THE tragedy of Zanu PF’s incompetence and mismanagement was once again brought to the fore with revelations in the state media this week that surgeries at Harare Hospital had been suspended due to a shortage of painkillers.
The hospital is experiencing a critical shortage of painkillers which include pethidine, injectable morphine, fentanyl as well as some antibiotics with surgery being carried out only in life-threatening and maternity cases, we are told. This is occurring a time President Robert Mugabe is gobbling taxpayers’ money gallivanting around the globe with his family hangers-on wining and dining with fellow dictator Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro — who is presiding over a bankrupt and chaotic country like Mugabe — at summits that are of very little importance to the country.
Such criminal neglect by the moribund regime, which invests more energy in factional fights than the welfare of the country’s citizens, shows they are not fit for office. If anything they have become a threat to the national interest and an albatross that is heavily weighing down the well-being of the country’s citizens.
Such is the parlous state of the health institutions that even Mugabe’s daughter Bona decided to go and give birth in Singapore running away from the wreckage in the health sector created by her father’s continued ruinous tenure.
That more money is spent on buying the latest models of luxury cars and fuel for a grossly bloated cabinet than on health makes Mugabe’s claims that sanctions are causing suffering of Zimbabweans sound increasingly ridiculous.
Still on sanctions, Mugabe was again sounding like a broken record at the United Nations blaming sanctions for the economy’s collapse. It doesn’t help because everybody knows that Zimbabwe has been destroyed by his regime’s corruption and incompetence. No one will buy into his threadbare excuses and propaganda, except gullible elements like those of the December 12 Movement.
By the way, who is this economically illiterate fellow who started the yarn that sanctions cost Zimbabwe US$42 billion? It’s just as preposterous as Mugabe’s US$15 billion missing diamond revenues fiction.
Let’s hope the proposed study on the impact of sanctions will be useful, not just a crooked project for stealing public funds.
Botswana President Ian Khama this week added his voice to the ever-growing chorus that Mugabe has become a liability to the country and has overstayed his welcome.
Asked by global news agency Reuters if Mugabe, who came to power after independence from Britain in 1980, should accept the reality of his advancing years and retire, 63-year-old Khama responded: “Without doubt. He should have done it years ago. It is obvious that at his age and the state Zimbabwe is in, he’s not really able to provide the leadership that could get it out of its predicament. They have got plenty of people there who have got good leadership qualities who could take over.”
With the country in the throes of deep crisis where the general public cannot even access their own hard-earned cash, the last thing the country needs is a 92-year-old leader who stumbles all over the place and reads wrong speeches as frailty and dotage take their toll.
It is refreshingly honesty from Khama who has strayed from the script that Mugabe is a hero and Pan-Africanist legend which is followed by most uninformed and spineless African leaders who are afraid to tell the doddering nonagenarian the truth which is that he has been an unmitigated failure.
Reports that the Anti-corruption Act is to be commissioned by the Office of the President and Cabinet (OPC)has sounded the death knell on fighting the scourge.
This is the same office that only recently blocked parliament from investigating the corrupt Dema deal that involves Mugabe’s in-law, Derrick Chikore. It is also the same office that has been exposed by previous reports by the Auditor-General for failing to account for money it spent.
In the report for the financial year ended December 2011, Auditor-General Mildred Chiri noted that Mugabe’s office paid for assets valued at US$450 000 without attaching invoices to validate the payments and failed to record assets that it purchased to guard against pilferage and/or personalisation for the second year running. It is, therefore, ridiculous that it is this office that wants to take charge of the fight against corruption when it is deeply immersed in maladministration and malfeasance.
As one reader aptly responded to this hare-brained idea: “Putting OPC in charge of anti-corruption is like having King Herod look after the maternity unit.”
Still on the issue of corruption, Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa has once again been waffling about fighting against corruption.
Speaking at a Bulawayo constitutional advocacy meeting, Mnangagwa called for the promotion of the constitution in fighting rampant corruption in both public and private institutions. As we have pointed out several times, such words are empty if government fails to act on the numerous reports by the Auditor-General.
Mnangagwa must first rein in his colleague Vice-President Phelekezela Mphoko when he goes charging into police stations like an enraged bull to demand the release of “his boys” when his cronies were arrested on corruption allegations.
It is sheer hypocrisy for Mnangagwa to talk about promoting the constitution when the same government bans citizens from their right to demonstrate as enshrined in the country’s supreme law and when his principal Mugabe castigates judges for making rulings guided by that very document.
Mnangagwa’s remarks on the constitution are nothing more than the usual hot air or as William Shakespeare would put it, a tale told by an idiot full of sound and fury signifying nothing!
Reports that construction of a 650-seater parliament is set to begin in Mt Hampden after China released an initial tranche of US$46 million speaks to a monumental waste of resources and misplaced priorities. That the cost of the parliamentary building is going to gobble US$140 million at a time when virtually all sectors of the economy are in shambles with vital state institutions such as the National Railways of Zimbabwe in a serious state of disrepair and in need of financial injection, shows just how misplaced this government’s priorities are.
The revival of the Senate at the House of Assembly in 2005 has added no value to the country except to further haemorrhage public funds that come with paying allowances for more bottoms on the parliamentary seats. This is more so when the two biggest parties in parliament — Zanu PF and MDC-T — do not allow their party members to think for themselves, but just whip them to toe the line. That the Speaker of Parliament Jacob Mudenda has complained about members of parliament snoozing on benches when they are supposed to be debating crucial national issues speaks to the circus the august House has now become. It also shows just how preposterous it is to build what essentially will be a bigger bedroom for the majority of loafers and louts that call themselves MPs who have turned parliament into one big joke.
Symbolically, for China to fund the new parliament just further shows Zimbabwe is now a colony of the Mandarins. So much for the empty Zanu PF slogan “Zimbabwe will never be a colony again!”
short and sweet…
Even Satan disguises himself as an angel
Muckraker had a hilarious Sunday this past weekend relaxing at home on an otherwise hot and dreary afternoon after reading the state-controlled weekly Sunday Mail’s soporific column written by the notoriously boring Bishop Lazarus.
Under the headline I won’t say ‘I told you so’ Minister Chinamasa, the column at face value promised an interesting and insightful analysis on current events after Treasury boss Patrick Chinamasa was thrown under the bus by his cabinet colleagues over his recent austerity measures.
However, much to our chagrin, the whole column immediately degenerated into incoherent driveling, some labyrinth of mumbo jumbo and eventually a farce. It simply collapsed into a maze of journalism gibberish, as if intended to cause confusion on a rather straightforward story about the politics and dynamics of the Lima Plan, which this paper has been exclusively writing about of late.
Bishop Lazarus’ musings and bleating about our story in the last edition regarding China’s US$5 billion deal with Zimbabwe showed either he doesn’t know what is going on or is just hell-bent on kicking dust to secure his meal ticket. It is well-known in media circles Zanu PF factionalism has become Bishop Lazarus’ latest meal ticket; he exploits such situations like a vulture swooping on a carcass through rumour-mongering and fibbing for some income — 30 pieces of silver. That’s why it was surprising to hear the bishop waxing lyrical about corruption in the media in recent weeks. It was irony writ large.
Well, but the bishop, who has bent his fingers over dealings with politicians and political gossip, is ordinarily a nice though crooked guy and as such Muck recommends for his reading 2 Corinthians 11:13-15, which partly says: “… And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light … His end will correspond to his deeds.”
Hope the bishop finally sees the light or finds his Damascene moment before it’s too late to change course.