CHIBAMBA KANYAMA SHARES HIS EXPERIENCE WITH ROBERT MUGABE
My experience with Robert Mugabe, as President of Zimbabwe, is something I have shared before. It was in 1992 when as a young ZNBC journalist, I was assigned to cover a one day SADC heads of state summit in Harare, my first ever such high profile assignment in my career. Seven Presidents converged at the hotel including FTJ and in trying to place my microphone before Mugabe as he opened the summit, I knocked down his glass of water, the liquid aiming into his direction but quickly absorbed by the table cloth. I could feel all attention turned towards me as I stood still, facing Mugabe seated nearly a meter away from where I was, not knowing the right and suitable apology vocabulary befitting a head of state who had spent time in the bush as a guerrilla. Anything could have happened to me at that moment, possibly a gunshot from any direction by his security men as I became a huge security risk.
But it was all calm, Mugabe reaching out to reposition the glass, fatherly eyes directed at me in what seemed like an assurance not to worry as he continued to address the gathering. One man came over, mopped and sacked off the liquid and poured fresh water into the glass. I retreated and business continued. It all ended there.
That is what happens when you are in a position of control. As a leader not under any threat, you don’t want to exacerbate a deteriorating situation by uncalled-for panicky actions. Your calmness under such a situation communicates that you are indeed a man at peace and in control as your status requires. His people also knew how to distinguish between a real threat and a perceived threat; what to react to and what could be tolerated so that the real event is not disturbed.
When you are in control of your marriage, no rumor of infidelity involving your spouse will unsettle you. People who are secure in their jobs due to outstanding performance will not panic when there is news of redundancies. Parents who are in loving control of their children will never be sleepless when their kids go out to watch a movie at night.
Jesus Christ was in control of every situation to the extent when those around him panicked arising from a life threatening storm, He just enjoyed His sleep, ‘Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke Him and said to Him, “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?”’ MK 4:38.
The seeming intense heat generated by August 12, as our emotions get knocked down, will reveal those in control of their situation and those who are insecure about what goes with elections. For the believer, it is all about how much you know your Master, ‘“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”’ Jn 16:33.
Have a lovely weekend!