New Cabinet: Meritocracy vs empty loyalty
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