Politics & General News

Current democracy systems outdated

…True Democracy comes from The Holy Bible

I am sure every single one of us has some particular obsessions or quirks in life that we appear constantly focused on – possibly, taking precedence over other matters that may also be in our lives.For instance, I spend most of my time concerned about the welfare and well-being of ordinary Zimbabweans – specially those tormented by the sorrowful painful plight we find ourselves under – at the hands of a selfish leadership that has no regard whatsoever whether we live or die, but more interested in their own grip on power, and personal enrichment, largely through ill-gotten wealth derived from the abuse of office.I never seem to be able to remove my thoughts from this unbearable suffering that Zimbabweans endure on a daily basis – and, how best to find leaders who genuinely care about the citizenry – thereby, placing the interests of the people ahead of their own.Maybe, that explains why I never tire writing these articles seemingly each and every day.Whilst deep in these thoughts, I cannot help but wonder why those who claim to be striving for political office for the greater good of the nation, seldom fulfil their promises, and actually appear more obsessed about power attainment and retention than anything else.Do we ever question why politicians never tire using us, ‘the people’, as their meal ticket, whenever they want to be elected into power – but, at the end of the day, we are just pawns, who are easily forgotten and discarded until the next election – abandoned to continue in our miserable existence, with our situation never improving…possibly deteriorating in the process?Where is that time when these promises become nothing more than lies designed to hoodwinked us into voting them into office?That is the million dollar question.The more I think about it, the more it dawns on me that the current model of democracy has failed and is outdated – and, is in serious need of reformation.It is common knowledge that the ultimate goal of any politician and political party is the attainment and retention of power. There is no denying this fact!In all honesty, there is really no individual who wakes up one morning, having decided to run for public office – merely because of his undying love the people, is sick and tired of their suffering, and wants to improve their welfare.If there is anyone out there who even remotely entertains the existence of such a politician, then all I can say is, “Please wake up, smell the coffee, and stop being so naïve”!For starters, the entire concept of attaining power, for the sake of ‘improving the people’s lives’ is gravely flawed and skewed, to put it lightly.That is why we witness so many power struggles within our political establishments, coupled with horrendous acts of persecution and even barbaric violent attacks on opponents.Why fight anyone merely in order to serve the people and improve their lives and livelihoods?Surely, what logic is there in people, if they genuinely seek to help develop the country, hating and beating each other up – just because one believes his ideas are better than the other’s, and deserves the privilege to serve the nation?That does not make any sense!There has to be something else at stake. As I mentioned at the beginning, each one of us has their little quirks and obsessions – and, mine has always been pondering on the unimaginable anguish faced by the generality of ordinary Zimbabweans – due to indescribable poverty, authored by the political elite, whose propensity for plunder knows no bounds.Let us imagine, just for a minute, that I decide to run for political office in the forthcoming elections slated for mid-2023.How is my life expected to change, as I prepare for this crucial day?Will I not start concerning myself more on finding out who my possible opponents will be, what their plans and policies are (and, how to counter them), as well as spending most of my time making sure that I am chosen by my political party to actually stand on its ticket (thereby, finding ways of out-maneuvering any challengers)?This may also entail expending most of my time, energy and resources on bootlicking my party leader, and disparaging his rival(s) – something we tragically witness, in utter shock, with political supporters – who never devote any meaningful quality time in formulating ways of mitigating the ordinary citizen’s suffering, but appear only concerned about their leaders winning elections, or attaining or remaining in power, or simply to curry favor with them.In all this, where will I still find the time to think and worry about the sad plight of ordinary Zimbabweans – in the midst of my newfound obsession?As a matter of fact, once in office, it only gets worse – since, I will now need to focus on consolidating my grip of power, and always be on the lookout for, and vigilant to, any possibly threats, and formulating ways of out-foxing them.In other words, the last time I will actually spend the day worrying over the suffering of the citizenry, is the day I announce my decision to run for office. From that day onwards, my undivided attention will squarely be on myself and my goals. These articles I write nearly daily will cease forthwith, as I focus more on the above-stated mission, in order to win and keep political power. Of course, such terms as ‘the ordinary people of Zimbabwe’, and ‘unbearable suffering and unacceptable poverty’ will remain an integral part and parcel of my vocabulary – for the sole reason that I will need to continue portraying the façade of caring and being concerned about the citizenry’s wellbeing, albeit only for the sake of receiving their votes – in my ultimate quest of gaining power. This is the brutal truth of the life, and mindset of politicians and political parties. That is why, in all my decades of social justice advocacy work and writings, I have never aligned myself with any politician or political party – as I am fully aware of the distractive and destructive force of active politics.The ‘game of politics’ – as much as there is nothing sporty about dealing with human lives and livelihoods – has very little to do with the nation’s cause, but everything to do with self-serving interests.Which brings me to the next issue of democracy, as we know it today. Since, we have already established that politicians and political parties are more to do with personal power attainment and retention goals – does this not become a serious problem when our democracy stipulates that those who led the nation, and decide our fate, are brought into office through these institutions?How, then, can anyone expect the welfare and well-being of the ordinary citizenry to receive top, or rather first, priority amongst those on office – when, what they are more concerned and obsessed about is how to consolidate and retain their grip on power?Honestly speaking, is there anyone out there who seriously believes that President Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa, for instance, actually spends his entire waking day thinking and discussing ways of making our lives and livelihoods better?Or, does he – just like any other politician, including those in the opposition – spend his time planning on means of outwitting (or, even crushing) his rivals, both within or outside his government, and ruling ZANU PF party?The same applies to, let us say, Nelson Chamisa – since there is no way he will be more invested in the plight of ordinary Zimbabweans – rather than the security of his own position within the CCC, and how to win the forthcoming national presidential elections. This is the case with every other politician – whether at national House of Assembly, or local ward level – the life and thinking of the politician is alike. I am of the strong conviction that, our challenges as a people, irrespective of the country we reside – can be resolved within a matter of days, or even a few weeks – nonetheless, as a result of the more pressing self-serving interests of those in office, they end up taking years, or never fully being addressed.In fact, some critical decisions that need to be made, in order to truly better the lives of the ordinary citizenry, may be compromised or sacrificed on the altar of pleasing more powerful entities that may be of more use to the leader’s power retention objectives. Is that not the reason corruption and even arbitrage are permitted to fester without restraint in Zimbabwe – since, any genuine cracking down on powerful individuals and cartels benefiting from looting our national resources, or reaping huge rewards from fueling the parallel foreign currency market – may come back to bite the ruling elite?That is where my issue with the type and format of the democracy we have today lies. I am not, by any stretch of the imagination, clamoring for the return to authoritarian rule – in any form, shape or size – but rather, something much better and people-oriented than the democracy currently prevailing.I must confess that at present, I do not have any innovative and viable ideas on this issue – but, I will hasten to suggest a system of governance that does not involve politicians and political parties.This can be in the form of more direct participation of ordinary citizens in decision making, as well as in the determination and implementation of policies and programs that impact our own welfare – in the absence of powerful political offices, which are a preserve of elected individuals.These ideas – as was witnessed with Karl Marx’s ideals, which were merely written in book – may be improved upon later, so as to make them workable on a practical level. They may not even be taken seriously today, but as the written word lives for what appears an eternity – I know that future generations may read this one day, and bring them into reality.I honestly do not believe that there are people who have not already noticed, and admitted that, the current form of democracy has so many cracks and flaws – which seem to be growing by the day. The modern concept of parliamentary government emerged in the Kingdom of Great Britain between 1707 and 1800, and its contemporary, the Parliamentary System in Sweden between 1721 and 1772.The idea, at the time, was to do away with unelected monarchs – who ruled with impunity and unfettered power – whilst, enriching themselves with the country’s wealth, which they regarded as their own personal property, in the midst of stinking poverty and suffering.The people of those kingdoms never had a say in what was going on, the decisions made, and the course of their lives – as such, the time was ripe for revolutions that demanded ‘governments by the people, of the people, for the people’.This was a huge paradigm shift from the rule of one person – to a system whereby, the ordinary people themselves chose from their own, who was to led – and, who was answerable to the entire nation.If the people were not satisfied, or were unhappy, or found someone else they perceived as better – they could easily vote out the incumbent, by electing another. What could be more beautiful than this?Yet, what we have noticed over the past few decades – more so in our own Zimbabwe, but even witnessed in more advanced so-called ‘democratic states’ – is that, our ‘elected’ politicians no longer represent the people…but rather, the interests of their political parties’, or their leaders, or those of powerful groups, or even their own personal objectives. The people have now become nothing more than mere tools for the ultimate goal of the attainment and retention of power. We are only needed at election time, simply as meal tickets for politicians and political parties. It is time that we took back our power in determining how government operates, the decisions made, and their implementation – which means the imperativeness of our more direct role in matters of governance and government – which, tragically, is no longer the case. The people now need to be fully in charge of government and governance structures in a more direct manner than ever before – since our representatives have ceased representing our interests.The present system did its part, at that particular time, when the world needed to rid itself of absolutely monarchs, in the 18th century – but, it has run its course, is now outdated, and in serious need of reformation.● Tendai Ruben Mbofana is a social justice advocate, writer, researcher, and social commentator. Please feel free to WhatsApp or Call: +263715667700 | +263782283975, or email: mbofana.tendairuben73@gmail.com

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