By Dr Masimba Mavaza | Power is vested in a government minister for a variety of reasons, including their experience, expertise, education, business acumen, wisdom or tenure. The head of state works under the conviction that the individual concerned has wisdom and is not just clever.
Wielding power is an important yet highly delicate aspect of leadership. In the worst cases, power can be abused or avoided and in the best cases, it can be used judiciously and for worthy goals for the good of the country and the furtherance of the party.
But either way, ministers must understand the power they hold and that what they say and how they behave will have a great effect on those who look upon to them. They must understand the positive effects of using it properly and differentiate from the ill effects when used negatively. If ministers do not come to terms with their own power, the country’s citizens and the party may bear the brunt.
The failure to be bound by the rules exposes the stupidity of the ministers concerned.
Ministers who use their power appropriately can motivate staff, inspire loyalty and commitment and push the nation to aspire to greater achievement. In contrast, ministers who abuse their power bring down morale, create turnover, incur grievances and cost the country money in lost productivity.
Time spent on justifying the position or hatred of each other could be used on progress and development of the nation. Ministers who ignore simple directives from the head of state can create confusion, anxiety and a sense of helplessness in the nation.
Minister’s power is seen in the ability or potential to influence others. It is derived from having something someone else wants or needs. As such, subordinates are in some form of dependence on another if a minister deliberately ignore the party directive and the orders of the head of state he creates a rebellious followers. There will be a group which cheers him on in his lunacy and created enemies with his colleagues.
But some ministers have different ways of handling their authority, they chose Twitter to compensate for their lost wisdom and to settle vendettas some of them unhealthy for the country and for the party.
There are two key types of leaders who abuse their power:
Bully or arrogant ministers. Arrogance blinds the reasoning capacity and erodes dignity. A full minister is reduced by twitter to a cry baby and a village gossiper. He shifts his constituency from seeious people to gossip mongers on social media. The time wasting twitting slowly draws the whole party into an unnecessary factious war. Despite a direct ban on setting cases on social media the ministers swim in their ego and lose their senses in the social media Frenzy. Cheered on by fight setters the ministers get blinded by the dust of the confusion and blinds the whole nation in gossip lied and nonsense.
This minister uses power and authority to dominate the social media. The medium could be used ostensibly to get the job done but alas its used to soil some individuals and ending up dragging the party into the pigs play ground. The ministers becomes bullies cyber bullies.
The tactics the bully uses range from rude behaviour to sarcasm, yelling, and sometimes physical violence including invoking ugly memories of the past.
Under the guise of getting the job done, the bully will intimidate, humiliate and violate others to the point where people are afraid of him or her and comply with demands to stay out of bullying range. Mistakes are hidden, productivity is low and creativity is quashed in these environments corruption is seriously defended. The bully often uses abusive power tactics to bolster his or her confidence, to experience a sense of being in command or to feel superior to others. The fallout of this abuse of power is total non contribution in parliament.
The minister who manipulates to meet political objectives is familiar to many. This type uses covert tactics to meet his or her objectives, demonstrated in how he handles information, motivates others and ensures compliance. These ministers will justify any means to meet their ends.
The manipulative minister is most interested in getting his immediate needs met and has difficulty taking a long term perspective.
By making false accusations the job gets done and done well, but the party suffers. The leader neglects activity that should focus on developing the nation.
Those who use their power to manipulate others hide important information and dole it out selectively. They pit members against each other, take sides and pick favourites. They can be passive aggressive in their approach, ignoring orders and requests for information or discrediting others to superiors. They have the good boy mentality and wants to have everybody but him to look bad in the eyes of the head of state.
They are sometimes difficult to spot as they can be adept at appearing collegial, caring and concerned about the president yet they are after his position. They aren’t that concerned, they abuse power to meet their own ends and the end result is that people feel used, betrayed and angry. Even this they blame others and twit more confusions Despite a ban on twitting internal issues.
They tend to deny they have power. They attempt to insist everyone’s equal in the party and try to discredit others.
Despite your position Everyone deserves respect and fair treatment, but to overlook the fact that the president can control minister’s career advancement, salaries, hiring, firing, information and the access to resources is naive. By failing to see, understand and reckon with the existing power differential between themselves and others the.
Ministers fails to harness the full potential of the role and builds a false reality in the government.
Powerful ministers recognize they wield power rather than denying that they have it. They use their authority to meet business objectives. They don’t twit to get their way. They inspire, explain and mentor their way to success.
Ministers who use their authority appropriately take responsibility for the outcomes they seek and practice a form of “give all the credit, take all the blame” thinking. They are humble. They understand that the contributions of others make the nation a success. By “taking the blame,” they ensure that they deal with tough situations as they occur instead of offloading the responsibility onto social media.
Ministers work with the party to settle misunderstandings and to meet objectives through frank and transparent communication, they don’t bully or coerce or wash the dirty linens in public.
They deal with issues as they arise and wade, however gently, into difficult conversations when they are needed through the party channels. Nothing is ever handled through the press.
Ministers who understand they are in positions of authority — and that with the authority comes the responsibility not to harm people — will be most effective.
The party will be served embarrassment if the beloved ministers grow up and stop playing to the gallery.