By Guthrie Munyuki
People talking without speaking, People hearing without listening! I found the above, which I read from the weekly e-mail bulletin shared with thousands of people by Kubatana.net. The statement is full of irony but very rich when deducted from a non-emotional point of view.
I have found this statement to be quite timely as it mirrors the current mood in Zimbabwe today where the general populace is struggling to pass a verdict on President Emmerson Mnangagwa and his government.
Mnangagwa has many people believing that he has what it takes to reconstruct this country from the ruins created by former president Robert Mugabe.
Equally there are many who are beginning to doubt that Mnangagwa and his administration are different from Mugabe.
Mnangagwa needs both sides — those believing in him and those who are beginning to doubt him — because losing either side spells problems especially as we approach elections.
Those believing that Mnangagwa looks the part to move Zimbabwe forward point to the serious statements he has made in the last two-and-half months which, in my view, tick the right boxes.
But these were statements of intent not the action itself!
Now those that doubt him are pointing to the lack of action or implementation on his statements — including perceived failure to throw the book at people around him who are accused of acquiring ill-gotten wealth and lacking the stamina to take Zimbabwe forward.
Mnangagwa has said he is happy to be told of his mistakes and correct them as he goes along rather than be given time to be judged.
One of the mistakes that ED has made, at least in the eyes of ordinary Zimbabweans, is the failure to act decisively on ministers and those who claim to be his cohorts whose conduct in public desecrate the standing of the president apart from militating against that which he is set to achieve as Mugabe’s successor.
Take, for instance, Thursday’s unprecedented attack on Parliament by Home Affairs minister Obert Mpofu, whose amazing tantrum against Mines and Energy committee chairperson Temba Mliswa, served to expose his disdain for such hallowed institutions which he is supposed to be accountable to. As former Mines minister Mpofu had been summoned to Parliament to explain the missing $15 billion revenue from the gem-rich Chiadzwa diamonds fields.
This was by no means suggesting that he is a thief or was culpable.
“I am not the minister of Mines and I don’t know which precedence has been set where former ministers are subjected to questioning on issues to do with ministries that they have already left. I have no mandate to speak about the ministry of Mines.
“For as long as he is sitting in front of me, presiding over this issue, I will not co-operate. You are even refusing me a chance to say what he had come to do at my house. With respect to honourable members, I will never, never be presided over by Mr Mliswa for what has happened and you should allow me to express myself.
“I am not going to talk. I have submitted myself to you and I will not talk about this issue … no matter what you say, I will never say anything … you don’t know me …” Mpofu thundered.
For such as seasoned politician to behave in such a manner, at a time his principal has promised to go to the ends of the earth to deal with corruption, Mpofu’s conduct is best interpreted as showing little regard for Parliament, accountability and feelings for the ordinary folk. In fact it is fair to say Mpofu’s conduct towards the august House suggests someone who calculated the risk of behaving like that and was satisfied that nothing would happen to him.
Sadly Mpofu missed the opportunity to help bring closure to the $15 billion issue as well as removing all bad tags that had been attached to him by preferring to attack Mliswa and the procedure the committee used in inviting him to Parliament.
Instead, his behaviour will, in all likelihood, cement the public’s views and attitude towards his tenure as Mines minister.
Damagingly, Mpofu’s behaviour erodes public trust in Mnangagwa’s administration and again, increases the number of those who are beginning to doubt him.
Fortunately for Mnangagwa and Parliament there are many instruments available to deal with behaviour such as Mpofu’s.
But the question is will action be taken? DailyNews