By Nomalanga Moyo
The MDC formations have been urged to stop whingeing about President Robert Mugabe’s long-awaited Cabinet and put their own governance systems in place.
Mugabe was declared the winner of the recent disputed poll on August 3rd and for five weeks, kept the nation guessing regarding the make-up of his new Cabinet. ZANU PF claimed that Mugabe was delaying because he was being “methodical” and “systematic” in his selection.
But in the past two weeks opposition political parties have roundly criticised Mugabe for dithering, saying the absence of ministers was depriving government departments of much-needed policy direction.
The MDC-T attributed the delay to the confusion within ZANU PF: “We are going to have a confused Cabinet and the explanation for the delays is that Mugabe does not have talent within his party from which he can pick his ministers,” MDC-T spokesman Douglas Mwonzora told the Daily News Tuesday.
Nhlanhla Dube, of the Welshman Ncube-led MDC, said the indecision indicated that Mugabe was haunted by the failure that has stalked ZANU PF since.
There were also suggestions that the selection process was giving Mugabe a headache, with reports of fierce jostling for posts from the two main factions in his party.
Others said Mugabe was delaying in the hope that his main rival, the MDC-T, would finally relent from its stated position and accept posts in the new Cabinet.
But human rights activist Irene Petras was the first to break ranks Tuesday, saying instead of complaining about ZANU PF’s failures, the MDCs should be putting their own systems in place and engaging Zimbabweans on crucial issues.
“Instead of the MDCs crying louder than the bereaved about the delays in announcing a Cabinet – something which is totally out of their control – one would have expected them by now to have announced shadow cabinets and begun engaging stakeholders with their ideas and initiatives, putting themselves into the public domain and raising the level of public debate and input.
“People are quickly tiring of the incessant complaints and victim mentality,” Petras said in a Facebook post.
Economic rights activist Hopewell Gumbo echoed Petras’s sentiments, adding that the MDCs were “unnecessarily investing time debating what is in Mugabe’s head instead of crafting sustainable policies”.
Speaking to SW Radio Africa Gumbo said: “Zimbabweans tend to waste a lot of valuable time trailing Mugabe when we would be better off planning and scheming ahead of him”.
Gumbo said it would be naïve for anyone to think that the presence of a Mugabe-led Cabinet means an efficient government. He added: “Over the years Mugabe’s appointments have taken many forms, including the so-called War Cabinet, but these have not yielded any benefits for Zimbabweans.
“Instead what we have seen is more and more ruin of our lives and resources, as well as a partisan form of ‘Cabineting’ that does nothing to improve the lives of citizens.”
Gumbo said it would not have made any difference at all even if Mugabe had appointed his Cabinet a week after his inauguration: “What matters is the calibre of the appointees and whether or not their policy direction will be people-oriented – and that is something ZANU PF has failed to provide over the years.” SW Radio Africa