Zimbabwean Cleric Cautions Politicians against Manipulation, Urges Inclusive Leadership

Fr. Limukani Ndlovu of Zimbabwe
Credit: Inter-Regional Meeting of Bishops of Southern Africa (IMBISA)

A Catholic Priest in Zimbabwe’s Archdiocese of Bulawayo has called upon politicians to desist from manipulating the masses for their own selfish gains and encouraged inclusivity in politics in order to realize development in various African countries.

In his reflection on Monday, February 22, Fr. Limukani Ndlovu condemns “populist and nostalgic political regimes”, which he says thwart all voices contrary to their political games. 

Such regimes, Fr. Ndlovu says, will always try to prevent and eliminate anyone who is not either their sycophants or blind followers.

Making reference to oppressive politicians, the Cleric says, “They will arm-twist and apply state laws unevenly, for personal convenience and get preoccupied with self-preservation as their modus operandi.”

He encourages service leadership saying, “There is no need to enter the political space so as to manipulate systems of governance for purposes of self-aggrandizement. Rather the reason should be for enhancing, defending the basic fundamental human rights and freedoms of citizens.”

Those in leadership positions, the Zimbabwean Cleric says, ought to know that they are called to serve and not to be masters who capitalize on the misery of the poor and undermine the essential welfare of the citizens. 

In his considered view, leadership that is riddled with impunity will make Africa remain “a laughing stock among other nations of the world for under-developing itself.”

He notes that history has proved that power, fame, and respect that is derived through heavy handedness, iron fist, deceitful and unjustified means is usually short-lived. 

“There is no need to content oneself with pleasure from being deified and engaged in cultic politics to an extent of convincing oneself that no one else can do and be more capable than ourselves,” Fr. Ndlovu says in his February 22 reflection.

The member of the Clergy of Zimbabwe’s Bulawayo Archdiocese appeals for protection of groups that are bold enough to point out the evils in society and to highlight instances of oppressive leadership.

“There is no need to be apprehensive towards whistleblowers and investigative journalists. These are the Jonahs of our today,” the Cleric says.

He adds in reference to the Biblical account of Prophet Jonah, “Jonah was sent by God to relay a message of renewal to human society. Therefore, a civilized nation should never declare war to truth regardless of the bitterness and discomfort it stirs in one’s stomach because that itself is a healing process.”

Fr. Ndlovu tells politicians to stop expecting to be congratulated for doing what citizens expect of them since this is their job.

“Pope Francis once said, if someone helps an elderly person cross a river, that is a fine act of charity. The politician, on the other hand, builds a bridge, and that too is an act of charity,” he said, and added, “But to a politician, it is more of a duty and obligation too.”

The Cleric says that the politicians should not think they are doing a favour to members of society when they build bridges, dams, schools and other projects. 

“They (politicians) are merely doing what citizens expect of them. That being said, holding citizens in ransom under the politics of the stomach is not only unfair but also an indication of political immaturity,” he says. 

“Peoples’ votes and non-votes are sacred and as such should not be tempered with by any form of desecration be it politically, legally or otherwise,” the Cleric says in his reflection obtained by ACI Africa.

On the other hand, he urges “sons and daughters of the soil” not to cower out of political engagement but to act to build relationships of trust, assistance, support politicians and political platforms that promote the common good.

Citizens of various African countries, Fr. Ndlovu says, “must act to build relationships of trust, assistance, support politicians and political platforms that promote the common good.”

He states that the human race originated in Africa, a fact he says should be enough motivation for Africans to proudly serve each other as equals.

“The direction that African societies will take shall depend largely on the answers given to the questions of their place in nature and society,” Fr. Ndlovu says.

He explains, “It will depend on whether or not the ordinary man and woman in the street or in the village is simply a passive recipient at the benevolence of politicians or they are active players in the collective process of shaping and mapping a way forward for themselves and generations to come.”


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ACI Africa was officially inaugurated on August 17, 2019 as a continental Catholic news agency at the service of the Church in Africa. Headquartered in Kenya’s capital, Nairobi, this media apostolate will strive to facilitate the telling of Africa’s story by providing media coverage of Catholic events on the African continent, giving visibility to the activities of the Church across Africa where statistics show significant growth in numbers and the continent gradually becoming the axis of Catholicism. This is expected to contribute to an awareness of and appreciation for the significant role of the Church in Africa and over time, the realization of a realistic image of Africa that often receives negative media framing.

Father Don Bosco Onyalla
Editor-in-Chief, ACI Africa
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