ED mustn’t allow Oppah’s flat earth mentality

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CONSTANTINE CHIMAKURE – IF SOUTH African icon Nelson Mandela was alive today and listened to Zimbabwean Defence minister Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri’s reckless utterances that the coronavirus pandemic is a God-sent punishment for the United States and the West for imposing sanctions on Zimbabwe, there is no doubt he would have remarked: “This is tragic failure of leadership.”

Muchinguri-Kashiri’s pugnacious utterances epitomise the bankruptcy of leadership in our government and explain the current political and economic situation in our homeland. There is a huge deficit of leadership and Muchinguri-Kashiri’s flat-earth mentality cannot and should never be countenanced in a globalising world. She is a danger to humanity, to Zimbabwe and herself.

“Coronavirus is like sanctions on countries that have imposed sanctions on us. God has punished them. They are now stuck in their homes. Their economies are now screaming, like ours is screaming because of them. (United States President Donald) Trump must know that he is not God.

“They are suffocating us, where do they want us to go? It is now your turn to be suffocated by the coronavirus so that you also understand how painful if feels,” thoughtlessly gushed Muchinguri-Kashiri at a war veterans meeting in Chinhoyi on Saturday.

The Defence minister’s utterances were not only primitive, but parochial. A person of her stature is at all times expected to tackle global issues with the weight they deserve. Politicking on the pandemic that has killed and infected thousands of people across the globe is unacceptable from a senior Cabinet minister and a member of the ruling Zanu PF’s presidium.

The novel coronavirus is a global pandemic and that on its own should have guided Muchinguri-Kashiri before she made her vapid and vacuous statements, which proved beyond doubt that she is not fit for purpose.

She delivered her hollow gobbledygook in her capacity as Defence minister, shaming not only President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s administration, but Zimbabwe and its citizens.

Instead of being sympathetic and compassionate about the magnitude of the novel coronavirus’s impact on human life and the disastrous consequences it has visited on global trade and economy, Muchinguri-Kashiri elected myopic grandstanding.

She wanted to curry favour with the war veterans on a matter so serious that in a normal country, she would have been jobless by now because her utterances are unforgivable.

Her views on the pandemic are also callous.

And to make it worse, she has not bothered to apologise for the reckless utterances and continues to go to work as usual. What rank madness in this?

It has now been left to Mnangagwa to clean-up the mess, but half-heartedly.

“Pandemics of this kind have a scientific explanation and know no boundary, and like any other natural phenomenon cannot be blamed on anyone…We have all witnessed the tragic scenes in China, Iran, Italy and other countries around the world. We stand with our friends in the international community. My government empathises with the affected people around the globe and stands ready to assist in whatever ways within our capacity,” Mnangagwa said in a statement on Monday, apparently to debunk Muchinguri-Kashiri’s shameful remarks.

“As a nation we must stand strong. Strong and united. Strong and vigilant. We must act early and we must act sensibly.”

Why Mnangagwa is yet to fire Muchinguri-Kashiri boggles the mind. She made Zimbabwe the butt of jokes and ridicule throughout the world as a result of her flat-earth mentality utterances.

She does not deserve to continue as a Cabinet minister, especially with coronavirus now on our doorstep, South Africa, our biggest trading partner.

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