Govt has all but lost the plot — but won’t let go

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“This is what happens when a regime has failed to create employment for its people. This regime has promised its own version of human trafficking, the only difference is they call theirs human export, and it’s done between governments, instead of individuals.”

INDIGENISATION minister Patrick Zhuwao’s change of tune this week, including yesterday, that he will close companies that do not comply with indigenisation requirements instead of charging them a levy as he had previously trumpeted to all who cared to listen, illustrates just how confused the dreadlocked minister and his Zanu PF party really are.

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“We will now, instead, put in place appropriate measures to invoke Section 5 of the Act which calls for cancellation of licences of non-compliant companies. In attempting to make the companies comply, we had initially come up with the idea of a levy that could be moderated by the extent of compliance,” Zhuwao warned. “However, on further reflection and consultation, we realised that such a levy would be payment for companies to continue disregarding the law. I, as minister, would have been complicit in committing an illegal act, and enabling companies to break the law is contrary to the spirit and intent of a constitutional democracy like Zimbabwe.”

There you have it. On the whim of “reflection and consultation”, Zhuwao has added more chaos to the confusion that abounds on the indigenisation process by changing his tune. No investor worth his/her salt will stand around for nonsense of this kind where a minister changes his mind depending on how the wind is blowing.

Sadly it is Zimbabweans who suffer as the government muddles through with no sense of direction. That the statute is mired in such volatility eight years after it was signed into law is yet another blot on the copybook of Zanu PF who at this rate would struggle to organise a piss up in a brewery!

This is possibly the worst law or policy Zanu PF has ever come up with since Independence.

Discomfort

Zanu PF has shown time without number their discomfort with democracy which they find confusing. But the party’s secretary of administration Ignatius Chombo took that fear to a embarrassing new low on Saturday last week when he castigated MPs Dexter Nduna and Kindness Paradza for “being too excited” when asking questions in parliament.

Addressing a Zanu PF Mashonaland West provincial co-ordinating (PCC) meeting, Chombo said Nduna’s “too many questions” directed at Mines minister Walter Chidhakwa last week had unsettled the latter.

According to Parliament’s Order Paper for last week, Nduna had asked 59 of the recorded 98 questions posed to Chidhakwa over the mystery surrounding the US$15 billion worth of diamonds, which President Robert Mugabe said went missing in Chiadzwa.

One would have expected that Chombo, who is also Home Affairs minister, would have encouraged questions on the missing diamonds as investigating the issue falls under his portfolio. Not so, apparently. He expects the party’s MPs to be mere party stooges in the National Assembly and look the other way. This disgraceful thinking was also backed by the excitable central committee member, Phillip Chiyangwa.

“My friend, we are veterans. I have been a Member of Parliament for Chinhoyi and accordingly, MPs should put their ministers to task during caucuses, not to embarass our ministers like what they are doing at the moment,” fumed Chiyangwa.

“We are watching them,” he added darkly.

It is ironic and beggars belief that at a time Chiyangwa, who is the Zimbabwe Football Association president, is struggling to clean the football from the blemish of match-fixing, he is also fighting against the interrogation of a minister who has a national duty to explain how diamonds were looted on government’s watch.

With such unenlightened attitudes from the likes of Chombo and Chiyangwa, it is no wonder why the country is in such a sorry mess.

False hopes

Reports that government will soon give start-up loans to 10 000-plus workers dismissed using the July 17 Supreme Court ruling which allowed employers to retrench workers on three months’ notice without paying a retrenchment package, makes interesting reading.

Although the idea of giving loans to retrenchees under the ministry of Small to Medium Enterprise with the facilitation of the Labour ministry and underwritten by the National Social Security Authority is noble, it sounds too good to be true.

This is, after all, a government that is failing to pay its workers and pensioners on time. It surely begs the question where are they going to get the money when they are failing to meet revenue targets? Is this not a dishonest way of raising people’s hopes only for the project to fall flat?

Experience in the past with such schemes has taught us that even if the loans come to fruition, they will end up benefitting relatives of senior government officials and well-connected individuals at the expense of the intended beneficiaries. The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe mechanisation programme is one such example where the taxpayers are now paying the cost for the exercise which has benefitted well connected individuals. To add insult to injury the taxpayers do not even know which beneficiaries they are paying for as the central bank has refused to reveal who they are!

So we can be forgiven for thinking that these loans will not find its way to a poor individual struggling to make ends meet after being a victim of the Supreme Court ruling but will instead find their way into the pockets of overfed government chefs.

By the way, where are the two million jobs that Zanu PF promised?

Hostages of poverty

The experience of 200 Zimbabwean women trapped in Kuwait after being lured to the country on the pretext that they were going to be offered lucrative jobs is indeed heartrending. That they were sold for US$2 500 to individuals for cheap labour for two years and denied basic human rights, adds to the tragedy.

The blame for all this is, of course, President Robert Mugabe and his failed policies which have brought about abject misery and grinding poverty.

These women are just a fraction of the millions of Zimbabweans who have fled Zimbabwe Ruins, the rubble of Mugabe’s misrule.

Some even have to swim their way past the crocodile-infested Limpopo River to South Africa as they escape the gut-wrenching poverty spawned by Mugabe’s failed rule, risking life and limb in the process.

Such has been Mugabe’s disastrous failure to provide employment that the government is now considering exporting Zimbabweans’ skills to other countries. This is scandalous.

One bemused reader responded thus to the sorry tale of the trapped Zimbabwean women in Kuwait: “This is what happens when a regime has failed to create employment for its people. This regime has created its own version of human trafficking, the only difference is they call theirs human export, and it’s done between governments, instead of individuals.

The long and short of the story is that Mugabe is a disGraceful failure. History will judge him harshly.

short and sweet…

Government has once again stolen the spirit of the holidays. After stealing the spirit of Christmas by failing to pay civil servants their December salaries, they have failed to pay civil servants their March salaries within the due date which was just before Easter.

This lot is surely making the miserly fictional character Scrooge look like Father Christmas in comparison as civil servants go for yet another holiday penniless.

That this is happening at a time government has allowed the looting of diamonds worth billions of dollars puts into perspective how hopeless our national leadership is. Any hope for economic recovery under Zanu PF is as futile as hoping to have snow in hell. We are all victims.

One thought on “Govt has all but lost the plot — but won’t let go”

  1. Ndube says:

    Sad sad sad

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