THAT recent developments in President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s “new/old regime” have shown that the corridors of power are littered with some rogue elements that are likely to hamstring the President’s efforts to cut a new political trajectory if timely and necessary action is not taken, is now an open secret.
This because of careless decisions, bigotry, vindictiveness and outright endemic corrupt tendencies by elected officials appointed to key government positions to discharge their duties to advance the nation’s aspirations leaves a lot to be desired. The incident clearly yearns for the President to recall these officials, if Zimbabweans are to fully deposit their trust in the new dispensation going into this year’s crucial election.
Yesterday, we carried a story on a shocking incident in which Finance and Economic Development deputy minister, Terence Mukupe recently assaulted a very senior civil servant for allegedly giving him a “paltry $910 travel allowance” yet this is what is prescribed by a Treasury circular guiding disbursement of allowances to government officials.
Although the police have dealt with the matter, Mr President, there is need for further government action — perhaps through suspension or outright dismissal of the said deputy minister — to send a strong signal that such rogue behaviour cannot be tolerated in government corridors.
The Civil Service Commission must also rise to the task and formally register its displeasure over the incident and ensure the culprit is dismissed from office. No doubt Mukupe is tarnishing the image of the Presidency, government system and the country.
From Zanu PF party level, further action should be taken as a demonstration that the governing party is on a renewal path and cannot be represented by belligerents of Mukupe’s mould.
Allowing Mukupe to represent the governing party in any election will be an endorsement of rogue behaviour, which stinks to high heaven.
Parliament, too, should consider if he can be counted among the country’s parliamentarians. We have nothing against him but the bottom line is — Mukupe is a man who behaves like a reprobate unfit to hold public office.
Zimbabweans have also seen almost similar conduct from Transport minister Joram Gumbo and Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa with regards to the shady deals involving Air Zimbabwe and Zimbabwe Airways. The way Gumbo and Chinamasa handled the Air Zimbabwe-Zimbabwe Airways multi-million-dollar aircraft deal is smelly.
The two ministers’ reluctance to come clean on who owns ZimAirways, which is reportedly linked to Gumbo and former President Robert Mugabe’s son-in-law Simba Chikore as a sanctions-busting measure, raises a lot of dust. This could just be an indication of widespread graft taking place under Mnangagwa’s watch despite his pledge to fight the cancer of corruption.
The two ministers have given conflicting statements regarding the ownership of ZimAirways. It is imperative for Mnangagwa to act on these ministers, or their actions, which do not augur well for the future of the new government.
Worse with the perception that the highest office is also involved in its own shenanigans especially after granting Marry Chiwenga’s East Town Holdings and Janice Mitton’s Home Essentials multi-million-dollar travel arrangements and State House services deals respectively without going through tender processes.
What is more are allegations that Marry recently grabbed an Arda seed farm — it appears the new dispensation is all about “it’s our time to eat”. What a skewed mentality! We have no doubt that Zimbabweans will correct this anomaly when the time comes — they are indeed watching.
If the flouting of tender processes is indeed true, then it’s a huge bloat on Mnangagwa’s regime, unless he acts swiftly to turn the tide. So much about the New Dispensation!