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At what stage does a president concede he has failed?

28 May 2023 at 16:02hrs | Views
If I were the president of Zimbabwe - what would I be expected to do under these circumstances?

The country goes for an average 20 hours each and every day without electricity, and most urban areas enduring months or years with no potable water in their homes.

The economy is on a dizzying downward spiral - with the official exchange rate hovering at ZW$1,900 to US$1, whilst the inflation rate reportedly north of 700 per cent (although other estimates places this at well over 1,000 per cent).

I will not even bother with the 'real' exchange rate - being the parallel market's ZW$3,500 to the greenback, which is commonly used - since the official rate is terrible and nightmarish enough for a country desiring to be taken seriously.

Which is what makes the entire 'sabotage' claim by the Zimbabwe regime outrageous and laughable - since the government's own official exchange rate is in itself horrifying.

Are those in power, with their sabotage story, seriously trying to tell the nation that, it is only the parallel market ZW$$3,500 to US$1 that is unacceptable - but the RBZ's ZW$1,900 is normal and alright?

Honestly, from which planet are these people?

In the same vein, medical facilities have become death traps - lacking essential life-saving necessities, as radiotherapy machines and chemotherapy treatment for cancer patients - or even the most basics, in the form of paracetamol, antibiotics, or surgical tools.

What would I be expected to do as the one presiding over such an embarrassing mess?

Would the most logical thing not be to resign, forthwith?

Surely, who, in their right mind, would opt to stubbornly stay on - or even believe is actually worthy of another term in office - after governing over such monumental failures?

Yet, that is exactly what we witness, in utter disbelief and horror, transpiring in our country.

Honestly, for what reason does President Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa feel that he has done such a brilliant job - despite all the obvious mayhem, chaos, and disaster being observed all across the country?

Why would he be so convinced that a nation with such shocking economic statistics is the result of commendable work, deserving of another five years in power?

Yet, in other countries we have seen leaders leaving offices for much less.

Did British Prime Minister Boris Johnson not vacate 10 Downing Street on 7th June 2022 - due to several parties held in his office during strict COVID-19 lockdowns - which he was accused of wilfully violating?

His successor, Liz Truss, did not stay long at the same address - after her finance minister Kwasi Kwarteng promised a massive slashing of taxes for the highest earners and biggest corporations - triggering the greatest drop in the British Pound's value in a long time.

Let me hasten to mention that the British Pound's fall was about 5 per cent.

This could easily be regarded a joke - when compared to the spectacular freefall of the Zimbabwe Dollar - which can drop by over 100 per cent overnight, over and over and over again.

Not only that, but half of the Zimbabwean population are living in extreme poverty (earning less than US$1.90 a day), and more than two thirds below the poverty datum line.

As the prices of goods skyrocket on a daily basis - moving farther and farther away from the reach of millions of ordinary citizens - can this ever be described as 'normal'?

This, while those in the corridors of power and their cronies make all the wrong and most disgraceful headlines - as fingered in all manner of corruption and looting of national resources.

Imagine what the over US$2 billion this country is prejudiced each and every year - through the smuggling of our minerals (as gold, diamonds, chrome and lithium), and illicit cross-border financial flows - could do for our comatose health delivery system or educational institutions.

Yet, our own president still sees absolutely nothing amiss or to be 'unnecessarily' concerned about - as he goes on as if he is performing an outstanding sterling job!

In fact, he wants to repeat the same feat for five more years!

That is why I ask the question, "At what stage does a president finally concede that he had failed, and needs to do the right thing and pass on the baton to others?"

This is not an unfair proposition at all.

In fact, one of the main reasons I love including my own personal anecdotes in my writings is to show that I practice what I preach - since I never want to hold others to standards, by which I myself can not abide.

I have mentioned before that I resigned from a relatively good well-paying job with an NGO, based in Belgravia (Harare) in 2013 - mainly because I felt I was falling awfully short of expected deliverables.

Of course, back then, I still had little experience in advocacy work - as opposed to the phenomenal knowledge I now possess, gained over the years - as such, was finding the going tough.

If there is one thing I will never do, it is to reap where I never sowed - which means that, expecting to be paid for work that was not satisfactory done, is akin to stealing.

As a fervent Christian, my God commands: thou shall not steal.

In fact, it goes far beyond that, but borders on the cruel and heartless - since below par performance also scuttles the broader objectives of the collective - which, subsequently, adversely affects the intended beneficiaries.

That is why I find it extremely intolerable and deplorable that a head of state would stubbornly and arrogantly remain in office - in spite of the damage to the country, and untold pain and suffering to the broader population, his warped policies are causing - all for the selfish love of power and desire for personal enrichment.

This is nothing short of sadistic and callous!

Any normal person should be able to see that what we are experiencing in Zimbabwe  are unforgivable unmitigated failures - that have ruined the lives of ordinary Zimbabweans - and the most logical thing is to concede and acknowledge this undeniable fact.

The buck always stops with the leader - and no amount of fault-shifting is acceptable.

Surely, how much deeper should our country sink, or the citizenry suffer - before someone somewhere finally accepts that the situation is no longer tenable?

Something has to finally give!

© Tendai Ruben Mbofana is a social justice advocate and writer. Please feel free to WhatsApp or Call: +263715667700 | +263782283975, or email: , or visit website:

Source - Tendai Ruben Mbofana
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