HomeEditorial CommentStandardComment: Parly must act on Mugabe absenteeism leadership

StandardComment: Parly must act on Mugabe absenteeism leadership

As recently as last week new British envoy to Zimbabwe Deborah Bronnert waxed lyrical about Mugabe’s demeanour. “We had an engaging conversation. He engaged on the issues very well and was friendly and courteous.” All this is reassuring; the president is still up to it despite his now frequent visits to Singapore for medicals. But the visits are now getting alarm bells ringing and the rumour mill is now running full throttle.


Observers are beginning to doubt suggestions that the president is suffering from some cancer or other. Few people, for example, survive prostate cancer for more than just a few years.


So, the nation shouldn’t worry overly about the president’s health. Instead, all should worry about stalled government business. President Mugabe, by some unknown law, is the only person who chairs cabinet. This is in spite of the fact that he is deputised by two vice-presidents and also has at his service the Prime Minister who, according to the Global Political Agreement, superintends cabinet.


For whatever reason the president absents himself from the country as frequently as he does now, government business stalls, much to the detriment of the country. Backbenchers in our bicameral parliament must now begin to sit up and re-examine what our national constitution says about a president who can no longer perform his duties for one reason or another. The fact that they have not done so already is a sure sign that they do not appreciate the enormity of a situation.


The effect of a supine cabinet may not show in the short term but eventually the stagnation will begin to show. Parliamentarians should oblige us by doing the right thing as spelt out in our governance charter. Failure to do so is an indictment of their purpose in the august House.





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