Zimbabwe’s Leadership failure

By IndepthAfrica
In Article
Feb 6th, 2014
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The graft and corruption that is now being unearthed means that the President has failed to do his job.
The main responsibility of any President must be to effectively preside over the affairs and administration of the country. In order to achieve that, the President appoints ministers who should be appointed on merit.Their responsibility is not only to ensure that government policy is effectively implemented, but to ensure that it is effectively administeredand in line with the constitution and the laws of the country including adherence to the national budget.
In addition, the President isprovided with all the resources he needs to ensure that he is effective in carrying out his mandate according to the constitution. The President is even provided with high level security and all the necessary comforts to ensure that his decisions are objective and serve the interest of the country first. This is to ensure that he stems corruption, fights graft and is not easily influenced or swayed in making decisions that may prejudice those that seek to disadvantage the interest of the country as a whole.
The graft and corruption that is now being unearthed means that the President has failed to do his job.
President Mugabe should take full responsibility for the failure of public institutions to serve the needs of the country, including the mismanagement of state enterprises and our national resources. Of course those he has deployed to manage our economy have failed in their dutybut they should be answerable to him and him alone.
Unfortunately the unearthing of the monumental deception committed through abuse of public funds is now being framed as a victory for ZANU (PF), which is most absurd. How can the very people who produced this vomit get the credit for finally cleaning it up?
The MDC-T, including its President, must also take responsibility for its failure to highlight and expose the fleecing state enterprises and national resources during the GNU. This is not the time for excuses. It is just not good enough to say we knew about it but we could not do anything about it. Of course ZANU (PF) prevented the effectiveness of the MDC-T their rival in the GNU. However the minister responsible should still have done something about it.The least he could have done is to expose it. But, once more, he has excuses and refuses to also take responsibility. This, again, shows how our leaders continue to blame circumstances for poorperformance and failure to deliver.
All this, and the recent nearly violent and abusive reaction of MDC-T youths including some of its leaders to calls for Tsvangirai to retire have shocked me to realise that our politics are really not about competence or delivery. Rather they are more about popularity, and if necessary, threats of violence against those who may see things differently.
This has also happened in ZANU (PF) mind you.We have seensupposedly intelligent and mature people avoiding the discomfort of the truth and failingto challenge Mugabe’s leadership incompetence, despite everything showing that this country is facing catastrophic failure because of mismanagement from the top. Instead they must pretend that all is well, as long as they have their perks and keep their positions.
This is the culture that we are faced with; a culture that has nothing to do with performance but rather a culture of fear and always shifting the blame; a culture of avoiding the inconvenient truths. It’s comical because if you criticise ZANU (PF) you are an agent of the West, and if you criticise MDC-T you are an agent of ZANU (PF). And so the circus continues.How ridiculous!
Unfortunately this culture has now permeated all sectors of our society including the private sector, where our executives earn huge packages, avoid tax but cannot meet payroll obligations.At this rate, it will surely take eons for us to create a modern statein Zimbabwe. It is true then that the people will always get the leadership they deserve.
I had a very interesting conversation the other day about the nature of our politics. The poor masses provide the numbers during voting time,and that’s where it ends. This explains why a bag of mealie meal can buy a politician unfettered five years in power. Themasses seem easily swayed by foolish things.As a result, the quality and standards of our leaders are not really challenged; the masses will deliver the vote anyway, so why worry?
As long as this is the case, we are unlikely to see a vibrantdemocracy and a modern statewhere our leaders are accountable and do not always blame someone out there. We must break this pattern.
The one solution we have is to establish a new democratic mass movement but the challenge will remain on how we get the masses, especially our exuberant youths and rural folk, to understand their responsibility and the need to value leaders not because of their names or history, but on their competency and on what they can do for Zimbabwe in the future. It will take educating the masses and forcing them to realise that unless we change the game, they will continue to be taken for a ride as electoral fodder.
Zimbabwe needs new vision and a new ethos in politics that puts Zimbabwe first and continually challenges our leaders to behave and be accountable.
Without that, I do not foresee any improvement both in our political discourse and democracy.
The people come first!
Vince Musewe is an economist and author based in Harare. You may contact him on vtmusewe@gmail.com

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