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Mnangagwa, please calm down and be a sober leader

29 Dec 2021 at 05:27hrs | Views
DEAR President Emmerson Mnangagwa.

Your Excellency, the intensity of the fire and fury you unleashed on the blogger, who posted on social media that you had proclaimed the lockdown was extreme.

As I see it, it was arrogant.

Methinks it was overboard, typical of despots.

Surely, your response struck me as having gone to the extremes of the norm of Presidential tolerance. It smashed societal expectations of the sensibility of the occupant of the highest office on the land.

Your Excellency, it was, indeed, unthinkable for you to instruct intelligence personnel to pursue and apprehend him. It was uncalled for you to breathe fire, exhibiting neither restraint nor temperance.

Cold shivers went down my spine when you demanded a lengthy prison term for the blogger.

Even the festive season merriment, which is upon us, could not calm you down. Zimbabwe can never be open for business when you fly into a rage over an incident which can be dealt with calmly.

Moreover, being misquoted, once in a while, is not uncommon for someone in leadership, including the President. It is precisely for such reasons that the media publishes apologies and retractions. It is a misdemeanour that does not warrant the reading of the riot act.

Ordinarily, intelligence agents are well versed with their mandate. With all due respect, they do not require instructions from anyone, let alone the President. It diminishes prospects of a fair trial for the accused given that the uppermost office would have demanded  stern action.

Apparently, the Constitution states that an accused is presumed innocent until proven guilt by a properly constituted court of law. Notwithstanding that the blogger had not verified the accuracy of his message,  your interference was uncalled for.

Your Excellency, the outbursts towards the blogger were counterproductive. They were contradictory to the balance and deportment of a leader desperate to lure investment. Oftentimes my search for the listening President, who is soft as wool draws blanks.

Be that as it may, my commiserations go to the blogger, in particular and lovers to human freedom in general. A society that does not accord citizenry the right to err is undemocratic. It cannot be inhabited by us, mortals.

Your Excellency, had you been unleashing such ferocity on perpetrators of corruption, Zimbabwe could have long been an investment destination of choice. She would have been transformed into a Garden of Eden, flourishing with mega deals.

If December is to be remembered for intolerance it would be that of the presidency to divergent views — the blogger and chief chastisement rank topmost in that regard.

A traditional chief from Masvingo, who warned you of  a possible coup if you did not act on corruption, aroused venomous vitriol in the Presidency. The chief, was roundly condemned and threatened with investigation.

His alleged offence was basically the expression  of his opinion which was guided by a compelling sense of nationhood, as well as innermost conviction, to relay to the President the possible consequences of his inaction, which include electoral defeat.

His speaking out was described as an act befitting that of partakers of an illicit brew. Yet, all he did was to warn you of a possible coup if you do not act on corruption.

Essentially, the chief raised concerns over corruption which has gone unchecked for a long time.

Never has there been a chief who spoke out gallantry against corruption as he did.

He complained of the prevalence of graft, adding that citizenry are fed up.

He implored the thieves surrounding you to stop amassing wealth at the expense of citizenry.

Yet, his well-meant speech ignited anger in the presidency which seethed with intolerance.

It could not be coincidental that barely three days after his speech,  chiefs were summoned to a meeting where they were told of one Munhumutapa who has to be respected.

If ever the presidency detected any traces of madness in the chief's speech, methinks they could only be attributable to the perception of a presidency which has become insensitive to the plight of the citizenry.

Yet populace duly expects a leaders endowed with wit and wisdom.

Actually, the chief felt duty-bound to convey to you the reality that citizenry is burdened by the socioecomic meltdown beyond endurance.

Sadly, the castigation of the chief was a classic case of brutalisation of the messenger.

Your Excellency, citizenry expect profound calmness from you.  As I see it,  it augers well for you to ponder over the wisdom of President Woodrow Wilson who said: "Democracy allows us to hold counsel with one another so as not to depend on one man."

     Cyprian Muketiwa Ndawana is a public speaking coach and motivational speaker. He can be contacted on

Source - NewsDay Zimbabwe
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