Zimbabwe’s leadership failure: Vince Musewe

via Nehanda Radio – Zimbabwe’s leadership failure: Vince Musewe Feb 07, 2014 By Vince Musewe

The graft and corruption that is now being unearthed means that the President has failed to do his job.

The main responsibility of any President must be to effectively preside over the affairs and administration of the country. In order to achieve that, the President appoints ministers who should be appointed on merit.

Their responsibility is not only to ensure that government policy is effectively implemented, but to ensure that it is effectively administered and in line with the constitution and the laws of the country including adherence to the national budget.

In addition, the President is provided with all the resources he needs to ensure that he is effective in carrying out his mandate according to the constitution.

The President is even provided with high level security and all the necessary comforts to ensure that his decisions are objective and serve the interest of the country first. This is to ensure that he stems corruption, fights graft and is not easily influenced or swayed in making decisions that may prejudice those that seek to disadvantage the interest of the country as a whole.

The graft and corruption that is now being unearthed means that the President has failed to do his job.

President Mugabe should take full responsibility for the failure of public institutions to serve the needs of the country, including the mismanagement of state enterprises and our national resources. Of course those he has deployed to manage our economy have failed in their dutybut they should be answerable to him and him alone.

Unfortunately the unearthing of the monumental deception committed through abuse of public funds is now being framed as a victory for ZANU (PF), which is most absurd. How can the very people who produced this vomit get the credit for finally cleaning it up?

The MDC-T, including its President, must also take responsibility for its failure to highlight and expose the fleecing of state enterprises and national resources during the GNU. This is not the time for excuses.

It is just not good enough to say we knew about it but we could not do anything about it. Of course ZANU (PF) prevented the effectiveness of the MDC-T their rival in the GNU. However the minister responsible should still have done something about it.

The least he could have done is to expose it. But, once more, he has excuses and refuses to also take responsibility. This, again, shows how our leaders continue to blame circumstances for poor performance and failure to deliver.

All this, and the recent nearly violent and abusive reaction of MDC-T youths including some of its leaders to calls for Tsvangirai to retire have shocked me to realise that our politics are really not about competence or delivery. Rather they are more about popularity, and if necessary, threats of violence against those who may see things differently.

This has also happened in ZANU (PF) mind you. We have seen supposedly intelligent and mature people avoiding the discomfort of the truth and failing to challenge Mugabe’s leadership incompetence, despite everything showing that this country is facing catastrophic failure because of mismanagement from the top.

Instead they must pretend that all is well, as long as they have their perks and keep their positions.

This is the culture that we are faced with; a culture that has nothing to do with performance but rather a culture of fear and always shifting the blame; a culture of avoiding the inconvenient truths. It’s comical because if you criticise ZANU (PF) you are an agent of the West, and if you criticise MDC-T you are an agent of ZANU (PF). And so the circus continues. How ridiculous!

Unfortunately this culture has now permeated all sectors of our society including the private sector, where our executives earn huge packages, avoid tax but cannot meet payroll obligations. At this rate, it will surely take eons for us to create a modern statein Zimbabwe. It is true then that the people will always get the leadership they deserve.

I had a very interesting conversation the other day about the nature of our politics. The poor masses provide the numbers during voting time,and that’s where it ends. This explains why a bag of mealie meal can buy a politician unfettered five years in power.

The masses seem easily swayed by foolish things. As a result, the quality and standards of our leaders are not really challenged; the masses will deliver the vote anyway, so why worry?

As long as this is the case, we are unlikely to see a vibrant democracy and a modern state where our leaders are accountable and do not always blame someone out there. We must break this pattern.

The one solution we have is to establish a new democratic mass movement but the challenge will remain on how we get the masses, especially our exuberant youths and rural folk, to understand their responsibility and the need to value leaders not because of their names or history, but on their competency and on what they can do for Zimbabwe in the future.

It will take educating the masses and forcing them to realise that unless we change the game, they will continue to be taken for a ride as electoral fodder.

Zimbabwe needs new vision and a new ethos in politics that puts Zimbabwe first and continually challenges our leaders to behave and be accountable.

Without that, I do not foresee any improvement both in our political discourse and democracy.

The people come first!

Vince Musewe is an economist and author based in Harare. You may contact him on vtmusewe@gmail.com



  • comment-avatar
    holy moyo 10 years ago

    We are reading and seeing abominable grand looting of the country by Zanu pf small fry.And the money they have looted over the past years is stagering
    How about Mugabe.He did not even have a teaspoon at independence in 1980.
    Where did he get the billions he has stashed overseas.Where did he get the millions to buy houses in HongKong and all over Asia for himself and his children.Where did he get 15 farms.Where did he get the multi millions to build an obscenely expensive Palace in the midst of all the sufferring in Zimbabwe.
    Where did his prostitute Disgrace get billions to be Super rich overnight.
    Mugabe and his family are the leading thieves and looters in Zimbabwe.They upbto their necks in corruption.They set the stage for their henchman to follow.Mugabe is the number one corrupt person in Zimbabwe.He deals in patronage..Its foolishness to think he does mot know about it.He is up to his scrawny ears in looting.
    Holy Moyo

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    Tafadzwa 10 years ago

    Mugabe does not care. He will comment when next he get to heroes Acre to bury one of the looters. This is someone who had to be reminded to say something after the death of Mandela.

    Look at other leaders like Obama, he will not hesitate to take ownership of a problem like the example of the Obamacare debacle, yet Mugabe will promote the Chombos after repeated scandals. The only time Mugabe will open his mouth is to insult Tsvangirai or George Bush.

    What will never cease to amaze me, is those educated people in ZANU(PF) singing praises of Mugabe.

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    BaMuno 10 years ago

    If it was in China all these corrupt officials should have been hanged because they have already killed indirectly in people dying of cholerae ,diseaes and hunger let alone medical defiency.Where is the CEO of the country when Rome is burning?His silence to all the graft revelations is deafening.Indeed the above commentator is right in saying he is an active participant by looking at the wealth he has accumulated.The chief hyena gets a share from all hyenas so you cant expect him to protect the goats.We need to get rid of all the hyena pack to start afresh.

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    John Thomas 10 years ago

    Serveral articles ago Vince clearly indicated he is on board with the indigenisation agenda. To now moan about corruption is hypocracy. The indigenisation policy is a child of our corrupt polity. You cannot eradicate the one without the other.

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    Mr Musewe, are you actually a black man and are you also a Shona man and where do you stand within the tribalist section ?

    • comment-avatar
      Mthwakazi 10 years ago

      I tries very hard to avoid the subject of Shona tribalism; yet he loves talking about national unity. I dont know what kind of unity he is refering to.

      Its a case of the guilty being afraid, as I see it!!

      Some among the Shona cause national disharmony and disunity through tribalism; yet they are always talking about unity. Its madness really.

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    Gondobwe 10 years ago

    It doesn’t matter whether Vince Musewe is MuBudya, Ndebele, Karanga, Zezuru, Shangaani or Muchewa. Vincent is a Zimbabwean who writes about pertinent Zimbabwean issues. Comment on the issues, not the person.

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    sarazim 10 years ago

    Very well written article. Unfortunately the looting starts with Mugabe. It’s also now so massive I doubt any perpetrator will ever be brought to justice.

  • comment-avatar
    Mthwakazi 10 years ago

    1. You will never have good leaders as long as you continue to vote on tribal lines. As long as you prioritise being Shona as the main criteria for leadership, Zim as a country will never go anywhere;

    2. Both MDCT and gukurahundi ZANU PF collaborated to make sure efforts to revive industries in Bulawayo came to naught. The mess that is ZISCO today is because the MDCT and ZANU felt the success of tge transaction with Essar would boost Welshman politically. They did everything together to ensure it never succeeded – the plight of the workers and the people of Redcliff was of no interest to them;

    3. MDCT collaborated with gukurahundis to frustrate Welshman and the MDC, ignoring SADC resolutions. Now that they have been used by the gukurahundips and then kicked in the face, they are back crying to SADC seeking renewed relevance;

    4. MDCT collaborated with gukurahundi ZANU PF in staging the July 2013 elections funded through stolen diamond money because they thought they were guaranteed of an electoral victory. They are unprincipled, corrupt just like their gukurahundi counterparts. They only complain when they are left out of the feeding trough!!


    • comment-avatar
      Zombi 10 years ago

      It’s remarkable hope some people fail to separate issues. What in this article has suggested this tribalism that you are so emotionally rambling about. It’s like you’re writing your own article altogether.

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        Mthwakazi 10 years ago

        You are a zombie for sure. Vince is talking about leadership in Zim and their failings. Clearly this talks to the quality of leadership the country has. Everything is interelated my friend, there is no separation of issues needed here. Shona gukurahundi tribalism is the core of Zimbabwe’s problems. It is responsible for all these multiplier effects we see in the form of one disaster after another.

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      soothsayer 10 years ago

      Mthwakazi, tell that to Jonathan Moyo,Simon Kaya Moyo to mention but a few ndebeles;

      • comment-avatar
        Mthwakazi 10 years ago

        Those people you mention are indeed part of the problem, but they are insiginificant due to their numbers.

        Even if they were to withdraw from the gukurahundi party today enmasse, that wont change anything. So the core problem is Shona gukurahundism and you know it!!

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    Havanyani 10 years ago

    The short answer to vincent’s quest for a new democratic dispensation in Zimbabwe is to address what he correctly identified as the main cause of our problems. Robert Mugabe must dismount from the people’s back. No other solution will work. Not land reform. Not educating the masses. Not indigenisation. The masses are Africa’s most educated. Farm grabs and indigenisation have driven away capital and entrenched the self-interest of ZPF functionaries.. Corruption and bad governance cannot be eliminated when they are being promoted from the top. Since we have failed to remove the man for so long now, our only choice is to hope natural processes achieve this for us soon. Otherwise the failure of leadership is now an ingrained national malaise generally. It is rather odd though that Jonathan Moyo, in spite of his lack of core principles, seems to make a difference wherever he is assigned. He triggered this corruption expose. You may want to consider him for a bridging leader as we head towards recovery. Just a thought.

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    Mprang 10 years ago

    Mugabe should just accept reality and take a successor before its too late. Dr Simba Makoni is a man who have clean hands.

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    Chari Gombo 10 years ago

    Mugabe should just know that with ministers like Chombo , hewill go nowhere.