Fundamental to the pro-Mthwakazi agenda is not necessarily making the right choices though that helps but it is how we make choices and make them right. It is the systematic engagement within our space that we require. Therefore, it is important that we develop an inclusive, consistent system of decision-making based on our understanding of how emotions change and how ideas arise within our economic, social and political space.
Decision-making is defined as the thought process of selecting a logical choice from available options in an uncertain environment, gathering information and assessing the possible outcome of each choice against other variables to determine which option best fits the specified situation. For Mthwakazi effective decision-making would be seen as the vital link between our past, present realities and insights of the future.
To increase the probability of choosing the best alternative available, our mind-sets have to change with regards to decision-making. We need to take and make decision-making more formal; it must be more deliberate and thoughtful, and not an accidental adventure. To achieve that we will have to adopt a step-by-step decision-making process (see Fig. 1 below) that will help us make more deliberate, thoughtful decisions by organising relevant information and clearly defining alternatives.
Democratisation of our social and political space is essential for an open public engagement. Research indicates that decisions of a group are more thoughtful and creative when there is minority dissent than in its absence and where conforming to the dictates of the group is the overriding factor. At present many decisions within the pro-Mthwakazi agenda are being made by political organisations and movements without due regard for the systematic thought and critical thinking skills of the individuals and communities within the political space.
This is an issue of long-term political disenfranchisement of the public, and Mthwakazi in particular, that has been expressed intentionally through systems by the ZANU PF government. Suffice to say these systems which have been intentionally woven into the political fabric of Zimbabwe continue to hurt Mthwakazi the most.
We want to steer away from a situation whereby the political space is dominated by an organisation, not the people, as this provides for a risky scenario in which the force of the party’s normative power bypasses critical review and shapes the views of its gullible followers without thinking things through. As a progressive way of distancing Mthwakazi from such a scenario, democratisation of the decision-making process will be essential for checks and balance. This would allow for a critical and persistent minority to force the majority to process any decision-making relevant information more mindfully.
Direct democracy is our chosen path; the Mthwakazi public has to take the initiative to self-govern. We want an inclusive decision-making process that will involve all stakeholders including political parties, the traditional leadership and experts from various fields, private and public sector figures, the youth, minority groups and women among other interest groups.
We believe Zimbabwe’s politics of the last 40 years has failed because it is founded on polarisation of communities; it has been divisive, tribal and elitist while excluding the major stakeholder group, the people, from the decision-making process. Our approach will be different and progressive in that it will put the people back in their rightful position as drivers of politics in their country; it will seek to transfer power back to the people and politicians will once again play their role of serving the public, not the other way around.
Citizens will be active participants in the decisions impacting their lives; they will deliberate and make public judgments about local and national issues that affect their lives. It is our belief that this collective approach will develop, in citizens, the vital skills necessary for the health of a democratic socio-political space which include listening, persuading, arguing, compromising, and seeking common ground. In turn when these skills are nurtured within the institutions of a democratic public, citizens educate themselves in order to make informed decisions about their lives and the future.
A democratic society that is open about its thoughts, ideas, tolerant of alternative views and desires stands a better chance of being right with its decisions. We appreciate not all decisions we make will be right, ultimately what we desire is a consistent decision-making model founded on the inclusion of all Mthwakazi society and that will enable the Mthwakazi democratic public to make its decisions right.