People get the government they deserve!
I saw this scribbled on a wall just recently and it has been rocking my brain since. It was not the first time that I have come across this statement but this time, I did a bit more with it, I pondered over it, thought about it and needless to say that I am still thinking about it.
The first time I heard this statement was with reference to the Zimbabwean situation, where the masses feel that President Robert Mugabe should retire and let younger blood take over. An onlooker mused and remarked that ‘People get a leader they deserve.’ Mugabe may not be the one who stands in the way of development and progress in Zimbabwe. It might be a whole generation that need to step aside. It may also be a mindset that needs changing. Removing Mugabe from the reigns may not produce the desired effects because there are a host of other likeminded politicians waiting in the sidelines for their chance to loot and fill their pockets.
Sadly, it is not only the politicians who are corrupt and selfish waiting to loot and gain. The business people, workers and executives are all looking for opportunities to line their pockets. Even the man on the street is waiting for his turn to win it big, hustle and make a good deal at someone else’s expense. Truth be told, most people are waiting for a chance to do exactly what the ministers are doing. Even the church ministers are doing their bit to fleece their pockets. What hope is there if even the church is full of filth, conniving and self seeking. They say a country is as good as its churches. Zimbabwean churches are no better than the corrupt public officers where bribery and greed are breeding. So can we positively conclude that removing Mugabe from power will do any good. Before there is shift in people’s mindsets, my take is that we can change the governments and change leaders, but none of this will change anything.
Is it really Mugabe who is standing in the way of progress in Zimbabwe, or maybe Zimbabwe has just been handed the government they deserve. We may be blaming Mugabe for the Zimbabwe situation when we are actually the ones at fault. Maybe Mugabe has been extremely good at what he has been doing he has reproduced after his own kind. Strictly speaking, it is the populace that votes people into positions. We may say that elections are not free and fair, but truly, if the populace doesn’t want a leader, that leader will not stay. We have seen this with the Arab uprisings that you can force people into submission just for a season, but you cannot dictate their behavior indefinitely.
I was reading about the minister of finance Tendai Biti who is looking to borrow money to pay civil servants bonuses at the end of a year. Now this is a very bizarre concept, paying end of year bonuses with borrowed money. Why pay if you can’t afford them? What caught my attention was an online discussion about the controversial bonuses that progressed into a war of words and threats after some commenter’s disagreed with Biti’s decision to pay bonuses. The civil servants went up in arms, cursing and threatening anyone who opposed the bonuses. Anyone trying to ‘educate’ them was cursed and sworn at. Reading through comments about lightning striking those who disagreed showed me really what kind of people we are dealing with. It is not only the civil servants, Air Zimbabwe pilots decided to strike until there was no longer an airline to strike for. What help did that do. Striking for money from an employer who has no money? One would have thought the working class would be a catalyst for change, but the working class seems somewhat delusional and out of touch with reality. What hope do we have for change in this case. Maybe we should just stop pointing fingers at Mugabe, many would be worse than him if in his position. My conclusion is that people have the government that they deserve and that we can just continue to hide our heads under the covers, pretend that everything is ok and hope that someone comes to rescue us.