Bona Mugabe joined her father President Robert Mugabe in displaying a disGraceful cargo cult mentality by shunning the country’s health sector after choosing to travel more than 8 000 kilometres to Singapore to give birth to her first child.
Bona followed the well-travelled path of her father who shuttles to the Far East for a simple eye operation and apparently for prostate cancer treatment, further wasting public funds in the depleted national coffers in the process.
Mugabe told mourners at the funeral of Victoria Chitepo and Vivian Mwashita this week that Bona had decided to go to Singapore to give birth as she was educated there and was familiar with the doctors there.
This disingenuous reason fools no one and is actually an insult to the collective intelligence of Zimbabweans.
The real reason is their shameless cargo cult mentality, with associated unpatriotic tendencies, and that the First Family no longer trusts local health centres which have borne the brunt of the economic implosion caused by Mugabe’s chronic mismanagement and ruinous policies.
It is a damning indictment on Mugabe that he is now running away from the mess he has caused in the health sector which is so dire that some of the country’s hospitals do not even have painkillers. They have actually become death-traps.
Given Mugabe’s exhortations at last year’s Independence celebrations that civil servants must tighten their belts amid the tough economic environment, it is shocking that he rushes to the Far East every time he coughs for treatment, some of which he could easily access from local specialists.
Interestingly, Mugabe’s spok-esman George Charamba was reportedly admitted to a Singapore hospital recently during their trip to Japan.
As Mugabe urges Zimbabweans to tighten their belts, he is completely loosening and even removing his. This is hypocrisy writ large.
As one reader puts it: “If George Orwell was alive, he would write Animal Farm part two based on Mugabe’s rule alone”
Eight years after signing the toxic indigenisation regulations into law, Mugabe is still “clarifying” the law.
This week he further clarified the indigenisation law admitting that it confusing potential investors.
That it has taken him eight years to realise this is a reflection of the acute poverty of leadership this country suffers from and why Mugabe’s continued stay in power remains an albatross around the neck of the country’s economic development.
The clarification, which in fact amounts to obfuscation, is a classic case of closing the stable door after the horse has well and truly bolted as investor confidence has been significantly damaged.
It also brought comic relief though as in the process he left the excitable and trigger-happy sheriff of indigenisation, Patrick Zhuwao, the Indigenisation minister and Mugabe’s nephew, with egg on his long face.
He has been embarrassed and is now looking foolish after all the huffing and puffing.
Zhuwao has been on a warpath against foreign-owned banks, claiming they had not done enough to meet indigenisation requirements while castigating Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa for saying they had done so.
Mugabe literally told Zhuwao to shut up his big mouth.
“The banking sector shall continue to be under the auspices of the Banking Act, which is regulated by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe and the insurance sector under the auspices of the Provident and Insurance Act,” he said.
We feel sorry for Zhuwao who is clearly not taking it well shown by his childish storming out of a live radio discussion this week after Mugabe’s statement.
Revelations by Justice permanent secretary Virginia Mabhiza last week that government officials who were auditing the Constituency Development Fund were threatened with violence by legislators shows that the country continues to resemble a banana republic. Criminals are stealing and roaming the streets with impunity.
Mabhiza made the shocking revelations while giving oral evidence before the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Public Accounts where she was invited to explain irregularities found in her ministry by Comptroller and Auditor-General Mildred Chiri.
That the threats are coming from legislators who are expected to be custodians of the law is ample evidence that the law of the jungle has gripped the nation.
What is probably even more damning and shameful is that Mabhiza herself is afraid to reveal some of the information surrounding the irregularities unearthed by Chiri.
Mabhiza must name and shame the culprits.
Where are the police in all this, we wonder? Instead of wasting precious time on blocking lawful demonstrations, they should be seized with arresting offenders who are clearly an embarrassment to the nation.
Remarks by Labour minister Prisca Mupfumira that the Grain Marketing Board and the District Development Fund have diverted funds meant to feed the needy to their own use is yet more evidence that these parastatals are corrupt.
That they divert funds to, among other things, repair their own vehicles at the expense of hungry citizens shows the heartless nature of those charged with running these state entities and is further evidence why there is need for a complete overhaul of the useless management teams that run these parastatals.
The derisory offer by National Railways of Zimbabwe chairman Larry Mavhima to pay one month’s salary to striking workers who are owed over 15 months’ salaries bears further testimony to the chaos that continues to engulf state entities.
Parastatals have been destroyed by political influence, nepotism, mismanagement, corruption and incompetence.
It is no surprise that the farcical National Peace and Reconciliation Commission Bill has been dismissed during public hearings.
The Bill has been condemned by the Parliamentary Legal Committee because it gives too much power to the parent Justice ministry and takes away the independence of the commission.
The commission that has been set up is no more than a cosmetic gesture to give a picture of a government addressing past wrongs. Nothing shows that the Bill is a sham more than the clause that gives the minister powers to issue a certificate to stop investigations into any matter which he or she may deem not to be in the public interest.
With no parameters of what defines public interest, the minister can stop any investigation that harms his/her interests which is nothing short of scandalous.
That the Human Rights Commission cannot investigate human rights abuses that occurred before 2009, which include the Gukurahundi killings, Operation Murambatsvina and the political violence that cost the lives of scores of opposition party members, makes the whole process a joke.
The farce is also replicated at the Anti-Corruption Commission, which is yet to make any major arrest since it was set up and was almost evicted for failing to pay rentals. Unless there is a change in attitude, the toothless commissions will remain a waste of time and scarce public resources.
Police should arrest crooks not artists
The arrest of producer and actor Silvanos Mudzvova on Wednesday at Parliament Building in the capital for staging a one-man play titled Missing Diamonds, I Need My Share has once again shown the oppressive nature of the clueless police force.
The award winning Mudzvova said the 30-minute play was inspired by Mugabe’s remarks from his 92nd birthday that about $15 billion raised from diamond sales was missing.
It is a disgrace that police expend energies arresting actors instead of crooks who are responsible for defrauding the state of vital diamond revenues. It shows that democracy in Zimbabwe remains in the intensive care unit.
Surely it is not Mudzvova’s fault that Mugabe and his government slept on the job when they allowed diamonds to be looted under their noses and arresting him will not help bring back the diamonds that would have made a difference to the country’s faltering economy.
This misplaced wrath will continue to expose the police as enemies of democracy and accountability.