Mugabe admits cabinet is useless

It’s official. The Zimbabwean cabinet is a selfish, useless lot of old windbags. This is not our diagnosis. The admission comes straight from the horse’s mouth – that of the

ir great leader, President Robert Mugabe himself.

He confessed last week in his official broadcast to the nation that his so-called Development Cabinet had accomplished nothing. Many others have said it before us, and yet it has taken him all this time to realise that he has surrounded himself with a bunch of greedy crooks.

They all know that all they need to do to stay in the cabinet and continue to draw their salaries and perks, is to tell him what he wants to hear and express undying loyalty to his life presidency. The job description is not very onerous at all. It is well known that Zimbabwe’s government ministers are among the richest on the continent. Most of them have multiple business interests.

It is no wonder the government is in such an appalling state. The cabinet doesn’t have time to run the country – they are all busy running their own companies.

The recent international media outrage about the extent of the Kenyan corruption scam pales into insignificance beside the excesses of the Zimbabwean thievocracy.

Despite his trusted blue-eyed banker, Gideon Gono having the temerity to state openly that senior members of the government and party are the worse corruption offenders, that they are abusing the once-productive farms they have been given, that many of them are multiple farm owners – making a mockery of the state’s pronounced policy of one man one farm – Mugabe has been reluctant to single out any of his selected coterie for blame or castigation in any way.

No minister in Mugabe’s government has ever been sacked for corruption or incompetence. The only reasons for dismissal are being too clever or too ambitious. Those who have dared question his rule, or suggest they might be suitable to succeed him, have been shown the door very smartly indeed.

In his recent official address, Mugabe hinted – rather obscurely – that a reshuffle just might be on the cards. “Just because so far re-shuffles have not been done does not mean they would not be done,” was the way he put it. Are any of the present hierarchy losing sleep over this veiled threat we wonder?

If, for once, Mugabe does intend to make selfishness, non-performance and ‘lack of vigour’ punishable by demotion from the echelons of power, indeed of civil servanthood, we will be the first to applaud. But if such a list is being compiled, his name should be at the top of it.

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