Government has run out of ideas: Manheru


PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe’s administration is bereft of ideas to govern and is administering the country literally in the dark, a shadowy State media columnist believed to be presidential spokesperson George Charamba revealed at the weekend.


The columnist, who writes under the pen-name Nathaniel Manheru, also gave a hint that Mugabe did not buy into the much-vaunted Zimbabwe Agenda for Sustainable Socio-Economic Transformation (ZimAsset), reportedly developed by Higher and Tertiary Education minister Jonathan Moyo.

ZimAsset is Zanu PF’s economic blueprint which the party crafted before the July 2013 general elections that it won with a two-thirds majority.

“Where is Zanu PF’s big, filling, governing idea(s) today? We cannot tackle the status quo, leaven it even, which is why the ideas which won us in 2013 today emit a stench sharper than that of a civet cat,” Manheru wrote.

“Where is indigenisation? Where is economic empowerment? Where is employment creation? If ideas that secured 2013 are now stale, what big ideas have been invented to replace them? How do we keep the nation focused, gazing at the ever-elusive, but inspiring Star of David? Need we wonder that our people now think factionalism is the big idea? Or can’t reject it when party enemies proffer it as the only reality shaping the party, the nation?” he asked rhetorically.


He then went into a tirade against government’s signature economic “masterpiece” sold to Zimbabweans as the panacea to the country’s socio-economic problems.

“I know it is not ZimAsset, can’t be. ZimAsset comes from the bureaucracy. However good it may be as a plan, as a tool of recovering a sanctions-battered economy, it cannot be the big political idea that enkindles the nation, sets it alight.

“It is staid, dry and formulaic. It is academic, an economist’s explanation to an abscess. Very esoteric, far removed from mundane comprehension. So, what is it that does the role of the big idea? Sadly, it does seem there is no such idea. Or if it is there, it has not been communicated well enough to galvanise and mobilise the nation,” the columnist added.

Manheru said Zanu PF’s lack of vision and a clear programme to govern the country out of the rut had inadvertently given mileage to the opposition that had struggled to survive after the 2013 electoral loss.

“And the consequences of its (governance idea) absence are evident everywhere, are beginning to bear on this society and to make Zanu PF’s hegemony look doubtful.

“Above all, personalities have replaced big goals, big programmes and big ideas. Society focuses on individuals, gets polarised around this or that petty official. Today society is transfixed around fights for sinecurism, fights for positions, not visions. Even the moribund opposition begins to twitch with a whiff of new life, less from its own will to live, more from our inexplicable urge to die, to self-immolate,” Manheru added.

Zanu PF is currently locked up in serious factional fighting fuelled by the race to succeed Mugabe.

Yet Manheru said Zanu PF should be concerned with the current state of affairs in which it is administering the country literally “from hand to mouth”.

“But what should concern Zanu PF, concern it profoundly, is the present anomaly where it governs without a big idea, filling idea. Societies are run by government, but ruled by big, dominant ideas. Zanu PF’s history demonstrates this truism. Its struggles against imperialism at every stage paid homage to this fact,” he said.


  1. The biggest achievement of Zimasset is factionalism, especially the hottest one being fanned by the First Lady. Factionalism has created employment albeit unpaid employment, as people wake up to rallies daily instead of going to industry. So zanupf by calling rallies daily and bussing people from province to province think it is employment creation. My worry why not have a rally for Mash West only with Mash West people, Masvingo with Masvingo people, what is the point of taking Harare people to Mat North rally?

  2. Manheru – you cannot say “…the government has run out of ideas” when this is a one-man government. Mugabe is the government. All cabinet members are just powerless praise singers who have no input in policy. This country was created by whites not by Mugabe. Mugabe has never had any good ideas from day one and is getting worse by the day.

  3. Oh this is lovely! It’s getting clearer now even to the system’s lynchpins what we have been saying ever since. Thanks to the ZPF internal purges, economic problems affecting everyone and exposures of corruption even in the state media. We are getting there, slowly but surely. It will not go beyond the 40-year mark. This is the biblical cycle of nations!! Mark my word.

  4. George Charamba has this nauseating loquacious and prolix type of writing meant to show off how good he is in colonial English rather than conveying facts or ideas. Charamba was 16 in 1980 and did not even vote but when he writes about colonialism and Smith you would think he knew quite a lot about the Smith era when he has no idea what was going on. He is just a loudmouth not to be taken seriously. Charamba has a colonial mentality. He thinks writing prolix colonial English is a sign of superiority like all black Zimbabweans with colonial mentality believe. It does not matter what nonsense one is saying as long as one says it fluently in colonial English then people sit back and listen. Some of these idiots entered into the political arena to show off how good they are in speaking colonial English.

  5. …..and iwe Musona inota seunoziva too much about manheru wave kutotiudza his age
    Can’t you just see a simple fact kuti newsday jut want to give its preferred ankle on what manheru wrote…enda pa herald unoverenga nyaya yacho yese rather than depending on newdays preferred interpretation

    • @Joe or Editor – nonsense. Get lost. Why have the readers’ comments section if you want people to write what YOU want? You should have Editor’s comment section.

  6. Musona, you hit the nail on the head. I’ve been thinking along the same lines and feeling disgusted by this for a long time. My heartfelt thanks.

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