By Discent Bajila | One of the major and legitimate criticisms of the idea of generational consensus has been that it is devoid of social class and ideological thinking. Critics have found cause to believe and argue that beyond the desire to have Nelson Chamisa as President of Zimbabwe, Generational Consensus is just cold and hollow.
This article seeks to bring forth the ideological standpoint of generational consensus and further locate the candidature of Nelson Chamisa as a coincidence of several historical moments . One of these moments being the push towards national development consensus in our lifetime.
Every Zimbabwean, young or old, male or female, war veteran or not, home-based or in the diaspora aspires to see a Zimbabwe where through use of indigenous natural resources we can produce enough goods and services not only for our own consumption but for export to other countries that are not in a position to produce what we can produce. It is also the wish of every Zimbabwean of sound mind that we can be able to manufacture and trade in goods whose raw materials are not locally extracted. This we can achieve by importing raw materials and establishing assembly plants in our cities, towns and growth points. A deepened focus on these things will have the overall effect of creating millions of jobs, increasing our living standards and minimising emigration among other things.
In order to achieve optimum levels of production through our natural and imported resources the basics must be covered. These include continuous supply of water and electricity, a sound healthcare system, good road, rail and air transport infrastructure , reliable internet connection and an education system that responds to the needs of modern trends of National development.
This kind of development for Zimbabwe requires a leadership capable of seeing deep into the future. A kind of leadership that understands that it must be possible to transport bulk fresh fruits between Juliusdale and Plumtree within a short space of time. Thus the idea of fast moving trains must be welcomed by everyone. It can then be debated whether those trains must be called bullet, super, mega, swift or whatever name that should distinguish them from the ordinary.
Zimbabwe development deserves a kind of leadership that can dream that one day it shall be possible for people to work in the industries of Bulawayo driving their own vehicles daily from their homes in Robert Sinyoka, Nyamandlovu, Ntabazinduna, Esigodini, Kezi and so forth. This must be possible because real development must not interfere much with the family unit! However when that happens our current road infrastructure will not be able to handle the traffic congestion, hence it will become an absolute necessity to have roads suspended over other infrastructure including over other roads. Spaghetti roads are thus a very good vision every Zimbabwean must look forward to. We can then entertain debate on whether these spaghetti roads must be part of our short, medium or long term planning.
These are but some of the ideas are unanimously supported by all sound minded Zimbabweans regardless of their station.
Differences arise on how each one of us wish to move from where we currently are to the end point of prosperity. These are very healthy differences.
The idea of generational consensus is that Zimbabweans living at this day and age experiencing the kind of things that we experience now must have a convergence of thoughts in terms of how we extricate ourselves from our current poverty, social disharmony, and political skulduggery to a classic developmental state.
The proponents of Generational Consensus opine that in order for Zimbabwe to prosper, the means of production must be indigenously owned and used for the ultimate good of society. The government, traditional authorities, municipalities and indigenous individuals must own the land and the mines regardless of their race , gender , tribe or age. However land on its own is of no use. It tastes bad for consumption. It can only be of value if those who work on it are equipped with skills and capital. The current land crisis is characterized by the fact that the majority of those who own the land have neither capital not skill. They only have a desire to work on the land. Those who are getting skilled year in year out have neither the land nor capital. Those who have capital are hesitant to invest in land use activities fearing that at any given point in time someone can toyi toyi into that investment backed by one excuse or another.
Those who own the skills necessary to produce out of the means of production need to have security that as they sell their skills to owners of capital, they can be able to determine the financial worth of their skill without the threat of loss of employment.
Generational Consensus is thus a Social Democratic idea aiming at creating certainty around which owners of land, capital and skills can collaborate and produce surplus food for our generation.
Thus a government based on generational consensus will have clear policies on State Land, Private Land, Communal Land and Municipal Land.
Another key issue that our generation must have consensus on is building a culture of saving. Zimbabweans must be reintroduced to saving because saving is one of the major sources of capital. At individual level, this means that the people’s confidence in the banking system. The people of Zimbabwe who have lost confidence in the banking system because there is never certainty that they will get their money as and when they need it are the entity the is focal point of #GenerationalConsensus. Once the people in our generation has confidence in the banking system ,it will become possible for them to save money and build capital thereby reducing dependence on the state. Another avenue by which a government developed through Generational Consensus can save public money is through maintaining a lean Cabinet. The cost of maintaining ministers with their multiple perks and assistants has a huge bearing on the fiscus. A cabinet of between fifteen and twenty Ministers could save Zimbabwe millions of Dollars every month. The option of ensuring that Ministers and indeed the President are energetic people who still have the ability to juggle between family and various public responsibilities without the need to keep the ambulance on speed dial. While it is not the idea of Generational Consensus that young people should exist as a social class and attempt to overthrow the state for their own interests, #GenerationalConcensus is unapologetic about the need to have young people as a numerical majority in the management of public affairs. Generational Consensus is largely about an acceptance by all that society constantly needs to be refueled with new ideas and that with age, mental creativity dwindles.
The fact that the first people to support the Presidential Candidature of Nelson Chamisa is sufficient evidence that it is not about hatred of senior citizens but rather a realisation that senior citizens have ran their race and it could be a befitting honour to have them retire and allow new ideas to refuel our society. The late Morgan Richard Tsvangirai, deep in his 60s understood things this way. The likes of Professor Welshman Ncube, Tendai Biti, Ambassador Agrippa Mutambara and many other MDC alliance leaders are not young people but they understand things this way.
Zimbabwe deserves more. Zimbabwe deserves better. Zimbabwe deserves you.