That Obadiah Moyo had to be relieved from his post as Health and Child Care minister, was not something even up for contestation. His tenure was largely disastrous and that he has been fingered in graft claims is just but one side to it all. It is not clear whether he was just incompetent or even worse, unwilling to do better. Either way, he was out of sorts. And when he was demoted in the Covid-19 task force was essentially a dead man walking.
That someone so out of his depth had been kept for so long is an issue. Perhaps one did not know if he would not be up for the task. It was always going to be difficult. His predecessor Dr David Parirenyatwa was poor as well so the position needed a massive upgrade to take it all on.
And it is in this context that Mnangagwa has to start looking at his ministries. An increasingly unsettled citizenry is asking for a better life. For the last 25 years or so, it has been told that things will get better and they have not. And appointing people clearly not up for the task in a system driven by patronage was the undoing of the late Robert Mugabe.
The struggle for Mnangagwa in finding a replacement for the health ministry will be difficult. It has hard to think who in the houses of parliament would inspire confidence in the country as a person up to the task, dealing with this very difficult ministry. The party isn’t exactly teeming with talent in that particular regard.
Beyond this, it has to go beyond firing. Yes, Mnangagwa is a stickler for the process but when someone is accused of corruption, a trial should not take months to even start prosecuting. Prisca Mupfumira, fired as Tourism minister over her own graft issues, still walks about among us with citizens feeling another catch and release is happening.
Moyo is accused of working with a company believed to be linked to a terrorist organisation in the USD60m graft claims, The Gulen Movement It is the organisation linked to the attempted coup in Turkey a few years ago. We are not suggesting that Moyo knew of the links but the seriousness of the accusation begs urgent action. What else is happening, that is putting the country at risk? Does anyone have a handle on this?
As well, surely Moyo cannot be treated as a lone wolf. Who else was working with him? This extends beyond people in government. There has to be more to this than just kicking one person out. There have to be more people charged. Yes, Drax International’s Delish Nguwaya is charged – he is now out on bail by the way – but if we reduce graft to two people colluding on issues this huge then there is a massive worry when interrogating the checks and balances of a system of governance.
At the end of the day, there is a massive task at hand.