Citizens – Are They Ready For The Political Step Change

Zimbabwean Citizens – Are They Ready For The Political Step Change

A Commentary

Over the last few weeks Zimbabwe has been going through historical political upheavals that are certain to resonate for a decade or more.

Fact: Pastor Evan Mawarire is an agent of change and a wake up call to the current government and ruling party, that the status quo cannot continue unhindered. Love him or hate him the emotional, political and social convulsions he has initiated with this social uprising, ‪#‎ThisFlag‬(@ThisFlag1980), cannot be ignored. Other groups and individuals have rallied to his call and the land between the Zambezi and Limpopo shakes in anticipation.

Watching and listening to Evan speak in the media, over the past week whilst he has been in South Africa, and listening to the comments citizens have made about his activities, it is clear for anyone to see Evan is a harbinger of a mindset change. He is the catalyst that will, like it or not, drive through a significant step change in how the Zimbabwean citizen both in-country and in the diaspora views themselves and their situation, and more immediately expresses themselves.

evan_mawarireListening to phone-in comments and reading postings on Twitter and FB it is clear that some citizens are having personal challenges with the concept of individual self-actualization. This, I believe, is the step-change in the political landscape Evan is trying to get the citizenry to adopt and own. However, some citizens still appear to want to be led. They want to be given a plan formulated by someone else. The inherent danger of that approach is that the citizen will become complacent again. The false benefit of this condition being that they will have someone to blame or insult, when and if, it all goes wrong – in short, an abdication of personal responsibility. Evan wants the citizens to take charge of their own individual destinies, to wean themselves off the drugs, sycophancy and blind faith.

Evan is revising the political rulebook and showing through his personal example what is possible. However, if one was to follow the logic the citizen should not automatically adopt Evan’s way as the right or the only way forward. I believe, that citizens should have national development as part of their collective psyche and build their personal agendas around that. Think of the ants or bees in nature, they have a queen but she does not control what they do in a centrist fashion. Each individual insect (citizen) of the colony will go out on their own mission to survive, but in seeking to forage and survive they always have the hive in mind and the survival of the colony is what ultimately gives the individual success. The relationship between the citizen and the collective can be mutually beneficial. Having a personal plan and at the same time being collectively united in the direction the citizenry want the country to go, can only be a good thing.

Evan clearly has his own personal plan for himself and Zimbabwe, my question to you as you read this note is what is your individual plan, for yourself and Zimbabwe? I know the Zimbabwe I want and I am not going to wait for Evan, Tsvangirai, Mujuru, Mugabe or anybody else to lead me blind and ignorant. Notwithstanding this, though I am going my own way, I am united with my fellow citizens in the idea of our Zimbabwe therefore our collective direction of travel is the same.

Two questions, are Zimbabweans, (urban and rural) ready to make that step change in the way they do politics and think about themselves; and have recent events driven Evan’s message deep enough into the national conscience, that it will develop a momentum all of its own.

The fact is, adoption of this way of thinking will take the Zimbabwean citizen from being a political follower to being a political leader. Thereby forcing the national leaders to be more respectful of their citizenry