Mr. President, a leader who doesn’t take responsibility is useless!

Source: Mr. President, a leader who doesn’t take responsibility is useless!

As I was listening to President Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa delivering his independence speech, all I could do was shake my head in shame.

Tendai Ruben Mbofana


Not particularly surprising, he boasted about what he regarded as his government’s success stories – particularly in the mining, industrial, and agricultural sectors.

This, notwithstanding the fact that there has not been any discernible benefit to the people of Zimbabwe from the vast mineral resources we have been blessed by the Almighty God.

Instead, the Chinese have been awarded carte blanche to pillage our gold, diamonds, and lithium with scant regard for both the environment and local communities.

Mnangagwa does not even seem to care that allowing our minerals to be exploited with reckless impunity has resulted in the flooding of international markets, thereby contributing to the reduction of commodity prices.

Be that as it may, our people are still some of the most impoverished in the world in spite of over US$12 billion in revenue being acquired through these vast resources last year alone.

What we have witnessed in utter shock, however, are poor villagers forcibly evicted from their ancestral lands without any meaningful compensation.

Zimbabwe infrastructure is an unforgivable embarrassment in the eyes of the world – where nearly everything, (including roads, schools, hospitals, power generation stations, and major buildings) are all falling apart.

Regardless of Mnangagwa’s claims of Zimbabwe becoming an agricultural giant, an estimated 6 million ordinary citizens (about half the population) are facing unprecedented hunger this year.

If our agricultural sector was such a success story, as the president wants us to believe, then the country would have had more than enough to feed everyone despite the drought.

Yet, he was forced to make the humiliating decision to declare the drought a state of national disaster – thereby reducing Zimbabwe to begging for international assistance.

What disgusted me in Mnangagwa’s independence speech more than anything else, though, was his failure to acknowledge his government’s shortcomings.

In a country where 47 percent of the population lives in extreme poverty, faced with seemingly unending economy hardships, one would have expected the head of state to step up and take responsibility.

Is that not what great leaders do?

In fact, was that not what the late former US president Harry Truman meant when he declared: The buck stops here?

Nevertheless, true to Mnangagwa’s nature, he opted to blame supposed sanctions, the drought, and the COVID-19 pandemic.

No one can deny that these, especially the El Nino-induced drought and COVID-19 pandemic, have caused some problems for our economy.

However, there is another undeniable truth.

The Mnangagwa administration’s own mismanagement of the economy and high propensity for corruption have caused even more damage.

Why not acknowledge that fact?

We all make terrible decisions in life.

In fact, I have never sought to hide the ruinous decisions I have made in my own personal life.

I have written and even made videos chronicling my past struggles with alcohol some years ago and other irresponsible behaviour, such as promiscuousness.

These have contributed to the way I messed up my life through poor choices.

I have never sought to blame anyone else or some life tragedy or external factors.

I could have so easily pointed the finger at the failed economy, or the ruling ZANU PF and Mnangagwa himself, or the fact that I was bullied and sexually abused as a child.

However, I elected to take complete responsibility for my own life and the decisions I have made.

That is how I managed to turn around my life into the man I am today – enjoying years of total sobriety, faithfulness, and responsible living.

This phenomenal transformation could have never happened had I not taken responsibility for my own actions and the resultant failures.

The same applies to Mnangagwa and his regime.

Zimbabwe will never ever come out of the mess it finds itself in without honest introspection on the part of its leadership.

As long as Mnangagwa elects to blame everyone else – including so-called sanctions, supposed detractors, drought, or even COVID-19 – then we are not going anywhere as a country.

He can change currencies like underwear or attack perceived enemies at every gathering – but that will never lift millions of Zimbabweans out of poverty.

Only when he finally acknowledges his own shortcomings can Zimbabweans begin to entertain some hope for a better tomorrow.

This should lead to the genuinely clamping down on the plundering of our resources and an end to his regime’s mafia mentality.

The continued denial on the part of Mnangagwa shows that we have failed useless leaders in Zimbabwe.

They are totally the wrong people to take the nation into the proverbial land of milk and honey.