Author Archives: Staff Reporter

How long shall Africa rely on Western benevolence?

With more than 40 million African citizens facing food insecurity and some outright starvation, United States President Donald Trump’s proposal to cut the American aid budget by 38% couldn’t have come at a worse time. It is unfortunate that as Africans we find ourselves thrust in this precarious position, sitting and passing judgment on America over its own budget plans.

OPINION: Whitlaw Mugwiji

President R.G.Mugabe

President R.G.Mugabe

When instead we are supposed to focus our attention on our governments that subcontract their responsibilities to foreign governments, leaving African citizens to rely on western benevolence. Such an approach is unsustainable and very irresponsible, more so now when the anti-aid sentiments are on the rise in many western capitals.

If ever we are going to be able to respond to future human and natural disasters on our own, we need to revisit the aid-development debate, which once gained international prominence in 2009 when Dr Dambisa Moyo published her book Dead Aid.

Aid festers corruption, laziness and makes our governments unaccountable

In her book, she asserts that aid festers corruption, makes our governments lazy and less accountable to their citizenry. Rimmer and Hope in their journal article titled Aid and Corruption note that there is widespread systematic corruption in Africa when it comes to aid. Even more worrying they note that Western governments have at times used aid as a tool for patronage, festering corruption in order to further their foreign policy objectives. The late Mobuto Seseko’s Zaire provides a classic example in that regard.

President Robert Mugabe, the “expatriate” as he is commonly known in some circles illustrates how African governments can be very lazy and irresponsible. In 2016, Mugabe spent over $50 million in travelling expenses at a time when Zimbabwe’s government hospitals did not have medicines and had to rely on foreign donations for their basic medical supplies. Just a month ago, Zanu PF spent close to a $1 million on a lavish party, celebrating Mugabe’s 93rd birthday whilst over a million Zimbabweans facing starvation were being fed by the international community.

This irresponsibility is not unique to Zimbabwe alone, but to many places where donors play a major role in the economy. According to a 2010 article in the Economist, Kenyan Members of Parliament were the highest paid in the world in relation to their country’s gross domestic product.

Yet in the very same year Kenya received over $400 million in foreign aid.

Aid has failed to foster economic growth

Consistent with earlier findings by other economists, Burnside and Dollar found that aid had little impact on economic growth. Thus, reaffirming doubts over the ability of using aid to fight poverty. Some economists even argue further that aid can create a dependency in the recipient countries, which is detrimental to their long term economic development as it induces them to create structures and institutions that are more sensitive to aid than to their long-term goals.

How then can we disagree with Dambisa Moyo when she says that aid is doing no good in Africa? If we disagree how then do we explain the paradox that Africa has received over a trillion dollars in foreign aid since 1960 and yet poverty has substantially increased from 280 million in 1990 to 330 million in 2012 (World Bank, 2016)?

Least I be misunderstood, let me categorically state here and now that I am not against humanitarian aid, but against foreign aid or development aid. My conscience could never allow me to sit here arguing against humanitarian aid. For I know too well that humanitarian aid will be the difference between life and death for those facing starvation and food insecurity.

There are important lessons to learn from China

Chinese wisdom tells us that when you give man a fish you feed him for a day, but when you teach him to fish, you feed him for a lifetime. It’s time to look up to China for inspiration, for they have managed to debunk the aid-development model, which we have adopted and used with little success.

They have managed to move hundreds of millions out of poverty in the past four decades and yet they receive very little foreign aid.

China’s success story has confounded many, politicians and academics alike. Instead of just praising China to spite the West, our African academics and policy makers must conduct an in-depth study and provide us with adaptable lessons that we can use to grow our economy.

In my narrow, rushed and limited research, these are the lessons I found most interesting and I believe they can help spur our economic growth.

Building strong institutions

Quantitative studies done on the Chinese economy (Lin, 1992; Fan, Zhang, Zhang, 2004) inform us that institutional reform contributed immensely to the Chinese economic growth. As former US President Barak Obama once remarked, Africa does not need strong men, it needs strong institutions.

Even though China currently lacks multi-party democracy, it has strong institutions, which have provided stability and an impetus for their economic growth. We too need strong institutions, institutions that do not bend to the whims of an individual, but more importantly institutions that provide stability and in turn an environment conducive for business.

Re-aligning our development strategies towards agriculture

As part of the Chinese reform agenda, they realigned their development strategies towards cheap labour where they enjoyed a massive comparative advantage. Initially towards agriculture, and then increasingly towards export-oriented rural industries.

We too must realign our development strategies around agriculture, where we have a comparative advantage. Food demand is expected to increase substantially by the middle of this century if the world’s population forecasts are anything to go by. Having an abundance of arable land and a favourable climate, at least most of the times presents us with a unique opportunity to play an important role in meeting that challenge. Even if we fail to feed the world, we should be able to least feed ourselves without fail.

Experimentation and learning by doing

During Mao Zedong’s era, drastic policy measures such as the agricultural and the cultural revolutions resulted in starvation and the death of millions. As a result, the Chinese under Deng Xiaoping learned pragmatism, adopting evidence-based policies, where they experimented with small scale policy reforms and scaled them up if they were successful or times with slight modifications.

As with any reform agenda, there are potentially many routes that we can take to spur our continent towards development but we too must learn by experimentation.

We must gradually wean ourselves off aid

In as much as I agree with Dambisa Moyo that foreign has done our continent little good, I personally think that a complete closure of the foreign aid taps would be too drastic a measure. Many African countries are dependent on aid, without which they will not be able to finance their recurrent expenditure.

I, therefore, suggest that we must gradually begin the weaning process. Instead of focusing on foreign aid, we must concentrate on finding policies that spur economic growth and improve inter-Africa trade. Policies that create a conducive environment for business and entrepreneurs to thrive.

For how long shall our people rely on western benevolence for their survival?

Whitlaw Mugwiji is a political analyst and social commentator for Khuluma Afrika

Munodonhedza Musika for Byo

A VIRTUALLY unknown musician Boom Berto, whose track Munodonhedza Musika has become almost like a national anthem, will together with Jah Prayzah, stage what is expected to be a fiery performance when they descend on Bulawayo this Friday.

BY SINDISO DUBE

Boom Betto (left)

Boom Betto (left)

The musicians will clash with Bulawayo’s Djembe Monks in what is expected to be an electrifying show.

Show organiser Dee Nosh of 2 Kings Entertainment told NewsDay that they were bringing Harare’s finest to the City of Kings.

“We are bringing Harare and Bulawayo’s best together on Friday, in an effort to showcase what every musical corner is working on. This helps in creating musical alliances and bringing different fans together. Bulawayo is Jah Prayzah’s second home, he always rocks the crowds here, this is a show not to miss for fun-lovers in and around the city,” he said.

The show scheduled for Bulawayo Large City Hall car park will also feature wheel spinner DJ Tamuka, and danchehall duo of Gary B and Templeman.

Djembe Monks said the event will provide them an opportunity to explore new synergies.

“The line-up is mixed with people from different genres — house, contemporary music and dancehall — this offers us a chance to explore new synergies and forge musical alliances. We have been at the same events with Jah Prayzah mostly in Harare, it will be fun to entertain people together again here in our home city,” Djembe Monks spokesperson Emmanuel Nkomo said.

Jah Prayzah will use this opportunity to introduce his newly-formed record label Military Touch Movement in Bulawayo, as the label’s wheel spinner and producer DJ Tamuka will be part of the travelling troupe.

Chombo, Chihuri face arrest over Grace

ARNOLD Farm residents in Mazowe, who last week were granted an interdict barring demolition of their homes and eviction from the farm by the law enforcement agents, have once again approached the court seeking contempt of court charges against three top government officials.

BY CHARLES LAITON

First Lady Grace Mugabe

First Lady Grace Mugabe

The villagers want Home Affairs minister Ignatius Chombo, Commissioner-General of Police Augustine Chihuri and Lands and Rural Resettlement minister Douglas Mombeshora charged with contempt of court after authorities disregarded a court order stopping the evictions.

The urgent chamber application was filed last Sunday after the police, despite the existence of the court order, continued with the demolitions, bundled the residents into trucks and dumped them in a bushy area along the Mvurwi Road allegedly to make way for First Lady Grace Mugabe’s business expansion.

In their application, the residents said the conduct of the law enforcement agents in the unfolding events was “a sad commentary to the status of the Rule of Law in Zimbabwe”.

On Friday last week, High Court judge Justice Felistas Chatukuta ruled in the residents’ favour and ordered the police to immediately stop demolishing houses and evicting the families from the farm, but the police allegedly scoffed at the court order and continued with their actions unabated.

“The demolitions continued on the 25th of March 2017 and this time the police were forcing the villagers whose homes they had demolished to board trucks. The residents would be driven some 35-40km along the Mvurwi Road and dumped in the bush and told to find their way to where they originally came from,” the villagers, who are represented by Donsa-Nkomo and Mutangi Legal Practitioners, said in their affidavits.

“The villagers are just dumped in the open, without food, water, or shelter. Our crops and livestock are left at Arnold Farm; our children are still at the schools they were attending since 2000 when we resettled at the farm and now their education is being disrupted.”

Added one villager: “I aver that the disobedience of the court order by the respondents is wilful or reckless and also mala fide (in bad faith). There can be no worse form of contempt than to appear before this honourable court and consent to an order which respondent (police) had no intention of respecting.

“The conduct of the respondents in this case is a sad commentary to the status of the Rule of Law in Zimbabwe. As applicants, we had hoped to get relief from this honourable court, but when the orders of the court are brazenly disobeyed, as in this case, then there is no hope for us.”

In the application, the applicants were cited as Nyatsambo Katsamudanga, Innocent Dube, Rosemary Masiyiwa, Maliyana Mateo, Livingstone Musanhu, Makoore Leonard, Chenjerai Murambiza, Phanuel Chingoriwo and Arnold Farm Residents’ Association, while Mombeshora, Chihuri and Chombo were cited as respondents. The matter is yet to be heard.

The villagers argue that they had been staying at the farm over the past 17 years before the forced removal by gun-toting police and military personnel.

Muroiwa boosts DeMbare

Premier Soccer League giants Dynamos have received a timely boost after stocky defender Elisha Muroiwa and forward Wisdom Mutasa returned home from Tanzania on Monday in time for the potentially explosive season opener against FC Platinum at the National Sports Stadium on Sunday.

BY TAWANDA TAFIRENYIKA

Elisha Muroiwa

Elisha Muroiwa

The pair signed contracts with Singida United, who will be joining the Tanzanian top-flight league from August this year. The club has already snapped up Chicken Inn and Warriors midfielder Tafadzwa Kutinyu.

Muroiwa, a key member of the Warriors and part of the squad that participated at the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations finals, said he was happy to have finally sealed a deal with a foreign club.

He said he was looking to a good outing with the club when he links up with his teammates in June.

“It is the dream of every player to play abroad and I am happy that this has come true. I just went there to sign a contract. I didn’t go for trials; this is why I am back. I returned yesterday (Monday) and will be going back in June. My focus now is on our match against FC Platinum,” Muroiwa said.

Dynamos have been rebuilding a new team around experienced players like Muroiwa following the departure of several key players.

However, that rebuilding exercise has suffered a blow because of the imminent departures of Muroiwa and Mutasa.

The former champions, who had a disappointing campaign last term in which they finished in fifth place, have a tough opening fixture against FC Platinum at home on Sunday.

After that, they make the trip to Triangle for another tricky encounter. They host Premiership returnees Black Rhinos in week three before embarking on another long trip to the Colliery to face Hwange.

Then there is the Harare derby set for week seven when Dynamos host Caps United and after that the Glamour Boys travel to Bulawayo for another high-profile clash with Highlanders.

Dynamos failed to beat Caps United last year after losing the first match before the two played out an exciting three-all draw as the Green Machine charged towards the finishing line.

However, it is the Dynamos/FC Platinum match that has drawn so much interest as it pits two coaches, Lloyd Mutasa and Norman Mapeza, who are desperate to win the title for their respective clubs.

Mapeza managed the runners-up spot in a very close contest with eventual champions Caps United and third-placed Highlanders last season while Mutasa could only achieve a fifth place finish.

This time around both coaches will be looking to make amends.

With Lloyd Mutasa hard-pressed for a good start, the return of his son Wisdom and Muroiwa came as a major boost ahead of the high-profile clash on Sunday.

Policy to boost local car assembly

The government is finalising new legislation which supports the growth of the motor vehicle industry through capacitating local vehicle assembly and component manufacturing.

BY TATIRA ZWINOIRA

Mike Bimha

Mike Bimha

A draft copy of the legislation titled The Motor Industry Development Policy Framework, which is being prepared for Cabinet approval, aims to boost local assembly of vehicles to 70% from the current levels of below 10%.

Industry and Commerce minister Mike Bimha told NewsDay on the sidelines of the launch of Grandtiger vehicles on Monday that the policy was targeted at local and foreign investors. The vehicles are being assembled in partnership with Chinese car manufacturer BAIC and Willowvale Motor Industries (WMI).

“Investors want to know what the policy framework is for them to have confidence to invest. Without any policy they will come and say ‘what policy?’ And when we say we do not have, they will say ‘bye bye’ and go to other countries,” Bimha said.

“It is more to encourage both local and foreign investors to go into the motor vehicle value chain. The policy does not just address the assemblers, it also addresses component manufacturers, those who can make components for cars. The moment you have policy framework then investors will see that there is some support and that it is sustainable for them to invest and make a return out of it.”

He said that the policy framework would soothe investors who wanted to partner local assemblers, which would result in them investing in capacitating that segment in the motor vehicle value chain.

Since 2012, the country’s biggest assembler WMI had ceased production, as the company could no longer sustain itself with the downturn of the economy.

As such, this gave rise to second-hand vehicles that started elbowing out local car assemblers and retailers.

Bimha said the policy was expected to facilitate the development of the automotive industry to become a significant contributor to the gross domestic product, exports and government revenue.

The government plans to capacitate car assembly to 70%, with a goal of exporting cars in the region and earn the much-needed foreign currency.

The implementation of the policy will first focus on semi-knocked-down (set of car parts that have been partly put together) car kits to increase production.

Once car production go up, the Motor Industry Development Policy Framework is expected to attract investors to partner car component manufacturers to support car assemblers in assembling fully-knocked-down car kits from their component level.

Analysts say such a move is welcome and long overdue, as the sector has suffered stiff competition from second-hand vehicles.

‘Malaba appointed Chief Justice’

DEPUTY Chief Justice Luke Malaba has reportedly been appointed as the new Chief Justice (CJ), taking over from Justice Godfrey Chidyausiku who retired last month.

STAFF REPORTER

Justice Malaba

Justice Malaba

According to sources, Justice Malaba’s swearing in was scheduled for next week.

“(Justice) Malaba has already received his letter of appointment and what is only left is his swearing in,” a close government source said.

It was not yet clear if President Robert Mugabe had appointed Justice Malaba’s replacement as DCJ.

Contacted for comment, Presidential spokesperson George Charamba said he was not aware of the appointment as he was in Mutare and referred questions to Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa or Information minister Chris Mushohwe, who were both not reachable.

Justice Malaba, together with Justices Rita Makarau and Paddington Garwe, were shortlisted by the Judicial Service Commission to replace Justice Chidyausiku following interviews held in December last year.

The appointment of a new CJ has had twists and turns with a University of Zimbabwe law student, Romeo Zibani, first challenging the selection process. Mugabe later introduced Constitutional Amendment Bill (No1) which gives him power to appoint a new CJ, his or her deputy and the Judge President of the High Court.

Currently Parliament is gathering views on the amendment Bill, whose passing will now become academic for the current position.

Stop army rampages against civilians

One of the photographs of Midlands State University (MSU) students allegedly assaulted by soldiers on a reported revenge mission at the campus depicting a grimacing scholar shows that it is high time the Zimbabwe National Army (ZNA) instilled discipline in the force.

Comment: NewsDay Editor

The publication of the photographs echoes the controversy surrounding the army’s abuse of civilians especially in revenge attacks or during election periods.

The incident, which left scores of students maimed or injured after a reported misunderstanding over a woman at a drinking spot in Gweru, clearly calls for thorough investigations to establish the true nature of what happened after which disciplinary measures should be taken against the unruly soldiers.

Gweru is home to the Zimbabwe Military Academy, and the alleged waywardness of the soldiers soiled the otherwise good reputation of the armed forces in general.

What we find odd was army spokesperson Alphios Makotore’s comments that indeed the students were beaten, but there was no indication that the assailants were soldiers.

Rather, Makotore should have kept his views to himself. Otherwise he made a fool of himself, given that eyewitnesses indicated the students were beaten by soldiers following a misunderstanding over a woman at a city bar.

According to the eyewitness account, soldiers disembarked at the MSU main campus from a commuter omnibus before they went on a rampage randomly assaulting students using cue sticks.

Had Makotore suggested that they were still carrying out investigations, perhaps we could have given him the benefit of doubt.

It is not a secret that rogue units in Zimbabwe’s military routinely engage in fist-fights with civilians before organising themselves into groups on revenge missions.

Now that the matter has been reported to the police, the army should know that we now expect the military and civilian prosecuting authorities of this country to act to ensure justice is done.

Indeed, the suspected soldiers carried out “shocking and appalling” physical abuse of the students. There is no doubt that the students’ parents and other concerned Zimbabweans were disturbed by the content.

Whatever Makotore might say, the revenge attack soldiers are not just a few bad apples given what transpired on the day. The soldiers should be prosecuted over appalling abuse of the students and other civilians.

However, the attack should serve as a warning to all tertiary students across the country to focus on their business — which is studying — and not hobnob in night spots and city bars at the expense of the sacrifices of their parents and guardians who are paying their fees.

There should be no room for students to waste time gallivanting instead of studying. Do these students even understand that the parents or their guardians are sacrificing a lot for them to attend school at a time the economy is gravitating towards the abyss?

Is this not the time for them to be serious for once so that they can attain the much-needed education required when the political situation improves in the future? The students should be warned not to squander or waste away their youthfulness through boozing and clubbing.

It is our hope that since the matter was reported to the police, there will be thorough investigations to stop the abuse of civilians by whomsoever including political and hired thugs who assault people for trivia.

Abusing civilians by members of the military is unacceptable and, therefore, must be stopped.

Malawian bank eyes Barclays Bank Zim

Malawian banking group First Merchant Bank (FMB) is in talks with Barclays PLC to buy its Zimbabwean unit.

BY BUSINESS REPORTER

Barclays-bank

Last year, Barclays PLC downgraded Barclays Zimbabwe to its non-core division with an intention to dispose it in the future.

Barclays PLC owns 68% shareholding in Barclays Zimbabwe.

In a cautionary statement yesterday, FMB said it was engaged in “exclusive discussions with Barclays Bank PLC (BB PLC), in relation to the potential acquisition of its interests in Barclays Bank Zimbabwe Limited (BBZ)”.

“Discussions with BB PLC are ongoing and may or may not result in the announcement of a transaction involving the acquisition by FMBCH of the interest of BB PLC in BBZ. Such transaction would also be subject to obtaining approval of the banking regulators in Malawi and Zimbabwe,” it said.

The banking group is listed on the Malawi Stock Exchange.

The group is undergoing a corporate restructuring after three principal shareholders, representing 55% of the issued capital of FMB said they intended to transfer their shares in FMB to FMB Capital Holdings Plc (FMBCH), a company incorporated in Mauritius, in exchange for shares in FMBCH. Subsequently, FMBCH will make an offer on the same terms to acquire the remaining 45% of the issued shares of FMB. At the conclusion of the offer period, the shares of FMBCH will be listed on the Malawi Stock Exchange.

The interest from FMB came after the British multi-national banking giant said it could not continue to combine Barclays Bank Zimbabwe with Barclays Africa Group Limited, as the business “is no longer a good fit with Barclays’ core strategy”.

It also said it would reduce its 62,3% interest in Barclays Africa Group Limited over the coming two to three years to a level, which would allow it to be deconsolidated from a legal and regulatory perspective.

In its financial results for 2016, Barclays Bank Zimbabwe posted a profit after tax of $10,8 million up from $3,9 million in 2015. This translated to a basic earnings per share of 0,50 cents up from 0,18 cents in 2015.

Barclays Zimbabwe was the fifth largest capitalised commercial bank as at December 31, according to statistics from the central bank.

Its core capital was $46,4 million behind CBZ ($205,7 million), Stanbic ($86,1 million), BancABC ($67,9 million) and Standard Chartered ($57,4 million) against the minimum threshold of $25 million. Banks should have minimum capital of $100 million by 2020.

Nera to pile pressure on Mugabe

Opposition political parties under the National Electoral Reforms Agenda (Nera) banner plan to hold a rally next week to ratchet up pressure on President Robert Mugabe’s administration to implement poll reforms.

BY XOLISANI NCUBE

MDC-T secretary-general Douglas Mwonzora

MDC-T secretary-general Douglas Mwonzora

Nera legal secretary and MDC-T secretary-general Douglas Mwonzora yesterday said the rally was meant to update supporters on the organisation’s 2017 agenda.

“It is going to be a feedback rally with all political leaders set to attend and address. The aim of the rally is to give our supporters the current position with regard to our fight for an even electoral playing field. We will have all political leaders under Nera addressing the rally,” Mwonzora said. Last week, Nera staged a mini-demonstration in Harare which was held under stringent conditions.

Police only allowed 2 500 people to gather at Freedom Square with only 10 representatives allowed to proceed to the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) offices to present a petition.

Nera wants, among other things, Zec chairperson Justice Rita Makarau to resign and allow for United Nations and Sadc-supervised polls in 2018.

The organisation is also fighting government’s decision to take over the procurement of biometric voter registration (BVR) kits from the United Nations Development Programme.

Zec has indicated its willingness to use BVR, but Mugabe’s lieutenants in both government and Zanu PF have embarked on a campaign to criticise the move, as well as claim it would be an unnecessary expenditure.

Cost of opposition coalition leadership

Zimbabweans perennially suffer from paralysis of electoral analysis. I am the first to understand why, because we are much too educated, yet totally uninformed on the basics of what amounts to be good, effective political leadership. We get engrossed and overwhelmed — even those of us who hang certificates adorned with college seals on the walls — with the misplaced notion on the synonymy of populist charisma and good leadership.

guest column: Rejoice Ngwenya

We now know that President Robert Mugabe is an educated populist who, for 50 years, has pulverised us and the world with feigned Cockney demagoguery. Yet on a leadership scale, he languishes precariously at the bottom rung with the rest of the world’s known, heartless authoritarian scumbags. Empirical evidence is in Zimbabwe’s eco-social desolation.

And so, as we Zimbabweans confront the matter-of-life-and-death question of who, among these names, is worthy to be opposition leader, we must cast away the demons of self-delusion, paranoia, antagonism and naivety. Let us not be bewildered by variety — it is the spice of life, but embrace diversity of current “leaders” because that is what affords us the comfort of choice.

Forget the 50 or so political upstarts and cast your thoughts on these: Barbara Nyagomo, Tendai Biti, Farai Mbira, Gilbert Dzikiti, Dumiso Dabengwa, Simba Makoni, Joice Mujuru, Morgan Tsvangirai, Elton Mangoma, Welshman Ncube, Jacob Ngarivhume and Maxwell Shumba.

Assuming I ask five million Zimbabweans on the proverbial opposition electoral payroll this simple question: “Who among these 12 political disciples is worthy as sole opposition representative on the 2018 presidential ballot paper?”, I would probably get a quick, dismissive answer based on emotion, superficial historical reference, partisan hysteria, fallacious analysis and, at best, ignorance.

Here is my entry point today: Good political leadership — particularly coalition leadership — must carry a high cost. Those that feel — by commission or omission — are capable of being coalition leaders must accept the burden that we will put on them for failure to displace Mugabe. They must know at the outset that five million Zimbabweans on the proverbial opposition electoral payroll, post-2018, will demand explanation why they have failed to assume power. The leader of a coalition or opposition for that matter — must be willing to accept emotional, psychological and social retribution if not acerbic castigation and incessant denigration for failed liberation promises.

This time, it is not a matter of sitting at some high table in a well-lit hotel conference room, telling us and the world that Zanu PF and Mugabe cheated, did not follow universally accepted principles of electoral practice, unfairly used State institutions, stuffed ballot papers or are merely refusing to transfer political power.

That is failed leadership. We will demand nothing less than accountable responsibility. Remember the Jewish story of a prophet named Jesus who assumed the burden of the sinful world and died for it? The late former South African President Nelson Mandela accepted responsibility and spent almost 30 years in prison. Have you forgotten about Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr? That dear reader — to me is leadership.

Therefore, in responding to the question: “Who among these 12 political disciples is worthy to be the sole opposition representative on the 2018 presidential ballot paper?”, I would propose a response viewed through a three-phase prism — the Attributive Process of Selecting Coalition Leadership (APSCL). The first thing we should accept is that good political leadership is value-driven. We and the rest of the world were not wrong about Mandela being a man of integrity, endowed with great vision for his nation, truthful, honest, reliable, consistent, fair, a good communicator and listener, selfless, sincere, respectful, courageous, immune to rumour-mongering, compassionate and empathetic. To say that this value spectrum can be picked at university, in the street, town halls or bestowed by “large crowds” at political rallies shows profound ignorance in what sustainable leadership is. Question: Is one born with these values or they can be learned and earned? I absolutely have no idea.

Once Nyagomo, Biti, Mbira, Dzikiti, Dabengwa, Makoni, Mujuru, Tsvangirai, Mangoma, Ncube, Ngarivhume and Shumba prevail in this first APSCL scan, then we subject them to the twin-test for excitement and novelty. Since year 2000, the five million Zimbabweans on the proverbial opposition electoral payroll have been inundated with the Mugabe must go mantra, Zanu PF is corrupt, there are no jobs, Zimbabweans are poor, we want to be part of the global family, land reform does not work and so forth.

In all subsequent electoral campaigns, opposition manifestos and reports have screamed hell about the unfairness of elections, Gukurahundi, Murambatsvina, electoral violence, hyperinflation, contaminated voters’ roll and declining industrial capacity utilisation.
I am sitting here thinking: Hell no!

Is my next opposition or coalition leader going to sing the same old boring lyrics? To make matters worse, between year 2000 and 2013, there was incremental decline in the number of voters, let alone the failure of elections to attract the cyber-crazy three million young people. What novelty and excitement can Nyagomo, Biti, Mbira, Dzikiti, Dabengwa, Makoni, Mujuru, Tsvangirai, Mangoma, Ncube, Ngarivhume or Shumba bring to the electoral table this time around?

The last phase of APSCL assessment is what I call servant leadership culture — the antidote to authoritarian tendencies. Put in simple terms, Zimbabweans, post-Mugabe, do not want another version of Joseph Kabila, John Magufuli, Edgar Lungu or, for that matter, Paul Kagame.

Before they even assume sole presidential ballot paper representation, Nyagomo, Biti, Mbira, Dzikiti, Dabengwa, Makoni, Mujuru, Tsvangirai, Mangoma, Ncube, Ngarivhume or Shumba must sign a servant leadership social contract with Zimbabweans. Our memories and political wounds are still fresh about a despotic Mugabe-type leadership grossly abusive of the Constitution. We know how he has desecrated and defiled the independence of commissions; how the military and the judiciary have been poisoned with patronage.

I was there when Constitution Parliamentary Committee failed to limit Mugabe’s power in appointing and dismissing ministers; and immunised himself against parliamentary impeachment as even some opposition leaders argued against presidential running mates. We are exasperated with strong man politics of divine appointees and unlimited terms.

Any coalition leader worth their weight in gold must enter into an agreement that they will not be all that. This, dear reader, is what I see as the high, but bearable cost of opposition coalition leadership.

Rejoice Ngwenya writes in his personal capacity.

1 2 3 288