Is it not true that ‘omnia causa fiunt’ (everything happens for a reason)? Similar to the speeding up of chemical reactions, the country has during the first year of the current parliament, been on the receiving end of an unmeasured dose of catalysis that created a heightened state of flux ÔÇô of redrawn political landscape featuring new players in new teams in a hitherto one-sided league.
And it all happened for a reason, that the country’s constitutional succession system in 2008 delivered onto the theatre of political drama a lead actor who captivated the audience with his initial excellence at scoring own goals whilst shifting the focus of governance and government from playing ball to crushing opponents.
No sooner did the events unleashed bolster a steeper learning curve, leading to an ‘after-the-fact’ realisation that the roadmap popularised by Africa – of strong men embodying the deity – using straightjacket formulas to relentlessly and obsessively fashion-craft post colonial republics according to a self-serving model of toy cars needing constant rewinding to perform the will of the master, was not sustainable.
Things happen so that there is learning and change, sometimes a permanent leap forward and at times a temporary adventure during which energy levels are boosted by power hangovers and nostalgic flashes of the past to assault the life-long gains of independent maturity and reverse to the fantasy republic where rulers dish out quack medicine to save people from themselves.
Never the type to admit defeat and showing-off a penchant for branding opponents ‘enemies’ made of power-hungry war mongers infiltrated by foreigners, the author of the political drama that engulfed the nation (and henchmen of course), re-drew the plot to preserve the core of the rusty engine that had been sending dark clouds of smoke to engulf the republic and obscure reality.
Showcasing growing muscular power, the executive team had almost succeeded in executing the blueprint from the first chapter of their governance script based on a strategy shift from competition in a political drama played in an open democratic theatre to a script crafted around a strategy of gambling in a dangerously toxic drama featuring the drums of war (civil) in a closed theatre characterised by fear and injustice.
Branded ‘enemies’ to be eliminated ‘one after the other’ from the palace of the disciplined republic in-the-making, the holders of executive power amazingly gladiate from one corner of the playing field to the other, unleashing fear as they delivered their baptism of fire to awaken the citizens from years of unconscious ignorance bringing them to a state conscious inertia before moving them to conscious activism as the way was paved for the foundation of a culture of democratic accountability.
Although it is not over yet, the people have rescued their right to live in a democratic republic fashioned by the will of the majority and the vision of its founding fathers. The people have shunned the disciplined republic moulded on fantasy and night dreams, choosing instead to embrace the vision of a modern democracy founded on the democratic values reflected in the republican constitution and articulated loudly in Vision 2016.
It is my thesis that the country needed the dose of catalysis that stirred the nation out of its slumber, thanks to our constitutional succession system, because everything happens for a reason.
In the wake of the unmeasured catalysis that was injected to grow the muscular executive, all watched as the gladiating actions of the hitherto unknown creature triggered a series of reactions that have presented the first ever opportunity for the country to depart from near-nominal to real democracy.
As the executive binged on the anabolic steroids of ‘power’ to stimulate the build-up of muscle to construct the disciplined republic, ignoring the caution on side effects, no sooner did the first signs of nausea appear as the muscular creature caught bulimia and began to throw up.
In sporting games where professionalism reigns supreme, the steroids are deemed ‘illegal’ for giving enhanced advantage to users and when caught culprits are disqualified and/or stripped of medals and trophies.
The game of democracy has standards which guide fair play and discourage use of unfair means to gain, exercise or retain political power. The enforcement of the rules of fair play to ensure a state anchored on the pillars of good governance and the rule of law is a firmly established tradition. Adherence to the values of democracy and to the highest standards of ethics and justice become the differentiators of good from bad governance.
Continued unabated any binge on power causes the growth of cancerous cells that would need aggressive treatment using chemo and radio therapy. Maybe we were lucky, maybe not ÔÇô when the anabolic steroids of power triggered nausea, the nation was able to repel the invasion of ‘absolute power’ and set the stage for the detoxification of the executive, resulting in a state of convalescence in which the lessons from the short-lived fearful experience have become the medals or trophies to guarantee the nation’s future.
Mislead by the initial indicators of success, the executive had embarked on an agenda to purge the republic of voices of dissent and voices of reason; confidently increasing the dose on the anabolic steroids of power; whilst they arrogantly black-painted the private media; unapologetically badmouthed those who differed; shamelessly transformed the state media into a propaganda machinery to force-feed citizens of the disciplined republic with a side version of facts; and escalated to pathological scale the obsessive drive to consolidate an anorectic state of sorts on the ruins of the once thriving near-democratic nation.
Weakened by the binge on the anabolic steroids of power that had initially increased muscle strength and exaggerated executive authority to ‘Gozzila’ proportions, it did not take long before the moment of truth dawned. With time the nation had awoken to confront the catalytic poisons and deactivate the menacing creature that was ruthlessly crushing political opponents.
Let me repeat, ‘omnia causa fiunt’ (everything happens for a reason). And it happened so that the people could awake to consolidate democracy and make it permanently unattractive to build excess muscle in order to gain unfair advantage over other legitimate contenders. It could only be a matter of time before self-destruction catches up with those who binge on the anabolic steroids of power.
One is also reminded of the saying, ‘quod me nutri me destruit’ (what nourishes me also destroys me). With the visit of bulimia induced by the binge on power, the diagnosis of muscular dystrophy appears to have paralysed the activist executive, causing it to halt its interventionist adventurism.
As I look back at the nation’s unequivocal response to the nostrum of absolute power that was peddled as the universal cure to the imperfection of citizens, I am reminded of the following poetic writings of Joanna Fuchs:
“Once again we awake from cold winter’s pale dream, as our minds and our bodies revive; We rejoice and delight in spring’s colorful sight; Each new spring makes us glad we’re alive!”
If only the executive could have the ability to say to the nation the following words from Joanna Fuchs:
“Please Forgive Me
When I said what I said, I was wrong; Please forgive me, and let’s start anew. Our relationship means much to me. I’m so sorry my blunder hurt you.
Though your memory may bring it back up, Won’t you please try to put it away? I’ll be tactful and sensitive now; I’ll think of your needs every day.
Let’s go on with our lives as we were; I’d take it all back if I could. Let’s focus on positive things; What we have is important and good”.
*Jowitt Mbongwe is a management and human capital consultant. He is Managing Director of Global Consult and can be reached on 3935758.