The ED Cabinet: An end of History
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.