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Listen African People | Resignation Is A Sign of Mature Leadership

"Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men", wrote Lord Acton in his le...

"Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men", wrote Lord Acton in his letter of opinion to Bishop Mandell Creighton in 1887.

This iconic statement has proved very true in our modern day world; particularly so in the leadership context of my beloved continent of Africa. African leadership has been the greatest nemesis towards the development of the continent. Despite being endowed with the richest natural resources, Africa seems more than fifty years behind the first world countries. 

In other parts of the world, leaders come and go. They are elected or appointed into office, but as they get closer to the end of their terms of office, they appoint successors. If for some reason they are deemed to have failed before the end of their terms, they resign. To them, resignation does not signal catastrophe. It is a sign of maturity and responsible leadership as one makes room for someone with better ideas to take over the reins. More so, resignation from public office is there to preserve one’s dignity and reputation. 

Mature leaders value more their personality and reputation rather than the glitz and glamour of office occupation. They are prepared to let go of leadership allowances and benefits as they preserve their humanity. 

Turn a leaf to my beloved Africa; the terrain is totally different. Public leaders and office bearers are allergic to resignations. They will do everything in their powers to maintain their stranglehold on leadership positions. They amend constitutions, lie, coerce, intimidate, kill, victimize, rape, maim, brutalize all in the name of protecting their stranglehold on power. This retrogressive phenomenon cuts across all levels of leadership in business, civil society, political arena and religious institutions.

Even when everyone else can glaringly see the catastrophic failure and intellectual bankruptcy of our leaders, they will never admit to that. Instead, they will continue to hang precariously onto their positions and portfolios. 

The saddest part of it all is that African leaders are normally supported by the victims themselves, who follow blindly the heist of their oppressors. When one civilized mind tries to show them light, that person is kicked out of their vicinity. More often than not, such people are brutalized and even get killed. 

In some extraordinary terrains where infighting becomes intense, leaders are often removed by serious force; leaving them with no dignity at all. They are then forced into jails for all their atrocities while in power. What a sad way to end their reins. 

Cry my beloved continent of Africa. Until we realise that resignation is a sign of mature leadership, we will continue to move our retrogressive path to self-destruction. 

Tapiwa Zuze –

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