Mnangagwa rose to power in a move that is to all intents and purposes a coup d' etat though he and his cohorts decided to sanitise it as the removal of a corrupt cabal around Mugabe. The manner of his of his ascendance aside, Mnangagwa promised Zimbabwe and indeed the whole of the world that in fact he was ushering a new dispensation characterised by, among others, an observation of human rights, sound economic policies which would usher in prosperity amongst the country's population, an absolute no tolerance of corruption and political freedoms unheard of in the country's history. For those naïve and gullible enough to fall for the serpent's sweet tongue, this was indeed going to happen. Indeed during the brief period between when he seized power in November 2017 and when elections were held in July 2018, some semblance of the promised could be sensed in the air.
Not until the conclusion of the 2018 plebiscite did Zimbabweans and indeed the whole world suddenly realised that Mnangagwa is in fact Mugabe-lite. The results of the polls like any other Zimbabwe before were disputed. High ranking members of the opposition who decided to become vocal about elections irregularities were given the same treated that Mugabe meted out on those that opposed him. Tendai Biti was chased after like a reveller after a Bacchanalian orgy! For simply stating that the elections were stolen, he was hounded out till he sought refuge in neighbouring Zambia from where excitable members of the country's security forces heavy-handedly fetched him to fetch the law back home. Subsequent protests held by the opposition yielded the same results like during the Mugabe era- body bags, a couple with broken limps at the hospitals and a number behind bars. All in the name of the new dispensation.
After being declared the winner of the elections by hook or by crook, Mnangagwa promised to appoint a very lean cabinet of technocrats that could usher in a period of economic period that the country yearned for. Short-lived! A full cabinet of twenty ministers was appointed with very few deputy ministers. Not until he realised that some of his comrades were jobless that he decided to again stretch the cabinet to almost reminiscent of the Mugabe era. His Midlands homeboy Owen Ncube was brought to lead the dreaded ministry of intelligence. Two more ministers were brought into the vice presidents' offices. With Jorum Gumbo failing to the keep the lights on at the ministry of energy, he was kicked upstairs to head a vague ministry in the presidency with all benefits kept. In his place came in Chasi to shore up the fortunes of the ministry. Hitherto the lights are still off but the latter still keeps his post. Fast forward to a reshuffle in 2019 and Mnangagwa's spirit of expansionism continued. Some ministries were split up and the number of deputy ministers was increased dramatically. Useless ministries starting cropping up again like Daniel Garwe's social amenities. Dubious characters like Tinoda Machakarika of Wedza, Chiwenga's homeboy made it to the cabinet. The top civils service has also not been spared in the expansion drive. Kitikiti and Wekwete were brought into the presidency under very unclear circumstances. All this while the whole populace suffered under the auspices of austerity for prosperity!
Yet Mnangagwa's expansionism did not end in within the realms of cabinet and his office. Some of the longstanding party bigwigs were deployed at the party's headquarters the shake-shake house. It from there that most of the raw and half-cooked policies that the government policies originate. The likes of Obert Mpofu, Munyaradzi Mangwana and Sydney Sekeramayi have been deployed on the exactly the same perks enjoyed by their cabinet colleagues. The exact number of these deployees is not known but could be anything up to ten. They are claims that they are paid from the party's coffers which I doubt. Within the bounds of the government some useless ministry from the Mugabe era were kept. Legend has it that they are being spoiled by the oil baron Kudakwashe Tagwirei explaining while Mnangagwa summarily cashiered the youth league's spoiled brats when they dared labelled the philanthropic Kuda corrupt. Yet the business of business is business. If Kuda is a business worthy the salt, why does he have to spoil the Zanu PF's deadwood at shake-shake house. I smell a rat.
The ministry of information was maintained manned by none other Monica Mutsvangwa deputised by the evergreen Energy Mutodi. Ndabaningi Mangwana was imported from the UK to be the ministry's permanent secretary. Meanwhile erstwhile permanent secretary was taken to the presidency but with the same mandate- propaganda. And what exactly did Kazembe X2 used to do at the ICT ministry? He could heard be hallucinating about 4IR, information security. Ha hum! Now that he has been shunted to the home affairs portfolio, at least he can grapple with passports backlogs, police uniforms and threatening the opposition. But the fruitless and wasteful ministry of ICT still remains.Yet Mnangagwa appointed a cabinet of the crème de la crème of the country. Flashy resumes were displayed of the likes of Professors Mthuli Ncube, Amon Murwira, Paul Mavhima, Doctor Nzenza and ex-servicemen SB Moyo and Perrence Shiri. With such appointments that nation got the false sense that Zimbabwe had become of age. They were gravely mistaken. Before the ink of his appointment letter could dry up, Mthuli Ncube announced that importers of motor vehicles should pay for their duty in forex. More policy announcements from his cabinet portfolio and its allied reserve bank in the macabre shape of scraping the use of forex and the declaration of the source of forex for importers had to follow. Not to be outdone, Obadiah Moyo at the health ministry dismissed doctors for striking, news come out of Mangaliso Ndhlovu failing to present a business proposal to a delegation of Chinese. Meanwhile on the eve of the opening of schools in 2020 the ministry of education indicated that there wont be any school fees increment. Then it was to be at most 20%. Eventually it came to market related all in a space of a fortnight. Not to be outdone, the provincial ministers also competed to hog the limelight for all the wrong reasons. From the east Ellen Gwaradzimba become known for grabbing farmland. From the south Ezra become famous for making tonnes of rice disappear and bragging about the murkiness of democracy claiming that even elections in America are not clean. With the economy in tailspin, the once highly-rated cabinet has been reduced to a mere bunch of rootless cultural bastards groping in darkness for lost identity. There you have it- a new old dispensation.
Yet the behaviour of the president himself is not helpful at all. For starters his Christopher Columbus globe-trotting syndrome is not only symptomatic of that of his predecessor, it is unnecessarily draining the fiscus. One day to Rwanda to learn the Kagame way of leading a country in the 21st century, another one lecturing an empty auditorium at the UN on human rights, another one looking for investors from not-so-fashionable Belarus, and yet another in the Emirates courting the wealthy Emirati investors. At the end of the day work done equals zero like a pendulum. With no reforms instituted at home to address policy inconsistencies, a debilitating power crisis, crumbling infrastructure and rampant corruption, all the investments jaunts are reminiscent of the Mullah looking for car keys misplaced in the house in the streets where there is light at least.
A Mnangwagwa here a Mnangagwa there exactly the Mugabe way. Whereas we had become accustomed to Mugabe' s cabinet as a collection of his and Gucci's relatives' kangaroo court , now we have a number of Mnangagwas in prominent places. Tongai is ruling in Harare South, David is board member at the National Building Society. Yet a niece is running a shoddy bureau de change! And the 2030 ndinenge ndichipo mantra, a copy and paste from Mugabe's Baole chief does not know his successor theory.
Meanwhile the bond dollar is losing power every second and the economy is in a tailspin. Food is in very scarce with the agriculture giving one assurance after the other with no tangible progress on the ground. Instead of coming up with concrete and helpful actions to alleviate people's suffering what we get are useless jokes from the serpent- "I eat vegetables and potatoes only, I eat a lot of meat from my farm, I built a state of the art mortuary in Kwekwe". We are not new to these Oldman's yarns and boyish tales. Remember his predecessor used to tease our brothers and sisters who decided to vote with their feet and sought greener pastures that they went to scratch old people's backs in the United Kingdom. Yet his not-so-bright banker Gideon Gono was busy milking the same emigrants through Honelink. Tough game! The man is scrambling for endorsement by the country's man of the cloth. One of them allegedly his relative dared to tell us that Mnangagwa is godsend. Same lies that the departed Wimbo wanted us to believe. There was nothing predetermined or inevitable about the rise of either Bob and or the croc, only that since nature abhors a vacuum, some periods in history throw at us infernal creatures who with the help of self-seeking accomplices and rent-seeking renegades go on to occupy the centre stage. Mnangagwa also goes on to tell us that he is a member of an apostolic sect and will request his fellow members to pray for the rains. We have been down that road with Mugabe with no fruits at all. The whole flirtation with the so-called independent African churches bishops has nothing to do with their religiosity. It is simple a symbiotic relationship wherein they get undue recognition from the government and get some pieces of land. In return, they indoctrinate their gullible flock to vote for Zanu PF. Most of those sects are merely family businesses disguised as churches. The Mugodhi sect pandemonium is a graphic illustration of the point. How do you have the bishop button passed from grandfather to father then to grandson when it is God's project? Why are the other church members not of the leadership ilk? First of all their routinely claim that God spoke to me when I was at such a place to start a church. Ooh our people follow them taking in lock, stock and barrel what they say. Yet evidence coming from their late opposite number's son (Jabulani Ndunge) is that a number of them got their divine powers from the departed Sekuru. Kurongerana as Hosiah Chipanga aptly puts it! What level of gullibility do you want?
If Mnangagwa was as calculative as his supporters claim, he should have quickly recalled all his ambassadors and replaced them with the bishops that he is busy playing bum jive with at State House. Since the latter have mastered the art of raising money from their congregants, they could play a crucial role in mobilising the much needed foreign investment from the different countries on the globe. While the duty of a government is to ensure that the country attains its millennium development goals- end child marriages, health for all for example, Mnangagwa is busy winking at the abuses of some of these churches marrying of early teen girls and preventing kids from going to school.
In Mnangagwa we have an Extremely Dysfunctional Manager!
Ishemunyoro Mupokosera is a member of the MDC Alliance
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