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Please buckle up, this is Flight Zimbabwe

10 Dec 2014 at 07:43hrs | Views
Emmerson Mnangagwa, Joice Mujuru and Sydney Sekeramayi are/were the longest serving ministers in the Mugabe government who have/had been there for 34 years. Mnangagwa only had a brief stint out of cabinet when he was generously elevated to speaker of parliament after dislodgement by Blessing Chebundo from his safe haven in KweKwe. Thereafter, a custom-made constituency called Chirumhanzi-Zibagwe (or is it Zibabwe-Chirumhanzi) was invented specifically for him. The rest, as they say, is history.

Given the close proximity of these three to President Mugabe before and after independence, occupying very senior positions where they were all alternately entrusted with the sensitive ministry of defence, it remains a mystery how anybody would realise after 34 long years that his longest-serving lieutenant and a deputy for a decade is incompetent, corrupt and a witch.

Dzikamai Mavhaire, a long time retired ordinary teacher, was extricated from the jaws of poverty to head the critical ministry of Energy and Power Development with his nemesis posted to Psychomotor something despite reservations by the generality of progressive Zimbabweans. Joseph Made, remains one of the most outstanding ministers in terms of ineptitude. Ignatius Chombo and Obert Mpofu would have long been guests at Hotel Chikurubu if corruption was indeed a crime. The list is endless.

It is this kind of duplicity and disingenuity that Zimbabweans must be seized with instead of being carried away by what is clearly a fa├žade designed to create a dynasty in our political dispensation. Under normal circumstances, President Mugabe, being the micro-manager he is, would have identified and addressed performance-related issues in his executive many years ago when his mental capacity and physical stamina were more coherent than they are today.

In the corporate world, CEO's are normally given three to five years to prove their worth otherwise they are shown the exit door. If companies waited for 34 years to ascertain the performance of a Chief Executive Officer or Managing Director, they would all resemble Cold Storage Commission, Zisco Steel or Zim Alloys as we know them today, dead and buried.

Corruption, incompetence, ineptitude, sycophancy and patronage have been ZANU PF's DNA since time immemorial. For this reason, President Mugabe has managed to exercise strong and ubiquitous control over his ministers and other appointees including those in civil service and the security establishment. Somewhere in his archives, he has mountains, literally, of evidence against his lieutenants that he waves as and when it suits him. It just happens that this time around, it is Mujuru and her backers' turn.
Consequently, it sounds bizarre when the opposition movements is quick to extend the welcome of the biblical forgiving father to the disgraced ZANU PF rejects who have been forced out of power in droves. These men and women are tainted beyond redemption. They know it, President Mugabe knows it and we all know it. They are all part of a negatively entrenched organisational culture that ZANU PF represents, in its current form.

Those who used to vociferously parrot sanctions as the root cause of our economic crisis must now hang their heads with shame. The government, for 34 years, has been run by incompetent and corrupt sycophants who are now being purged more for their aspiration to succeed the master than their disastrous and protracted crimes. I don't know why it hasn't been obvious to Joice Mujuru and her backers that President Mugabe's wish, dream and plan is to die in office. This is not without precedent; he kept his visibly ailing deputies Joshua Nkomo, Simon Muzenda, Joseph Msika and John Nkomo until they all dropped dead on the job from where they were ferried straight to the national shrine. What has changed?
While her simplicity, affability, motherliness and non-violent character is not in doubt, Joice Mujuru does not seem to have the intellectual capacity and stamina required for a country trying to emerge from a monumental crisis like Zimbabwe. Having grassroots support and a decent executive following, on its own, is just not enough. This is where some in the opposition get it wrong. They think grassroots support and public gallery popularity is everything in politics, it is not. Effective strategies and counter-strategies are paramount, especially in this day and age.

Mnangagwa, even if he happens to miss out on the big job, has demonstrated to Mujuru and cabal that a combination of strategy and intellectualism is a big part of the power game. Nevertheless, having been a critical cog in the executive that has systematically destroyed what was once dubbed the Switzerland of Africa, he is equally culpable. What Zimbabwe needs is a new direction, a new thrust, a new leadership and a new agenda; transformative leadership, so to speak. Perpetuation of the status quo is simply untenable.

Those who have been thrown out of the ivory towers and sent home to "grow potatoes" must now reflect seriously on what Zimbabweans have been saying for the past 34 years; which is that the majority of the people have been neglected while "chefs" were busy lining up their pockets. If they start selling tomatoes and airtime on the streets despite some of them having post-graduate degrees, they will probably conceptualise our perennial plight and aspirations better. Probably, they will join us in our quest and thirst for genuine change one day. It is never too late for Damascene.

In the meantime ladies and gentlemen, let us buckle up for the strong turbulence ahead. To make matters worse, there is an inexperienced co-pilot in the cockpit while the captain is catching a nap. This is Flight Zimbabwe!

Moses Chamboko is a pro-democracy activist and interim Secretary General for Zimbabweans United for Democracy (ZUNDE). You may visit ZUNDE at or email

Source - Moses Chamboko
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