Covid – 19 experience is a litmus test for many ruling Governments

By Academic Tinashe Eric Muzamhindo writes :

Covid – 19 can be a good position paper in relation to leadership in global context. This is an opportunity to come up with a good research paper, world over, using top to bottom theory or bottom theory, using quantitative and qualitative analysis or scientific approach.

Yes, its a global disaster but it has put many under spotlight and some have been viewed as failures, and some have who were overrated as best leaders, their graph is easily going down. The pandemic has set the leadership skills as a benchmark of how to lead people in general. Covid – 19 pandemic has put many regimes and ruling Governments under spotlight.

For some it will be a redemption process to cleanse their political career, with some they will be swept by the current floods and their names will go down in the history as one of the worst. For some ruling Governments, it will be an opportunity to redeem themselves from their previous mess. If you study politics carefully you will find that some have been exposed big time, and their weaknesses have culminated into multiple problems. For some who have been accused of rigging elections, they have used this as an opportunity to usher new era of politics and development. Some have been exposed through the following ways

1. The way they address their own people.

2. Body language and gestures whilst addressing the nation

3. The way they responded to the pandemic

4. Strategic Thinking & Intelligence

5. Common sense

6. How to combat the problem

7. Communication skills

8. Selection criteria of a winning team

9. Resource mobilization

10. Leadership & Management skills

11. Public Relations

12. Establishing strategic links

13. How to deal with opposition forces on the ground

14. Imparting knowledge to their own people

15. Lack of cohesion

16. Capacitation to deal with crisis

Donald Trump

I see this as an opportunity for Trump to win elections. Look at his body language, the way he is responding to the problem, and how he responded to the covid – 19 pandemic at first, withdrawing WHO support, all these are political gestures leading to winning the forthcoming general elections. What is trying to show the Americans and the world over, is that he cares for his own people, and he puts America first, and this is the impression that he is giving, and with such political connotations, I for see him triumphing and leading.

Edgar Lungu – Zambia

Lungu is a strategic intelligent Lawyer who uses such opportunities to wield political power. He strategically positioned Dr Chilfya , the Health Minister to lead, and so far he is doing well, and he is poised to win the 2021 General Elections. The main opposition leader, Hakainde Hichilema, emerges from this pandemic more weaker, and if you study his daily posts, he is not politically informed, he posts out of anger and frustration whilst his arch rivalry and political nemesis Edgar Lungu, is well ahead and more advanced politically. Lungu takes his time before making concrete decisions, and by nature, Edgar Lungu is a strategic person, who takes his time before coming up with a decision. He capitalizes on political mistakes and gestures, and more opposition leaders will come out of this pandemic more wounded.

Cyril Ramaphosa – SA

Look at the way Ramaphosa responded to the pandemic, he had no option except to put the nation under lockdown as a political and health measure to deal with the pandemic. He quickly poured in aid and food humpers as a measure and political gesture. Ramaphosa may come out clean on this one and many will view him as a strategic person who is capable of dealing with major crisis in future.

ED – Zimbabwe

Whilst the lockdown measures were necessary, there were no key objectives of how to combat the problem. There were no measures put in place to deal with the pandemic citing lack of resources and strategic planning & Management. PR was one of the issue, which ED’ s Government did not work on, how to address the nation and also how to respond to such a problem. There were also communication problems between Health Ministry and taskforce citing conflicting statements regarding statistics.

What I can assure you is that Covid -19, though it has exposed the President and his team, he has used this as an opportunity and gesture to campaign for 2023. Whilst most opposition supporters are on Facebook, Twitter and social media, his team is on the ground, in Chipinge, Chimanimani, Mazoe, Mash West, Mash East, Manicaland, Masvingo Province, Chiredzi, Mat South etc, and they are already in the campaign mood. Come 2023, it will be another nightmare. Look at how the first lady is taking the campaign seriously? She is on the ground. They are taking all the donated items to their perceived strongholds, and opposition and their supporters are on social media complaining. As long as Zanu PF supporters exist in rural areas, they will retain 2/3 majority in Parliament, and that will be the end of the game.

Look at Temba Mliswa in Norton, who will grab that seat from him? Honestly Temba will be in Parliament in the next decade. This is how politics work.

Where is the crowd fund for opposition supporters in urban dwellers? Urban dwellers are starving and who cares? ED will simply tell you, whom did you vote for? In your own eyes, when he made the State of the nation address, he said ” Fellow Zimbabweans”, but the gestures meant , ” Fellow Zanu PF supporters”

In Politics you need to be strategic and you require Intelligence, and you need to master the art of thinking. It’s not about numbers, it’s about strategic intelligence.

Tinashe Eric Muzamhindo is a Policy Advisor and Researcher and he can be contacted at tinamuzala@gmail.com

Doctor of Philosophy – International Development

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