HomeCommentCandid Comment: Of Tony Blair, good governance and baboons

AU Aware of GNU Problems

Blair, who helped put Africa on the agenda at the Gleneagles G8 summit of 2005, and whose Africa Governance Initiative is intended to help leaders on the continent improve government structures, roots his views  from a general sense of new optimism from the British government and investors about opportunities in Africa.

 

However, the former British PM noted that while Africa has been touted as the next big growth story and there is optimism and new capital starting to flow into the continent, poor or lack of infrastructure and in particular, poor governance were two of the biggest hurdles holding this back.

“It’s crucial to have in place a proper system for attracting that investment, treating it predictably, having a legal system that functions fairly and it depends on a minimum level of infrastructure. This is not only about transparency.” Whilst there are some among us who might be emotionally dismissive of Blair, we couldn’t agree with him more.

Good governance still appears to be an alien concept in this country. Take for instance the NSSA debacle: It has been a month since our newspaper published a report on the corrupt activities at NSSA. What we have seen in response is a deluge of emails, letters, SMSs, direct phone calls from the public expressing their outrage, some of which we have published. But there has been no visible action from the powers that be. I

 

n fact, NSSA itself seems to feel that because the Minister of Labour and Social Welfare, Paurina  Mupariwa, who ordered the probe, has not acted on the report, this means that everything is okay. No, it’s not okay.

 

We are astounded by the conspiracy of silence by the Minister and her counterpart in the Ministry of Finance, Tendai Biti, whose National Economic Conduct Inspectorate conducted the investigation. One would be forgiven to assume that the scandal involves perhaps a wider ring including the two ministers? And where is Parliament?

 

The report was completed a year ago and had to be sneaked to our newspaper by concern AFRICAN nations must improve their governance to take advantage of a mass of “footloose capital” from private investors. This is what former British Prime Minister Tony Blair told statesmen, including PM Morgan Tsvangirai leading chief executives and global thinkers gathered at The Times CEO Summit Africa at the Savoy Hotel in London early this week.,

Blair, who helped put Africa on the agenda at the Gleneagles G8 summit of 2005, and whose Africa Governance Initiative is intended to help leaders on the continent improve government structures, roots his views  from a general sense of new optimism from the British government and investors about opportunities in Africa.

However, the former British PM noted that while Africa has been touted as the next big growth story and there is optimism and new capital starting to flow into the continent, poor or lack of infrastructure and in particular, poor governance were two of the biggest hurdles holding this back.
“It’s crucial to have in place a proper system for attracting that investment, treating it predictably, having a legal system that functions fairly and it depends on a minimum level of infrastructure. This is not only about transparency.” Whilst there are some among us who might be emotionally dismissive of Blair, we couldn’t agree with him more.

Good governance still appears to be an alien concept in this country. Take for instance the NSSA debacle: It has been a month since our newspaper published a report on the corrupt activities at NSSA. What we have seen in response is a deluge of emails, letters, SMSs, direct phone calls from the public expressing their outrage, some of which we have published. But there has been no visible action from the powers that be. I

 

n fact, NSSA itself seems to feel that because the Minister of Labour and Social Welfare, Paurina  Mupariwa, who ordered the probe, has not acted on the report, this means that everything is okay. No, it’s not okay. We are astounded by the conspiracy of silence by the Minister and her counterpart in the Ministry of Finance, Tendai Biti, whose National Economic Conduct Inspectorate conducted the investigation.

 

One would be forgiven to assume that the scandal involves perhaps a wider ring including the two ministers? And where is Parliament? The report was completed a year ago and had to be sneaked to our newspaper by concerned citizens. 

 

Curiously, the Ministers presiding over this fiasco are from the MDC T, on which the populace had pinned their hopes for positive change in the governance of the country, but alas, no. The MDC T must realize that when the populace voted, they were expecting delivery not for change for the sake of change.

A senior member of a Zanu PF once said it didn’t matter whether his party fielded a baboon in a constituency,  people had to vote for it.  In a way he was right. We couldn’t care if baboons ran the cabinet, so long as they were accountable and practised good governance.

Are we therefore to believe the joke doing the rounds in Harare that “GNU’’ means Gara Nesu Udye; effectively implying the former opposition parties in government have joined the gravy train? The relevant minister did nothing about the findings, despite clear recommendations for action issued by the investigators in line with their terms of reference.          

The MDC-T must remember that one doesn’t get a second chance to make a first impression. The people expect a culture of accountability.  They must be reminded that the reason why the Sandinista government in Nicaragua bounced back is that the populace, who had voted overwhelmingly for the opposition years earlier, later realised that they had been taken for a ride by the opposition. ed citizens.  Curiously, the Ministers presiding over this fiasco are from the MDC T, on which the populace had pinned their hopes for positive change in the governance of the country, but alas, no. The MDC T must realize that when the populace voted, they were expecting delivery not for change for the sake of change.

A senior member of a Zanu PF once said it didn’t matter whether his party fielded a baboon in a constituency,  people had to vote for it.  In a way he was right. We couldn’t care if baboons ran the cabinet, so long as they were accountable and practised good governance.

Are we therefore to believe the joke doing the rounds in Harare that “GNU’’ means Gara Nesu Udye; effectively implying the former opposition parties in government have joined the gravy train? The relevant minister did nothing about the findings, despite clear recommendations for action issued by the investigators in line with their terms of reference.       

   
The MDC-T must remember that one doesn’t get a second chance to make a first impression. The people expect a culture of accountability.  They must be reminded that the reason why the Sandinista government in Nicaragua bounced back is that the populace, who had voted overwhelmingly for the opposition years earlier, later realised that they had been taken for a ride by the opposition.

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