Mugabe: Tragic failure of leadership

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“I’m going home, I didn’t realise just how the world has changed till I went to South Africa”.
THESE words are said to have been uttered by Yoweri Museveni to the inner circle of his cabinet on returning to Uganda from Nelson Mandela’s Madiba’s historic memorial service in Johannesburg; an event that literally united the world. Even dictators were fairly represented though none of them was allowed anywhere near the microphone. Thank God!
Whether Museveni is genuine or not, this can be a subject for another day. What’s most important is that he saw with his own eyes that the world has moved on. In contrast, in our own backyard, it is seemingly business as usual despite the economy making deafening “sounds of fury”. Some would rather collapse in office than let a new generation of leaders to take our nation forward. Loud calls for change are falling on deaf ears.
In the same week Yoweri Museveni made the startling revelation, Zanu PF held its annual conference in Chinhoyi. I wonder when they will rename the event to Zanu PF Christmas Bash because that’s exactly what it is. Given the dire state of the economy, ordinary citizens had the expectation or at least the hope that our political leaders, despite the dark shadow of illegitimacy, would pretend to be sensitive and come up with resolutions that would improve life for the man on the street, the child in the classroom, the patient in hospital, the worker faced with retrenchment, the mother who has to walk long distances with a jerrican of water, the maid who has forgotten how to turn on the stove because of perennial power outages, the list is just endless.
But how will renaming Victoria Falls to Nyakasikana or any other name improve the life of a granny in Binga or Chibwedziva? How will threatening one of the biggest and most stable employers such as Zimplats with closure create employment? Where is poor Chinamasa expected to get money for the national budget if economic fundamentals are blatantly disregarded by those in power? While practical application of several degrees in violence has been experienced by many, there is nothing at all to suggest that somebody ever attempted elementary economics in his life.
For a very long time, a number of Zimbabweans believed that President Mugabe was an infallible leader who was unfortunately surrounded by corrupt and evil men and women. With time, we have come to the realisation that we were very wrong; the master is as bad as his servants, if not worse. A few years ago, pressed to comment on the worsening Zimbabwe crisis, Nelson Mandela used four explicit words to depict the root cause of our crisis “tragic failure of leadership”.Advertisement

When a ruling party blows millions of dollars over three days in Chinhoyi (not on rock diesel) while the country is literally crumbling, it demonstrates nothing but tragic failure of leadership. When a whole minister approves a sordid package directly or indirectly of up to $40,000 per month for the CEO of an organisation that can no longer spell the word “profit”, it is tragic failure of leadership. Elsewhere, Webster Shamu would have been shown the exit door immediately if not given the keys to a free room at Hotel Chikurubi. Why would anybody wish to be President of America and not CEO for ZBC? Happyson Muchechetere makes some Hollywood stars look very ordinary!
And as if that was not enough, we also recently learnt that at one diamond mining operation in Marange, there were as many as five hundred Chinese nationals. Even one of the world’s biggest mining operations wouldn’t have so many foreign employees from the same country, particularly of Chinese decent or origin. For goodness sake, what were these Chinese doing at a small alluvial diamond operation?
Asked what he thought about Chinese investment in Africa, former Libyan dictator, Colonel Kaddafi, once said “I’m not sure if its investment or resettlement” On this one, the mad dictator was damn right! It would appear that a Chinese in Guangdong with little or no skills at all stands a much better chance of getting a job at Marange ahead of an educated or skilled Zimbabwean in Bocha or Nyamaropa, another classic example of tragic failure of leadership!
Our collective resolution for 2014 must be coming together as a united Zimbabwean family and cast the demon that has tormented us for far too long. We need to turn our house of shame into a house of pride.
Moses Chamboko is the Interim Secretary General for the global pro-democracy initiative called Zimbabweans United for Democracy (ZUNDE). Contact us at or visit .