love gathering rather than scattering.
I cherish uniting,” he said.
Chamisa became one of the youngest Cabinet ministers post-independence during the 2009-2013 inclusive government.
He was also thrust into Parliament in 2003 to replace the late Learnmore Jongwe, who died in 2002.
“I have sworn to dutifully and loyally serve my beloved country, Zimbabwe. I have been an MP and a Cabinet minister (inclusive government) and an advocate in the superior courts of Zimbabwe.
“I have served in the three arms of the State. I have served my country to the best of my ability in the Legislature, Executive and the Judiciary.
“I have also served internationally through representing Zimbabwe in the ACP-EU [African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States-European Union] in Brussels, Belgium. I thank God’s grace in all this,” he said.
Chamisa said he would retreat to Gutu, Masvingo province, once he retires from public life and would want to be buried there.
“My rural home in Gutu shall be my retirement home. Where I was born, there I shall retire and there I shall finally rest. We must all be our best then rest. I must retire before I tire and get tired,” he said.
In his reflections, Chamisa wants to become a mentor of young leaders, helper of the poor and an author.
“I often ask myself: What’s next and why? Who next and why? When next and why? When I die, what next? I care about the ‘hereafter’ and the ‘henceforth’.
“For the next decade, God willing, I hope to be serving my country and the wonderful people of God in Zimbabwe before finally exiting national duty and the public space.
“Thereafter, I settle to focus on leadership coaching and youth mentoring, philanthropy and winning souls for the Kingdom. I believe leaders must lead and leave. Leaders must leave and live,” he said. NewsDay