“Nothing in this world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity” so said the great Martin Luther King Jr. History is replete with validation of this bitter truth. Giving an old man who probably does not know how a computer works the reigns to a new and highly technical ministry is only one such example. Likewise, handing over the keys of the nation’s coffers to a man who does not know how to add up traffic spot fines is another apt illustration.
Ignorance in itself stems from pride. Even our Lord said, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge” in Hosea 4:6 and “He shall come upon everything proud and lofty, upon everything lifted up and it shall be brought low” in Isaiah 2:12. It then becomes a tragedy when we find a nation run by a man full of pride which he wields sincerely with ‘conscientious stupidity.’ Contemporary parallels can be drawn with North Korea where an ignorant people led by a proud despot sit on the brink of total destruction at the hands of another arrogant and ignorant emperor. In all cases it is the led who suffer most and Zimbabwe is no exception.
It is the habit of failed leaders to make grand gestures whose aim is always to divert the people’s attention from the reality than darkens the daily living of the ordinary citizen. It is of utmost importance that the citizen remains wary of illusory power plays that do not favour the fulfilment of their immediate needs as stipulated in their Constitution. Logic then dictates that any political move that runs contrary to the aims of the Constitution (those of prosperity and integrity) should be queried if not countered. By far the biggest shortcoming of the government of Zimbabwe, the Government being any incumbent cabinet since the ESAP era, is clearly the economy.
It goes without saying that the biggest concern for any State not actively involved in a war HAS to be the economy. In Zimbabwe this concern has been elevated to astronomical levels commensurate with the inflation rate that continues to rise despite almost all actions taken by the government since the 1990s. The question we have to ask ourselves is, ‘why the persistent failure?’. If a mathematical approach, borrowing from Actuarial Science, were to be employed to answer this fundamental question it can be deduced that there is only one constant factor in the fateful equation; the leader of the cabinet himself.
What makes the current government changes lethal is in their timing and motive. The purges and shifts come at a time when any sort of action or words are automatically interpreted as political rather than pragmatic. Zimbabwe history has a very clear trend in which the pre-election period is characterized by sensationalism and political expediency at the detriment of the effects the impulsive decisions have in the post-election period. I find it ironic that the same man who made the radical decision of sweeping away all debts owed to the municipalities (as Local Government Minister) at the eve of the last election has been made the head of a department that is of equal temporal concern at the eve of the upcoming elections. What if he makes another radical decision on the economy that will will please us now but will cost us dearly after the election just as we saw how devastating his last grand gesture has been on our town councils even up to now?