New Cab­i­net: Mer­i­toc­racy vs empty loy­alty

Sunday News (Zimbabwe) - - Front Page -

ON Fri­day Pres­i­dent Em­mer­son Mnan­gagwa ap­pointed a new cab­i­net with new faces that is ex­pected to usher in fresh poli­cies that will steer the coun­try for­ward es­pe­cially in the eco­nomic front.

His cab­i­net has more tech­nocrats than be­fore and is a com­plete de­par­ture from the old Zanu-PF cul­ture of re­cy­cling old horses, a cul­ture punc­tu­ated by a strong syn­drome of re­ward­ing loy­alty. Ma­jor ca­su­al­ties in­clude Cdes Obert Mpofu, Pa­trick Chi­na­masa, Si­mon Khaya Moyo, Sim­barashe Mum­bengegwi, Mike Bimha, among oth­ers who also in­clude Supa Mandi­wanzira.

The new cab­i­net has been lauded by many who felt it was bal­anced with level headed in­di­vid­u­als ca­pa­ble of de­liv­er­ing the coun­try from its shame­ful naked­ness brought about by years of pol­icy in­con­sis­ten­cies and cor­rup­tion that was al­lowed to sprout with reck­less aban­don.

Peo­ple have ex­pressed con­fi­dence in the new cab­i­net on var­i­ous so­cial me­dia plat­forms with much talk on the Fi­nance and Eco­nomic De­vel­op­ment Min­istry that is now headed by Pro­fes­sor Mthuli Ncube who they say is Pres­i­dent ED’s win­ning card.

An­a­lyst Mr Methuseli Moyo said the cab­i­net was the best un­der the cir­cum­stances. He said the Pres­i­dent must be com­mended for be­ing able to drop the tra­di­tional names while at the same time mov­ing those who re­mained to new port­fo­lios in some cases.

“The ap­point­ment of Pro­fes­sor Ncube at Fi­nance is an in­di­ca­tor of se­ri­ous in­ten­tion by the Pres­i­dent to deal with eco­nomic and fi­nan­cial up­heavals in the coun­try. The ap­point­ment of Raj Modi and Kirsty Coven­try goes a long way to prove that ca­pa­bil­ity, not age, colour or gen­der will be recog­nised in the new dis­pen­sa­tion. Again the cab­i­net is bal­anced in terms of re­gional rep­re­sen­ta­tion,” said Mr Moyo.

On cor­rup­tion he said he hoped the pieces with can­cer have been cut out. He added that there was need for very strong su­per­vi­sion by the rel­e­vant au­thor­i­ties to en­sure that the can­cer of cor­rup­tion does not per­sist.

Cor­rup­tion has in re­cent years been threat­en­ing not only the re­main­ing ves­tiges of the coun­try’s so­cial or­der but has tat­tered its moral fi­bre leav­ing it thread bare and caus­ing a se­vere eco­nomic ret­ro­gres­sion whose ef­fects are seis­mic and felt by all.

Cor­rup­tion has be­come can­cer­ous in both the pri­vate and public sec­tors of the coun­try with politi­cians not spared by the rot ei­ther. It has be­come ram­pant al­most em­bed­ded and an ac­cepted way of life for the Zim­bab­wean so­ci­ety.

The ex­tent to which it has spread is such that it can be en­gaged in openly de­spite the known le­gal con­se­quences that have rarely been ef­fected making it look very petty es­pe­cially in most Govern­ment de­part­ments where peo­ple ex­pect to get kick­backs for a job they are em­ployed to do.

Like Mr Moyo, Zim­babwe Anti-Cor­rup­tion Com­mis­sion (ZACC) chair Com­mis­sioner Good­son Nguni said Pres­i­dent Mnan­gagwa’s ad­min­is­tra­tion was

se­ri­ous and more de­ter­mined to fight cor­rup­tion than the pre­vi­ous ad­min­is­tra­tion as ev­i­denced by the sup­port he was giv­ing to ZACC.

“We would like to thank the Govern­ment led by Pres­i­dent Mnan­gagwa for sup­port­ing us. The pre­vi­ous Govern­ment failed to as­sist and sup­port us and they were even re­fus­ing to fund us for our op­er­a­tions,” said Comm Nguni.

He added that with the fi­nan­cial sup­port that they re­cently got they were go­ing to em­ploy more of­fi­cers and set of­fices coun­try­wide while plans were afoot to set up a Spe­cial In­ves­ti­gat­ing Team that would tar­get com­pa­nies and banks in­volved in shady deals.

The eco­nomic dan­gers of cor­rup­tion no mat­ter how small are so many. Ac­cord­ing to a mar­ket brief by the African De­vel­op­ment Bank, cor­rupt prac­tices dis­tort mar­kets and sti­fle eco­nomic growth and sus­tain­able de­vel­op­ment in­clud­ing rob­bing coun­tries of crit­i­cally needed re­sources. It re­duces ef­fi­ciency and in­creases so­cial in­equal­ity while cap­i­tal has a strong ten­dency of shy­ing away from risky mar­kets where cor­rup­tion is ram­pant.

The in­crease in cor­rup­tion cases in Zim­babwe has been re­pelling for­eign di­rect in­vest­ment which Zim­babwe so much needed to turn around its econ­omy with al­le­ga­tions that govern­ment and public sec­tor bu­reau­crats in the pre­vi­ous po­lit­i­cal ad­min­is­tra­tion were de­mand­ing bribes if an in­vestor was to gain en­try into cer­tain sec­tors of the coun­try’s econ­omy.

This had an ad­verse effect of in­creas­ing the cost of do­ing busi­ness in the coun­try thus frus­trat­ing and turn­ing away in­vestors in the process. As a re­sult of damn­ing re­ports of cor­rup­tion, the com­pet­i­tive­ness of Zim­babwe in at­tract­ing for­eign di­rect in­vest­ment was se­ri­ously com­pro­mised as for­eign in­vestors make use of global cor­rup­tion in­dexes be­fore they de­cide on where to in­vest.

Zim­babwe has been per­form­ing ob­scenely on the global cor­rup­tion in­dex while the Zim­babwe An­tiCor­rup­tion Com­mis­sion (ZACC) has of­ten been re­ferred to as a tooth­less bark­ing bull­dog as it has al­ways been com­pro­mised and fail­ing to pros­e­cute politi­cians as a cul­ture of im­punity be­came se­ri­ous.

The new po­lit­i­cal ad­min­is­tra­tion has how­ever, given heed to pro­pos­als to ad­e­quately fund the com­mis­sion and give it enough am­mu­ni­tion and ar­rest­ing pow­ers to deal ef­fec­tively with is­sues to do with cor­rup­tion with­out fear or favour and with­out re­spect­ing po­lit­i­cal of­fice through avail­ing funds to en­hance ef­fi­ciency in the fight against the scourge. The com­ing in of a new po­lit­i­cal dis­pen­sa­tion

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Dr Mthuli Ncube

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