Harare Hospital boss only learning it from the best

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WE have seen and heard reports of Harare Hospital chief executive Peggy Zvavamwe who recently bought a Jeep Cherokee worth US$88 359 at a time the institution has no drugs in its stocks. But wait a minute. Who really is to blame for all this extravagance? It does not take a rocket scientist to figure out that it’s government under Mugabe’s rule.

MUCKRAKER

Zvavamwe is only learning from those who have honed it into a fine art. If it has to change then it should begin at the top. Ministers receive benefits worth millions with numerous trips overseas. Be it on business or holiday they gobble the tax payers’ money with impunity.

Vice-President Mphoko has shamelessly spent more than US$300 000 on local hotel accommodation as the country is facing a dire food shortage.

There is so much to mention when it comes to government’s reckless spending, as if on drugs, as Tendai Biti would say, all in the name of entitlement. There are so many patients who suffer without drugs at public hospitals, numerous malfunctioning machines at the hospitals and grossly under paid staff who commit their time to look after the patients. Who in government can castigate Zvavamwe and not appear as a disgraceful hypocrite? Zvavamwe you are not really to blame, you are learning from the best!

Second term?
We were excited to see former Botswana leader Festus Mogae’s remarks on President Mugabe’s hostility to gay rights. Although widely reported in the past, this latest outburst seems to have stirred further emotions as Mugabe concludes his AU mandate. Not all Africans share his prejudice it would seem.

“Mogae was never at any stage president of Zimbabwe,” Youth League chairman Pupurai Togarepi said. “We never, as a people, gave him a mandate.”

Mogae who is Vice-President Phelekezela Mphoko’s business partner in the Choppies supermarket group accused Mugabe and his administration of thinking they are more important than the country.
Mugabe has had run-ins with Botswana leaders in the past, most notably President Ian Khama and Mogae over Zimbabwe’s political and human rights record. Remarks by Mugabe about pigs and dogs have generated heat in both 1995 and 1996. The once influential book fair is but a shadow of its former self as the result of primitive positions adopted by Zanu PF.
Hare-brained

Given the plethora of problems the country is facing which include a looming catastrophic drought which could affect 1,5 million Zimbabweans, restive government workers threatening to go to strike over unpaid bonuses from last year and an alarming drug shortage in the country’s main hospitals, one would think the ruling party Zanu PF would be seized with coming up with solutions to the national crisis.

Well think again. The focus is not on the looming drought, nor is it the drug shortage or even failure to provide the 2,2 million jobs it promised in 2013. It is about having a Robert Mugabe Day! The party’s Youth League secretary Pupurai Togarepi is pushing for this hare-brained initiative. Zanu PF has made numerous decisions that have baffled and angered Zimbabweans over the years. But the push for a Mugabe day amid crisis is a new low even by the party’s standards.

We have over the years been shocked by the extent Zanu PF officials have gone to curry favour with Mugabe. From calling him the second son of God, Cremora (a tea creamer) to supreme leader, the party mandarins have scaled the heights of sycophancy. But advocating for a Robert Mugabe Day will take some beating.

It is surely adding insult to the injury caused by the party’s plans to splash close to US$1 million for Mugabe’s birthday celebrations in Masvingo, ironically one of the hardest hit regions by the drought.

One reader made his objections crystal clear to this lunacy.

“Do we honestly need such a non-event and all the super expensive hype that goes with it? Better to focus on getting the nation out of the socio-political and economic mess that it has been allowed to fall into by a corrupt, insensitive and extremely self-seeking national leadership!”

Our sentiments exactly.

Dairy conspiracies
Now who would want to bomb Uncle Bob’s Gushungo Dairies? Would it not be the same as committing suicide? There is a growing list of former employees of the President’s business who have been hauled before the courts on one misdemeanor or another, but mostly associated with pilferage.

However, this week there has been a sinister twist in this developing story. The military element in the arrests has Harare agog and added a new dimension. Two of those arrested have links to the country’s military hardware and the rumourmill is in overdrive. Coincidence? We think not. There is more coming from this episode.

Awe inspired
We had a good chuckle when we read the Sunday Mail’s article of how Mugabe transformed the African Union during his tenure as chairman.
Especially when Foreign Affairs minister Simbarashe Mumbengegwi decided to put on his largest pair of rose tinted glasses when he said Mugabe chaired with wit, poise, intelligence and charm, leaving delegates in awe.

In awe? Really, Cde Mumbegegwi? In awe of a leader who has run down the country to the extent that it no longer has a currency of its own? In awe of a leader who presides over 90% unemployment? In awe of a leader whose citizens would rather risk crocodiles swimming across the Limpopo to South Africa to escape the country’s increasing poverty? In awe … we could go on and on but you get the picture. Awe is the last thing to grab any delegate given Mugabe’s long and exhaustive list of failure.

Blind lessons
The request for the Affirmative Action Group to share the country’s experience on empowerment and indigenisation at an African conference slated for Nigeria in February is laughable at best, ridiculous at worst.

“All the countries that were once colonised need a decolonisation process through the indigenisation and empowerment programme. This also seeks to psychologically empower the people.

“The golden question we will have to answer is: Why is Africa still so poor, yet we have a large endowment of resources?” waffled AAG president Chamu Chiwanza. One cannot help but feel for the poor delegates!

For the answer to his question as to why Africa is so poor Chiwanza only has to look at the revenue from diamonds not reaching state coffers or senior government officials who own multiple farms that are underutilised or even the confusion over the indigenisation policy eight years after it was signed into law.

It surely begs the question,what on earth will he teach the delegates at this conference? Is this not a case of the blind leading the blind?

It boggles the mind.

A second term for Mugabe as AU chairman, Cdes!

So, the power handover at the African Union is on this weekend. Mugabe will be leaving as AU chairperson, but wait, he may actually stay on if Cde Kindness Paradza and his crew from the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Foreign Affairs get their way. They want the soon-to-be 92 leader to be given a second term as AU chairperson or even assume the title of “Supreme AU leader”.

“The majority of African ambassadors in Addis Ababa and AU commissioners had a consensus that if it was possible, President Mugabe would be given a second term as chairman or assume any other supreme role to fulfil the Pan-African vision of a continental body,” Paradza gushed to the state media.

If it is not lunacy then nothing is. We are left wondering what Paradza has been smoking that has him having such absurd thoughts. Maybe he has tried a concoction now popularised by drug addicts in Harare commonly referred to as Musombidhiya, a potent illicit brew akin to kachasu.

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