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President Mnangagwa should get his ducks in a row

06 Jan 2020 at 11:03hrs | Views
In any land, the Presidency is a sacred office and public servants therein are expected to be completely human and emphathetic. In addition they could be geniuses, solutionists, if not they should  at least have a good grasp of reality around them.

Recent speeches by President Mnangangwa in which he stands on the podium pontificating about the beauty of eating vegetables instead of meat commonly pass as condescending to his subjects, the people of Zimbabwe.

Previously to the contrary,  his acolyte known as Jamwanda 2 on the Twitter streets released the President's pictures aboard a luxurious Dubai-chartered aircraft eating mazondo, popular among African males for their perceived aphrodisiac tendencies.  

From the podium, he pretends is a common man who eats like a commoner, all fibs. Zimbabwe's economy  is in doldrums and availability of basic foodstuffs is a challenge and meat generally is viewed by the populace as a luxury many cannot afford.

In addition, Mnangangwa went on to expose himself as a leader out of touch with the day to day running of his self-selected cabinet. He said, he only reads in the newspapers that school fees  for public schools have not been hiked. Alas! What hogwash!

During Mugabe's tenure, cabinet ministers once cherry-picked to serve the people by the President, they would hit the ground running. No corner of the world did not know Mugabe was an intelligent man even though he ran the country aground in the later years. Still,  the rumour mill says cabinet ministers always had a torrid time dissecting issues when giving Presidential briefings.

In fact , the encounters were  billed to be intense so much so that Mugabe- who disliked badly dressed officials, a snappy dresser himself,  took personal notes in notebooks asking questions giving incumbents a good run for their money. The man from Zvimba had no personal friends when it came to government business. He had a high IQ and expected equally the same from subordinates.

Nevertheless, the tough love for ministers ensured excellence no wonder MDC A President Nelson Chamisa drew international prestige when Mugabe himself described him as a ' supersonic minister', credit to his trailblazing initiatives under the Ministry of Information and Communication Technologies under the Government of National Unity(GNU) engineered by President Thabo Mbeki of South Africa after a fallout on election results in which MDC T outrightly won the plebiscite. Zanu PF could have none of it instead chose a perceived high road of powered sharing.

Mugabe  as President took no mediocrity for normalcy regardless. Chamisa was and is still a brave man with drive and determination to get work done.

Legend also says firebrand lawyer Tendai Biti' s bodyguards would eventually knock on the President's door when he gave such briefings as Finance Minister. The two would be grossly enomoured in fruitful discussions with Mugabe gleaning gold nuggets of information from a technocratic subordinate given a mandate on merit.

Today, that is non-existent.

We have seen a Presidency populated with bootlickers, friends, relatives and recycled deadwood from previously failed assignments making it some chiefdom with no benchmarks or vetting processes for leadership roles.

And here we have a whole Munangagwa, scarf and all showing free reign to cabinet ministers. I would assume, a President does not leave anything to fate and fortune. A country cannot be left to happenstance. There should be support systems to monitor and help ministerial performances.

But in our case, any Tom Sawyer can be adventurous and pass for a minister. It is a jamboree!

In one recent speech, rally women in Kuwadzana are heard interjecting him, to which Munangagwa completely plays to the gallery. An able President should pre-empt topical issues on people's minds That is leadership! Munangagwa is then taken to task on pertinent affairs like council bills, and bond coins, which they say are largely seen as trinkets on the market with many shop owners refusing acceptance.

True to his militant style, Munangagwa says coins are legal tender, in a clean snub to basic economic fundamentals.

Moreso , he even went on to say had it been a fact that people ok Kuwadzana are responsible for a drought spell in the country, he would have unleashed the army on them.

The sick joke though passed as such was innuendo enough. It was the final straw that broke the camels back, a tacit testimony the bucks stops with the President when  it comes to daylight killings by the army of unarmed civilians witnessed in the country since he forcibly came to power in a November coup in 2017.

Zimbabwe is a military state with a pseudo- democracy with callous Munangagwa at the helm; Fact!

This man from Midlands is utterly out of touch with realities happening in Zimbabwe, supposedly because he travels in luxurious convoys and junkets around the world in chartered posh jetliners. He also has a coterie of bodyguards perhaps cocooning him from facing off  the common lives  of ordinary citizens.

Munangagwa's utterances should at least be Presidential. Aides should help him improve his public speaking personae. Zimbabwe cannot afford a leader who is erratic,ureliable, clueless on burning national issues.  In Muammar Gadaffi style , he rambles for hours with no substance said. If he cannot be good himself, he at least deploy technocrats around him to guide and posture his standing to the world.

His public speaking is atrocious unlike other world leaders. He comes nohwere near his predecessor Mugabe who had a mastery of language, intelligence, and had the best speech writers of which he never let down. Most Mugabe speeches are archive material for their devastating eloquence. Munangagwa is atrocious. In a country once touted to have the best brains on the continent, it is preposterous to have him at world fora as a country representative.

With utmost respect, the country knows his unwavering contributions to the country but having had to walk under the shadows of veteran Statesman like Mugabe for decades, it is natural to expect nothing short of excellence from him.

The gibberish the world is getting from him  could be confirmation Mugabe had seen better not to groom and appoint him as an able successor to carry forward a legacy of liberation. Mr President we expect a lot better from you! You cannot afford the luxury of desecrating the Presidency by reckless speech blunders. We have had one far too many and it would be prudent to stick to prepared speeches.

Oratory is a natural gift, all of us cannot be articulate. But the world has people like Barrack Obama, history has Adolf Hitler, Bernito Mussolini, Winstone Churchill and Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King et al.

From the region, Mr President Sir, you could borrow a leaf from your very own political nemesis Nelson Chamisa, Julius Malema and Musi Maimane even much of it is pertinent rhetoric. Nonetheless, they sway public opinion in their favour.
Get your ducks in a row Mr President. Zimbabwe is battered and needs fixing as soon as yesterday.

Josiah Mucharowana is a Zimbabwean trained journalist living in Pretoria. Feedback; 27 84 587 4121

Source - Josiah Mucharowana
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