I had high expectations when Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front chairman Simon Khaya Moyo announced on Thursday that President Robert Mugabe had called an emergency meeting of the politburo the following day.
The week had been full of drama- Vice-President Joice Mujuru’s outburst about detractors using the rot in the country to destroy the party and government, the continuing saga at Premier Services Medical Aid Society, the Air Zimbabwe debacle, and the Tokwe-Mukosi disaster.
I thought Mugabe was going to meet his lieutenants and agree to set the record straight especially on corruption which seems to have dominated the scene overshadowing the real human disaster in Masvingo.
I thought Mugabe was going to address the nation immediately after the meeting, to tell us about the way forward, to bring back confidence that is evaporating by the day.
But alas it was a false alarm. Nothing of the sort happened. I am still wondering what the fuss about the meeting was about because all we were told was the obvious -that several ministers briefed the politburo about Tokwe-Mukosi and what was being done.
There was absolutely nothing about the corruption which has rocked the nation. According to the Herald, Mugabe “identified that the first thing was to prevent corruption and secondly to establish facts about corruption”.
Personally this was not I expected to hear. Everyone knows that corruption is rampant in Zimbabwe as it is the third most corrupt country in Africa. What is disturbing to everyone is that culprits or those caught with their hands in the till are getting away with it.
As one Insider reader said: “After 34 years of presiding over corruption, I find it hard to believe the beast called ZANU-PF can change its spots in a day. We will hear a lot of anti-corruption hot air, one or two show arrests of expendables, after that a lot of investigations that never see a day in court, and then it’s all back to looting in new ways.”
One gets the feeling that this was what the meeting was all about- to lull the public. But then, maybe something more concrete happened behind closed doors. Whatever, happened, Mugabe must do something to inspire the nation, otherwise people will start believing that ZANU-PF has run out of ideas and is now clueless about the way forward.
Maybe, Mugabe, who turns 90 next week, has left the best for his birthday. But the clock is ticking. People need to hear him say something tangible to prove that he is still in control, and that the country is not sliding back to where it was in 2007-2008.