THAT if there was ever a time to cut Finance deputy minister Terrence Mukupe to size — both in government and in Zanu PF — it is now, is no longer in doubt.
This, because the aggressive Mukupe has demonstrated beyond any reasonable doubt that he does not add any value to not only President Emmerson Mnangagwa regime, but all citizens.
It boggles the mind how after the Zanu PF government publicly censured and widely condemned him for his reckless claim that the army which helped depose former President Robert Mugabe to make way for Mnangagwa, he went on to assault a journalist and his wife during a radio interview simply for holding divergent views.
Mukupe even had the audacity to taunt the journalist to go and report anywhere he wanted. Is this how dishonourable Zanu PF politicians have become — in just under six months at the helm of the country — really!
This simply means Mukupe believes he is untouchable and nothing will be done to him — just like nothing significant was done after he assaulted a senior civil servant in his ministry. Has he not yet demonstrated that he is not fit to hold public office?
His bravado speaks to the fact that nothing will be done to him — perhaps because of his government position or his closeness to Mnangagwa, and all this coming in the wake of Police Commissioner-General Godwin Matanga’s pronouncements that the police have turned a page in their policing after years of protecting Zanu PF officials and supporters at the expense of their opposition counterparts and the general public.
No doubt that Mukupe’s wayward behaviour is in many ways a reflection of the government he serves and Mnangagwa. Why is he untouchable? Whether he is related to Mnangagwa or to his close relations or friends by marriage or whatever else, does it give him the licence to do as he pleases? We hope not! We have no doubt that the citizenry is keen to see how the President will deal with his ever-increasing big-headedness.
Critically, Mukupe seems to lack the moral fibre required of public office holders. In many ways, he has smeared whatever efforts Mnangagwa has been doing to demonstrate to Zimbabweans and the world that we are indeed, in a new era. For all intents and purposes, we are still stuck in that old system where Zanu PF officials can do whatever they want and still get away with it.
Not long ago, Mukupe was also dragged to court by a Chinese company for failing to pay over $28 000 debt following the construction of his private offices in Harare. In yet another worrisome development, he publicly claimed that former Finance minister Tendai Biti was on anti-retroviral treatment. The crude manner in which he made the remark demonstrates that he views the 1,3 million Zimbabweans on anti-retroviral treatment in this country as lesser beings.
For public official who represents a government battling one of the highest HIV prevalence rates in sub-Saharan Africa to make such a remark is most unfortunate. This can only defeat current efforts to contain the HIV pandemic.
We believe that such a politician does not bring any value to government.
In fact, the best he can be is an albatross around its neck. This unbecoming behaviour by public officials should just stop, and Mnangagwa must act urgently against these shenanigans.