President Mugabe is “horrified” by the condition of the nation’s roads.
This earth-shattering revelation came at the weekend when he was driving from Bulawayo airport into the city.
The question on everybody’s lips: Where’s he been all this time?
Perhaps he opened a window and was overwhelmed by the fumes? Perhaps the aircon broke down?
Driving on our roads is a hazardous experience what with donkeys and goats in the way in some cases.
They don’t know they have to get out of the way. Then there is the appalling standard of driving on the roads with motorists behaving badly, refusing to concede to other drivers.
We have referred recently to concrete islands on the capital’s roads, particularly the one on Josiah Tongogara, which the mayor seems to be ignoring.
Then there is the brick factory on First St which some entrepreneur seems to have started.
Meanwhile, there is the huge parking zone opposite Prince Edward school that must be raking in a small fortune every day for whoever just plonked it there.
But the point is, as we have been saying for years, Mugabe is dangerously detached from reality. As a leader you cannot live your life in the elitist ivory tower and not step out or you are disconnected from the people and the real world.
The Ghanaian freelance journalist Roy Agyemany who was left cooling his heels as he awaited the presidential call, finally got the nod and proceeded to interview his subject.
Why did he bother, we should ask? He failed to ask a single challenging question and referred to Mugabe as “cde President”. It was a terrible interview — a good example of how not interview a president.
Somebody who is certainly not afraid of asking the tough questions is Nedbank chairman Reuel Khoza.
He told the Sunday Times that when the country’s leaders begin to steal in a manner that is difficult to unravel, there is a kleptocracy at work, not a democracy.
He described the government as “not as it should be”, quoting a governance guru who wrote The Fish Rots From the Head.
Khoza wrote that if people led without the necessary moral authority, chances were they would soon mislead effectively as had Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe. In this connection, he said while people had previously voted to pay homage to a liberator, that liberator had evolved and was no longer the liberating force it once was. Black business organisations were also not delivering what they should be, Khoza said.
We wish Zimbabwean businessmen could also have the balls to speak like Khoza.
Just what the heck is going on? This is a question that remains on the lips of the majority of Zimbabweans on where Zanu PF stands on indigenisation.
Mugabe said: “If the raw materials come from Tanzania, which has it, and if a company establishes itself here in Willowvale, we cannot demand 51%.”
“If a company is established and is getting raw materials from outside and the raw materials are not Zimbabwean, take the case of aluminium, we don’t have raw materials for it.”
Chinamasa weighed in when he said the financial services sector was immune to the 51% indigenous ownership ratio during the official announcement of a further US$20 million investment by AfrAsia into its local unit different from former indigenisation minister Saviour Kasukuwere that no sector will be spared from the 51% threshold.
Information minister Jonathan Moyo also sung from a different hymn sheet. “Economic empowerment and indigenisation is a winning policy and it is irresponsible for anyone, for some of us to want to present it as propaganda for election purposes. That is irresponsible,” Moyo told The Herald.
Mugabe, Chinamasa and Moyo have all spoken on the implementation of the indigenisation programme giving different signals.
There have been claims that the inclusive government brought about confusion and chaos because of different standpoints on various issues and that a government formed by one political party would halt the confusion.
Surprise! Surprise! Zanu PF is the ruling party and still the confusion on the indigenisation policy continues.
So much for cohesion in Zanu PF!
The internecine warfare in the MDC-T continues despite the public’s distaste for the sordid performance before them.
How many readers recall our warning at the time of the GNU that Morgan Tsvangirai was foolishly abdicating his responsibility to the country by cultivating a cosy relationship with President Mugabe? The thinking was that Mugabe would come to see Tsvangirai as an errant son who had returned to the fold.
MDC members were even forbidden to call Mugabe names. In return the MDC leader received a luxury villa and vehicles. His ambition was to have a motorcade like Mugabe’s it appears.
Now he is destitute, or so he says, and nobody is inclined to help him. It is a pity. All democracies need a powerful opposition to counter-balance the inevitable pressures of power by those in office but the MDC-T has pressed a self-destruct baton. Sometimes you hit a point where you have to change or self-destruct. That’s where the MDC-T is right now.
Keep close eye
Now that Zanu PF is enjoying renewed hegemony, it more than ever needs supervision.
The media has a duty to hold their rulers accountable. After all, they live on public finds. It will be interesting in the time ahead to see if the press can perform that duty and whether they can ensure that public media fulfil a public responsibility.
Meanwhile, Morgan Tsvangirai and his gang and those opposing him need to get a life. They are doing Zimbabwe no favours by hanging out their dirty washing for all to see while behaving like clowns.
The ANC’s inclination in South Africa to abuse authority has been illustrated by dubious tender procedures which include work on President Jacob Zuma’s residence, ministers using aircraft to fly around the country on business that is far from useful, and the role of companions benefiting from the gravy train.
Is the ANC now undergoing Zanufication? Time will tell.