The ED Cab­i­net: An end of History

Sunday News (Zimbabwe) - - Front Page - The Pivot with Richard Run­yararo Ma­homva

THE week has been laden with colos­sal agree­ments and dis­agree­ments with re­gards to the Cab­i­net ap­point­ments made by Pres­i­dent Em­mer­son Mnan­gagwa.

On a fair scale of anal­y­sis, the new Cab­i­net ap­point­ments re­flect a rea­son­able bar­gain be­tween the State and the elec­torate.

From an­other per­spec­tive, the Cab­i­net rep­re­sents a re­branded struc­ture of gov­er­nance as this marks a de­par­ture from what oth­ers have re­ferred to as the “re­cy­cling of old wood”.

The 2018 Cab­i­net is also re­flec­tive of the much an­tic­i­pated dis­tri­bu­tion of roles be­tween the rul­ing party stal­warts and ex­perts drawn from other sec­tors out­side Zanu-PF.

The Cab­i­net also has an even de­mo­graphic spread which re­sponds to the gen­eral clam­our for youth and women’s in­clu­sion in pol­icy mak­ing.

The struc­ture of the new Cab­i­net also de­mys­ti­fies the erst­while re­ward of loy­alty which sub­jected the State to crit­i­cism for nepo­tism.

At the same time, this has neu­tralised the over­rated rhetoric on the mil­i­tari­sa­tion of the state post the civil-mil­i­tary en­gi­neered tran­si­tion which led to the ouster of the for­mer Head of State, Robert Mu­gabe.

An­a­lysts across the board have also agreed that this Cab­i­net has an in­ter­gen­der and in­ter-gen­er­a­tional bal­ance which in essence de­picts the power read­just­ment con­cerns which framed part of the elec­tion de­bates.

Po­lit­i­cal sci­en­tists and an­a­lysts also agree that this Cab­i­net has the po­ten­tial to un­leash a ground-break­ing era to our pol­i­tics and thus paving a new chap­ter in the pos­ter­ity of en­dur­ing na­tional values.

This con­sen­sus on the mer­its of this struc­tural read­just­ment of Gov­ern­ment un­der Pres­i­dent Mnan­gagwa can be traced to a philo­soph­i­cal di­men­sion raised in the work of vet­eran po­lit­i­cal the­o­rist, Fran­cis Fukuyama (2011) in his book, The Ori­gins of Po­lit­i­cal Or­der: From Pre­hu­man Times to the French Rev­o­lu­tion.

In his sub­mis­sion, Fukuyama ar­gues that modern pol­i­tics has reached “end of history”. The men­tion of history in this sub­mis­sion does not re­fer to epochal shifts nor does it en­tail the flow of po­lit­i­cal events.

In­stead, this im­plies that the suc­ces­sive stages of so­ci­etal quest for po­lit­i­cal lib­er­ties across the globe had reached its fi­nal stage.

This per­spec­tive can also be likened to the Marx­ist prog­no­sis of so­cial­ism as the fi­nal stage of hu­man civil­i­sa­tion.

While Marx­ism has been prob­lema­tised for be­ing utopian, Fukuyama’s ar­gu­ment finds trac­tion in the re­al­ity of how lib­eral democ­racy now de­fines the ul­ti­mate po­lit­i­cal cul­ture of the modern state — not­with­stand­ing the cul­tural su­per­im­po­si­tion that comes with the adop­tion of Western democ­racy as a uni­ver­sal bench­mark for gov­er­nance. For­tu­nately or un­for­tu­nately, Fukuyama posits that there are no fu­ture regimes be­yond modern democ­racy and cap­i­tal­ism.

Fukuyama ar­gues that this cli­max of history un­der the aus­pices of modern democ­racy aptly fits into the key tenets of hu­man se­cu­rity and lib­er­ties; as well as the uni­ver­sally em­braced turn to cap­i­tal­ism.

Guided by this per­spec­tive, I sub­mit that the era pre­ced­ing the Sec­ond-Re­pub­lic marked Zim­babwe’s ex­pe­ri­ence of the “end of history” — the history of crony­ism, nepo­tism, mal­ad­min­is­tra­tion, cor­rup­tion, lim­i­ta­tions to democ­racy, gov­er­nance eq­uity re­strains and the sub­tle ex­clu­sion of youth and women in pol­icy-mak­ing.

As one would re­call, part of the elec­tion dis­course was em­bed­ded on the “gen­er­a­tional con­sen­sus” mantra whose in­ad­e­quacy was to limit mat­ters of a gen­er­a­tional in­ter­est to a sin­gle po­lit­i­cal party and at­tach­ing a par­tic­u­lar face to that propo­si­tion.

None­the­less, this nar­row di­men­sion to un­pack­ing a na­tional ques­tion un­der­mined the logic of this so-called “con­sen­sus” of the vir­gin voter’s negate of Zanu-PF’s le­git­i­macy.

The other lim­i­ta­tion of this ageist es­sen­tial nar­ra­tive was its pre­oc­cu­pa­tion with cut­ting off the po­lit­i­cal life limit of some who were tar­geted as the “old guard” in the op­po­si­tion.

The same dis­course was used in an at­tempt to nul­lify the rel­e­vance of Zanu-PF. One Pro­fes­sor El­dad Ma­su­nun­gure (2018), re­torted, “in­cum­bency and ex­pe­ri­ence will de­feat youth­ful­ness”. As pre­dicted, Chamisa lost the elec­tion to both Zanu-PF and the Con­sti­tu­tional Court on 22 Au­gust, 2018.

Con­se­quently, the cur­rent re­struc­tur­ing of gov­ern­ment un­der Pres­i­dent Mnan­gagwa is co­a­lesc­ing age-based lim­i­ta­tions and gen­der-based terms to re­form­ing pub­lic ad­min­is­tra­tion.

Apart from the age and gen­der lim­its to defin­ing power, it is clear that Zim­babwe has transitioned from a purely Zanu-PF mo­nop­o­lised style of bu­reau­cracy.

This ex­plains why the cur­rent Cab­i­net now has more in­di­vid­u­als with a history out­side pol­i­tics. This is value-adding to state-craft and it makes a de­par­ture from the old.

On the other hand, the fact that some for­mer Cab­i­net min­is­ters have been re­as­signed to serve the rul­ing party is in­dica­tive of how Zanu-PF is now re­ju­ve­nat­ing, re­struc­tur­ing and re­align­ing it­self to be an in­sti­tu­tion which is not only fo­cused on bal­lot pol­i­tics.

This will also en­able the rul­ing party to de­sign pol­icy blue­prints which are con­vinc­ingly sell­able.

The re­cruit­ment of for­mer min­is­ters as full-time work­ers of the rul­ing party de­notes ad­di­tion of new skills in the party’s pol­icy reach-out mech­a­nism from its cell struc­tures right up to the apex of party’s struc­tures.

With wide con­sul­ta­tive mech­a­nisms be­ing em­ployed from the ward to the provin­cial strongholds, Zanu-PF will in­crease its reach to mat­ters which are of a se­ri­ous grass­roots ground­ing.

In so do­ing, Zanu-PF will have to con­sider that it is a party whose man­date is rooted on history and the very values that are na­tion­al­ist.

This way, the rul­ing party will be able to re-es­tab­lish its in­flu­ence be­yond the con­fines of its membership, be­cause it has a man­date to safe­guard na­tion­al­ist values.

In the process, by tak­ing that route Zanu-PF will as­sume all the time its his­toric na­tion­al­ist rel­e­vance of be­ing a pro-peo­ple move­ment with a lim­it­less ca­pac­ity to at­tract fol­low­ing on the mere ba­sis of be­ing an in­stru­ment for re­cast­ing tenets of a peo­ple’s com­mon destiny.

Also worth con­sid­er­ing is the fact that the rul­ing party has now re­cruited peo­ple who have been in the pub­lic and pri­vate sec­tor and have ac­quit­ted them­selves as out­stand­ing bu­reau­crats. This is defin­ing of an “end of history”, but what needs to be done for that history to fully come to an end?

First, cor­rup­tion in the high places must be vis­i­bly erad­i­cated. Be­yond speeches and res­o­lu­tions we must work hand to arm to fight the rot in the pub­lic and pri­vate sec­tor.

This is be­cause the dawn to the Se­condRepub­lic was mo­ti­vated by the need to ex­tri­cate the mo­nop­oly of a few in­di­vid­u­als who used their po­si­tions of priv­i­lege to milk the na­tional cof­fers and ex­haust the na­tion’s strate­gic re­sources.

Our paras­tatals must be en­gines for har­ness­ing cap­i­tal which mean­ing­fully con­trib­utes to the fis­cal de­posits of the na­tion. Trea­sury sub­si­dies must only pro­pel the paras­tatal in ex­e­cut­ing ad­min­is­tra­tive du­ties to smoothen its profit-mak­ing po­ten­tial.

This means that there is need for cre­ative minds with as­tute busi­ness acu­men to run paras­tatals at the same time har­ness­ing their full po­ten­tial in ad­dress­ing the eco­nomic cri­sis fac­ing the coun­try.

In­dus­try must be re-tooled. The Gov­ern­ment must cre­ate a pol­icy en­vi­ron­ment which nat­u­rally cap­i­talises our in­dus­try.

This will fa­cil­i­tate the ful­fil­ment of em­ploy­ment cre­ation promise. Cap­tains of in­dus­try must also be alive to the need to cre­ate op­por­tu­ni­ties for strate­gic part­ner­ships with for­eign coun­ter­parts in their shared and re­spec­tive ar­eas of spe­cial­i­sa­tion.

While a pol­icy-friendly en­vi­ron­ment is key and un­avoid­able in set­ting the pace for eco­nomic trans­for­ma­tion, the re­tool­ing of our in­dus­try also takes the form in­vest­ment in rel­e­vant in­tel­lec­tual cap­i­tal.

There is need for un­in­ter­rupted and ded­i­cated in­vest­ment in sci­en­tific in­no­va­tions which will ef­fec­tively grow our in­dus­try.

Our in­dus­trial sec­tor must take the lead in in­ven­tions and the uni­ver­sity must play a cru­cial role in en­sur­ing that that our engi­neer­ing de­part­ments are not or­na­men­tal.

This is part of the many reme­dies that Zim­babwe needs to ex­cel at un­der a changed sys­tem of Gov­ern­ment.

Pam­beri neZim­babwe WE would like to re­spond to the Sun­day News ar­ti­cle of the 9th-15 Septem­ber 2018. The story was one sided by our lo­cal coun­cils Pub­lic Se­nior Re­la­tions Of­fi­cer Mrs Ne­sisa Mpofu. It is our be­lief that coun­cil does not work in a vac­uum. All pro­grammes have to be solved by both par­ties. Where we fail, a third party can be in­vited.

On her num­ber one point we fully agree, the de­vel­op­ment per­mits have to be abided to when build­ing. For the coun­cil to say res­i­dents are tak­ing ad­van­tage of the stu­dent’s ac­com­mo­da­tion plight is not cor­rect. These words have been ut­tered, when only the In­fra­struc­ture De­vel­op­ment Bank of Zim­babwe (IDBZ) project has been ap­proved. This raised eye­brows on our coun­cil, coun­cil should have pro­vided ac­com­mo­da­tion to these stu­dents or should have made sure Nust en­rols ac­cord­ing to their ac­com­mo­da­tion. The Se­nior Pub­lic Re­la­tions Of­fi­cer went on to say the res­i­dents en­tice the stu­dents by pro­vid­ing free Wi-Fi. We won­der which world the PRO is from, pro­vid­ing stu­dents with Wi-Fi is an es­sen­tial tool to their stud­ies. The coun­cil has failed to pro­vide street lights on roads be­ing used by these stu­dents who are be­ing mugged ev­ery day. The coun­cil should be wor­ried about these is­sues rather than turn against res­i­dents.

The coun­cil clearly stated that, the IDBZ project will go ahead. We as res­i­dents would like to make our lo­cal au­thor­ity know that be­ing in au­thor­ity does not mean you have a right to dic­ta­tor­ship in any­way.

We be­lieve in open­ness, the 12 mil­lion dol­lars must be used in a project, not to sat­isfy the few in­di­vid­u­als, but the com­mu­nity at large. We are ask­ing our newly elected Mayor of Bu­l­awayo to investigate the cir­cum­stances sur­round­ing this IDBZ project. We would be hap­pier if our pres­i­dent ED Mnan­gagwa in­ter­venes since he has the peo­ple’s wishes at heart.

The truth is the In­fra­struc­ture De­vel­op­ment Bank of Zim­babwe (IDBZ) project was started be­fore ap­proval by the coun­cil. The ground­break­ing cer­e­mony was done ear­lier by pre­vi­ous min­is­ters.

When the res­i­dents raised con­cerns with the coun­cil, the coun­cil sent its high of­fi­cials to meet the res­i­dents. This in­cludes the area coun­cil­lor. Res­i­dents were made to be­lieve no de­vel­op­ment was to take place and the area was only des­ig­nated for shops and town houses.

The res­i­dents and Nust pro­posed the de­vel­op­ment of stu­dent’s ac­com­mo­da­tion at cam­pus which was agreed to by coun­cil. It was men­tioned Nust had vast land for ac­com­mo­da­tion pur­poses, since any ac­com­mo­da­tion out­side was to in­clude ac­com­mo­da­tion at Nust cam­pus when com­pleted.

As res­i­dents we also felt that we have the right to be re­spected, be­cause when we bought our houses in this area it was a low den­sity and quiet area and we would like to main­tain that in fu­ture.

I need to re­veal that the res­i­dents are not against de­vel­op­ment. Will this be an­other Vundu in Makokoba, cre­ated by our own coun­cil­lors?

The res­i­dent’s letters to make ob­jec­tions were not sent in time or they were de­liv­ered to the wrong places de­lib­er­ately by our own town coun­cil.

We are not in a po­si­tion to say more facts since the is­sue is be­ing looked into by other in­di­vid­u­als and names of peo­ple who are in­volved in this project.

We say it smells like a rat in our new Zim­babwe.

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