HomeOpinion & AnalysisColumnistsConflation between State, Zanu PF detrimental to nation-building

Conflation between State, Zanu PF detrimental to nation-building

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THE fundamental basis of any nation is the separation of powers – that there be a clear distinction between the government and political parties.

NEWSDAY COMMENT

In political parties, officials serve strict and narrow ends, where their interests take precedence, whereas in the government, bureaucrats work for everyone regardless of political affiliation.

However, in Zimbabwe this clear demarcation is almost non-existent, as there is conflation between the State and Zanu PF, which is detrimental to nation-building.

We have raised concern several times that Zanu PF should draw a thick line between its operations and government, because the overlapping roles are confounding.

Just recently, in Masvingo Zanu PF officials fought over the employment of people for the dualisation of the Harare-Masvingo highway project, a clear indication that they believe this is a party rather than national project.

Hiring on party lines creates patronage networks and nepotism, which by definition are the antithesis of productive work.

This comes as First Lady Grace Mugabe has in the past donated government-sourced inputs at her rallies, leaving out people who do not belong to Zanu PF.

It is important to point out that the inputs would have been sourced with taxpayers’ money and should be given to everyone regardless of political affiliation, but this is not the case, as taxes are used for the growth of one party only.

In that same regard, Grace has appointed herself a prefect of government officials, in as yet unexplained circumstances.

A couple of years ago she declared that Vice-Presidents take notes from her on how to run the government and recently she berated a government official and told him how to do his job.

This is not her role and we wonder where she got the power to do that.
If Grace has something to say, she should stick to Zanu PF functions and stay out of the running of the government.

Grace has no business in executive functions of the government and she should know the limit of her powers.

In that same vein, bureaucrats should know that when they are in government they are serving Zimbabweans and that means they should not be seen to be partisan.

There is a sickening tendency by government officials to be seen attending Zanu PF functions in the party’s regalia and chanting slogans.

An outsider can be forgiven for thinking that they will not get fair service from that official if they do not belong to Zanu PF and this leads to mistrust and a breakdown of relationships between the government and citizens.

There is need for a clear demarcation between government and party business, where Zimbabweans, regardless of party affiliation, get similar and good quality treatment from bureaucrats.

The conflation of party and government roles points to weak structures, leading to a poor democracy and bad governance.

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