The notion of outright democracy, although hypnotic, is nothing but an illusive whim with many hidden perils.
It is a concept that should not be allowed to take root in any truly progressive society because to efficaciously move forward and prosper, any formation, be it country or organisation — although allowing some degree of tolerance — needs strict monitoring and guidance of its key components to ensure they align with the aspirations of the overall system.
In the case of a country, some form of control would be essential to safeguard its main spheres including the flow of information, which is a crucial tool for development, and to provide mechanisms to ward off any leery elements that may launch costly crusades against that country’s heart and soul; thus its national interests.
Regrettably, taking the notion of democracy too far has been one of the biggest ruins for many African countries, including Zimbabwe, as they try too hard to look progressive to the world while pretermitting the essence of their well-being.
These emerging “democratic’’ societies become their own worst enemies because as they continuously promote their laissez-faire policies, they unknowingly invite the devil to their doorsteps.
And in most instances, the devil has come to many parts of Africa in the form of non-governmental organisations (NGOs) which are mushrooming at a much higher rate than any other lucrative trade on the continent, without facing any scrutiny of their intentions from their hosts.
When evaluated closely, the majority of these so-called society’s advocates do not emanate from real conditions of a country, are not motivated to correct national wrongs, promote equality, justice and national independence, honour and dignity, but, instead, are an extension of thought minds, values and habits of the country’s detractors or rather former colonisers and exploiters.
The latter take advantage of the economic motivation of their mediums and use them as instruments to further their unjust causes.
“This is because, in most cases, donors identify the needs that they feel should be met in a country and then invite proposals . . . Ideally, donor funding should cover programmes identified by the people for themselves.
“Assistance should be to cater for the needs of the people not the needs of the donor,’’ said the national president of the National Federation of Grass Roots Women’s
Club in Zimbabwe, Mrs Betty Mtero, recently.
The issue of fictitious NGOs is not peculiar to Zimbabwe, but spread in most of Africa.
Therefore, in order to move forward, many agree that the continent needs to first rid itself of this enemy from within.
In Zimbabwe, some NGOs have often been accused of pursuing a regime change agenda.
Among the tools they have used to influence the outcome of particular elections is food distribution in poverty-stricken parts of the country.
Reports emerged that such organisations were being sponsored by some European Union countries, the United States, Australia, Canada and New Zealand.
“We must pause to reflect to what extent our NGOs are home-grown and be wary of those that become barriers to our development and the full acceptance of our sovereignty.
“They will be their master’s voice in our deliberations. They will not stimulate thought on our independent economic transformation.
“Rather, they will echo like proper agents, the oppressive demands of their mentors . . . They are injurious to our development and a mockery of our identity on the international arena. Let us make an effort to know what we have and have not,’’ former President of Tanzania Benjamin Mkapa warned Africa at a China-Africa
People’s Forum in Suzhou, Jiangsu, recently.
Cde Mkapa also warned against the growing wave of the uncontrolled new media. Commenting on its effect on the youth, he said:
“They (youths) demand special attention; it’s not only because they demand it vehemently, but because I believe our leadership generation has a right to know to what purpose they will put power.
“They were born after colonialism and the revolution. Global Information Communication Technology (ICT) is constantly bombarding their minds and social-political attitudes.
“Are the anti-colonial struggles and devolutionary wars just academic history and their evidence simply museum pieces?
“How do we ensure the thought, motivation, action and supreme sacrifices of our founding fathers concertise into the bedrock of a continuing national ethos and international vision . . . Are the youth groups talking to each other? Are we talking to them? What legacy are we asking them to honour and protect?’’