Wednesday, 21 October 2015
Stop it! Just Respect the Party and the Country!
Whilst it is true that social media can be a great asset if managed appropriately and effectively, it is also true that it has the potential to turn into a political disaster if not managed. The ruling party has recently been afflicted by the absence of restraint and control on the conduct and behaviour of some of its members and this has seen indiscipline rooting itself.
The violation of deep-rooted core values, ideals, directives and regulations governing the behaviour of all party members is the indiscipline that comes with it. The ruling party has a constitution and it is this constitution that guides the behavior and conduct of any of its members. Any departure from these core values, beliefs, principles, rules and regulations must be dealt with decisively and this must be across the board.
The rules and regulations must be followed accordingly and in line with the ZANU-PF constitution and members who overstep the line as set by the constitution must be directed and redirected so as to bring them under the authority and premises of the constitution of the party. This will enable all party members to work within their individual and collective remits as set out within the party constitution. Any party constitution has a very specific purpose, to regulate, to keep all party members in check and under control so that party objectives, goals and ideology are fulfilled. There must be no exceptions; each and every member of ZANU-PF must stick to rules and regulations as set out by the Constitution. No sacred cows.
President Mugabe is a man of principle and he has stuck to his principles from a very young age since the inception of the ruling party, so what is wrong with some of the party youth who brazenly present an image of disrespect and indiscipline in public forums? President Mugabe recently made it very clear for them when he had this to say, “Let us also respect decisions and procedures of the party. We have witnessed lower organs of the party or cadres heading them challenging superior organs appointed to lead them. Such actions amount to insubordination and indeed a challenge to authority. That is indiscipline at its worst. That has to stop.” The message must have been very loud and clear for those who have been devising their own party constitutions and running wild in media sources and social media.
There is everything wrong with deviating from the core values, rules and regulations as set out by the constitution that directs the ruling party. There is everything wrong with party officials and members posting videos and interviews saying demeaning things about other party officials. The private media in Zimbabwe is indeed having a field day from such indiscipline. This just reflects very badly on the party rather than that individual. As President Mugabe stated, “…But we were not born yesterday and so we know how to take these jibes, allegations and lies that are manufactured every night and published every morning. We take them for what they are- rubbish for the dustbin”.
If the party directive is that legislators, party leadership and party members must not publicly engage is media spats, then any departure from such is nothing short of indiscipline and amounts to fermenting instability within the party. The cases of senior officials running amok on social media and news sources and some youth leadership cadres running their mouth with no restraint has brought a lot of negativity to the party.
These errant individuals must be reined in and refocused on the party direction and agenda. The Party Constitution is not just a display document, it is there to guide and those who ignore constitutional and party direction must face the same fate as those who did not heed the same call in the past. The ruling party is not a celebrity entourage where people throw tantrums and post them as video ‘selfies’ on Facebook. The integrity of the ruling party must never be sacrificed for the egocentric wants of some unstable and reckless individuals at the expense of the majority. All party members and party officials must be made to account for their own respective responsibilities or recklessness. Each individual is responsible for his or her own doings and must never be allowed to drag the name of the revolutionary party into the mud. Cool heads are often an embodiment of real power focusing on action instead of words, and having the ability to present maturity and develop loyalty in unique ways. These childish social media pranks and associated tantrums are just unacceptable in an ideologically rich and composite structure like the revolutionary ZANU-PF party.
It is that fundamental belief in a cause that separates the real bona-fide heroes in the Robert Mugabe mold from the chaff and debris of the mudslinging youth on social media. Zimbabwe is a country that was founded on the backdrop of the sacrifices of the heroes and heroines who gallantly fought on the side of justice and triumphed. These are the men and women who have shaped Zimbabwe and will forever have the country at heart. They derive satisfaction of their sacrifice not from the achieved victory and glory, but from their totally selfless commitment to the people for the greater good of the country. They only serve to remind us of the higher purpose of self and society. President Mugabe reminded party members this when he told them “We all know from the days of the struggle that when challenges mount, when people face hurdles, this is the time to be with them. That is the ZANU-PF way and the party must go to the village to be at one with the hungry, to be at one with the farmers. We are here to serve our people and we are doing our best despite our limited capacity”. These are such profound and meaningful words from the man of principle who should be emulated.
President Mugabe is the glue that binds the nation and the history that will inspire future generations. All youth and all party members must take cue from this great son of Africa. It is unfortunate that there has been this self-seeking shift towards jostling for positions and power at the expense of real purpose of policy. Zimbabwe is currently facing economic challenges of a magnitude that requires those entrusted into positions of influence to have sleepless nights yet for some the main preoccupation seems to be on personalities rather than real policy. As President Mugabe has articulately put it, this is the time for all party leadership to be ‘at one with the hungry’!
It is a telling sign of misplaced priorities that under the current disabling economic conditions in Zimbabwe that one’s preoccupation is about posting video ‘selfie’ online rather than addressing the immediate challenges facing the ordinary man and woman. When you have youth leadership aspirants mocking each other on public forums about who is gay and who is not, then you know the party is facing genuine challenges of indiscipline. There is an urgent requirement to reorient the youth of the party to rules and guidelines that govern the party. The indiscipline that party youth presents on public forums and social media directly and negatively reflects on the party name.
There is an urgent need to redefine the construct of politics in Zimbabwe from being a trade (where young people feel overly important and indispensable) to that tireless readiness to serve the people as President Mugabe has done throughout. This cannot be emphasized enough that public office positions are a public duty and with this duty comes responsibilities, accountability and caretaker opportunity to serve those who voted the politicians into power. Your importance is measured on the outcomes the electorate derive from your service as a public official.
Politics is not just a gateway to celebrity status on Facebook or other social media sites, but requires those who enter into this service for the people to have that simple respectful and genuine acknowledgement for the electorate. Public spats between officials and the recent demeaning statements from some youth cadres are not only disrespectful to the party but also the electorate.
As President Mugabe said, we have a duty and responsibility to the citizens of this country and must address those pressing issues that affect the ordinary person on the street daily. It is that simple and that is why people vote.
President Mugabe has led by example, our heroes led by example and all these new youth aspirants must learn from them. Now is not the time to seek more followers on Facebook, but the time to hit the ground running and tackle the basics that drive up the nation. Just stop it and respect the party! That simple.