We cannot continue being bystanders cdes

We cannot continue being bystanders cdes

By Benjamin Juru

So today I was having a chat with my brother Dennis in the office, our usual moments of reflection where we reflect and dissect various topics from football (Yes we are both Chelsea supporters), economics, politics, technology you name it. I always find these moments thought provoking, intellectually engaging and enriching as we both hail from the same school of thought! Today I ignited our chat following an article I was reading on Herald online in which the new Zimra boss toured the Beitbridge border post and put forward new recommendations on how to improve service delivery among other things. As I was going through the article, something dawned on me that the recommendations she made were purely tactical (at least in my view). The ideas she prescribed (at least according to the article) were centred on optimizing the processes to improve efficiency and effectiveness in collections, good but not great. In my view I would have expected the new boss to lay out a new vision for Zimra, where she sees Zimra, Beitbridge border post etc in 5 years’ time; projected collections in 5 years etc and then start building from them. While these are elementary, top of the mind thoughts, surely I expected better from the commissioner general, fair as it may she’s still new, these are the sort of questions which ignited my passion and really cut me to heart about the state of affairs in our great nation. Let me hasten to also note that the same train of thought was evoked when I attended the tourism national stakeholder engagement session where players in the tourism and hospitality dissected pertinent issues in this key sector. That session and today has prompted me to this question, do we have the right quality of leaders in our nation? We have politicians, managers, CEOs but do we have visionaries, generational leaders and thinkers who can inspire a generation?

Cdes we are in a new dispensation but do we have a new mental dispensation? John Maxwell alludes that “everything rises and falls on leadership” and today can we claim that we have the right people to move this nation forward? My plea and cry is for us young people, cdes we cannot continue to be bystanders in this new dispensation, Zimbabwe will never rise to become a great nation until we stand up to be counted. Dr Munyeza has lately being preaching the gospel of leadership renewal and I cannot agree more with his ascertain that we urgently need a leadership renewal in our country. Suffice to say at the grand political level there has been renewal, but what about at an operational level? the guys in the trenches, do they have what it takes, are they visionaries or merely managers or executives? Zimbabwe deserves better cdes and necessity has been laid upon us to stand for something, to do something about our situation and to be the change that we want to see. There’s no better time than now cdes, this is the fierce urgency of now. We need high quality leaders, visionaries who see Zimbabwe beyond 2017, individuals who love this nation, who are selfless and ready to subordinate their personal interests in pursuit of the greater good.

The new admin ordered all ministries to formulate 100 day plans, yes that’s great but I would have preferred they come up with 5 year plans and then bring 100 day plans within the context of 5 year plans. The challenge this scenario brings is that our honourable ministers can easily  be focused on smaller, quick win, easy to get targets all in the name of political correctness so that when they stand before judge ED they can have something to say. Some of the projects being pursued by various ministries are tactical, they are not strategic and this is not what Zimbabwe needs right now, we deserve better. It’s not about fixing potholes, or restoring water but about looking for ways to revamp our infrastructure, capital and strategic projects and not short term initiatives. We need new leaders who will rise above political expediency, new leaders who can usher a prosperous future for all Zimbabweans.

It’s good that we have a new wave of optimism to build upon, yes we will see the launch of new startups, new budding entrepreneurs etc but the onus is on our politicians to forge a new path for this great nation. Everything rises and falls on leadership and nothing is more truer than the case of the former PM, the late Tsvangirai who despite the obvious signs that he was incapacitated could not appoint a successor until his death. These are the same people who made noise about succession and yet there are mired in squabbles and cabals about their own succession issues. Is this the quality of leaders we want as a people? Is this how we have been reduced to? The lack of statesmen who put the broader interests, the common good above self, God help us.

Cdes, my fellow brethren, away with the notion that us young people are future leaders, away with the idea that our time will come, our time is now! Now is our time to stand up, to rise up and say here I am send me oh God. The consequences of our actions might be great (politically if need be) but those of our inactions are grave, we cannot continue being bystanders, observing from the terraces and sacrificing our future on the altar of indecisiveness.  My pastor Bonnie Deuschle puts in aptly “It’s not about us but it’s up to us”, this is the mantra we need to carry going forward and start being involved in national issues. General Bae is his address to the nation on the surreal 17 November 2017 said “To our youth, we call upon you to realise that the future of this country is yours. Do not be enticed with the dirty coins of silver, be disciplined and remain committed to the efforts and values of this great nation” and nothing can be more encouraging for us young people to appreciate the fact that we owe to our children and future generations to create an enabling, inclusive and fertile environment for them to thrive. We need generational thinkers, leaders who see beyond providing basic amenities and yes we can, other countries like Singapore did it, why can’t we did it?

Zimbabwe is blessed with some great leaders, individuals who are admired globally and revered locally not only for what they have done but who they stand for. We need to harness this human capital from both locally and diaspora shores to rebuild this great nation. This time for propaganda is over, RGM is now history and what confronts us is the fierce urgency of now. My challenge to all young people is get involved even at a microscale, do something that will build this nation. Our involvement as young people is not confined to politics or civic leadership but across every sector, we have a role to play. If you’re in the health, arts, public or private sector, do something that will contribute to nation building. If you feel inadequate, ill-equipped, now is the time to go back to school do that masters in political science, pursue that law degree whatever it is, it’s time to engage yourself in national issues. The majority (if not all) of our ministries need an infusion of young people who are conversant with technological trends, who think digital first. Our Harare city council cannot expect Harare to be a smartcity by 2025 if we young people who appreciate technology better remain bystanders, it cannot happen cdes.

I have said a lot, I know I have probably upset certain quarters but the cry for my beloved nation compels me. Zimbabwe deserves a better crop of leaders. If the current leadership cannot go through a paradigm shift then they need to be shipped out, the time to nurse egos is past us for necessity has been laid upon us.

Like Paul said, woe unto me if I preach not the gospel. Be involved today but with a crystal clear development and growth plan in your area of specialization. Let’s start today with a long game in mind and build with the future in mind.  The dye has been cast, the call to serve has been made, what remains is for us to rise to the call to greatness. Be ready to be misunderstood, branded regime change merchant and to receive all sort of insults as there’s always a price to pay, we have a pivotal role to play in rebuilding our nation. God has throughout history used one man to usher in change, He called Moses who thought he needed more than he had, so it could be you who will usher in a new dispensation in your community, work environment, school etc. What we need we already have it, all it needs is sharpening, nurturing but yes, we have what it takes Cdes. Now is the time, history will judge us if we remain bystanders.

I rest my case.

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