NATHAN Banana, the eldest son of Zimbabwe’s late first President, Canaan Sodindo Banana, has lashed out at President Robert Mugabe, labelling him a dictator and self-centred.
Addressing South African-based Zimbabweans in Johannesburg on Monday, Banana urged his fellow countrymen “to wake up to the urgent need for servant political leadership” and dump the “uncaring” Zanu PF regime.
He used the occasion to launch his party, Freedom Justice Coalition Zimbabwe Party, although he did not indicate whether he would contest the 2018 elections.
“The failure of our socio-economic and political environments does not begin or end with individual politicians sitting at the top of the leadership tree. The rot in our societies begins in our homes and families, moulded like a clay pot by our attitudes through behaviours and practices we have accepted and normalised as our culture,” he said.
“I am not suggesting that we manufacture dictators because our culture is ugly, rather I am suggesting that we manufacture dictators despite the beauty of our culture. Equally, we have the opportunity and ability to use what is good within us and amongst us, to build an alternative politics that works for the people, and with the people.”
He said Zanu PF’s top-down politics that it used to run public institutions had destroyed industries, farms, cattle herds and even homes and families while creating a few privileged elite class that controls and has influence on every aspect of citizens’ wellbeing.
“In truth, no Zimbabwean citizen needs to be lectured on the gravity of the consequences of rogue politics. But every Zimbabwean needs to wake up to the urgent need for servant political leadership. Not all politics is bad politics. It is how we understand politics that influences how we participate in it. It is possible and necessary to have politicians who care to listen and listen to care,” Banana said.
“Zimbabwe does not need a hero to chant slogans, and promise citizens that the future will be as bright as a summer’s day. Rather, Zimbabwe needs a vision, which citizens can take ownership of — influence and work hard for — to deliver the kind of Zimbabwe that has inspired social movements such as #ThisFlag and #Tajamuka.”
“We must reject the current culture of ‘entitlement’ that treats certain groups differently because of any historical justifications that are used as justification for special privileges, every Zimbabwean deserves a fair chance and equal opportunities to unleash their full potential.”
His late father was Zimbabwe’s first President at Independence in 1980, but was later pushed out of government and eventually jailed for sodomy.