Opinion: Politics of Expedience vs Political Principles

KWAME NKRUMAH
KWAME NKRUMAH

Dr Sikhanyiso Ndlovu
There is a constant cry and bemoaning of corruption and lack of patriotism, particularly by the Head of State and Government, President Mugabe.

There is equally dead silence by some in the corridors of power or powerless corridors.

The big question remains whether we are together with the President in fighting the corruption cancer. There is need to exorcise the corruption demon somehow.

The origins of corruption are psychologically rooted in the cognitive and affective domains of the mind.

There is a stimulus and response in the mind.

The stimulus is caused by want, greed or lack of something which a person has not worked for or desire to influence a decision in his or her favour economically or to avoid arrest or paying a fine or paying taxes for.

The affective domain activates the person’s brain sympathetic nerves to appreciate and actively participate in taking in what one does not deserve. The affective domain can also be used to appreciate what is good.

Corruption can be originally individual originating from want or dispossession or greed but without principles.

Usually people who were once oppressed and deprived do not develop consciousness.

Kwame Nkrumah in his axioms stressed the need for the development of critical consciousness in political responsibility.

Consciousness is the political soul for doing good as philosopher John Stewart Mills calls it a determination of the greater “good”.

Politics of expedience are politics which are guided by the need for personal gains or personal aggrandisement and wealth accumulation which I call gormandiser politics without ideology and without any guiding principles or consciousness.

Again Kwame Nkrumah said principles are paramount and that in politics you cannot sacrifice principles for expedience.

Politics of expedience come and go while politics based on principles stay forever.

Take best example of our principled political leadership are Comrade Robert Mugabe who we have heard always quoting Kwame Nkrumah and Dr Joshua Nkomo’s philosophy and principles for a free Zimbabwe and defence of Zimbabwe’s sovereignty of liberation to have free Zimbabwe where people would control the means of production and possess their land and education.

The protracted liberation struggle was based on revolutionary principles otherwise thousands of nationalists and armed liberators would have been bribed by the imperialists’ colonisers and would have given up the war of liberation.

In addition to condemning corruption and political expedience, there is need to provide education for critical consciousness and critical thinking which I call revolutionary pedagogy.

Paulo Freire, a famous Brazilian author, has written in depth about and in support of critical consciousness when he states that “there are certain positions, attitudes and gestures associated with the awakening of critical awareness which occur due to economic progress”.

Our economic gains are now self- centred by economic and political leaders rather than people centred as the selfless critical consciousness and principles are sacrificed by expedience.

I am not quoting the Brazilian author because of the Fifa World Cup hosted by Brazil.

It is nevertheless befitting for us not only to enjoy football from Brazil but also ideas on principles.

◆ Dr Sikhanyiso Duke Ndlovu is the Secretary for Education in the ZANU-PF Politburo.

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