By Torli Krua
Zimbabwe may start impeachment proceedings against President Mugabe soon. However, the legally frail reasons given for his impeachment makes us to conclude that the greatest need in African nations is not a patriotic leader. Africa needs a better system of governance, not a better president running a corrupt system built on individual accomplishments. After assessing the horrendous continental impact of great African leaders with outstanding accolades such as Nobel Laureates, freedom fighters and royalties, we have concluded that participatory democracy, a government that empowers citizens as masters and relegates politicians as public servants may work better in Africa. It’s time to ignite participatory democratic revolution to destroy the “works of the Devil” across Africa.
So what exactly is participatory democracy and why might it work better in Africa? Participatory democracy is a government of the people, by the people and for the people, which empowers citizens not only to vote for politicians but also empowers them to set salaries and benefits of their employees (public officials), propose laws directly without petitioning public servants such as lawmakers or presidents, repeal bad laws and even recall corrupt leaders before their term expires. This requires change of constitutions! Variations of this form of government originated in Greece five centuries before the birth of Jesus Christ and thrives today in modern Switzerland, European Union and the United States of America.
We visited Zimbabwe several times in the 1980’s and admired the beauty of the country and their admiration of their patriotic leader, Robert Mugabe. Yesterday, we watched and listened to disgusted Zimbabweans reacting angrily and emotionally to the speech of President Mugabe and we realized Zimbabweans are not addressing the bigger issue of systemic flaws embedded in most systems of governance in Africa that narrowly focus on individual accomplishments, not governing systems and institutions! We are not attorneys but the Zimbabwean reasons for seeking impeachment of an elected president sounded frivolous and feeble: “Mugabe lets his wife, Grace to usurp power.” Did Grace violate the law? IS Grace or Mugabe above the law? The Zimbabwean reason is similarly echoed across African capitals like Monrovia: “She allowed her son to bankrupt the national oil company.” Malabo, Equatorial Guinea, “He allowed his son to loot the national treasure.” Luanda, Angola: “He allowed his daughter to enrich herself.” Doubtless, the laws of Liberia, Zimbabwe, Kenya and Nigeria were designed by politicians to make the politicians the masters who live in riches and luxury while reducing the people to mere slaves trapped in poverty, illiteracy and misery indefinitely! So instead of making noise and complaining about corrupt leaders running corrupt systems of governance, why aren’t the people of Liberia, Zimbabwe, Kenya and Nigeria demanding new constitutions that empowers the people, not the politicians? In Arizona, USA, with a FY-2017 budget of US$9.61 billion dollars pays lawmakers US$24,000 yearly because the people voted to pay their lawmakers US$24,000. It’s a government of the People of Arizona!
And yes, in Nigeria, Kenya, Uganda and elsewhere across Africa, there are routine elections sponsored by the “international community” that puts corrupt politicians in power to do what the Holy Bible calls the “works of the Devil” in St. John 10:10 “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy.” Across Africa, political violence, ritualistic killings, skyrocketing unemployment, illiteracy and diseases are killing the people! Still the people are programed to keep crying, like the Zimbabweans for yet another new president to run the corrupt system, and not demanding a new system that fulfills the will of the people! It makes no sense! The words of the Holy Scriptures are crying out loud the solution to Africa’s problem: It’s time for systemic change! Matthew 12:33 “Either make the tree good, and its fruit good; or make the tree corrupt, and its fruit corrupt: for the tree is known by its fruit.”
We are not proud of Zimbabwe because by seeking another President after a 37 year rule of a patriotic leader they are not addressing the core problem. Citizens across Zimbabwe, Liberia, Kenya, Nigeria ought to be yearning for Participatory Democracy that empowers the citizens. We are not proud of the European Union and the United States Embassies that nurtured and supported corruption using taxpayers money. That is why we launched the Citizens Independence Movement (CIM), to expose the complicity in sustaining corruption by western embassies across Africa to taxpayers in donor countries. We aim to train citizens across Africa in participatory democracy and civic leadership, so that citizens demand a government of the people, by the people and for the people, not mere donor sponsored elections that puts corrupt politicians in power to do the works of the Devil found in St. John 10:10; “Steal, kill and destroy.”
This commentary was written before Mugabe stepped down yesterday, Tuesday, November 21, 2017.