Renco crisis: Mzembi disappoints

HARARE - What a huge disappointment. He always came across as ‘Saint Walter’.

He appeared like he was a dove among the hawks.

Sadly, he is just like them all. In typical Zanu PF style, Tourism minister Walter Mzembi was part of a bunch of the political party legislators involved in the grab of RioZim’s Renco Mine.

What started off as a salaries and benefits dispute by the mine’s workers’ wives a month ago, turned political with Chivi South MP Irvine Dzingirai reportedly taking over operations at the mine.

Following the labour unrest, Dzingirai declared himself Renco’s general manager while Mzembi — a Zanu PF Masvingo South legislator — was also involved in the operational disruptions.

Fortunately, justice prevailed.

Justice Hlekani Mwayera instructed Mzembi and colleagues to leave the mine within 24 hours, failure of which the Deputy Sheriff with the assistance of Zimbabwe Republic Police could, if necessary, be authorised and directed to evict them.

“There is clearly an illegal move… Such a chaotic and unlawful take-over of necessity requires immediate intervention… The facts of this matter clearly show invasion and unlawful possession of a legal corporate entity under the guise of resolving a labour dispute as if there are no labour laws in this country or under the guise of being parliamentary representatives of the constituency in what is clear self-help and disregard of the law that the first and second respondents, as law makers are part and parcel of making,” Mwayera said in her ruling

Look, Zimbabwe is struggling to rebuild its image badly damaged by politics or more precisely by Zanu PF’s bad governance. From grabbing white-owned farms, to severing ties with the international community and more recently indigenising foreign-owned firms, Mzembi’s Zanu PF has done it all.

Now, you have a whole Tourism minister — who should essentially be cleaning up the mess — at the forefront of seizing a Zimbabwe Stock Exchange-listed company’s assets.

We thought being level-headed and intelligent as he is, it would be simple for Mzembi to understand the implications or consequences of his actions to the country’s fragile economy.

The country desperately needs to attract foreign investment. His ministry is struggling to boost tourist arrivals. Preparations of the United Nations World Tourism Organisation general assembly, to be hosted by the country in five months’ time are in shambles.

Of course, what Mzembi did is nothing new or shocking in Zanu PF, but it should stop.

We regret ranking him as the best performing minister. Anyway, to err is human.

We don’t overlook the good work the honourable minister has done, for instance fighting against the takeover of the Save conservancy. - Staff Writer

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