HomeAnalysisAn empty Sona, voodoo cabinet and selfish actors

An empty Sona, voodoo cabinet and selfish actors

“We surely are a cursed nation. At this rate Zanu PF will rule until Jupiter can sustain life.”

PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe’s State of the Nation address on Tuesday this week in Parliament was a major disappointment and clearly showed that the nonagenarian leader is clueless as to how to tackle the multi-faceted crisis his ruinous leadership has created.

Twitter: @MuckrakerZim

The speech ignored critical issues such as widespread public concerns over the issuance of bond notes and the continued acute shortage of cash. It was devoid of substance and failed dismally in giving the country direction as to the way forward.

Indeed, the nation was none the wiser after Mugabe’s address. It was a wasted half hour for Zimbabweans who had tuned in to hear what the doddering leader had to say. It was underwhelming.

As he came to the end of his drab delivery, Mugabe, who showed every bit of his 92 years of age, could only thank Zimbabweans for being resilient during hardships dating back to 2000 when the government embarked on the violent and chaotic land reform that has turned the country into a basket case. That he failed to proffer any solutions to the crisis created by his inept leadership is ample evidence that Mugabe’s leadership has long outlived its usefulness.

We just hope and pray that Mugabe will not blunder by reading this dreary and impoverished speech again at another fora as he did when he opened parliament last year.

Parly disgrace

Nothing shows government’s appalling lack of respect for parliament more than Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s remarks in the National Assembly last week. His refusal to reveal where bond notes, which were introduced into the market on Monday last week, were being printed makes a mockery of the executive’s obligation to be answerable to parliament as mandated by the country’s constitution.

The vice-president made it worse by encouraging lawmakers to “speculate if they want to”. It once again shows the arrogance of Zanu PF and its contempt of parliament and, by extension, the rule of law. It is ironic that Mnangagwa’s disgraceful comments are coming at a time he is leading the drive in government to improve the “ease of doing business” and improve foreign direct investment. It is a classic case of Mnangagwa shooting himself in the foot.

But such outrageous disregard of the legislature is not a new phenomenon as Mugabe sent the country to war in the Democratic Republic of Congo in 1998 without bothering to consult the august House.

Mnangagwa, in an interview on his visit to China last year, spoke about Zimbabwe’s agony at losing almost 20 years of development and vowed to “bite the bullet” and “to bring Zimbabwe back to the table of nations”. However, given his shocking response in parliament, the country will, at this rate, more likely retrogress another 20 years!

Time wasting

Remarks by the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Women’s Affairs chairperson and Zanu PF MP for Goromonzi West, Beatrice Nyamupinga at a Gender Commission stakeholders’ conference last week that MPs are tired of making laws that are not being implemented, shows the level of frustration at government’s inability to do anything more than waffle.

“We struggled to have laws that protect vulnerable people, especially women. As parliamentarians, we are tired of passing laws that are not being implemented. Please let us implement these laws that we have enacted. It is taking us nowhere to continue making laws that are not being implemented,” she said.

Muckraker is not surprised by Nyamupinga’s utterances. Inaction is Zanu PF’s stock in trade. Auditor-General Mildred Chiri knows all too well the frustration expressed by Nyamupinga having produced volumes of reports citing graft in various ministries with no action taken.

We have heard bold statements against corruption from the Zanu PF presidium — Mugabe and Vice-Presidents Emmerson Mnangagwa and Phelekezela Mphoko — but there has not been any action to follow their declarations which now sound like a broken record. The presidium itself has even been actively involved in blocking efforts to curb corruption.

As long as the ineffectual Zanu PF, which behaves as if the world owes it a living, continues at the helm of this country, the rot in the country will surely worsen.

Coalition impossible

People’s Democratic Party president Tendai Biti’s remarks that opposition political parties are unlikely to form a grand coalition, which will challenge Mugabe and his ruling Zanu PF in the 2018 general elections, has piqued our interest.

“I think it’s going to be very difficult in Zimbabwe to have coalitions; there are a lot of egocentric and selfish actors in our discourse, but I think we have to do better,” Biti said. Morgan Tsvangirai’s MDC-T and former vice-president Joice Mujuru’s Zimbabwe People First have snubbed the meetings held in South Africa lead by an international think-tank In Transformative Initiative.

Biti was rather blunt and this may create complications, but there is no denying the fact that he has hit the nail on the head. Inflated egos are a big impediment.

The PDP leader went for the jugular: “We surely are a cursed nation. At this rate Zanu PF will rule until Jupiter can sustain life”.

Crass nepotism

The admission by Mines minister Walter Chidhakwa that the Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company (ZCDC) was formed illegally is further confirmation, if any was needed, that the country is doomed with this circus called Zanu PF and its blatant disregard for the law.

Chidhakwa made the admission when he appeared before the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Mines this week.

Further to the chaos, Chidhakwa was also forced to admit that it was against corporate governance that his permanent secretary Francis Gudyanga has single-handedly run the Minerals Marketing Corporation of Zimbabwe (MMCZ) board since 2013, virtually meaning he reports to himself, which is a scandal of monumental proportions. Nepotism is prevalent as evidenced by the appointment of 90% of board members to the ZCDC being from Manicaland, where Gudyanga comes from, in blatant disregard of corporate governance practices.

With the ministry being run like a backyard tuckshop, it is not surprising that ZCDC had delivered a paltry 924 388 carats of diamonds this year, compared to 3,2 million produced by various miners in 2015.

In other countries, Chidhakwa would have resigned in disgrace. However, as shown on numerous occasions, incompetence has become par for the course in the moribund Zanu PF.

Chidhakwa, who was initially seen as a breath of fresh air when he was appointed Mines minister, has turned out to be just another addition to the clueless leadership suffocating the country’s well-being.

short and sweet …

Mugabe’s cabinet obsessed with the macabre

At a time the country is facing a plethora of problems ranging from job losses and massive de-industrialisation, cabinet is focussed on witchcraft and witchdoctors.

A recent statement by Information minister Chris Mushohwe inadvertently revealed the extent to which cabinet has fallen from grace.

The statement declared witch-hunts as fraudulent and extortionist. It is laughable that a whole cabinet that has failed to come up with a statement on the looted diamonds, the plundered Zimbabwe Manpower Development Fund or the lofty plan to create 2,2 million jobs, which the nation was promised in 2013, has come up with a statement on witchcraft, of all pressing issues. Perhaps we should not be surprised by this obsession with the macabre by Zanu PF, given that these are the same chaps who were duped by charlatan Rotina Mavhunga into believing diesel was oozing out of a rock in Chinhoyi.

And who can forget Mugabe’s bizarre allegations that former vice-president Joice Mujuru used supernatural powers to try and topple him? The joke is on a long-suffering population, which continues expecting a voodoo-obsessed cabinet to steer the economy to prosperity.

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