BY DR MASIMBA MAVAZA.
By saying positive things about Corona virus means one has tested mentally positive to the virus. The minister of Defence and War Veterans Welfare Cde Oppah Muchinguri Kashiri has mentally tested positive to corona virus and has ignited a ticking bomb by celebrating Corona virus as a God sent weapon to avenge Zimbabwe for the sanctions imposed on it by the West. Unfortunately Muchinguri is the most powerful woman in Africa and very ambitious too. She is blessed with beauty and power and in trying to make the two balance inside her the ability to think escaped her. Her speech was not meant to praise the virus or to wish it on others. She simply drew a lesson from the virus. She said Trump was not God. Only those who are not Zimbabweans will struggle to understand the Joke. There is a saying in Zimbabwe which says when you are in trouble you will realise that “Makandiwa is not God” this in simple terms means do not put your trust in human beings but in God.
Muchinguri was simply illustrating that we are all equal in this world and world problems are distributed by God and not by the West. It might not have come out nicely but Muchinguri is known to be motherly and not a cruel witch. It is highly unimaginable that Muchinguri can wish even a fly dead. Her motherly instincts cannot be over emphasised. Muchinguri Kashiri represents women of Africa and her statement while unfortunate, she did not mean it to come out the way it is now circulated in the social media and in the mainstream media alike.
Having been overwhelmed by sanctions Muchinguri Kashiri only mentioned the effects of Corona to that of sanctions. It must be known that the illegal sanctions have killed more people in Zimbabwe alone and this strikes Muchinguri to the heart. In her grief for the victims of sanctions Muchinguri simply compared them to those of the virus.
As it came out, this was a bad joke which came in bad taste and lacked the diplomacy expected from the Minister of Defence.
She lacks diplomacy and considering her position, she can become a dangerous unguided weapon. What Muchinguri Kashiri lacks is the profession, activity, or skill of managing international relations, typically by a country’s representative. She is empty in the art of dealing with people in a sensitive and tactful way. Her speech is typical of campaign speech gone rogue.
World wide Strongmen are thriving from China to Egypt, from North Korea to Turkey. The world is hoping for a leader who is compassionate a motherly figure who embraces all and God gave the world Trump and Muchinguri.
Muchinguri smuggled herself into the same class of Trump the lunatic American president. America’s President is seen by many as a dangerous demagogue surrendering the primacy his nation held for seven decades. The world is crying out for leadership and all eyes are fixed on madam Kashiri Muchinguri but her statements about Corona virus deals the world a big blow which shakes it into reality of what the world has. The words of Muchinguri Kashiri were very unfortunate and do not represent Zimbabwe.
There is no one better placed to explain the current vacuum, and predict what might fill it, than a person who listened to the words of Muchinguri at the time the world is on its knees.
The coronavirus pandemic is being described as a once-in-a-lifetime event. History remembers how presidents handle such crises – and to Muchinguri Kashiri it seems unlikely to be kind. She may be regarded as a Leader fiddling while the world burns.
Muchinguri is unable to express compassion and empathy. The world does not believe she possesses those two values. This was her chance to show that she could lead, to show that she was as tough as she said she was for years. But alas emotions led her to doom. It is not only the West suffering from Corona virus. In our all weather friend China people are walking around in ghost towns. Kids aren’t going to school. Not enough people are getting tested. They have no clue what the reality of this pandemic is because information is being withheld and reaction is slow at best. It’s disgusting. It’s disconcerting. It’s scary as hell to have one of our own making such statements on a world platform. Corona virus is affecting everybody and it is more dangerous to ignore it and play God. Nations who are our friends are suffering and those who might not be our friends do suffer as-well.
Corona virus is destroying the world as we know it and this need our attitude to change and work together as a team since we have just one earth. The world turned upside down because of the virus.
It is at such moments of peril that a nation looks to its leader for reassurance and direction. Comrade Muchinguri Kashiri has not failed the test in both words and deeds. Although uniquely unqualified, she is not the wrong woman in the wrong place at the wrong time and she was not representing ZIMBABWE in her statements. She was simply being herself.
Muchinguri Kashiri handled it horribly. When things are rough, you want somebody who can exude confidence and competence and Cde Muchinguri Kashiri did not do that. We’ve been incredibly lucky. For the last three years, there was nothing big going on that had a real bearing on the lives of the ordinary Zimbabweans after Chimamimani floods. The west helped us a lot during Cyclone Idai.
The Corona virus outbreak plays to the sincerity of Zimbabwe, but Muchinguri showed that she is, a germaphobe and gut instinct politician who prefers to slug it out with human foes in the face of a catastrophic epidemic of global proportion. She is spending time undermining those who are down, insulting experts, institutions, scientists, media outlets, global alliances and trust in other governments all of which are now needed more than ever.
Muchinguri must know that the purpose of diplomacy is to execute the foreign policy of the sending state in the host country, and to foster order and peace in an anarchic world. And functions of diplomacy are communication, negotiation, intelligence gathering, image management, and policy implementation. Despite how bitter we are with the other country we must never celebrate or wish death for another human being. This is unAfrican and indeed a careless talk. No amount of justification will justify this.
Serious politicians might not not be worried by Muchinguri’s statement she is politically not that relevant but since she is a minister her personal thoughts have translated to a national position. But the world is not short of clowns, her utterances could be just like Zuma who said .. “there is no Aids,” the Japanese PM said “Africans are stupid” and we just laughed and never stopped buying their products. Maybe we are paranoid, Africans worry about such talk rhetoric to masters … Those who subscribe to freedom of expression don’t worry but here it’s sad, people are dying, it’s UnAfrican to wish or cherish death of others ..Ironically some in the western sphere openly support slavery and no one cares and they have no apologies to that… so maybe just to ignore like it never happened.
However Muchinguri’s speech has laid bare the severe shortcomings of her public management.
“Public fears are being compounded by a pervasive lack of trust in this situation fueled by the adversarial relationship with the truth she continues to have.
The speech by Muchinguri provided a stark contrast to the new dispensation style of leadership, Zimbabwe is open for business. All what she was supposed to do was to find how ZIMBABWE could be part of a “coordinated, global response.”
As a minister of defence she was supposed to lead with science” and “listen to the experts,” and would aim to build the nation leadership role on the global stage.
He added: “I’ll always tell you the truth. The unfortunate speech by is what it called, Muchinguri’s terrible judgment and incompetence in the face of public health issues.”
“In times like this, the world needs leadership and Muchinguri has shown none.
She was supposed to be urging solidarity in dealing with the pandemic.
Zimbabwean should not “fall back on xenophobia, by calling coronavirus a “foreign virus” and a weapon from God.
Labeling COVID-19 God’s weapon you punish the West and a foreign virus’ does not displace the accountability for the misjudgments that have been taken so far. Mrs Muchinguri Kashiri must know that The Corona virus does not have a political affiliation. It will affect Zimbabweans, Americans British or Chinese alike. It will not discriminate based on national origin, race, gender or political position. It will touch people in positions of power, as well as the most vulnerable in our society.”
The statement by minister Muchinguri is a national disgrace.
Zimbabwe government’s ability to respond effectively has been undermined by the belief that Corona is only meant for those who imposed sanctions on us. A more serious thinking is needed. Yes it true that little mind burdens the owner with work.
And our ability to drive a global response is dramatically undercut by the damage our minister has done to our credibility and our relationships around the world.
Zimbabwe must focus it’s efforts on the unique difficulties facing workers who are at the port of entry and those facing all kinds of economic difficulty yet being being exposed to Corona virus. In combating the spread of the virus, Zimbabwe must come down to reality and work with the world in containing the virus. We must point to a deeper-seated problem, that existed before the pandemic began and fight the sanctions separately from this virus.
“Our country is at a severe disadvantage compared to every other major country on earth because we do not guarantee health care to all people as a right. So if this epidemic settles in Zimbabwe we will need those we are wishing dead to help us.
This disease could impact every nation and any person on the planet, and Zimbabwe needs a plan for how we are going to aggressively manage it here at home.
The rapidly spreading pandemic has infected about thousands people globally and killed at least 38 in the South Africa.
Fears that the virus and efforts to contain it will halt global economic activity have sent financial markets plummeting around the world. This does not only affect the West it affects ZIMBABWE too.
It should understood that minister Muchinguri Kashiri cracked a joke but it is yes indeed a very bad joke.
Zimbabwe is with the whole world in fighting this dreadful disease. We will come out of it with more strength and wiser than before.