Our Destructive Politics
Our Destructive Politics
Moyo, Mnangagwa and Unconstitutional Appointments
The suggestion by the Daily News (Mugabe 'manhandling' of Moyo alarms ministers 26.06.15) that Jonathan Moyo’s unceremonious dismissal as a Minister could have been on account of President Mugabe being a “stickler for constitutionalism” had me rolling on the ground with merriment. The man clearly has no idea what is in the Constitution, and his advisers seem to treat the supreme law of the land as a mere guideline rather than as legally binding.
When the most senior law officer of the country, the Prosecutor-General, expresses views that allegedly are in contradiction to both the law and morality, he should not be surprised that there is a massive public outcry. The hullabaloo over his purported views on the age of consent has missed out on some equally egregious remarks about dealing with perpetrators. As the Herald quotes him:
When I heard that the next AU summit was to be in South Africa, the issue of Al Bashir did not enter my mind for single second. After all, following his visit to Kenya in 2010, had not the Courts there ordered that he should be arrested should he set foot in Kenya again; had not Malawi’s failure to arrest Al Bashir in 2011 incurred huge political and economic costs (Western trade agreements apparently often contain a clause requiring compliance by the contracting State with its obligations under the Rome Statute)?
On the 8th May, 2015 a long awaited General Laws Amendment Bill was gazetted. The proclaimed intention of the Bill is “to ensure that all Acts of Parliament in force before the new Constitution became effective are, to the extent of any inconsistency with the Constitution, aligned with the Constitution”. Of course the Bill falls far short of ensuring that all Acts of Parliament incorporate the changes brought about by the new Constitution. The Bill is mainly concerned with trivial amendments - such as altering the name of the “Prison Service” to the “Prisons and Correctional Service” etc.
The one disease that afflicts the nation can be summarised in a single word – contempt! And the main object of this contempt is ordinary people.
Contempt is one of the more hateful positions that humans can adopt: it arises from a sense of superiority, that only I possess that something, that is superior to yours.
It might be my intellect (but rarely so), or my money (increasingly so), or my power, and always so! Contempt presumes that the “other”, whoever that might be, is in some way inferior or defective.
Of food shortages and by-elections
In the run up to elections, party officials and other aspirant office bearers direct local public goods to their constituencies in their efforts to win and advance their careers within the party and government. Where political competition is high, no area has an insignificant number of voters. All voters are to be targeted and intoxicated with a political party’s ideology, and this includes reaching out to under-represented groups, especially the severely remote rural communities.
“…So many broken families, so many deaths, so many displaced citizens, so many millions forced out of their country by violence and economic neglect: we should be ashamed of ourselves, and we should publicly refuse the political abuse, not just mumbling purposelessly in the privacy of our houses.” Chenjerai Hove
Hopelessly hopeful, or despair and despondency?
A series of recent comments about current Zimbabwe deserve a little comment in return. Joost Fontein points out that: