I have written a number of times about how Zimbabwean’s should unite and focus on a targeted theme of revival within our country through a unified call for change. I have been very much encouraged by the private mail I have received from many corners and people who would prefer not to be as outspoken on the issue of regime change in Zimbabwe, but I am furthermore encouraged to see how other African nations are using the power of social media networks to unite the people in Diaspora to bring about change within their own government.
I genuinely believe that a responsible approach to the demand for change in Zimbabwe is needed, and it will only come from those of us who are in Diaspora to engage, co-ordinate and drive forward an agenda of change. Engaging with each other and talking on the same wave length can only bring about a general consensus that will pave the way for a charismatic leadership to take shape and promote our cause.
I recently became aware of group of Nigerians advocating for their government to provide more reliable power infrastructure. Their movement aims to highlight the problems caused to Nigerian people by the lack of a constant power supply in Nigeria and raise awareness of the situation globally. An unreliable power supply cripples industries and hinders advancements in health care and industrial growth they claim on their website.
This group have had a magnificent impact globally, and while their campaign may not be political, their tactics have brought international recognition to their plight and has people talking about their movement and situation all over the world. Through international attention, their situation has gone global and the international media are gearing up for a peaceful protest in October in Lagos, Nigeria. At this time the Nigerian government will fall under the spotlight as the international media comes to town to see how the government tackle the issue of their people demonstrating for change.
Ok fair enough, the impact of their efforts is uncertain granted, but I find it very exciting that a nation have proved my point, that through a combined effort, a unified approach, using the opportunities before us, and the tools we have such as social media, petitions, worldwide demonstration and public pressure, the attention is brought to town, and while change has not yet happened, I am optimistic that change will eventually come to Nigeria as their government realise that they have an entire world calling for them to deliver.
“Africa’s future is up to Africans,” President Obama told us when he visited Ghana on July 11. It is true that so many of us have come to this conclusion and I cannot stress enough how important it is for us to realise this sooner rather than later. The time of waiting for America and the world to sort our problems out has past. International politics are changing in ways that will mean foreign governments are more engaged with matters at home than engaging in international rescue operations.
“You have the power to hold your leaders accountable, and to build institutions that serve the people,” Obama said. Ok, those are strong words, and maybe what he is talking about is that we as a nation need to start talking with one voice and demanding better from our leaders. Perhaps if we as Zimbabweans are willing to unite and call for Mugabe to go, we will gain international support. Maybe what the new order are looking for is for us to take the initiative and paving the way for change to happen.
In whatever way Mugabe leaves, I don’t think that we really care anymore if he is brought to justice for his crimes. I guess there are those who are hurting enough to want to see him pay for his crimes against humanity, and maybe those that believe he should repay what he stole, give back what is not his and be stripped of what he has, but if this is our ultimate goal, how can we expect the man to willingly submit? To be fair I would tend to believe that most of us would just be happy for him to step aside and live out his days in whatever manner he chooses, as long as he does not interfere in politics in anyway shape or form. I do believe that there are people within the Zanu PF regime that very much fear prosecution and put pressure on Mugabe to remain in power to hide behind his frills in a manner of speaking. Truth be told, I do not believe that holding anyone to blame for the mal-governance of our nation is only going to prolong the ransom that Zanu PF holds over our nation.
It is for this reason that I say we need a responsible and reasonable call for change to take place. An unreasonable call for change is only going to prolong the course of change until such time as those who are suitable well fearful for their future are no longer in the picture. However a realistic route to repatriation through a process of reconciliation where people are mature enough to see beyond the past and look towards the economic stability and national security of the country is a course of change that becomes feasible.
The Internet is a powerful tool in empowering people. International and world opinion changes by what they see in the media, but more and more blogs, social media and interaction between people from all walks of life mean that we are more and more able to understand and engage with each other. This blog has opened a door to a whole world of people who may or may not agree with what I say, but who are willing to discuss my opinion and engage in meaningful dialogue. From Iran to China I have spoken with people who read and follow what I have to say. It is the power of this medium that Africa needs to use to its full potential.
Good governance begins with me. A statement that I resoundingly echo as I read it. By making the first step in the direction of engaging with others, by taking an interest in the thoughts and feelings of those around us, we are able to engage in a change. Good governance is the new key words in the cyber world of politics, as so many people analyse the leadership and expectations of their government. Engaging with the grass-roots is the key to becoming powerful and is what most analysts have credited the Obama campaigns success to. His support of online tools to engage with middle America is what gained him huge popularity. The youth of today live through social media. I have watched as two children sitting right next to each other would rather text each other than engage in conversation. The reason is simple. It is easier to say in words the things you are too shy to say in person.
Capture the power of this medium and you can start a whirl wind. And this is where our potential power lies. I firmly believe that Zimbabweans can achieve their greatest goals, and that we will overcome. Rome was not built in a day, and people engage through a dialogue that takes weeks if not years before real substance is gained. Focusing our attention at this early stage in the right direction is our ultimate goal. We will gain recognition, engage with other people and build credibility for our cause. In this way we can only gain support and this ultimately will bring us to our goal. Like every Zimbabwean I know, we want a prosperous, viable, free and fair Zimbabwe to call home once more.