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Opinions of Thursday, 23 November 2017

Columnist: Kwaku A. Danso

Why I see hope for Zimbabwe; they will succeed

Mugabe served as Zimbabwe's president for 37 years Mugabe served as Zimbabwe's president for 37 years

The more I read about Zimbabwe and Mugabe, and even the sad circumstances that led to his resignation today Nov.21, 2017, the more I respect their system and even the people and their culture!

It is rare for a powerful African leader, accused so much in the Western media, and yet his people force him to resign with no bloodshed, no gunshots, and no heads severed and hung on stakes in the public square for the vultures!

Human survival, as I have studied in America for four decades, takes a complicated mix of human souls, competing characters, all trying to survive under some leadership in an organization with unique cultures and customs!
I always compare events to that in my motherland Ghana. In this casenit is justified. Ghana set the pace for other African nations to follow in 1957. I think Zimbabweans have a better system than Ghana! The patience of the military, resorting to the constitution to find answers, is admirable. No matter how poor, I presict that Zimbabwe will be a far more succesful nation than most in Africa in the next decade.

I spent three years of my adult life reading and writing weekly and term papers on how human societies Organize and Manage themselves through changes and effectively under different kinds of leadership. This culminated in a PhD dissertation in 2006 and a book on "Leadership Concepts and The Role of Government" in 2007.

Over the decades working for ten American corporations and then in my own business, I learned a thing or two that predicts human success. Let me share a few:


Do you all notice from our Ghana political history, the oppositon to Nkrumah, the UP, were not strongly in favor of Independence? Some of their leaders actually opposed it!
In Zimbabwe, Mugabe and these Generals of the military were one. Mugabe being perhpas the more educated and senior has been allowed to run the country, and under a constitution, good or bad.

In 1957 after Ghana's Independence, had the opposition not planned so many bomb attempts on the life of Nkrumah, perhaps the good man who sacrificed his life and professional career to lead Ghana to independence would have modified some of his characteristics that some have described as dictatorial. Incan only predict in hindsight.

But then before we criticize Nkrumah, think what you would have done if the losers in a competitive fight start attempts to assassinate you!Would you have provided them milk and honey or "give them FIRE!", as Shaka Zulu once said!

In 1966, had the military and opposition cornered Kwame Nkrumah about the issues and actions that they felt were critical instead of colluding with some foreign intelligence to overthrow him by force, there is no doubt Ghana's destiny could have followed a different developmental trajectory! Perhpas even better than that of Singapore and South Korea!

To compare progress since then, examine this: In 1966 every High School teacher at Prempeh College could afford to own and was driving their car. Today it is hardly possible for lecturers at our Universities and Nurses to afford a car loan. The late Prof. Adu Boahene who was a founder of the Danquah-Busia club and then the National Patriotic Party, NPP, told me in 1992 that he was able to build his house at the affluent Airport Residential area during his term as lecturer at Legon. Is it possible today?

2. A Spirit of Persuasion and COMPROMISE:

Mugabe may have sounded as a man who would never compromise; but then how did such a man win the British high honor of KBE, Knight of the British Empire, when he was younger and the Brits got what they wanted! How did he resign eventually?

The behavior of the military Generals in the last few days leading to the resignation of Mugabe shows that there can be persuasive powers most Africans never use well as well as compromises if the common purpose exists! Zimbabwe has set a good example for others!

. A sense of Selflessness:

In all the criticism of Mugabe and his Generals these seems to be the usual charges of corruption but no proof. This is similar to charges levelled against Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana after the forceful overthrow.

It is not my duty to clap for Zimbabwe or condemn them. I can only wish them well and hope that other African countries would not slash themselves to death as done in Liberia, Sierra Leone, Rwanda, Burundi, Somalia, Libya and many others. There are many ways towards socio-Economic development and small nations like Singapore have shown the way as demonstrated in Lee Kuan Yew's book "From Third World to First", a book I strongly recommend for readin by all Africans. Yes, it can be done!

Long Live Zimbabwe for the people!
God bless our motherland Africa!'