Wednesday, May 25, 2022

Family matters ÔÇô the creation of a government ministry

It is called the Ministry of State for Liaising on Psychomotor Activities in Education and Vocational Training.
But what is it?

Robert Mugabe’s last surviving sibling, Bridget, passed away in hospital a few weeks ago after several years in a coma.

Cruel as it might be, Zimbabweans, whose patients have to bring their own food to the hospital, were always talking about who was actually paying for her medical upkeep, considering that so-called ordinary Zimbabweans would be lucky to be admitted into any hospital, let alone get the required care, medication and attention.

The people knew that public funds were being used at their expense while hospitals and clinics in the country are being run on nothing but Paracetamol painkillers.

Mugabe uses public funds as if it is his personal money.

We see how he has always spent more than he earns.

Today, money from the few struggling taxpayers and weak companies is being diverted to take care of a family at the expense of the people.

The people of Zimbabwe are today being burdened with financial fights to recover a house, bought with stolen money and owned by the Mugabe family.

Africa has a notorious record of people enslaving themselves after colonialists have long been driven out of power.

The cruelest thing Mugabe is doing is to use the people’s resources, the nation’s wealth and energy to abuse the very owners of that country. He uses the people’s energy to subjugate them. There is that famed Biblical anecdote prohibiting the use of a mother goat’s milk to cook its very own kid. And our Robert is doing just that.

Mugabe has always been a selfish and self-centered leader who never accepted other people’s views. He is so bent on being an omnipotent that his rusty mind does not seem to register to him the noble expectations of his office.

I dislike the notion that Zimbabweans are beholden to Mugabe for anything. He, instead, has destroyed our country more than he has improved it. And some people in Botswana praise and support him; people outside Zimbabwe love his rhetoric and that is a shame because Africans do not appear to be able to tell when they are biting their own tails.

I still have to see pandemonium at the gates of the Zimbabwe Embassy in Gaborone, or elsewhere in Africa and the world, as people fight in the queues to be first for a chance to get visas to immigrate to Zimbabwe.

It is appalling that in the aftermath of revelations of abuse of office and public funds by parastatal heads and senior personnel, Mugabe protects them by having them keep their jobs or having them reinstated after being dismissed.

Mugabe uses public funds and his office to pay personal debts and reward praise singers.

What does it take for these people to be responsible enough to distinguish between personal and public property?  Even government property, manpower and vehicles are used for party functions anywhere in the country and beyond.

Corruption all but erased the line between government property and that of the ruling party, a syndrome most prevalent in Africa.
They all behave as if the citizens owe them something yet they owe the nation honest service, which they always fail to deliver and then punish us for their failures to serve us.

Mugabe never cared about the people or the nation. His mission was to please himself, comparing himself to Christ and wanting people to view him as a redeemer. Well, he is a murderer and we all know that, including those who support him.

Mugabe has always put himself before the nation, which is a shame if we consider the number of people who perished in liberating Zimbabwe.

During the funeral of his sister a few weeks ago, Mugabe said that his now late sister Bridget’s situation made him introduce the Ministry on Psychomotor Activities, which he gave to one of his politically expired colleagues, Josiah Hungwe.

Mugabe created a ministry because his own sister needed such services.

Psychomotor activity or learning is the relationship between cognitive functions and physical movement.

In the end, however, all the definitions mean pretty much the same thing: movement that is related to the mind.

In Zimbabwe’s history and, indeed, in the history of all nations, there has always been and are children and grown-ups, in and out of schools, who needed and need such attention but Mugabe did not care about them until July 2013 when, after stealing an election, he created such a ministry because such service was needed in his own household.

At his appointment to the ministry, which should have been a department in the Education Ministry, Hungwe was himself not even sure of what he was supposed to be doing.

Last September 30th in Parliament, Zimbabwe’s Higher Education Minister Olivia Muchena was challenged to explain the relevance of the Psychomotor Ministry and she fumbled around for a plausible justification.

“I would like to ask the indulgence of the House for me and my colleague (Hungwe) to bring a joint statement after we are fully briefed,” Muchena said. “Normally, people learn in the mind and not able to do it. What is meant by psychomotor is that there should be engagement between the mind and how to do it.”

All Mugabe needed to do was to ask the teachers who are with these children more hours than us parents. They would not have recommended a separate ministry; they would have done it themselves because they are the ones who know the strengths and weaknesses of our children better than we do. They are in day to day contact with the affected children.

The money used to establish such a ministry should have been channeled into the wages of our long suffering but patient teachers and into creating a strong department within the education ministry to oversee this anomaly without the red tape of consulting with another ministry elsewhere.

For some reason, Mugabe, like many African leaders, has always underestimated the role played by teachers. He views them with some hatred.

Teachers deserve more respect, especially from Mugabe, himself an undistinguished school teacher. Do not bother with the nonsense about Mugabe’s law and economics degrees; he never practised any profession other than teaching.

To be fair to Hungwe, himself a retired school teacher like Mugabe, he is on record in parliament stating that he did not know what actually his ministry’s mandate was. Now he knows. Mugabe created a ministry for his own sister’s needs.

The heart of the matter is that African leaders have a regrettable tendency to fudge the line between leadership and ownership. African leaders, like Mugabe, view themselves as owners of everything in the countries they govern.

They do not believe that they are civil servants who are answerable to the people.

I believe Mugabe wants Zimbabweans to thank him for creating and introducing a ministry in our government…a ministry born out of his personal experiences.

Last week, Mugabe “assigned functions to all his ministers except the Ministry of State for Liaising on Psychomotor Activities in Education and Vocational Training”.

I hope this is not because the person who inspired Mugabe to create this ministry has passed on.
We have a long road to travel. If only African leaders understood politics and responsibility.

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