Zanu (PF) government has lost direction: Mutumbuka

Zimbabwe is moving in circles because the government has lost its compass, says former Zanu (PF) minister for education Dzingai Mutumbuka.

“Zimbabweans are led by a government without a compass.”  – Dzingai Mutumbuka.
“Zimbabweans are led by a government without a compass.” – Dzingai Mutumbuka.

Mutumbuka, a senior Zanu (PF) official and former liberation war fighter, took aim at his party whose policies he described as a divergence from the founding principles.

“From the liberation struggle and post-independence, Zanu (PF) had progressive policies which helped make the country an envy of the region and continent,” Mutumbuka told The Zimbabwean in a recent exclusive interview in Harare.

He said Zanu (PF)’s education and health policies, among others, were regarded as benchmarks for the way a developing pro-poor nation should go. Zimbabwe was a role model that everyone was proud to identify with.

Now, though, he described Zimbabweans as roaming in the wilderness, with a leadership that had lost its bearings.

He said the only way forward for Zimbabwe was actually to go back to the starting point and clearly map out the route to prosperity.

The outspoken Mutumbuka castigated Zimbabwe for building state institutions that served the interests of the few at the expense of the many.

“Zimbabwe is in a dilemma, as its national and State institutions were conditioned to serve the interests of one person while tramping on the aspirations of the majority,” he said. He said the call by President Robert Mugabe for investigations to be started in some high-profile corruption cases was meaningless.

Institutions charged with the responsibility of investigating and prosecuting high-profile crime would do nothing because of their compromised nature.

Mutumbuka said the dilemma in which Zimbabweans found themselves was compounded by the failure of the nation to identify itself, locate where it stood and decide what future it aspired to.

Mutumbuka said his heart bled to think of the messy situation Zimbabwe found itself in “as a result of bad policies and lack of technological development”.

Innovations and training in science and technology were cited as a sure game-changer for the Zimbabwean economy.

For example, he said, at a time countries such as China were investing in the training of engineers, Zimbabwe was busy implementing experimental policies that were letting down the country.

He said there was no way the country could leapfrog its economic growth without science and technologically oriented human resources.

During the liberation struggle, Mutumbuka served as secretary for education and culture in the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front, Zanu (PF).

He was responsible for the education of all Zimbabweans in refugee camps in Mozambique.

He was the first Zimbabwe minister for education from 1980 to 1988, then minister for higher education from 1988 to 1989. He also supervised the implementation of policies in Zimbabwe’s ministries of education, health, social welfare, housing, youth and development and women’s affairs.

At the World Bank, Mutumbuka held the position of human development sectors manager for Eastern and Southern Africa. He currently chairs the Association for the Development of Education in Africa.

Observers say Zanu (PF) policies, such as land reform, indigenisation and the early running of the economy on corporatist lines, pushed the nation to the edge.

Zanu (PF) spokesperson Rugare Gumbo and national secretary for administration Dydimus Mutasa said they were too busy with party business to discuss what went wrong with their party’s founding principles and policies.

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