Time to hold leaders accountable

By Tendai Mazenge

Here in Zimbabwe , if the High Court can sit for several hours a day and several months in a year to determine which candidate(s) won the general elections, but NO court in the country finds it useful to hold these same politicians accountable for their failure to fulfill their campaign promises despite having all their annual budgets expenditure approved by the parliament to enable them fulfill their campaign promises, then I think we have an illusion of justice in the country as long as accountability is concerned.

Finance and Economic Development Minister Patrick Chinamasa

Yet I am yet to see the day for which politicians will be brought to justice for woefully failing to deliver on their campaign promises to the electorate. If a contractor can be arrested for failing to deliver certain goods and services for which he has been paid, why can’t our politicians face the same fate when they fail to deliver after receiving all the loans in our name?

If you look at the way the councils are being run in all cities across Zimbabwe, you can tell
something is very wrong with the leadership of those leading the councils.Are the politicians above the laws of the land? Where is justice?
It is a common ritual to see our finance ministers presenting annual budget statements to parliament at the beginning of every year, seeking approval for such huge moneys to be approved for the fulfilment of their campaign promises to the people of Zimbabwe . Yet
at the end of the year when they fail to fulfill the said promises, nobody holds the politicians accountable for the failure of the government to fulfill the promises for which such huge moneys were approved. What is even annoying is that at the beginning of the next year, the same minister will have the audacity to present a much bigger budget before the parliament house seeking approval.

A good example is that of Patrick Chinamasa ,the Finance Minister and John Mangudya the RBZ Governor.They illegally introduced the bond notes and lied to the whole nation and now the US Dollars are slowly disappearing thereby making the Gresham Law taking effect to our already failing economy. Civic society and pressure groups warned them about the effect on the economy but they never listened.

When are the courts ever going to hold these politicians accountable. The continued failure on the part of our politicians to deliver on their promises to the people, should provide a reasonable justification on the urgent need to criminalize them. It is very sad that while those in Germany, China, Japan and Britain can modernize and re-build their railway infrastructure within a period of 1 year, here in Zimbabwe, the process is taking a whole generation to materialize, despite having all the gold, diamond,  & platinum and being the ‘model’ of African ‘democracy’.

After all, our media is obsessed with ‘democracy’ and political elections’ to the extent that we have no time to scrutinize the promises of infrastructural project that never came to pass.
Unfortunately, nobody ever goes to court to hold politicians accountable on failed political promises.Recently Zanu Pf kicked out UN from delivering the much needed Biometric Voter System. At first they said they had no money and all of a sudden they now have and want
to take control. What a shame.

I am appealing to the President of Zimbabwe to introduce a bill to parliament to criminalize the act of failing to fulfill campaign promises to the people of Zimbabwe . At least if the MPs fail to pass such a bill, the president will be on record as the only president who showed some commitment to the fight against corruption, making effort to criminalize the fake promises made by government officials and prospective MPs.This is going to be difficult because the leader of Zanu Pf, President Robert Mugabe supports corruption and protects his

I am also urging the true Honourable Members of Parliament to put a bill before the house, to criminalize the act of failing to fulfill campaign promises. This will be seen as their own small way of helping the country curb corruption and incompetence.

Finally, I am appealing to Chief Justice His Lordship Godfrey Chidyausiku and the Judicial Services Commission to consider including a clause in our constitution to criminalize political incompetence and the failure to fulfill campaign promises in the country.Its tough but it can be done if we work together as a team.The People’s Democratic Party under the leadership of Tendai Biti  have already set the pace by joining the Coalition of Democrats CODE.Now that opposition parties have decided to work together,its now possible to defeat the evil ruling Zanu Pf.

If this is done, I believe the people of Zimbabwe will begin to receive real benefits from the vast resources which are often mismanaged by unscrupulous politicians and heads of the civil
service.Recently the President blasted Judges telling them how they should perform their duties ie Stopping citizens from demonstrating, which is against the constitution. His Excellency should be held accountable as well. Recently Mr Zibani’s application to allow the
President to nominate the Chief Justice was disimissed because it was against the constitution,i thank the Judges for a job well done.

The rest of Africa can thus have something good to learn from Zimbabwe as a true model of African democracy and good governance.Together another Zimbabwe is Possible.