Offer of title deeds, moral deficiency

Zimbabwe's President Emmerson Mnangagwa

By Cyprian M Ndawana

DEAR President Emmerson Mnangagwa.

Your Excellency, it is an open secret that the Zimbabwe Steel Company (ZiscoSteel) was inherited from the colonial regime while it was a lucrative entity. It remained viable for years, long after the departure of whites.

With all due respect, blaming whites for the ruination of the fallen steel giant belies the dignity ordinarily expected of the first citizen. Like all other State-owned entities which were drained dry, ZiscoSteel was not sabotaged by whites who were frustrated over the attainment of independence by the republic.

As I see it, the accusation is malicious. It incites racial hatred.

Apparently, it is dishonest of you to peddle such lies. Yet, amid the accusation, you are oblivious of the plunder that was committed by a corruption convict whom you appointed to Cabinet.

Your Excellency, on another note, the pledge of title deeds to people who were settled in undesignated areas by land barons exposes your insatiable appetite to retain power. Although the promise was not fulfilled, you had already deprived yourself of integrity. Citizenry was not interested in title deeds, but on the promise you made to name and shame land barons. It has always been apparent to all and sundry that the allocation of the stands was at odds with established procedure. Had you fulfilled the promise, it would have been tantamount to usurpation of the mandate of local authorities.

With some families settled on private land, issuance of title deeds is inappropriate. It boggles the mind how you concluded that regularisation would be done, given that the allocations were in contravention of urban planning laws and procedures.

Your Excellency, it is appalling that it is taking you eternity to name and shame the land barons. Yet, you acknowledged that you know them. Undoubtedly, their sordid deeds are punishable at law.

These settlements are irregular. All the houses were built on unserviced stands, without approved plans and inspection. Residents are at the mercy of air and water-borne diseases. It is disconcerting that decades of independence culminated in such squalor.

Hence, the offer of title deeds as a campaign gimmick evidences deficiency in moral integrity. It saddened me to hear the Zanu PF spokesperson make such an empty promise. God forbid if ever there was anyone who was so gullible to believe the incredible.

Your Excellency, likening an opposition party to a parasitic insect like louse which must be crushed mercilessly, as said by your deputy Constantino Chiwenga, has the hallmarks of hate speech. If you were to ask me to name an utterance that has the capability to incite violence, the one that comes to mind is the above-mentioned.

As I see it, lack of insight and wisdom amid the worsening socioeconomic meltdown is apparently a breeding ground for political intolerance. There has not been only a proliferation of hate speech, but also of physical confrontations as well.

It is my fervent prayer that citizenry henceforth be granted amnesty for whatever sins, be they of commission or omission they may have committed. It is confounding to imagine the wrongs that warrant being under you.

Your Excellency, look no further than the diminishing democratic space for the reason of the extension of the targeted sanctions.

It did not sit well with me when some Zanu PF heavyweights had to run for dear life during the party’s provincial elections. Even your very own province, Midlands, was not spared of the upheavals which resulted in the dismissal of a Cabinet minister. With two young lives lost in political rivalry, it reminds me that the Presidency is bereft of morals. Methinks the pursuit for power in general, and public office in particular, has become shameless that the sanctity of life is no longer respected.

Your Excellency, there is a dearth of perceptive leadership that is endowed with sound mind and poise at the apex of power and authority. It is unfortunate that the calibre of leaders with sound judgment is now an extinct breed.

There is no one to red-flag such venomous utterances. Methinks the horde of indigenous clergy who surround you are not bona fide emissaries of God. They should have spoken out against the aggressive speeches which now define the Presidency. There hardly is any observance and adherence to the time-honoured conventions of debate. Consequently, even the Zanu PF provincial elections held last year were markedly bitter and sanguinary. They were held in a combative mood, without the camaraderie spirit.