Leaders becoming power mongers

Excelsior News - Letter to Editor
Excelsior News - Letter to Editor

Are leaders becoming power mongers and self infatuated? Recently almost everyone is becoming active, politically active, getting busy just like our small town at the end of the month.

It is very interesting to even see councillors that have been quiet for the past five years, finally coming out of their caves with a hope of being voted into power again. Of course we are a democratic country, anything is possible. However, the interesting part, or should I say a concern is, are these politicians more interested in power or people? Are these politicians interested in changing people’s lives, or are they just worried about their own pockets and their ending political terms? What triggered me personally to ask these questions is, some councillors were given a five year term to liaise between the municipality and the community.

Some were last seen when they were elected five years ago, until now. Where have they been all this time when the community faced drastic problems daily, and they could not report to anyone because councillors were nowhere to be found? Have leaders become more obsessed with power and use communities mearly to quench and measure their political thirst? When you are given five years to be close to the community and be their ears, but instead you have been excusing yourself for years and re-emerge after five years, only because now you want to be re-elected as a councillor. Who is fooling who in this political zoo? Shouldn’t your ignorance of your absenteeism from the society, be bliss even beyond elections, and continue not to worry when you are not re-elected because you were never even there anyway in the first place?

What is so special about 2016, when you were not there in 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2015? Why should the community believe you now? Fortunately the community sees now what is happening. Take for instance, in 2013 when the community marched to Mkhondo Local Municipality to submit a memorandum about Corruption, Maladministration, and Lack of Service Delivery, most councillors stood in the way, trying to block this march from happening. Most of them were very vocal, disputing the content of the memorandum as per the allegations by the community. However, recently most of these very same councillors are now in support of the memorandum and promising to deliver what was listed on the memorandum. I call this a disguise by jackal in a sheep’s skin, when it wants to feed without being noticed, and disappear once it is done with feasting.

This is very contradictory indeed, and it shows that people use desperate measures in desperate times so that they can just be re-elected. Same applies for those who want to be the mayor. Some do not even have a track record of any community engagement or a sign that they have been to the community before in their lives. Being friends with the MEC’s shouldn’t and does not qualify you by default to be a favourable candidate for mayorship. We all agree that a mayor is politically elected, but for who? I believe any candidate who wants to be a councillor or mayor must be given a podium and explain to the community what he/she will do once he/she is elected. We also understand that councillors and mayors are elected, not appointed, but can we as a community encourage these leaders not to distance themselves from becoming educated? I mean it is a bit absurd for someone who is 30 years old to be obsessed with power, but less obsessed about education.

How do you claim to develop the lives of other people when you are failing to develop yourself as an individual given the opportunity? How do you as a leader stand in front of thousands of motivated and demotivated youth and tell them to take education seriously, when you do not take education seriously yourself? This delusion and obsession with power clearly shows you how arrogant these leaders have become. Personally, I appeal to all those who want to be councillors and mayors, to do introspection and soul- searching about their ambitions if they are genuine, or are they are just into politics because of the power and money? If that is the case, you need to step aside before causing a chaotic situation. We also appeal to those councillors who are currently undergoing corruption cases and those who have been alleged to be selling sites and RDP houses illegally, to step down and not even attempt for reelection. We all know where you belong, and that is in jail.

Politics should be about changing people’s lives and developing our communities. Our town is too small and under developed to entertain and allow lazy people to govern it. We need real leaders who will swipe away poverty, youth unemployment, HIV/ AIDS, crime and teenage pregnancies. We need selfless leaders who will work passionately and love this town. We need visionaries, not short-sighted leaders who are obsessed about themselves, power, and money.

NB: These are my views as a resident of Mkhondo, not as a politician.

Written By Mr Treasure Thabede: thabede.treasure@ gmail.com