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Opinion: Someone will have a rough ride in 2023

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Bishop Lazi

Opinion: Someone will have a rough ride in 2023. For a tournament that was supposed to be held a year earlier but was delayed because of the coronavirus pandemic, the duel was well worth the wait. But what piqued Bishop Lazi’s fancy the most was the chance to put to the test the veracity or fallacy of the presumed relationship between elite athleticism and age.

For football lovers, the July 6, 2021 Euro 2020 epic semi-final clash between Italy and Spain was a delectable feast for the eyes. It is often conjectured that the older one gets, the more lethargic and ineffective they become.

Remember, Spain had the youngest team at the tournament and had players such as 18-year-old Barcelona midfield prodigy Pedro Gonzalez Lopez (Pedri) and a 23-year-old magician called Dani Olmo, while Italy had players such as Leonardo Bonucci (34 years) and 37-year-old Giorgio Chiellini, who ordinarily would have been playing testimonial matches rather than professional international football. By all objective accounts, the Spanish youthies were supposed to run rings around Italy’s old madalas, and they did.

They bobbed and weaved, huffed and puffed but even as they occasionally stole an inch or more on their older opponents, they still found themselves stonewalled by Italy’s redoubtable defensive bulwark.

What the Italians lacked in energy and exuberance, they compensated in poise, tact and ruthless efficiency. They knew when to tug, pull, push, hold back and tackle, and this comes with years of practice and experience.

It was simply a masterclass. In the final, a young English side was again at the receiving end of an Italian job from what most people thought were old-timers.

Yes, of course, there is definitely an inextricable link between age and athleticism, but it is not what many people think. While there are some exceptions, talent and energy can never be a substitute for tact and experience, which, like wisdom, naturally come with age and maturity.

Wisdom

This was what Bishop Lazarus strenuously tried to explain in June 2019 when he was emphasising the difference between intelligence and wisdom. You see, intelligence is but a strand of wisdom. You can be intelligent without necessary being wise, but, conversely, you can be wise without being intelligent.

Job 12:12 reminds us that “Wisdom belongs to the aged, and understanding to the old”, while Job 32:7 adds: “Those who are older should speak, for wisdom comes with age.”

Proverbs 16:16 is even more emphatic: “How much better to get wisdom than gold, to get insight rather than silver!”

So, it therefore follows that when old men speak, it is wise to not only listen, but to listen intently. You must have listened to Edward Graham Cross’s recent interview with Trevor Ncube. For a 81-year-old who has lived through the early nationalist activities of the 50’s, the rough and tumble of the armed struggle in the late 60s and 70s, Independence in 1980, the post-Independence civil disturbances in the 80s, the upheaval of the land reform at the turn of the millennium, the birth of opposition politics in the early 2000s, the inclusive Government after 2009, the momentous political transition of 2017, one would imagine Eddie’s insights would surely be more valuable than silver and gold.

And what has all this taught him?

“It has taught me to value wisdom and humility. I have discovered during my life that intelligence is not enough; that you have got to have wisdom in the choices you make, and wisdom is far more important than virtually any other human attribute,” he remarked.

Ditto!!

Toddler

But it is Cross’s political prognosis – coming as it does at a time when the Nelson Chamisa-led MDC splinter group is already ratcheting up its election campaign ironically for a plebiscite that is still two years out — which should be both gutting and worrying for the opposition, as it effectively pooh-poohs the young politician’s credentials.

“Look, I think Chamisa is a sharp guy, okay, but he is still a kid. And I am not sure; I am not sure. You know the Chinese have a saying: ’If you are going to ride a tiger, you got to be able to stay on’, and I didn’t think he had the wisdom and I don’t think he had the maturity . . .”

Kikikiki.

And his assessment of ED couldn’t have been diametrically distinct.

“He (Emmerson Mnangagwa) has the will; it is his intention . . . You know there are so many similarities between the transition from Mao Zedong to Deng Xiaoping in China . . . I think he has demonstrated in the past three years his capacity.

This is a tough guy. This is the man that can ride the tiger. I would not like to be an opponent of Emmerson because I think you might have a rough ride.” A wise man or woman would definitely take these words to heart, but the foolish would naturally dismiss them as idle talk.

Eddie Cross has nothing to lose and has no dog in this fight. This is what the Bishop has been trying to tell chaps in the opposition for a long time with little success.

Chamisa is just a political toddler who unsurprisingly lacks the wisdom or maturity to ideologically define the opposition, keep it together, coalesce opposition political forces and civil society, win the hearts of his backers in the West and mount any meaningful challenge for the throne. This is why the “axis of adults” is abandoning him. James Maridadi, Paurina Mpariwa, Thokozani Khupe, Douglas Mwonzora, Lilian Timveos, Blessing Chebundo and, of late, many other senior politicians have left.

The list is endless.

The fledgling party continues to bleed at a time it desperately needs to heal, which raises a critical question: If Chamisa cannot manage a political party, what more a country that comes with its own onerous and unique challenges and expectations? We know, as Chamisa does, that the older folks that are left hanging around him are angling to jettison him when the right time comes.But being someone given to fallacious conjecture, he believes youths will fortuitously give him a political lifeline and deliver the Presidency in 2023, and that is why his party is frenetically, but clumsily, trying to push for aggressive voter registration.

Again he is abjectly misreading the times, which will be fatal.

If you needed any poignant reference of how his party is as clueless as it is unstrategic, you just need to look at what they were doing last week. Their secretary-general Chalton Hwende was busy looking for sponsors for polling agents for Lupane for the 2023 elections, while ED’s Government was preparing to launch the Bubi-Lupane irrigation scheme this week, which will support livelihoods for communities around the 180-hectare project.

And who do you think the people in Lupane, who might also have a provincial hospital by the time the elections are held, will vote for: A party that wants to give them polling agents or a party that is improving their wellbeing? Kikikiki.

Clearly, someone will definitely have a rough ride in 2023. As hinted by Eddie Cross, and as some of us know, ED is quite the consummate political gladiator and different proposition as a political candidate.

He has seen it all, not as an observer but an active participant. Like the godfather of China’s economic miracle, Deng Xiaoping, he knows full well that making a difference in people’s lives is the ultimate goal of politics. The sheer scale of transformative projects in Zimbabwe from Dande, Chivhu, Beitbridge, Tsholotsho, Murehwa, Binga, Muzarabani and other areas is unfathomably mind-blowing.

Of course, some people, most of who are untravelled and spend inordinate time on social media platforms, cannot possibly understand the full scale of what is happening.

It might also be worth considering that we still have two full years to the next elections, and if ED could accomplish all that he has within such a short period of time, what more milestones can he possibly achieve in the next 23 months? We are not there yet.

We began by crawling, now we are trotting and we will soon be sprinting. The progress we have made in procuring vaccines and administering them is instructive that we will soon be up and running at full throttle.

Bishop out!

Source – Sunday Mail

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