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President Mnangagwa plays the ball close to his chest

26 Dec 2017 at 16:49hrs | Views
Being in one of the highest offices in a country is not all that funny and easy, especially if you are a young one, because there is a lot that needs to be done and learnt. The president will show more, in executing his duties, to the country that he won't be part and parcel of any conspiracy involving corrupt ministers. This is exactly what we hear from President Mnangagwa's inaugural speech and his speech at the cabinet swearing in.

In the process of forming a new government, President Mnangagwa had a very tough task that required him not only following popular attitudes to lead him to a popular destination. His new duty required him to do something more. It meant discerning those deeper currents of opinion that lie behind the superficial manifestations.

It is not accidental that so many of the most successful political leaders in modern democracies, South Africa's Nelson Mandela, England's Tony Blair, The United States of America's Barrack Obama and our own Zimbabwe's Emerson Mnangagwa have at some time, been students of history and law. What they learnt from history and law was not the drawing of 'superficial analogies', but rather an understanding of the main political and intellectual forces of the age. Thus, for the politician seeking to be a statesman, like Cde Mnangagwa, knowledge of history and law is priceless.

His maiden cabinet, people expected new faces altogether, expecting that all the usual faces they knew would not make it. People decried the initial announcement of many non-Members of Parliament, which they said was ultra vires, not knowing the captain of the ship, a constitutional law guru; know how to juggle around with 'chapters. 'According to the constitution, the President is allowed to make up to 5 appointments from outside parliament, chosen for their skills and competence, section 104 of the constitution of Zimbabwe.

I do acknowledge that the President had an uphill task in terms of the pool to siphon members from, resulting in some members being resultantly re-allocated somewhere, eg from being Ministers to Special advisors to the President, well before they were sworn to office. Thus, the issue of constitutionality was never a thing to worry about, an exhibition of absolute constitutional supremacy.

There was once a public outcry that some members in the new cabinet partly contradicted the fight against corruption and incompetence as spelt out in the President's inaugural speech. People tend to have forgotten that the President, as the appointing authority, can fire an incompetent appointee at any time. The right to recall that is vested in him allows him to replace public servants holding key posts in government. This right keeps the workers on their toes to achieve set targets.

To demonstrate that democracy is in overflow in his new administration and style of governance, President Mnangagwa gave the people of Zimbabwe a chance to voice-over and participates directly in choosing what they want, something that has never happened in the history of Zimbabwe and African. That is democracy at play.

Unfortunately, that right to recall was justified in terms of public demand, and it affected one unfortunate Minister, Cde Dokora. Questions continue to be poured by the same public as to why Cde Dokora only had fallen victim, even though the greatest part is happy, citizens retained a share of control over public officials who are not representing the best interests of their areas of specialty, those who are unresponsive to public petitions or incompetent.

Although it is a good policy, right to recall by public demand has its own dangers associated with it. First, it ends up being unfair, causing confusion in the process. It can lead to excessive democracy, thus lessening the independence of appointed officials, in the process undermining the power of the President. To this end, it can also lead to abuses by other well-financed special interest groups. So, to curb the problem associated with the right to recall, grounds of recall need to be spelt out clearly, be it malfeasance or misconduct while in office, failure to perform duties prescribed by law, willfully converted public funds, convictions for a felony or incompetence, so as to eradicate doubt.

The spelling out of a political ideology, on one hand, coupled with knowledge ability in law and history, is likely to prove as successful. It yields an open system of thoughts.

Following the events so closely, l have managed to conclude that the Mnangagwa administration, all things being equal, seeks to create heaven on earth. It tends to be hyperactive than limited in sense, it's never prone to panic, they are taking their time to sort everything out well, to hit the ground running, which is often an experience in most countries in the first phase of a term of office. Zimbabwe is highly likely to be left feeling happier after the very short eight months' term. This, l believe, would definitely arouse and make positive, the immediate wishes of the voters, along the way ending segregation, leaving a legacy for the coming harmonised elections.

Being a lawyer, President Mnangagwa has promised to fight corruption teeth and nail, which, if left unchecked as before by the previous government, would become a corrosive drain on public trust and on legitimacy as corruption has become a cancer to the country. The public seem also to shun corrupt office bearers, as evidenced by the booing of Commissioner General Augustine Chihuri at the national sports stadium where he took oath of loyalty to the new President. This gesture came with shortfalls in that none would prosecute to the fullest when the police chief is asked to leave office, yet the parent Ministry, the Ministry of Home Affairs is left unshaken. The public's voices are wailing over the appointment of some few ministers whom they think were very loyal to the former CIA coded agent as well as G40 king pin Jonathan Moyo. The public won't forgive the cabal as it is responsible for all the mess the party and government was in. Ministers work with permanent secretaries and directors in executing their daily duties. There is very little a minister can do alone in determining the policy to follow so the public must be rest assured that no ministry is a threat to the president and the country as the president himself is watching his team and will not hesitate to reprimand one in the event of incompetence.

South Africa, between 2008 and 2010,fired Police Chief Jacob Sello Selebi, when he was put on extended leave by the then President Mbeki after he was charged with corruption. He was later sentenced to 15 years imprisonment. President Jacob Zuma, fired the successor, Bheki Cele in 2012 over corruption, incompetence, soliciting bribes, among a host of other allegations.

If anyone is going to be fired over corruption, especially Commissioner General Chihuri, then this is yet to be the first cannon shot by the Zimbabwean government's long promised war against corruption and impunity in the police force.
Could the first shot be the President's step to curbing corruption? I cannot steal the thunder and pre-empt far reaching reforms that might be promised, President Mnangagwa is playing his cards close to his chest in football language I can equate him to the midfield chez master who can overlap to any position. Relax as the country takes off…..

Source - Luke Mbune Chakaza - Correspondent
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