Tuesday, 10 October 2017

G40 CABINET WILL REVIVE ECONOMY : HERALD

 The announcement of a Cabinet reshuffle by President Mugabe could not have come at a better time given the current policy discordances and attendant administrative logjams that have almost paralysed Government business as some ministers had lost focus due to laziness or pursuance of peripheral matters that are divorced from their core duty of serving the nation.

Personal differences and discord between Cabinet ministers is sending highly misleading and damaging signals to potential investors and other supporting stakeholders, forcing them to shun the Zimbabwean market or sit on the fence, waiting for the dust to settle between peers in Government. To the expectant electorate who see a brighter future in the consummation of the Zim-Asset programme, the Cabinet dissonance presents a portentous hurdle that could derail the objectives of the people-centred economic blueprint. With some ministers reportedly on each other’s throats daily, chances of effectively fulfilling Zim-Asset objectives are heavily dented.

Other well thought out Government programmes such as Command Agriculture and Science, Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) programmes have become so politically contested and demonised by rival politicians, thus dimming the glimmer of hope they carry. The tussling between rival Cabinet members is easily playing into the hands of detractors, who are always gleefully waiting for every opportunity to cast aspersions on the country’s image and concomitantly push for regime change.

The situation has been worsened by lazy Cabinet ministers who bunk question-and-answer sessions in Parliament. These truant ministers have disrupted Parliament business, leaving legislators with queries from their constituencies in the lurch. During the official opening of the 5th Session of the 8th Parliament, President Mugabe bemoaned the failure by some ministers to attend Parliament and subsequently censured them, saying their demeanour was in blatant breach of certain codes of Parliament.

Against such a worrying backdrop, the announcement of a Cabinet reshuffle became a masterstroke that would eliminate friction between Cabinet ministers and also cleanse Government of some indolent and under-performing officials. It was assuring to hear President Mugabe announcing during the ZANU-PF Youth League national assembly in Harare on Saturday that he would reconfigure his Cabinet.

He told delegates that, “. . .But we must also look at ourselves and say to ourselves, ‘Well, have we, all of us, cooperated together or are there some among us who, although they were given positions, and although they are good members of the party, but have not done well? And also in Government per se; although we appointed people to certain positions, did they live up to the calling of those positions? Tinotarisa kuparty, zvimwe chetezvo totarisa kuhurumende zviwe chetezvo and next week, there might be some changes in Government.”

 The reconfiguration would be a dose of medicine required to cure the squabbling between bureaucrats and redirect their energy towards the fulfilment of the Zim-Asset programme. It would also be a friendly nudge on those newly drafted into Cabinet and the surviving ministers to pull in the same direction for the betterment of the country.

The reshuffle is also a welcome move that would send a reverberating message that the President is fully in control of all Government levers. Contrary to claims by naysayers, the President is fully behind the wheel and would do everything to keep the country on track. Those drafted into the new Cabinet would be alive to the fact that any lackadaisical approach to work would attract a penalty from the ever-vigilant President. With the country hurtling closer to the 2018 elections, the non-performing ministers would have become excess baggage to ZANU-PF.

Cutting them loose would allow the party to renew its commitment to fulfil its electoral pledges and also vastly improve its chances of retaining power in the forthcoming plebiscite. Those to be drafted into the new Cabinet are expected to repay the President by keeping their eyes on national goals whilst shunning sectorial sideshows. This would enable them to keep on track and take the country to greater heights.


The new team should similarly work extra hard to send the right signals to would-be investors and all other stakeholders who want to partner Government in rebuilding the economy. Ministers to the new Cabinet should also ensure that their loyalty is solely to their appointing authority, who is none other than President Mugabe. They should subordinate themselves to him and not to any factional or other peripheral dictates.

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