‘Elect a Statesman, Not a Politician’

Historically, the electorate the world over is left divided each time countries go for national elections. In Zimbabwe, where the electoral commission announced this week that the country is a thriving democracy, it is time for voters to listen carefully and keenly to messages by contenders for the country’s highest office, President Mnangagwa and Mr Nelson Chamisa.

During the election period, the electorate has been left divided by politicians, and not statesmen.

Politicians come and make implausible promises that are hard to achieve as they look on the short-term side while a statesman plans more to the benefit of the entire generation.

In his book, The Great Betrayal, Rhodesia’s last Prime Minister Ian Smith wrote: “The difference between a politician and a statesman is that a politician thinks about the next election while the statesman thinks about the next generation.”

There is a great danger if the electorate this year heads to the polls to elect a politician over a statesman, to elect an idealist over a pragmatist and to elect a bad candidate over a good choice.

As a case for Zimbabwe, if a politician is elected to the highest office, he will reverse the progress that has so far been made by the new administration.

The politician, in the mould of MDC-T faction leader Mr Chamisa, can never be a good statesman

A politician fails to unite his party because he still believes in the cliché that “politics is a dirty game”.

A politician will forever want to play dirty, undermine constitutional values that guide his party and has his eyes solely focused on power.

Germany’s Chancellor Otto von Bismarck once said: “People never lie so much as after a hunt, during a war or before an election.”

A politician lies!

A politician is one that has no political principle, no consistency in his message and lacks a moral compass to direct his thoughts towards what is right for the electorate.

In his political messages and at rallies, Mr Chamisa is parading himself as the mighty Hercules by claiming he will single-handedly deliver what he terms “a new Zimbabwe”.

“I have said beginning September when I assume office I will call the Chinese and tell them the deals they signed are unacceptable and they should return to their country,” Mr Chamisa said.

Mr Chamisa, in typical politician’s custom, wants to kick out Chinese investors if elected president. The West, and specifically the United States, are already showing signs they are not going to engage and give their money to a politician.

This is precisely because Donald Trump’s policy is America First while on the other hand Europe is tackling Brexit. Let the politician, Mr Chamisa, read his history correctly as he forgets that the Chinese have invested heavily in African infrastructure than any other nation in the past decade and there is no reason to alienate them.

They are heavily invested in America and Britain.

There seems to be a different approach between President Mnangagwa’s practical view when interacting with people and that of Mr Chamisa.

The former has always been cautious than the latter as he strikes a balance in a delicate economy that does not need harsh language when courting investors.

The Head of State and Government appreciates the anomalies existing and knows that it the collective responsibility of all Zimbabweans to deliver “a new Zimbabwe” that is premised on everyone’s contribution, not a solitary approach by Mr Chamisa.

Said President Mnangagwa in his first national address: “Fellow Zimbabweans, as we chart our way forward, we must accept that our challenges as a nation emanate in part from the manner in which we managed our politics, both nationally and internationally, leading to circumstances in which our country has undeservedly been perceived or classified as a pariah state.”

In one of his writings, former advisor to the late Prime Minister Mr Morgan Tsvangirai in the inclusive government Dr Alex Magaisa said: “(President) Mnangagwa is no orator and he knows it. He prides himself as a man of action, a tough hand to deliver on the ground. (President) Mnangagwa’s first speech was firm but did not have the belligerent tone that had come to characterise Mugabe’s deliveries.

The lack of a belligerent tone in the speeches of President Mnangagwa is characteristic of a statesman.

A statesman like President Mnangagwa reforms the internal election processes of the party he leads to give it a true reflection of the people’s will.

Zanu-PF’s just-ended internal elections resonate with the statesman’s call that “the voice of the people is the voice of God”. True statesmanship!

Now, when one compares a politician, Mr Chamisa, and a statesman, President Mnangagwa, there is need to vote with the heart and mind in synch.

The statesman reads the political climate, nationally and internationally, with the need to extract something for the people he leads, unlike a politician who only sees himself being in the Presidency in September.

With what is happening on the ground, while voting for a politician like Mr Chamisa is a democratic right, his victory could be a medical prescription that is not good for the nation’s health. Never vote for a speech!

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