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Cabinet changes mooted by rumour mill

IT is incomprehensible as to why Zimbabwe has been the victim of fuel shortages, for Zimbabwe does not run on fuel, it runs on rumours, and it certainly has no scarcity of those.

ica, sans-serif”>Of course, the fact that none, or almost none, of Zimbabwe’s rumours have, during the past 25 years, had any foundation of fact has been, and continues to be, irrelevant. Rumour raconteurs unhesitatingly, and with great authority and deep conviction, assure their listeners that the rumours are absolute in substance, for invariably they have heard them direct “from the horse’s mouth”. The facts that horses can also lie, when it suits them, that many horses are often asses, and that all they can usually say is “neigh”, and that should probably (bearing in mind the Zimbabwean political environment) be spelt “nay!”, are invariably disregarded.

In view of this Zimbabwean rumour syndrome, it can be taken for granted that the rumours below of presidential intentions to restructure his cabinet are without foundation and naught but a figment of this author’s imagination.

And yet, there have been so many calls for Zimbabwe belatedly to adopt the precepts of transparency, and especially so in the fields of politics and state management of economics, perhaps such a restructuring would at least belatedly give the president’s cabinet an aura of reality of awareness.

If there should be any substance to the alleged intent of the president to restructure his cabinet, then the first of the changes is that the Ministry of Agriculture will be in future, the Ministry of Fallow and Unproductive Lands, and Rural Disorder. Such a title would transparently reflect all that the ministry has achieved since 2000, with a year-on-year decline in agricultural production, ever less land under cultivation, recurrent unfulfilled promises of agricultural inputs availability, and the only real production being by the ministry itself, yielding a wealth and plethora of mythical projections of seasonal agriculture outturns.

Alongside the Ministry of Fallow and Unproductive Lands must be the Ministry of State for Land and Resettlement Programme, which will surely be retitled the Ministry of Snatch, Displace and Destroy, for it has so effectively pursued government’s policy of identifying farms with great production, immense contributions to economic well-being (including great employment, foreign exchange generation, and downstream economic spending, as well as fiscal contributions), and destroying all that, that the name Ministry of Snatch, Displace and Destroy must aptly describe the ministry and its achievements.

However, not to be ignored, in this sector of government, is the Ministry of State for National Security responsible for Lands, Land Reform and Resettlement, for not only has that ministry issued innumerable Letters of Offer of legitimately owned productively operated farms, to others who have then destroyed productivity, but concurrently it has severely jeopardised the state’s economic security, any prospects of the security forthcoming from having a united populace, the security of being a respected member of the international community. In the restructured cabinet, this ministry will be the Ministry of National Endangerment and Ruination.

Next for name transformation is the Ministry of Education, Sport and Culture. So pronounced has been its endeavours to intensify its controls over private schools, thereby both enlarging the minister’s empire and facilitating a future lowering of their standards so that government’s schools cannot be compared unfavourably to them, that mass emigration from Zimbabwe has been provoked.

Thousands of parents have reluctantly packed their bags, and those of their children, and departed for pastures new where they would feel more assured that those children will benefit from quality education. Thus the president will undoubtedly restyle the ministry, and it will hereinafter be known as the Ministry of Emigration Promotion and of Reflected Glory from Kirsty Coventry Achievements.

With Zimbabwe’s ever greater alienation of potential friends abroad, and intensifying confrontation with the world at large, including the United Nations, the European Union, and the Commonwealth, and despite Reserve Bank governor Gideon Gono’s vigorous conciliation efforts, the president’s continuing castigation of the International Monetary Fund, it is clearly necessary to restructure the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, for Zimbabwe has ever less of those. In the restructured cabinet it will be known as the Ministry of Shrinking International Relations.

Bearing in mind the immense extent to which the Ministry of Information and Publicity has sought to develop and intensify the techniques and tactics of the former ministerial circumvent, the president will presumably, in a desire for utmost transparency, restructure the ministry to be the Ministry of Professional and Rocket Scientist Disinformation and Negative Propaganda Techniques.

Also in line for transformation is the Ministry of Energy and Power Development having regard to the frequency of interruptions of Zesa supplies of electricity, exacerbated by equally frequent bouts of “load-shedding”, and bearing in mind that Zanu PF espouses “More Power To The People”, that ministry will hereinafter be known as the Ministry of Governmental Undermining.

Despite his very conscientious and determined efforts to restore Zimbabwe’s fiscal well-being and to promote assured economic recovery, Minister of Finance Herbert Murerwa has endlessly had his endeavours frustrated and overturned by his ministerial colleagues, the presidency, the politburo, the central committee, and the ruling party as a whole. Therefore, pursuant to policies of transparency, the ministry will be restructured as the Ministry of the Empty Purse and Gargantuan Debt.

Believing that fire must be fought with fire, the president will probably also create a new ministry, to be the Ministry of Targeted Sanctions. Although that ministry has yet to come into being, it will be given some guidelines, including that Tony Blair shall be subjected to stringent sanctions barring the supply of him of sadza, mopani worms and biltong. No camels shall be supplied to Jack Straw, for fear that he will break their backs.

Those responsible for preparing Australia’s sanctions list shall from now onwards no longer be recipients of birthday cards, in recognition of their inability to be aware of birthdays of others. Once the ministry has come into being and commenced its work, it will undoubtedly identify many others to be sanctioned. If the criteria are to list those who have done Zimbabwe ill, presumably many of the other ministers will be immediate selections.

Zimbabwe must await 2006 to see whether rumour will become fact, but the prospects of this rumour doing so are unlikely. Nevertheless, maybe 2006 will herald some greater transparency in government, and that may belatedly start to move towards true democracy, genuine law and order, and economic upturn, and a happier Zimbabwe for all. — Own Correspondent.

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