Brinkmanship failed Mutodi

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PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa finally wielded the axe on Information deputy minister Energy Mutodi on Wednesday.

The junior minister had become a danger to the country’s international image, spewing vitriol on issues of global attention like the deadly coronavirus and last week’s alleged abduction of MDC youth leaders Joanna Mamombe, Cecilia Chimbiri and Netsai Marova.

So reckless were his statements on social media that most people wondered why Mnangagwa was not taking action against the garrulous former musician-cum-politician.

His level of recklessness and brinkmanship was too ghastly to fathom. He was not fit for purpose.
He exposed that Mnangagwa’s government was not united and had several cracks after he repeatedly attacked his boss, Information minister Monica Mutsvangwa and permanent secretary Nick Mangwana since his appointment as deputy minister after the 2018 general elections.

Just last week he wrote a scathing memorandum to Foreign minister Sibusiso B Moyo, strangely accusing him of behaving like a Prime Minister after he issued a statement disassociating the government from his (Mutodi) attack on the way Tanzania had handled the deadly coronavirus crisis.

In fact, Mutodi ridiculed Tanzanian President John Magufuli, an unprecedented feat in Zimbabwe-Africa foreign relations.

Then on Wednesday, he finally angered Mnangagwa by going on Twitter and insensitively made derogatory remarks on the alleged abductions of the MDC trio.

He said: “Details emerge MDC youths Joana Mamombe, Netsai Marova & Cecilia Chimbiri went out for a romantic night to Bindura with their lovers who are artisanal miners. They parked their car at a police station for safety but tragedy struck when they demanded foreign currency for services.”

This kind of brinkmanship is intolerable!

International focus is on Zimbabwe due to the alleged abduction and torture. The Zimbabwe government has pledged to carry out thorough investigations into the matter and before that is done, Mutodi made baffling and evidentiary zilch and reckless claims.

The international community is agitated and is demanding answers to what happened to the youth leaders, yet Mutodi decided to make a mockery of the matter. Mnangagwa was right to send him packing. The biggest lesson from this Mutodi debacle is that statecraft cannot be entrusted to reckless politicians like Mutodi.

Mnangagwa should not allow recklessness and brinkmanship in his government and should not hesitate to wield the axe. Besides Mutodi, there are plenty of other ministers who are not fit for purpose and the clock should start ticking for them.

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