The Sunday News
MERITAS.ORG, an online blog, says; “Democratic leadership, also referred to as participative leadership, is a management style in which decision-making is shared among team members. Based on the idea that everyone’s input is valuable and the whole, as represented by a team, is more important than any individual, this leadership style is an effective approach to an organisation. Now, democratic leadership generates high productivity, creativity, team engagement, and a collaborative work environment. Furthermore, it encourages open communication and empowers employees to set goals, examine their performance, and motivate them to succeed.”
Democracy also entails that people choose the leadership they want. That is the whole mark of democracy. That is what the civil society and political parties have been preaching since time immemorial. However, it would appear opposition Citizens Coalition for Change does not want anything to do with democracy. From their primary elections period in the run-up to the August general elections, news was awash of how CCC leader Advocate Nelson Chamisa was imposing candidates to represent his party at various levels of the contest. That led to as many as 41 disgruntled members of his party choosing to content as “double candidates”, going ahead to file their nomination papers without his blessings.
It was also reported that even those who lost in the primaries were brought back via the back door, and given the green light to stand as party candidates. That is not democracy by any measure of imagination. We reported last week how the positions of Mayor and Deputy Mayor were parcelled out in Bulawayo, following strict instructions from Advocate Chamisa.
Things came to a head in Victoria Falls last week when residents stopped the elections for Mayor and Deputy Mayor, alleging that the result was already known as Adv Chamisa had already influenced his councillors to vote for his preferred candidates.
Our sister paper, Chronicle reported that residents accused Adv Chamisa of imposing candidates, claiming Bulawayo Deputy Mayor Clr Donaldson Mabutho, who was in the resort city, had been sent with a directive for councillors to vote Ward 1 councillor, Ephias Mambume as Mayor and Clr Priscilla Mhlanga of Ward 8 as his deputy.
The news crew was told that some residents chased Clr Mabutho away from the council premises before the meeting. Residents stormed the venue and immediately went into chorus, shouting: “Chamisa cannot impose a candidate for us, Harare cannot decide for Vic Falls”. They vowed to block any imposition of candidates ahead of their choice.
It is evident that a shambolic or biased candidate selection process on the part of CCC has given birth to a shambolic and biased “selection” of mayors and deputy mayors, instead of “elections”, in their strongholds.
It goes without saying that an undemocratic process cannot produce a democratic outcome. This means that in towns and cities run by CCC, residents will be led by a leadership wanted by Adv Chamisa, and not residents themselves.
In such a scenario, will the voice of the people be heard? Or the council leadership will be forced to continue taking instructions from the person who installed them? We say so because their presence in council chambers is because of Adv Chamisa’s wishes, and not the wishes of the people per se.