via Cabinet needs reshuffle: Dongo – DailyNews Live by Margaret Chinowaita 7 MARCH 2014
Outspoken former legislator Margaret Dongo has called for a Cabinet reshuffle to get rid of ministers that were superintending over parastatals offering “obscene” compensation to chief executives.
Dongo’s comments may fuel the uncertainty facing President Robert Mugabe’s government as it tries to fix an ailing economy and curb corruption.
A reshuffle could increase tensions in the ruling Zanu PF party, which has struggled to deal with graft and factionalism.
But some supporters of a reshuffle say it may be the best way to disarm criticism of the government’s record in tackling corruption by giving Mugabe a bigger stake in the ruling party’s success.
“It is not too late or too soon to do a Cabinet reshuffle,” the ex-freedom fighter told the Daily News yesterday.
“We have indicators to call for an investigation of all the parastatals, thanks to Jonathan Moyo who first brought out the rot at ZBC.”
The former Zimbabwe Union of Democrats (ZUD) president said “the fish rots from the head” so the ministers should be sacked.
The media has in recent weeks exposed sensational details about managers of State-owned firms earning millions of dollars in salaries while the economy stutters, among them Premier Service Medical Aid Society (Psmas) paying its chief executive officer Cuthbert Dube close to half-a-million dollars a month.
The former MP for Harare East said the parastatal bosses were earning way more than their entitlement
She spoke a day after the Daily News reported that junior doctors in government service earn a paltry $283 a month.
“Does Zimbabwe have a salary structure for private and public entities?” Dongo asked.
“What would a graduate have to do to make sure that he would be paid that much? I calculated the ratio and established that graduates are being paid a ratio of 1:94 to these chief executives.”
The lack of proper salary structures was leading to abuse of the system, Dongo, who hoped to oppose President Robert Mugabe in the 1996 presidential elections but did not meet the minimum age requirement of 40 years, said.
“People who are selfish and greedy have exploited the system,” she said.
“They are stealing within a legalised position.
“But what surprises me is that there are people who processed the salaries of these bosses but they never spoke about it. Someone could have blown the whistle but there is an element of fear of the unknown. The civil servant or officer automatically feared, the fear of uncertainty. The system is wrong.”
Lest we forget
In 1975, at the age of 15, Margaret skipped secondary school and journeyed on foot to neighboring Mozambique to join guerrillas fighting to liberate Zimbabwe (then Rhodesia), from British colonial rule. She received her military training as a medical assistant at Chimoio training camp. After the training, adopted the Chimurenga (liberation war) nom de guerre Tichaona Muhondo (“The Battle will Decide”). Dongo served at Doroi camp and ran the camp’s hospital. From 1977 to 1978, she served in the Tete province of Mozambique, receiving and treating guerrilla fighters injured on the frontlines.
Independence and Politics:
After Zimbabwe gained independence in 1980, Dongo worked in various capacities for the new majority government.
She served as a receptionist with the Zimbabwe Inter-Africa News Agency (ZIANA) from 1980 to 1982. From 1982 to 1983, she worked as a Hansard proof reader for Jongwe Printers. Dongo served in the President’s Office as an intelligence field officer from 1983 to 1990. In 1990, she co-founded the Zimbabwe War Veterans Association, a national organization dedicated to promoting the rights of marginalised veterans of Zimbabwe’s liberation str
Dongo served as an elected Member of the Parliament of Zimbabwe from 1990 to 2000. She was first elected on a ruling Zanu PF ticket in 1990. As a rookie MP, Dongo distinguished herself by fearlessly challenging the Zanu PF leadership on corruption, human rights, democracy and the rule of law. As a result, she had a fallout with the leadership. The party sought to silence her. During the 1995 parliamentary election, the party dropped her as a candidate for the Harare South parliamentary seat.
Dongo refused to be silenced. She contested as an Independent against an official Zanu PF candidate. The election was rigged and she lost. But successfully challenged the results in the High Court of Zimbabwe, forcing a re-run. Dongo won the re-run, becoming the first Independent MP in post-independence Zimbabwe. She served until 2000.
Throughout her service as an MP, Dongo unreservedly spoke for marginalized Zimbabweans. She served in key parliamentary committees, including the Public Accounts Committee, Indigenization Committee, Library Select Committee, Parliamentary Reform Committee, Government Assurances Committee and Standing Rules and Orders Committee. Dongo authored or supported various pieces of legislation.
In the early 1990s, the Zimbabwean government purchased some farms from white commercial farmers on a “willing buyer, willing seller” basis. In parliament, Margaret requested a list of the purchased farms and the use to which they were put. The list she received, which the media and activists later christened the Margaret Dongo List, revealed that the government had given the farms to Zanu PF officials, instead of landless people. The revelation highlighted the corruption which marred the initial stages of Zimbabwe’s land reform program.
Rights Activism & Community Development:
After earning her masters degree from Harvard in 2002, Dongo returned to Zimbabwe where she continues to advocate for human rights, democracy and the rule of law. From 2003 to 2011, Dongo coordinated the Women Development Projects, HIV/AIDS, Manicaland, funded by the UN Association of Sweden.
In 2006, Dongo challenged Zimbabwe’s Guardianship of Minors Act in the Supreme Court after the Registrar General had barred her from assisting her son to apply for a passport. The Act deemed the father of marital children is their only legal guardian. Dongo teamed up with the Zimbabwe Women Lawyers Association (ZWLA) and argued that Zimbabwe wrongly and unlawfully denied married women the right to help their minor children acquire passports. They argued that Guardianship of Minors Act discriminated against women on the basis of their gender, and violated provisions of Zimbabwe’s constitution. In a landmark decision in 2010, the court ruled that both men and women who are custodians of minor children can assist those children to obtain a passport. Women can now assist their children to apply for passports.
International Work and Affiliations:
Throughout her career as a politician and rights advocate, Dongo has worked with numerous international organizations concerned with democracy, human rights and governance. She’s a current member of the Global Coalition Committee for Africa (GCA), Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (IDEA) and the World Movement for Democracy (WAD).
From 1995 to 2000, Dongo served as a committee member of the African Democracy Forum (ADF), an Africa regional network of WAD, Commonwealth Parliamentary Association and the Southern African Development Committee (SADC) Parliamentary Forum.
Priscilla Misihairabwi-Mushonga is a Zimbabwean politician and former member of the House of Assembly for Glen Norah. During her time as Glen Norah’s MP, she also served as the shadow foreign minister for the Movement for Democratic Change. When the party split in 2005, she remained with the MDC formation, and was elected Deputy Secretary-General of that party. She has been representing her party in the Zimbabwean political negotiations.
In 2009 she was appointed Minister of Regional Integration and International Cooperation, in the government of national unity in the 2011 MDC congress she was elected the party’ Secretary General a position she will hold up to the next congress in 2016. She is the MDC chief representative at JOMIC (Joint Monitoring and Implementation Committee) and COPAC the Constitutional Parliamentary Committee a committee in charge of writing the Zimbabwean constitution.
She was widowed after her husband Dr Christopher Mushonga died of injuries sustained from a botched robbery.
These two ladies are allowed to speak because they have sacrificed…
Hutu I agree. Please keep on reminding us.
Very well. But, a reshuffle? Seems the Cabinet needs integrity. If they are merely replaced with others to take their own turn at the feed trough, nothing changes for Zim.
There needs to trials… legitimate criminal trials. Solid evidence collected and presented by competent prosecutors to gain convictions, require restoration of stolen funds and assets, require restitution for harm, and become examples to scare the others to mend their ways and break their ties with graft and corruption.
The current situation is that continuing corruption has sucked the Zim economy dry. No industry, no jobs, no justice, failed infrastructure, failed leadership, failed state. ZANUPF has wiped Zim from the map of world economies.
The war was never about improving the lot of the people… “independence” was merely a cover to commit the biggest robbery in modern history.
FALLENZ are you saying no to a recycle? So am I brother we are tired of recycling the same junk.
Yeah, Doc… something has to change, and we not talking about just swapping old names for new. A motto for those who would bring Zim back from the brink: “Honor, Integrity, Service”… but, as you have pointed out, it takes more than words.
Cabinet does not need a reshuffle. Government needs to resign in shame! end of story!
Dongo was, is and will always be my hero. She is one unique woman who calls a spade a spade. She saw the currently Zimbabwe situation problem and spoke about it then well before people could even dream about the so called opposition parties. A real none bootlicker who saw evil and spoke against it against all odds. Unfortunately she found no supporters within ZANU because the train was too gravy to disembark. If were had 10 people in cabinet then, today Sweet Zim could be a far much better country to live in. Not these Simba Makoni fake revolutionaries who appear surprised that there are port holes in Harare on BBC and the Chamisas bootlickers who have no idea when and where to use the name of God.
Love her but is she really under 40.how old was she in 1980?
Dongo is and will always be a hero. But she should mobilise all the veterans and talk to them about the evil Zanu. It is no good saying all this now knowing the rot was there already. Her voice then would have made a hell of a difference come election times.
I have a lot of respect for these women
reshuffle?? we need a completely new deck of cards, including the king.
Unfortunately cabinet reshuffle does not mean new comers. It’s just means giving the same corrupt idiots different posts. Mugabe cannot get rid of himself. The whole lot must go and that includes MDC leadership. I do admire Dongo’s stance against the intransigence of the zanu dinosaur, but in this case she should realise you cannot change the criminality in Zanu.
Indirectly Dongo refers to the head of ZANU , he is the one who needs reshuffling and then the rest will follow.
Margaret Dongo where are you politically – your country needs fearless leaders of your calibre.