By The Solutions Tower Staff.
YEAR 2016 saw the government of Zimbabwe initiate a new programme commonly referred to as Command Agriculture. Inherent in this programme are some command elements which make it mandatory for participants of the initiative to subscribe to all its operational conditions as laid down by the State.
According to State owned media, the programme has been a resounding success when compared to other initiatives government has run in the past. Quite a number of cabinet ministers, parliamentarians, service chiefs, traditional chiefs, ambassadors, heads of government departments and parastatals, captains of industry, among others, have scrambled to be a part of the Command Agriculture Programme.
Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa is the man who has been tasked by President Robert Mugabe to spearhead this “noble and worthwhile” assignment. Mnangagwa has on several occasions toured the country’s provinces assessing progress of the Command Agriculture Programme.
He has consistently assured the nation that a bumper harvest is in the offing this farming season.
Agriculture Minister Joseph Made has also weighed in, describing the programme as one of Zimbabwe’s success stories, adding that the programme had attracted positive feedback from other countries who he said had expressed a willingness to partner Zimbabwe and provide technical know-how and financial aid going forward.
Reports coming from government indicate that national food security was now guaranteed, thanks largely to Command Agriculture. If the issue of food security could actually be addressed by Command Agriculture as largely reported by both government and media, then surely Zimbabwe appears set to benefit from other programmes of similar magnitude.
Public Office Bearers: Neglection Of Duty
Many problems besetting Zimbabwe today are largely traceable to failure by those holding public office to seek solutions to matters of national importance.
Ordinary Zimbabweans have often been deprived of a livelihood by the same people whom they voted into public office, with even the presidency itself appearing incapable of articulating the real Zimbabwean predicament, including proffering appropriate prescriptions thereof.
Ministers and ministries they head appear mainly bent on peddling half truths in their reports to President Mugabe and the nation, and at almost every turn would rather they politicised even minor issues that would normally require one to be just innovative.
The Legislature is equally culpable, with parliamentarians wilfully no longer executing duties designated for their office. For instance, they lack the resolve to perform constitutional obligations as those mandating them to monitor actions of the Executive, but have themselves become partisan to party politics.
Many public institutions, among them the Zimbabwe Republic Police, the Zimbabwe Defence Forces, Zimbabwean Ambassadors accredited to foreign countries, among others, have all joined the bandwagon and can no longer stand firmly in their execution of national duty.
In summary, a willingness to truthfully serve Zimbabwe by public office bearers appears to have taken a back seat in exchange of both lucre gain, and at times a fear of victimisation.
Command Truth Programme
In view of the above, proponents of the Command Agriculture Programme should now consider bringing on board another command philosophy, something like a Command Truth Programme in order to address the festering wound tearing into this country’s socioeconomic fabric.
Zimbabwe’s Constitution clearly stipulates that certain offices require elected or appointed occupants to first take an oath of office prior to assuming them. Though these oath and affirmation differ in content and outline, they all have one thing in common; they implore those taking such oaths and affirmations to be faithful to Zimbabwe in the discharge and execution of their duties.
Diligent occupants of such public offices are, therefore, expected to adhere to actions that benefit only the national interest.
Public office bearers of such depth and resoluteness now appear mostly very scarce in Zimbabwe. What we now have are officials who contradict their publicly taken oaths of office.
Lying under oath is not permissible at law, and the Command Truth Programme should be able to remind all public officials, starting with the President right down to the most junior public official of the consequences that come with reneging on their Constitutional duties.
The Command Truth initiative would, if applied, be expected to restore people’s confidence in elected officials and the whole governance system. The Constitution of Zimbabwe requires that those taking oath and affirmation speak the truth, and that anyone who consciously takes any such oath or affirmation is bound by it to act in the prescribed manner.
Zimbabwe needs this Command Truth Programme now more than ever. All the problems being faced in Zimbabwe would definitely start to disappear the very moment that those occupying public offices start to act appropriately and in all truthfulness irrespective of consequence.
Zimbabweans deserve to be told the truth about what happened to the missing $15 billion, the truth also about the extent of damage caused by corruption and nepotism in public offices, including the truth on why all those implicated in various scandals such as the Willowgate, the Grain Marketing Board scam, corruption at the National Oil Company of Zimbabwe, the Psmas and most recently at Zimdef, among others, have never had time at Chikurubi Maximum Security Prison.
Zimbabweans deserve to be told the truth on why the country’s universities continue to churn out graduates every year when there are no corresponding efforts to revive industries which would, in turn, absorb those baked at such centres of learning. Zimbabweans also deserve to be told the truth on what happened to all the cash invested at various banking institutions during transition from the Zimdollar era to the multi-currency one.
Zimbabweans would surely benefit from knowing the truth on why people who are past retirement age continue to occupy influential public offices while the young, educated and energetic hopelessly walk down the streets, doing nothing. The young and unemployed people of Zimbabwe need also to be told the truth on why government, which should proffer solutions to Zimbabwe’s myriad of problems, stands akimbo while Rome is burning.
Equally, senior citizens would stand to benefit from knowledge of why their welfare is being neglected by the same government which did nothing while their pension contributions and savings were being eroded by inflation.
Likewise, Zimbabweans would also benefit from being told the truth about why there is so much poverty in their country yet there are abundant mineral resources which continue to benefit only a few connected individuals.
Zimbabweans definitely stand to benefit from the truth about having a Police Service that believes in setting up too many roadblocks, and forcing motorists to pay spot fines even after the High Court has outlawed such an exercise.
The truth about constantly holding elections even when the outcome is always in dispute and nothing has been done to address concerns raised by other contestants would also surely help Zimbabweans resolve a 37 year old problem.
Benefits associated with a Command Truth Programme for Zimbabweans are immense as the nation stands know why there still is a selective application of the justice in a society that purports to be egalitarian.
Surely, the same effort that government has invested in ensuring success of the Command Agriculture Programme could be channelled into the Command Truth Programme, with similar results expected.
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