Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Zimbabweans are not so gullible

Published in The Standard 27 March 2011

Zimbabweans are a religious lot. The varieties of religious practices vary between traditionalists and other religions like Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Hindi, and Baha’i Faith. There may be other faiths in between. Times of desperation often bring out what people are made of. For me, our religiosity has been our anchor. Our faith makes us who we are.

According to proved records, the majority people claim to be Christians in this country. That as it may, many have learned practices that prove that religions often are comfortable with each other when they are faced with one common enemy. The leadership in this country has become so proud that they think they will be there forever. One hopes the GNU does not think that it will be there forever.

The majority of the religions above have a strong belief that there is someone who is stronger than our leaders. This person has a final say. This is what our dear leaders do not realise. The good thing, though, is that the majority of the people they lead are far ahead. Forcing them or not to go to rallies is not what worries the majority. They are worried about being taken for granted.

No one owns anybody. No party, no leader, be he/she a church leader or not should claim to have people of their own. These are God’s children who may at one point show allegiance to you. These are the ones who matter and not you as a leader. Indeed a culture of forcing people to do what leaders want has emerged but let them be warned. Zimbabweans are not that gullible.

Zimbabweans have suffered for a very long time. As a result of this suffering several thousands if not a couple of millions have like the biblical Israelites traversed the length and breadth of this world. A big chunk of them have taken citizenship abroad. They did this because they were looking for fresh beginnings. A number had established jobs here but could not stand abuse at the hands of the powers that be.

Nothing is going to stop people from gaining their ultimate freedom. Freedom from hunger, being forced to attend rallies, being forced to surrender all in the name of religion and so forth.

Do not force people to demand God to act. This Lent period until Easter is special to many in this country and a lot are praying for this nation.

The Old Testament says that everything has its own time. The greatest travesty is to take people for granted. The Master has the final authority and we can smell it all over.

Rev Dr Levee Kadenge

Monday, March 21, 2011

Let us celebrate the restraint of Zimbabwean population

Published in The Standard 20 March 2011

We live in a world that celebrates disorder, violence and confusion. When there is peace, that is not news.

When you are outside Zimbabwe and you hear nothing, that is good news. No news means good news. This seems to be our reality today for the attention of the world is focused on trouble spots and not on the good that is happening around the globe.

Between March 2008 elections and June 27 2008 run-off elections that pitted Mugabe against Tsvangirai, I was invited to a two-day meeting in Tanzania organised by African sharp minds across the continent on the Zimbabwean situation.

The first day deliberations were concentrated on what Zimbabweans were not doing. I was so frustrated that I decided not to make any contribution.

“Zimbabweans must help us to help them,” was the battle cry. “Kenyans did it and the whole world came and helped them to establish a unity government.”

This was in reference to Kenyans butchering each other in 2007 which led to Kofi Annan being dispatched by the UN to broker peace in that land. More than 2 000 Kenyans lost their lives in a bloody ethnic strife.

The following night I agonised about what to say in the morning. After much soul-searching I prayed that I would be the first to contribute.

My contribution went like this: “Sisters and brothers, we are making the same mistake the world is enticing us to make.

The world over is fast-moving towards rewarding disorder, giving accolades to perverts and celebrating that which destroys life. Africa must not succumb to that. Why can’t we learn and celebrate what Zimbabweans have done?”

“Under much provocation when election results were not announced for over a month, everyone expected Zimbabweans to run amok and kill each other in their thousands. Reason prevailed and such is what we should write home about, ‘celebrating Zimbabweans’ restraint’.”

The tone of the meeting changed from then onwards. I could hear random comments about celebrating Zimbabweans’ restraint at the venue of the conference.

In spite of what is happening north of Africa, Zimbabweans should remain resolute. There is no need to follow other examples. We have our own way.

Remember when the Israelites wanted to be like other nations; God gave in and gave them Saul for a King. Saul made the children of Israel see hell and fire. As Zimbabweans, do we have to be like other nations?

In such times like the present when those who do not want to see the peoples’ wishes carried through and wait for battle, the Zimbabwean majority should restrain themselves and teach the world that peace can come through peaceful means.

Rev Dr Levee Kadenge

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Dictators don't know when it's time up

Published in The Standard, 13 March 2011 13:49

With the billions of dollars stashed away in foreign accounts by the erstwhile dictators in the north, one wonders what the situation is like south of the Sahara.
Recently we have heard reports in the local media that one Zimbabwean cabinet minister has properties in every municipality and is amassing more.

When dictators are in power their fortunes seem to be a private affair but as soon as they are out of power it becomes public knowledge. Is this the reason why dictators do not want to relinquish power? It also seems they do not believe that they are dictators until the very day they are forced to run away. It would not be surprising that some of them could even face their deathbeds believing they were right.

Such is the nature of dictatorships. They say absolute power corrupts absolutely. Who then can teach our dear leaders when it is enough? Muammar Gaddafi has been in power for over 40 years and he still thinks he has the mandate to rule Libya. Hosni Mubarak was in power for 30 years and wanted to add a few more months until September 2011 to vacate office.

The problem may not lie squarely with dictators. We who are ruled by these autocratic regimes do not aspire to be rulers one day.

Who said only one person is destined to lead? Even those people in the same party should try to bring sense to a dear leader that leadership must change hands. The eventual dictator begins in his/her own party and is allowed to get away with it.

Is it then that dictators are not born but we allow them to flourish? When all is said and done we are all to blame because we tend to tolerate dictatorial tendencies and before we know it, this cancer destroys the freedoms of all in the nation.

Those who benefit are also under dictatorship because they do not have a say in how things are run.

These are the people who would soon say, “What could we have done? We also did not want the system but it was so overwhelming.”

Hangers-on just as guilty as dictators they prop

Hangers-on are the most dangerous because they survive by exaggerating their support for the dictator.

They do so because they want to be seen to be more loyal than everyone else.
The result is that the dictators would never learn their mistakes because of the overzealous support they get from those who were erstwhile-enemies-turnedfriends.

Who then should tell dictators that enough is enough? Should they only be ousted by people power? Surely something has to be done for we all learn from our mistakes.

There should be men and women on the side of a dictator who should dare take the bull by the horns. History has it that those who dared make that mistake got the wrath of it. But they have been remembered even in their graves.

In our land we have the likes of Mbuya Nehanda, Sekuru Kaguvi, Chaminuka and Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo etc who dared challenge the status quo. Some were killed but others survived and to this day they are fondly remembered for declaring that enough was enough. If dictators do not know when it is time up let us tell them. The question is: who will bell the cat?

—Rev Dr Levee Kadenge

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Spot fines benefiting police force

Published in The Standard 6 March 2011

The recent survey by Mass Public Opinion Institute (Mpoi) on the corruption in the police force has to be attended to without delay. You only have to be a driver to come face to face with the stinking corruption in the police today.

What baffles me most is the pretence of holding those receipt books as if they would be writing down information on charging the offender. In fact what would be happening is a serious negotiation for the alleged offender to pay less to individual officer.

When I was faced with the choice of paying half the fine and not get the receipt, I opted for the payment of the full amount and the officer just could not believe my generosity.

She was even prepared to lower the amount I would to pay as long as it was not going into the state coffers. This is how low our police force has sunk.

Most of the road blocks mounted are money-making ventures for the police force. One wonders whether this is actually the “training” the modern police force is going through.

They almost do the same in terms of how they swindle money from the public.

What is more disturbing is that in some instances, there would be senior officers manning these road blocks watching, as if in approval the corruption going on. No wonder people are saying it is official. But should the ministry responsible just watch as this practice continues unabated?

Is it the work of the police to swindle the offenders? What happened to being charged and going to pay at the police station? The spot fines are only benefiting the corrupt police force. No wonder those yellow sleeves police put on are now called “money-links”.

A couple of months ago one officer looked for a defect on my car and asked me to pay for it. I had very little money on me and for me to be allowed to proceed with my journey the officer asked me to give him that whole amount. Up to now I feel bad even though the money was very little. Are there still police with conscience in our beautiful country or corruption has taken the upper hand?

By Rev Dr Levee Kadenge

ZRP not corrupt: Bvudzijena

The Standard, Monday, 20 March 2011 09:47
The characterisation made by Rev Levee Kadenge about the Zimbabwe Republic Police in his letter to the Editor titled “Spot fines benefitting police force” is very surprising and disturbing, particularly as it comes from somebody we believe is an opinion leader judging from his title of Reverend.

We applaud him for refusing to pay a bribe in the first part of his narrative but would like to indicate that he is an accused person for paying a bribe “a couple of months ago” with the “little money” that he had, as admitted in the last part of his letter.

We do not expect such behaviour from a man of the cloth and I hope he would not like us to address all reverends as corrupt.

The ZRP has been very clear and is on public record that it will deal sternly with members of the organisation who commit crimes, including that of bribery. Some have been discharged from the organisation for accepting bribes.

Such members have been dismissed because somebody somewhere took a stand and the ZRP appropriately responded.

Such members of the public have assisted in ensuring that the organisation cleanses itself instead of glorifying the demise of a national institution such as the ZRP. I hope Rev Kadenge will take a cue from this.

It did not and does not need the Mass Public Opinion Institute for us to respond to issues of corruption. Since the launch of our Service Charter in 1995, and the ZRP being the first organisation to do so, we have pleaded for co-operation with and assistance from members of the public to ensure that we deliver a satisfactory service.

We still stand by the pledge we made and those who wish to help, hopefully, will do so.

Let me also hasten to disabuse Rev Kadenge of the notion that the ZRP is corrupt. The ZRP is not corrupt and about 99% of the force are honest and hardworking civil servants.

W Bvudzijena (Senior Assistant Commissioner)
Chief Staff Officer (Press and Public Relations)


March 27
Why does Bvudzijena deny what is obvious?
I write to comment on police spokesperson Wayne Bvudzijena's response to Reverend Levee Kadenge's letter. Bvudzijena must be from outer space. It's common knowledge that the ZRP is corrupt and rotten through and through. The drivel about 99% of the force being honest is laughable. Can he tell us what the ZRP has done to the ZANU PF thugs who he admitted were equally responsible for the recent poliyical disturbances in Harare? Nothing. It's a shame to be so partisan. by Concerned

March 27
HA ha ha! - ZRP not corrupt? Who does Bvudzijena think he is fooling? - I suppose the ZRP are not that either, going by his stetement. He is wasting his breath and newspaper space. by Justice.

Bvudzijena hiding behind a finger on ZRP corruption.
Sunday, 03 April 2011 13:57

When I first read the initial letter from Rev Levee Kadenge, I was pleasantly surprised that finally something was being said in the open about this current scourge of corruption within the ZRP.

However on reading police spokesman Ass Com Wayne Bvudzijena’s response (if one can call it that) in The Standard of March 20, I was left speechless and emotions of anger came over me. Bvudzijena made a total mockery of the serious issue that was raised.

He cannot respond with such blatant impunity and seriously expect to get away with his nonsensical response to an issue that, for a very long time, has overwhelmed the ZRP.
Every Zimbabwean who drives knows fully well the experiences we all go though when stopped at police road blocks. How dare Bvudzijena remark that Rev Kadenge is an “accused person”. If this be the case, then we all are.

I cannot believe that he doesn’t know that when stop-ped at a police road block, the officers in attendance circle around your vehicle like a pack of lions about to pounce on its prey, looking for any excuse to issue a ticket in order to extract a bribe.

Bvudzijena should be asha-med of himself for addressing the nation in such a condescending tone — does he take us all for fools? He needs to take a good look at himself and seriously consider the issues raised in Rev Kadenge’s letter instead of being arrogant and clever for nothing.

Bvudzijena should think before spewing out his asinine drivel to cover up what everyone knows. I think he got the percentage numbers mixed up in his final remark that 99% of the force aren’t corrupt becase they are, and he knows it

“Not fooled”
Quibusd antiunt, Ferrente