Mugabe set precedence for nepotism, corruption

President Robert Mugabe has publicly condemned nepotism yet gave powerful and rewarding positions to members of his family. When nepotism is executed by the highest office, then it will definitely be practised in the lower offices with little or no consequences. Opinion: Zanda Shumba

Source: Mugabe set precedence for nepotism, corruption – NewsDay Zimbabwe October 14, 2016

In the same manner, Mugabe speaks against corruption but never lifts a finger to curb it. When he is accused of stealing elections, he sets an unhealthy precedent to ministers, all government workers as well as those in parastatals.

Mugabe has shown that he is not interested in fair play by not permitting transparent and free elections to enable Zimbabweans to choose a desired leader. He continues to forcibly impose himself on Zimbabweans for his personal glory and benefit, and such benefits include the unfettered latitude he has in appointing people he desires to certain key positions of government. This unrestricted leeway gives him immense power and many literally worship him in a bid to curry favour.

Recently, Mugabe’s son-in-law Simba Chikore was appointed to the post of chief operations officer (COO) at Air Zimbabwe. The announcement was made by Transport minister Jorum Gumbo. This position is an inch away from the post of airline boss. This is a lucrative post and will definitely guarantee a steady income for the family of his daughter, Bona. Chikore benefits immensely during this period of high unemployment in country, a situation created by Mugabe himself through recklessly policies. With high unemployment rates, social media is awash with ridicule on how insensitive and self-centred this action is. Mugabe has always behaved selfishly. He has also neglected the health delivery system, which has deteriorated to its lowest levels in the country, while he flies out to get world class treatment in Malaysia. Giving Chikore a top job smacks of nepotism.

Through Mugabe’s influence, Grace Mugabe managed to elbow out Oppah Muchinguri from the top women’s league job.

Leading the Zanu PF women’s wing came soon after she had “graduated” with a PhD from the University of Zimbabwe after studying towards it for just less than three months. Mugabe is the Chancellor of the University of Zimbabwe.

Leo Mugabe, the president’s nephew was at the helm of the Zimbabwe Football Association, Zimbabwe’s soccer governing body for more than two decades, buoyed by his uncle to such a position. Secret service agents, presence at the body’s elections always cowed other candidates and manipulated the process in favour of his continued stay at the soccer body. His prolonged tenure is attributed to the current soccer standards in the country, having been corruptly mismanaged for long just like the uncle has mismanaged the economy. Now another distant nephew runs the soccer body and players get paltry remuneration.

Patrick Zhuwao was appointed body chairperson to the forestry commission for close to a decade. His tenure at the commission witnessed rapid deterioration of our timber reserves in the Eastern Highlands. His tenure coincides, not accidentally, with the period of rapid and unchecked lumbering in the history of Forestry Commission in Zimbabwe.

Very little replanting of teak trees was being done, so we may be forced to importing timber in the near future as the trees take on average 25 years to mature. There were many Chinese firms logging during his tenure and even now, with sophisticated machinery to cut down trees and process the timber on site. The situation is so bad that in May 2016 a Parliamentary committee was appointed to check on the rapid dilapidation of timber in the Eastern Highlands. Zhuwao has vowed that his uncle will rule until 2023 though many see this as nothing more than a pathetic wish for someone who stands to benefit from Mugabe’s continued stay in power.

Vice-president Emmerson Mnangangwa also arm-twisted the Zibagwe constituency electorate, terrifying them with unspecified actions to vote for his wife Auxillia, to fill a parliamentary seat he had vacated.

Such is the pattern resulting from the influence and power that keeps Mugabe going even when he can now hardly walk.

It is unimaginable for him to relinquish so much authority. But Zimbabweans are in a protest mode and it may not be long before the protests to oust the present government become nationwide. Zimbabweans have at last learnt from Mugabe’s excesses that there cannot be rights without social responsibility. They have realised, though a little late, that most of their freedom lies in reining Mugabe or limiting the executive powers in general. However, the constitution of Zimbabwe gives immense power to the executive so that reining the executive will be achieved through trimming executive appointing powers to make the incumbent accountable to his boss, the people of Zimbabwe.


  • comment-avatar
    Mazano Rewayi 6 years ago

    Unless something dramatic happens, this cancer takes a few generations to heal if experiences elsewhere are anything to go by. Once a nation takes this route, turning back is difficult. We continue to hope.