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Mnangagwa needs more than our prayers

04 Aug 2019 at 13:27hrs | Views
As I carried a message of comfort to the young Christian pastors in Masvingo, I was overwhelmed by the trials and tribulations under which these brothers worked.

My interactions with Apostle Elizabeth Chademana, the lead messenger of Isaiah Ministries in that province, I became aware of the need to extend our prayers to the rulers of this troubled country.

The more I was engaged, the more it became obvious that the task of reforming a society, which had been methodically corrupted by Robert Mugabe was beyond the powers of one man.

 In fighting corruption, which is only one arm of the octopus, President Emmerson Mnangagwa needs more than our prayers. I shall make my suggestions later in the letter.

If Mnangagwa (ED)  (like chairman Deng of China) were to succeed even partially, the title of great leader is within his grasp.

The system he inherited is made up of crooks, thieves, scoundrels and outright "baddies" who will stop at nothing, including poisoning their opponents.

His chances of success, short of some divine intervention are almost nil.

My second observation was that he faces relentless bad press, at home and abroad, and suffers from a credibility gap.

Therefore, no matter what good intentions he may have, he must first pass a skeptical test of unbelievers.

Mupfumira's test case

Tourism minister Prisca Mupfumira's arrest on several charges of abuse of power is exemplary for the reason that accusations against her represent a widespread culture of lawlessness and non untouchability.

We remind our readers that the sister remains innocent until a judge says otherwise.

One charge refers to a U$90 000 loan from a parastatal under her supervision for a Toyota Land Cruiser.

That type of arrangement was very common in parastatals.

Where such parastatals were divided into regional organisations, the minister could access loans or automobiles from all the regions under his supervision.

She is also accused of accessing a US$303 520 loan for "personal" use.

A similar charge was brought against former Health minister David Parerenyatwa, who, by his own confession, had asked PSMAS  (a public insurance company) to advance him US$100 000 in favour of services to patients not yet rendered.

Parirenyatwa as Health minister, was the overseer of PSMAS.

Sister Prisca is also accused of being negligent (or authorising) a payment to Drawcard of Gweru in the amount of US$650 000. No visible contribution or work was done by this company. The most obvious infringement was that of Cuthbert Dube, who collected US$500 000 per month for several years from PSMAS. It is Dube's case, which gave me an insight into the workings of Mugabe's government.

Mugabe, over the years, created an impenetrable Macedonian phalanx of cadres who, through thick and thin, defended the fortress with their very lives.

Mugabe recruited a bevy of beautiful girls in Mozambique who were tasked to gather inside information on high profile figures.  

Eventually, these women bonded with their targets; some married them, or had children.

These women were part of this Macedonian phalanx, enjoying status, privilege, beyond their ability to perform tasks for the state.

Their security depended on their previous associations and knowledge of state secrets.

Every state employs a killer unit. Mukoma Edgar Tekere used to tell us, in jest, how this unit works.

According to Tekere, at first they were careless about their activities, boasting about car accidents (their favourite was smash up involving Pumas).

 In the last five years, they have graduated to the Russian level of dangerous poisons, though their habits of spilling the beans at Rambanai Beer Garden have not been overcome.

My friend governor Mai Shuvai Mahoffa was a victim of poison.

This Macedonian phalanx  were allowed unfettered abuse of power, diversion of funds, outright malfeasance, as long as they kept their oath to defend the state.

This, however, spread to the general populace. Wherever three Zimbabweans meet under a sycamore tree (mukuyu) they are planning to swindle somebody.

I was contemplating at the Soapstone Hill in Masvingo when in opening my eyes; there were three men, each holding thousands of dollars in different currencies.

The issue here is that without formal employment, corrupt means of earning a living have become acceptable and even defensible.

In the case of Sister Prisca, surely nobody in his right sense will accuse her of embezzling such huge sums of money single-handedly.

This is the lesson I learned in Dube's case. My famous friend from Masvingo rebuked me.

"Kenny, stop writing nonsense. Do you imagine that I can write a check of US$10 000 without the chairperson of the board, knowing about it."

We know that when the previous board members of the anti-corruption commission left, documents walked out of the locked cabinets.

Catherine the Great

Brother Mnangagwa is at the most crucial historic juncture. If he overcomes some (not all) of the problems facing Zimbabwe, the crown of "great leader" awaits him.

It is, however, easier to make great changes in times of prosperity. Zimbabwe is in the doldrums, with 10% of the population in formal employment.

Corruption, apart from economic malaise, is a brake on whatever progress can be made.

Russian Empress, Catherine the Great once mentioned in cabinet that corruption was a brake on economic development.

The chief minister retorted. "Then we are all going to hang. We are all corrupt."

Whose sons were those three musketeers counting wards of triple currencies?

By the cleanliness of the wards, surely, the origin of that money was in some financial institution.

Sister Prisca is accused of authorising US$62 250 000 (millions) to Metbank.

Of that sum, US$37 035 000 went missing. Is it possible that Mugabe was ignorant of these shenanigans? Is there not a Central Intelligence Organisation look-out at NSSA?

An official explained to the parliamentary committee that there were four categories of malfeasance.

The most egregious one is "the fourth category-when the whole money was paid and no work was done, prejudicing (government) 100%."


Sibongile G, though only one of 3,5 million migrants, is a perfect example of the casualties of Zimbabwe's corruption.

A medical graduate of U-Zee, she did everything according to the book.

Married to a partner in the Pete and Marwick (International Auditing Group), with three young children, a super doctor, she joined a group of Soros at Parirenyatwa whose ambition was to make the pediatric division the replica of Johns Hopkins Hospital in the United States.

Nothing went right. Medicines were not delivered in time. The last straw came when the 12th month came and she had not been paid.

She is now in South Carolina, gathering the remains of what remains of her ambitions, separated from her husband, who got a plum job in Nigeria, she goes through spasm of crying.

Corruption is a battle that must be fought, but Mnangagwa cannot  expect making any friends.

The 3,5 million migrants and Dr Sibongile will not be thankful to those who ruined their dreams.

Mnangagwa will fight a lonely battle. I wish him well. The prayers of the saints go with him.

As I interacted with them I  was acting in my capacity as a messenger of the United Methodist Church on a mission to share words of comfort with young Christian pastors in Masvingo.

Source - the standard
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