AMH is an independent media house free from political ties or outside influence. We have four newspapers: The Zimbabwe Independent, a business weekly published every Friday, The Standard, a weekly published every Sunday, and Southern and NewsDay, our daily newspapers. Each has an online edition.

  • Marketing
  • Digital Marketing Manager: tmutambara@alphamedia.co.zw
  • Tel: (04) 771722/3
  • Online Advertising
  • Digital@alphamedia.co.zw
  • Web Development
  • jmanyenyere@alphamedia.co.zw

New dispensation has redefined avaricious culture of its predecessor

Cyprian Ndawana

DEAR President Emmerson Mnangagwa,

Your Excellency, as the syndicate of the privileged few, the ministers, their deputies and parliamentarians shared among them spoils of the said loan of US$28 million, the expression, thieves surrounding the late former President Robert Mugabe, sprang to my mind.

Sugarcoated as a once-off windfall, the loans are redoubtable. They are a precedent that has dire consequences on national financials, one that is corrupting to accountability.

Considering that the country is under the throes of a slew of socioeconomic challenges, one ordinarily expects government to scrupulously account for its pennies. It must not wander into the strictly forbidden trait of ostentatious expenditure.

With the debilitating energy crises and the crippling public health service, to mention but the two, government ought to observe scrupulous financial prudence, one that is a no-frills policy on expenditure.

These loan disbursements reek like a high office bribery and corrupt transaction. Methinks it is contestable that it was deemed prudent to pamper the legislators.

However, the loans were in keeping with government financial profligacy, which is noted yearly by the Auditor-General.

Your Excellency, considering that the country is groaning, bedevilled by chronic economic challenges, methinks the loans are wanton.

Against the backdrop of a roundly spiritless and depressed economy, they are completely gratuitous.

It was profligate that government had the temerity to approve them.

It was impolitic to lavish US$500 000 loans on each of the 31 ministers, US$350 000 on each of the 12 deputy ministers and US$40 000 on each of the 210 parliamentarians.

Yet, negotiations for renumeration reviews of public service personnel hardly progress.

Oftentimes the leadership of civil servants, professional practitioners, notably the teachers, are demonised.

They are vilified, brutalised, arrested and detained.

Your Excellency, it was curious that government was amenable only to the legislators.

Even the war veterans who wanted to dialogue with you about their welfare were blocked and thrown into custody, primarily for their quest for equitable sustenance.

Methinks the alleged thieves who surrounded Mugabe lived true to the catchphrase, its cold outside Zanu PF.

They were the trending living proof of power and affluence. They were a liquid cabal within the broader Zanu PF fraternity, conspicuous by guaranteed seats in the gravy train.

They were an envied group, even by cadres who held senior party and government positions.

As I see it, with these loans, history is repeating itself in our midst.

Essentially, the loan recipients rendered themselves the new breed of thieves surrounding you.

Methinks issuance of the loans was unparliamentary on one hand, and unstately on the other.

Considering the public outcry that followed the issuance of the loans, the unpalatable truth that you disbursed the forbidden fruit must have dawned on you.

Your Excellency, it is harsh and unmusical to citizenry that such a lump sum was taken away from the national coffers without thought and due diligence.

It was then, and only then, that news of the amount paid by the finance minister for a musical album made sense to me.

Ordinarily, it is the norm that things get worse before they get better.

Following the demise of Mugabe, livelihoods have actually been worsening, compounded by the freefalling local currency.

As I see it, anticipation for things to get better has been at the lowest ebb ever since your ascendancy to the Presidency.

Essentially, the malicious mischief of your party, Zanu PF, to blame Mugabe for the crippling electricity outages was a pointer to strategic destitution.

It is fundamental for a country that claims to be open for business to have a rational leadership that is coherent and worthy of belief.  It must be stewarded by people, both in government and party, who are beyond reproach; credible, ethical and morally upright.

Your Excellency, in the backdrop of concerns over the crippling power cuts, the minds of citizenry are boggled by the disbursements of the loans. It does not evidence probity to unjustly enrich the privileged few yet their constituents wallow in abject poverty.

Currently, business as well as households are staring at dark prospects of a return to uninterrupted power supplies.

Given the insensitivity inherent in the loan disbursements, things will not get any better for the ordinary citizenry.

As citizenry gropes in darkness due to the power cuts, it is not so for the selected few who include the ministers.

Christmas could not have come any earlier for them as government installed solar power on their homes.

It was conspicuously opaque and barefaced impudence for government to install solar power at the homes of the uppermost senior bureaucrats who constitute the ruling elite.

Citizenry bear the brunt of the corruption that is inherent in the loans and solar power installations.

It’s unfortunate that a Presidency that hypes on delivering the Zimbabwe citizenry wants would be an integral part to such absurdities.

It requires you to take a deep breath and pose for thought.

Fundamentally, politics without principle is folly. A social system in which the privileged minority and the underprivileged majority do not have similar opportunities is called apartheid.

Your Excellency, as I see it, the new dispensation has redefined the avaricious culture of its predecessor. It is my abiding conviction that righteous conduct is its own reward.

As Martin Luther King Junior implored: “We need leaders not in love with money, but in love with justice.”

  • Cyprian Muketiwa Ndawana is a public-speaking coach, motivational speaker, speechwriter and newspaper columnist. 

Related Topics