Some things never change

WHEN Xi Jinping became Chinese president in March as part of the country’s once-a-decade power transfer, he came in with a cabinet which included technocrats tasked with tackling a decelerating economy, among other things.

Zimbabwe Independent Editorial

At the time, China’s annual growth was slowing down. It dropped to 7,5% in the second quarter, down from 7,7% in the three months ending March 31 –– the ninth such drift in the past 10 quarters.

However, since Xi came in the economy has been showing signs of recovery, sustaining the positive momentum on course to meet growth targets.

This is partly because China’s new political leadership appointed veteran technocrats, many with vast international experience, to the new cabinet.

Xi and his performance-driven team promised efficiency. “In face of the mighty trend of the times and earnest expectations of the people for a better life, we cannot have the slightest complacency, or get the slightest slack at work,” he said.

“We must resolutely reject formalism, bureaucratism, hedonism and extravagance, and resolutely fight against corruption and other misconduct in all manifestations.”

Compare Xi’s approach to what President Robert Mugabe is doing. While Xi (60) came in with technocrats and skilled performers with traceable records of delivery, Mugabe (89) simply recycled the same old faces, mainly inept cronies. Instead of sending a clear message against corruption, he was apologetic saying there is no evidence.

At a time when the nation was expecting serious changes in cabinet to stabilise and consolidate economic recovery, Mugabe appointed another unreconstructed team –– which includes dyed-in-the-wool populists –– showing either he has no clue and is stuck, or is stubbornly clinging to failure for patronage reasons.

The latter seems to be true, as he said he mainly considers first if you are Zanu PF, how loyal you are and for how long you have been there, besides education. Meritocracy doesn’t feature.

Well, there is no problem with him appointing Zanu PF ministers who won but the issue is what calibre of ministers did he appoint? Bringing back Emmerson Mnangagwa and Sydney Sekeramayi, ministers for 33 years, Didymus Mutasa, Ignatius Chombo, Joseph Made, Olivia Muchena, Sithembiso Nyoni, Simbarashe Mumbengegwi and Webster Shamu, for instance, surely will not take us anywhere. What can they really do to take us forward? Patrick Chinamasa may be competent in executing Mugabe’s political survival projects, but is he suitable at Finance?

Besides incompetence, the trouble is some of these ministers are just corrupt. It’s not our job to give Mugabe the evidence. That’s why the police are there.

Mugabe, if it’s not too late, must learn from his Chinese benefactors how Deng Xiaoping did it. He reformed the party and the state, adopting progressive market policies within a developmental state framework, thus enabling rapid and sustained economic growth.So why can’t Mugabe, with his “Look East” policy, do the same?

7 thoughts on “Some things never change”

  1. Chris Veremu says:

    Deng Xiaping is a legend and I think it is unfair to compare our president with him. No one in the past century has altered a nation’s fortunes for the better the way that fellow did. Maybe Gorbachev comes to mind but he is not even a runner up but frothes and farts a distant third, second place is rightly occupied by Deng’s own shadow. We should be comparing ourselves with other voluble colleagues like North Korea, Belarus, Cuba and Iran whose main hallmark is fighting hardest when they are fighting against their OWN interests and then pretend to be fighting this invisible boogey man. No sir, we can compare tractors to Jets, no offence meant, lets compare like against like and in this regard Deng Xiaping can not be compared with anybody dead or living in this century and the past, this fellow is a legend and it will take time for anybody to rise to dine at his high table..for now he must be content to dine alone with the Gods.

    1. Chris Veremu says:

      The above post should read..” No sir,we can not compare…”

  2. Gokwe says:

    IF Mugabe is in there then all that old guard might as well be in that cabinet. Who goes first Mugabe or the cabinet or do they go out together?

    For now it is what it is -he is not going anywhere – lets just stick to doing our own thing and making sure our families stay above the water – zvakakona musiyei aripo, achangobvawo nenzira yedu tose.

  3. Hilda says:

    u cant compare how the chinese do their politics and economic management with zimbabwe.

  4. lovemore says:

    I thought the Glen View crew were held in captivity for almost 2 years without sufficient evidence. And people say Mugabe does not flip flop.

  5. ATZ says:

    mugabe will tell you look east but never to adopt their strategies because he thinks he knows better and trusts himself than he trusts the young ones in his party to take the driver’s seat. so he would rather go in the ditch with them

  6. vortex says:

    With Mugabe it has always been a government formed through patronage and not merit or ability. That is why he has not been ousted – you scratch my back I will scratch yours. Yes it is all patronage and nepotism – not good governance!

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