Once upon a time there was a Minister of Education, Sports, Arts and Culture called Edmund Garwe, now late. In 1996 Minister Garwe left a Zimbabwe Junior Certificate (ZJC) exam paper exposed to his then form two daughter who grabbed it and shared with her peers ahead of the ZJC exams. When it emerged that the exam leak emanated from the Minister’s home, through his daughter who in turn got it through the reckless conduct of her father, the Minister tendered his resignation immediately.
By Farai Maguwu
My photographic memory reminds me of the frontpage of the Herald the following morning after Garwe’s resignation. There were three or 4 passport sized photos of Minister Garwe taken during the press conference he called to announce his resignation. Beneath each photo was a quote from the Minister of which some read, ‘I apologize to the nation’, ‘I apologize to my colleagues in cabinet…’, ‘I apologize to the President for the breach of trust and confidence he bestowed in me.’
Being an aspiring leader, I was touched with the professional conduct of Edmund Garwe during his moment of shame. He took it in his stride. He restored my hope in the government and public officials. I nevertheless followed his case with keen interest.
Days later there was a Herald Editorial piece that focussed on Edmund Garwe’s resignation. What stood out from the editorial piece was a statement that said Zimbabweans must not be surprised if H.E President Robert Mugabe would appoint Mr Garwe to yet another cabinet post in the future. The editorial stated that the Minister had resigned over what others could see as a very minor or rather useless examination. He was applauded for taking his job seriously and taking full responsibility for his daughter’s actions.
Fast forward to 2021 where a whole Vice President is recorded arranging to have sex with a married woman in his government offices. Since the matter exploded, days ago, nothing has been heard from the Vice President refuting the allegations. The government nor his office has been mum over the issue. They are praying that, as usual, Zimbabweans will laugh it over. But not this time around.
First we call on the Vice President to emulate Edmund Garwe and quit public office. If that fails then the appointing authority must do the right thing and uphold the constitution by way of firing the said official. If either of these two or both fail to happen then the constitution has been and is being desecrated willy nilly. The government must therefore be declared a moral disaster whose conduct is at war with our time-honoured culture and social fabric. The VP does not deserve any day longer in office.
A nation rises or falls on leadership. It is as simple as that. A leadership with a moral campus exercise discipline. They carry on their shoulders a huge sense of responsibility. They are always conscious of the massive crowd of witnesses watching and looking up to them to make decisions that improve the quality of life of their people. They use political power to inspire hope and build a great nation. Their lives are an inspiration to younger generations. They know they are cities built on a hill, visible and noticeable to those far afield. But a corrupt and morally bankrupt leadership uses political power to loot and ruin families and their countries. The VP must go.