President Ruto, there’s nothing African about not holding Mnangagwa to account!

Source: President Ruto, there’s nothing African about not holding Mnangagwa to account!

I am pretty sure President Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa was chuffed hearing his Kenya counterpart speaking last week.

Tendai Ruben Mbofana

This was at the official opening of the ZITF (Zimbabwe International Trade Fair), when President William Ruto was full of praise for the Harare administration, in particular its economic trajectory.

Of course, for most of us who are adept at reading through various situations, especially speeches and written work, it was clear that most of what Ruto said was told him by the Zimbabwe government.

There was no denying the fact that the Kenyan head of state had very little to zero prior understanding and knowledge on Zimbabweans affairs.

I strongly suspect he had to rely on his hosts for what to say.

I see this a lot in my work as a writer and editor.

It is not very difficult to tell that specific parts of a university dissertation or book have been plagiarized due to the manner in which certain information or facts have been presented.

An experienced eye can quite readily deduce that the writer does not actually understand what they have written on account of the particular information, simply having been dumped on the page without much independent analysis.

This was what I concluded with regard to Ruto’s speech – as he spoke about the new ZiG (Zimbabwe Gold) currency and how it was ostensibly backed by gold and various other mineral resources, which he proceeded to name.

In the midst of his unrestricted optimism for Zimbabwe’s economic trajectory, he was clearly vague on the details, thereby betraying his shallow understanding of what he was actually saying.

Notwithstanding these glaring discrepancies, what I found more disturbing was something else totally different.

Why are African leaders incapable of telling the truth?

Maybe it will be considered impolite and even outright rude telling one’s hosts the truth straight in their faces, more so when it is hard to swallow.

If I am to visit a friend or relative’s home – knowing fully well that his irresponsible and callous behavior was adversely affecting his family – what should I do?

Should I keep my views and thoughts to myself – despite seeing that what my friend or relative is doing is not only wrong but downright cruel?

As a matter of fact, would it be more appropriate for me to shower him with undeserved praises whilst waxing lyrical over his imagined great leadership in the home?

These questions are more relevant when I know that I am a responsible person who is leading his own family well – yet electing to watch my friend or relative take his down a slippery slope.

Is that the African thing to do?

How different is this example from what we witnessed with Ruto’s visit to Zimbabwe?

This is a man who leads a country where the GDP (Gross Domestic Product) for 2023 stood at US$416 billion – whilst Zimbabwe languished at a measly US$38 billion.

The annual inflation rate in Kenya for 2023 was at an impressive 7 percent – yet we boast of one of the highest in the world, which we have decided to rig by combining its calculation with the US dollar.

In Kenya, the IPL (International Poverty Line) for 2023 stood at 16 percent – when in Zimbabwe, 47 percent of the population is classified as living in extreme poverty by the UN.

Unemployment in Kenya is a paltry 5.5 percent – with ours reportedly around 90 percent, as most people seek survival as street vendors.

Why then would Ruto believe it is the right thing to do to visit Zimbabwe and gloss over the undoubted ruinous nature of the Mnangagwa administration?

Is that how those who love their brethren do – cover and sweetened over his destructive tendencies?

If Ruto genuinely loved the people of Zimbabwe, he should have addressed the elephant in the room.

He should have spoken against the rampant looting of our vast national resources largely by those in the ruling elite.

I am sure that as a clever man, he would have easily found more civilized and diplomatic ways of conveying this message.

However, pretending as if there was nothing terribly amiss in Zimbabwe was totally unacceptable.

Besides, was he not the one who even went to all the trouble of listing our minerals during his ZITF official opening speech?

Did he ever bother wondering how a country so richly endowed could be so poor?

In spite of his flimsy attempts at joining the laughable ‘sanctions must go’ bandwagon, he should have known that Zimbabwe’s minerals were not under any trade restrictions whatsoever.

As a matter of fact, the Chinese are freely pillaging our gold, diamonds, and lithium to their hearts’ content as they were given carte blanche by the Mnangagwa regime.

In all this, Zimbabweans remain some of the poorest people on the planet.

Is that what Ruto is so pleased with about Zimbabwe?

It is time Africans learn to tell each other the truth.

We have witnessed in utter shock similar acts by SADC heads of state – even in the face of their own report detailing shameful electoral fraud in Zimbabwe.

There is nothing loving or even polite about watching in silence as your own friend or relative does the wrong thing.

It is actually irresponsible, cruel, and cold-hearted.

● Tendai Ruben Mbofana is a social justice advocate and writer. Please feel free to WhatsApp or Call: +263815667700 | +263782283975, or email: For my biography visit Wikipedia: