THE decision by President Emmerson Mnangagwa to retire Mariyawanda Nzuwah from his chairmanship position as Civil Service Commission, Police Service Commission, Defence Forces Commission, Prisons and Correctional Service Commission and a member of the Judicial Service Commission after reaching the pensionable age of 65 is a welcome development, which could not have come at any opportune time.
It is hoped that this will pave the way for more retirements of senior citizens in the government employ retarding the regime’s new trajectory.
In the same breadth, Zimbabweans would hope that his counterpart Tobaiwa Mudede, who has served as the country’s Registrar-General, sometimes with his own moments of controversy, especially, with regards to the management of the voters roll and dual citizenship among others, should be the next target.
As part of the new government’s decision to depart from “Mugabeism”, following the forced removal of 94-year-old former President Robert Mugabe, there is need to inject new, younger blood and energetic personnel into key positions in public institutions, who will come up with new and fresh ideas.
For many years, the civil service had become a tired and moribund creature in desperate need of new energy and inspiration.
Therefore, the retiring of ageing individuals superintending key parastatals and government institutions will open the doors for younger and skilled people to take over the reins and, where necessary, modernise such institutions.
We believe there are several people who by now should have become pensioners, but are still expected to bring new ideas, something that is a rather tall order for them.
We are hopeful that Mnangagwa will not stop there, but will expand his dragnet to “catch” all those that are over 60, but are still in the government employ, occupying key positions and still struggling with making key decisions to take the country forward.
It boggles the mind how these tired mortals are expected to generate new ideas, when they themselves actually need regeneration. In fact, forcing things that way is like expecting water to come out of a stone.
That could be one reason why Zimbabwe had a whole Cabinet of educated old fellows removing their shoes before an uneducated con-artist, one Rotina Mavhunga in Maninga Hills of Chinhoyi in 2007 on the pretext that she had the powers to extract pure diesel from the hills.
Those that quickly come to mind are Vice-President Kembo Mohadi, Police Commissioner-General Tandabantu Godwin Matanga and former Defence minister Sydney Sekeramayi.
Yet, some of these individuals still hold key government posts that should be occupied by many qualified young people wandering the streets after graduating from university.
We believe that many of these young people should be deployed in government, but that can only be possible if there is a shake up to ensure the necessary openings.
Those that have reached retirement should serve in advisory roles, as informal soundboards from which the younger professionals can draw wisdom and guidance.
Mnangagwa should, therefore, move quickly to reconfigure the structures of government, otherwise his mantra “Zimbabwe is open for business” becomes hollow!