via Zimbabwe is doomed with this cabinet | The Zimbabwean by Arnold Tsunga 18.09.13
A few pointers on why Zimbabwe is doomed with the new “old” Cabinet.
A casual glance at the record of some of the new “old” cabinet ministers with power positions in government will show that the country is going nowhere and that the 31 July 2013 national election failure has potential for national calamity of proportions that are too ghastly to contemplate.
Defence Ministry: Sydney Sekeramayi
He is also a career politician who can not do anything other than being in parliament and cabinet. He has worked with the intelligence services and is one of those responsible for converting the intelligence services from being a national institution into a para-military and para-intelligence force that terrorises its own citizens and limits the enjoyment of freedoms and human creativity. His repressive instinct seems to come out of deep ignorance and cluelessness on how to overcome the country’s challenges and advance the country to compete globally. He is one of those including Dydimus Mutasa who believed that diesel could come out of a rock in Chinhoyi!
Homes Affairs Ministry: Kembo Mohadi
Mohadi has a strange history. He was one of those that was terrorized by Mugabe when he was still with ZAPU. He was arbitrarily arrested and detained for months in 1985. He was severely tortured by Mugabe’s police and intelligence and bitterly complained of this then. Dave Coltart and the then Lawyers Committee for Human Rights (US) have an excellent record of this. Somehow Mohadi seemed to have taken this personal tragic experience to be a lesson on how to run and lead the police force and treat other innocent and unarmed people. He has presided as Minister of Home Affairs at a time when the police force has had one of its worst records in terms of human rights violations. Under his watch two departments of the police force have degenerated into para military forces, the Law and Order Section and the Police Internal Security Intelligence (PISI) These two sections have corroded public confidence in the police force. They have become an extension of the military wing of Zanu (PF). PISI operates as Zanu (PF)’s machine to profile opponents and set them up for attacks and persecution while the Law and Order Section operates to give PISI teeth by providing the boots and manpower to demolish enjoyment of fundamental rights, free expression, association and movement. Thousands and thousands of innocent human rights activists, democracy activists and legitimate political opponents have suffered and continue to suffer under Mohadi’s oversight of the police and home affairs. Thank to ZLHR the full effect of Mohadi’s failure to professionalise our police force has not been felt. One of the most unfortunate results of Mohadi’s lack of leadership to professionalise the police force has been the culture of selective application of repressive law by the authorities and resultant corruption and impunity.
Information Ministry: Jonathan Moyo
He was Minister primarily responsible for the demise of free press. He presided over the enactment of the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act (AIPPA) and the Broadcasting Services Act (BSA). Under his leadership, we had the highest number of journalists arbitrarily arrested and detained; wrongfully dismissed and administratively punished; denied the right to practice journalism. We had VOP bombed, printing press bombed, newspapers such as Daily News banned. Judge Majuru was hounded into exile for ruling in favour of the Daily News and judge Nare received death threats. Attorney General rep’s house was raided following granting of bail to foreign journalists. Andrew Meldrum was declared a PI. He spews hatred and propaganda and has no desire for the country to prosper.
Finance Minister: Patrick Chinamasa
He presided over a period that resulted in serious public loss of confidence in the judiciary and justice administration. He personally presided over the purging of the judiciary working with such people as Chinotimba (now parliamentarian) to harass judges including the then Chief Justice Gubbay at the Supreme Court. His lack of leadership on the rule of law front resulted in the country recording the highest number of resignations from the judiciary and justice system, including judges, magistrates, Attorney Generals, law officers, prosecutors and others. He eroded the independence of the judiciary in many ways including, threats, withdrawal of security, public utterances, lack of resources, underpaying as well as an opaque selection, appointment and disciplining process that created patronage. He also starved constitutional commissions of resources to make them functional and relevant to society e.g the Human Rights Commission or the Anti-Corruption Commission or the Zimbabwe Election Commission.
As Minister of Finance he presided over Zimbabwe’s economic collapse and fostered a culture of economic impunity. He presided over the printing of the Z$ into extinction and failed to control an errant Reserve Bank Governor. The country experienced the highest inflation ever globally. Industries closed, agriculture collapsed, unemployment was at its highest nationally since during and post colonialism, public services stopped such as schools, hospitals, clinics.
He has lost in every election except this one where he benefitted from opposition disorganization that resulted in him barely scrapping through even though the combined vote of Dr Makoni and Sangandire in Makoni Central exceeded his. He sings for his supper and owes his survival to Mugabe’s patronage system. That is why he barks the loudest against Western imaginery ghosts even as his new portfolio needs him to be smarter when dealing with the international community. Just around his appointment instead of taking advantage of the goodwill expressed by the EU ambassador to dialogue on matters of governance, he set up the machinery to summon the EU ambassador and worked in collaboration with Jonathan Moyo to mount a serious attack on the EU at a time he should have been planning on an engagement strategy.
Local Government: Ignatius Chombo
He has presided over the worst performance of service delivery by local authorities in the history of the country. He has taken it upon himself to disagree with the peoples choices for Mayors and councilors and wrongfully and unlawfully fired many mayors and councilors in order to instill fear in councilors, employ his own under the guise of special appointments. Mayors Mudzuri (Harare) and Brian James (Mutare) are a good examples. He is also believed to have corrupted many councilors. His divorce papers showed that his wealth is not commensurate with his income as he has many assets including immovable property in virtually every local government. His expansive personal wealth can only be explained on the basis of corrupt practices. As a result of poor services delivery, Zimbabwe experienced a cholera and other water borne diseases epidemic threatening the security of the rest of the SADC region. This may happen again. Many places in urban areas including Dangamvura-Chikanga have had no water since election results were announced. The confidence in the recovery of local governments has all but disappeared with this appointment which inspires absolutely no confidence at all. Chombo continues to use the Town Clerks and Council management to undermine elected councils and introduces a culture of impunity and lack of accountability at the local level. It is difficult to imagine how different revival plans for city’s under the MDC councils will be implemented when Chombo will use every opportunity to introduce disharmony between elected councils and council management if only to achieve political mileage for ZANU PF ahead of the next elections.
Transport Ministry: Obert Mpofu
Believed to be easily one of the richest people even though demonstrably also one of the most underpaid. His wealth is believed to have come out of corrupt practices. He presided over the illicit trade in diamonds and other special minerals. Circumvented the fiscus in minerals revenue. Fostered the culture of economic impunity that currently pervades a section of society, the economic and political elite. Now we might as well kiss goodbye to the improvements of our roads and other transport infrastructure as his personal appetite for resources will compete with the national priorities.
Agriculture Ministry: Joseph Made
He presided over the decline of Zimbabwe from being the bread basket of Africa into a basket case of Africa. He presided over a period of the worst national performance in agriculture pre, during and post colonialism. He personally designed and implemented a policy of expropriation of assets of disliked people without compensation. He manipulated a genuine grievance on land inequalities to convert it into political fodder to maintain ZANU PF in power and used people like Chinotimba, now his parliamentary partner to terrorise unarmed civilians and implement a racist policy and drive thousands of farmers and farm workers into abject poverty and homelessness that was aggravated by the operation murambatsvina (drive away the filth). He was believed to have stopped chickens imports from RSA and made the country to import from Brazil where he had financial deals. He is dangerous to the recovery of our agriculture.
Justice and Legal Affairs Ministry: Emmerson Mnangagwa
His claim to fame is shrewdness, ruthlessness and absence of mercy. He superintended over the genocide that took place in Matabeleland and Midlands in the early 1980s just after independence. The perpetrators are known. The victims are known. The perpetrators including him as bearing responsibility for such genocide roam the streets free. He is the ultimate epitome of national impunity for serious human rights violations. He seems to be going to stop at nothing to become the national president with such a horrific culture on governance, human rights and the rule of law. He is a dodgy character who is very secretive and with such an impunity driven background will not benefit from strengthening of the rule of law and institutions that are necessary for independent and impartial administration of justice and the law as well as to fully implement the principle of equality before the law.
It is clear therefore that this cabinet will not perform unless a miracle happens or there is a serious paradigm shift. It is a cabinet that has demonstrably presided over Zimbabwe’s spectacular collapse from being a leading nation in Africa into a laughing stock globally. It is a leadership that is generally corrupt and does not believe in strong systems and institutions. They believe in strong men. This creates a culture that is fertile for perpetuation of a corrupt system of government, where there is no good governance and no respect for human dignity and human rights. It’s a typically immediate-post-colonial frame of mind cabinet where the focus is historical and not the future of this country in the context of a changed and changing world.