Re-imaging the workplace: Our politics stinks to high heaven

Your courage to agree to take up the Finance Ministry in itself, shows, without a doubt that you are a courageous and daring man and need I say that you went on to display the same courage when you decided to run for MP at Cowdray Park.

I hope my article finds you well big brother. Growing up we used to play with words when we wrote letters.

It was exciting discovering new words in a new language and so we would start with such lines as…time and ability have forced me to jot you this missive…

Well, I thought I could start on the lighter note to deal with this difficult issue life has put you through.

No, sorry that you have put yourself through. I do not think that you are a fatalist who surrenders things to invisible forces that drive us in directions we are not willing to go.

Your courage to agree to take up the Finance Ministry in itself, shows, without a doubt that you are a courageous and daring man and need I say that you went on to display the same courage when you decided to run for MP at Cowdray Park.

You are a man who holds the bull by it’s horns and pushes and shoves. Those 10 places you identified and installed Wi-Fi at were something man.

There are very serious things we need to discuss so that you do not give up trying to connect with your people and be part of the region.

As Zimbabweans we come from regions, but I do not think that we then need to be regionalists. We can participate in our regions of origin without being regionalists and viewing other regions as less or more important. That disease is a scourge in Zimbabwe, but the scope of my article is just touching on the surface without going deep and scientific.

I am aware you have a scientific orientation, and that empiricism is something you breathe, being an academic.

So, I will not make any unsubstantiated claims and risk losing your attention. I must say though that regionalism did contribute to your loss.

You have not been present in Matabeleland as a leader, maybe because politics has not been something you participated in actively, but I can make that claim that you just appeared as an illustrious son of Zimbabwe who is known by many as an accomplished academic who might be from Matabeleland based on his name and speaks good English, Mthuli.

So, you came as a stranger in town. You know that guy who comes to town driving an expensive car and buys drinks for the boys?

He will be appreciated for the things he buys but he is not known. Some might even steal from him, and he goes home missing his phone or some money. Why? Because the relationship is transactional and there is no friendship instinct that connects the stranger with the boys in the hood.

The fact that you were a stranger and that no one had ever seen you in one of the shebeens or a funeral for one of them meant that they viewed you just as that, someone coming to spoil them and leave after that. Am I making sense my brother?

I was born in Tsholotsho and at the age of 12, I moved to town and Entumbane specifically and when a new boy arrived from another place it was never easy to integrate because they were not part of the system.

If they stayed, however, as I did, they became an integral part of the community.

Also, within that community of Entumbane we had turfs and you risked being beaten up by the boys of that hood if you dated one of their girls.

They would say such statements as ‘we also have balls…’ I was not sure now what balls had to do with dating girls because I had always associated balls with football, snooker, jukebox, and other games.

Maybe these boys thought I had come to play ball with them. Little did I know that they were talking about a different ball game altogether.

I think you might have been viewed as a stranger who just had to be used and I am sure you are sitting there feeling used and wondering what hit you.

The staying example, that those who stayed eventually got integrated into the community carries a good lesson for you brother.

It means that your defeat should not mark the end of the game.

Some uncouth people who turned your defeat into a joke made such claims as that you had hired a group of people to dig up the tarred roads you had made and that you had uninstalled your Wi-Fi.

I knew they were lying. If I were you, I would have made a defeat acceptance video and put it out there for all to see that you are not a sore loser, but a professional who knows what he is doing.

I would have accepted defeat and promised to continue serving the people of Cowdray Park.

Why not, because remember there are thousands of those who voted for you and so where do they stand?

They emerge with egg on their faces on your behalf and get nothing?

The politics of punishing constituencies that vote for opposition is bad politics Prof.

It is like bad money to use your words and where there is bad politics, good politics disappears like good money where there is bad money. Am I making sense Prof? I think Zimbabwe needs good politics and you stand a good chance of contributing to that shift in our country.

Zimbabweans who vote for opposition suffer and unfortunately, they seem to have stopped caring.

No, I am wrong, they did not stop caring but do not know how to care, what it means to care and what can be done about caring or not caring.

This is where everything gets complicated Prof, and needs your brain and heart to decide not to stop participating in this rigmarole.

Our politics has injured our people and regions carry different types of wounds.

The people of Zimbabwe in general have been through a lot that has left bleeding wounds on their brains.

The people of Matabeleland have their own peculiar wounds that bleed. They know very well, for example that voting for an opposition MP in Zimbabwe means no development for the next five years but still go ahead and vote for them.

I do not think that they are wrong but that something wrong is happening in our country that is churning out that calibre of people. We have a problem and if we love humanity, something different needs to be done.

We cannot continue to turn a blind eye to bad politics, and of course bad money. I realise I have said a lot and cannot continue this week.

I promise to get in touch again next week to further explicate this complicated and yet important issue. I consider politics a huge workplace that cannot be ignored by this column.

Let’s connect again next week Prof. Cheers.

*Bhekilizwe Bernard Ndlovu’s training is in human resources training, development and transformation, behavioural change, applied drama, personal mastery, and mental fitness. He works for a Zimbabwean company as human capital executive, while also doing a PhD with Wits University where he looks at violent strikes in the South African workplace as a researcher. Ndlovu worked as a human resources manager for several blue-chip companies in Zimbabwe and still takes keen interest in the affairs of people and performance management. He can be contacted on [email protected]

Related Topics