'Langa sleeping on the job'

BULAWAYO - Last week 44 visitors coming for a cultural exchange programme of “Umoja-The Flying Carpet” from three countries, two of which are members of Sadc and AU, that is South Africa and Mozambique were deported at entry because they did not have police clearances from their countries as per Zimbabwe’s immigration regulations.

Minister of Sports, Arts and Culture Andrew Langa was quoted in the media on the Umoja visitors’ refusal of entry to have said, “Zimbabwe is a sovereign State that has laws. People coming into the country should at all times observe the country’s laws to avoid disappointments of such a nature.”

Well said honourable minister, but who does not know that? Why tell the nation the obvious and not tell it that your ministry’s operating system is the one that has failed the project and in that stroke has failed the country’s cultural sector that the President of the Republic put under your control.

Why are we such a nation of highly educated people who contradict themselves at every given opportunity?

This is not about Zimbabwe being a sovereign State or having laws. All countries are and do have laws.

This is about a country whose government ministry structures fail to continuously educate its citizens about the laws and regulations that its politicians make in Parliament.

This is about a government and its politicians who make bad regulations and policies that attract negative publicity and promote a bad image of this country.

This is about government ministries and departments failing to rescue their own citizens should they find themselves in a “situation” where they have overlooked some processes while trying to do well for Zimbabwe.

Why is your ministry failing to go out of its way to assist Zimbabweans who mean well for the development of the country? If you don’t who should?

Why do we forget where we are coming from as a people and a nation? Why do we refuse to understand the situation we are in as a country and respond to such?

We need to create jobs for young people.

Day in, day out I hear business people, politicians and economists scream that the Zimbabwean economy needs FDI (foreign direct investment to turn around the economy.

Is turning away 44 visitors from three different countries coming to camp in Zimbabwe for weeks at the port of entry not turning away the foreign direct investment flow attracted by arts and culture into the country?

If these were 44 visitors interested in mining or agriculture would they have been treated the same?

Then in the same light you expect the Norwegians, South Africans and Mozambican business people to have confidence in investing in a country that turns away their children who come in good faith to learn about our country’s beautiful people, culture and heritage and find no excuse to rescue them in a situation that they found themselves in.

In my opinion a very simple situation, if I may say that, should have been handled with ease by our ministry of Culture systems in collaboration with other government departments if the right ministerial systems are in place for such emergency occasions.

But, what did our government departments see in these 44 visitors? They saw 44 smooth criminals?

It is unthinkable, in my opinion, to accept that we Zimbabweans can find comfort in chasing away children from Mozambique of all the countries coming to Zimbabwe to share in our countries cultures and heritage.

We are liberated today because we stood for years on Mozambican soil so that we can claim that sovereign status that minister Langa is boasting about today, yet his ministry found no reason to go out of its way to rescue Mozambique’s children to have a learning and sharing experience with our children.

Is this how you want to operationalise our sovereignty

Just a few months back  Langa was at Pakare Paye Arts Centre with his principal director Rev. Paul Damasane when he was quoted in the media saying he will help Mtukudzi finish the construction of the Arts Centre by engaging the private sector to assist.

Your government cannot afford to fund arts and culture in the scale of Pakare Paye like other governments of sovereign countries do for their arts and culture sector.

If your ministry cannot go out of its way to rescue Mtukudzi and Kuzvidza’s arts and culture projects as Zimbabweans doing well for a lot of young people in line with government’s objectives of creating jobs for the young who under the sun, who will you rescue?

I will never understand why the ministry of Arts and Culture working with the National Arts Council and the Department of Immigration fail to express their power by facilitating positives to happen and rescue situations that can bring more goodwill to the nation that harm.

The ministry of Arts and Culture under minister Langa continues to blunder in its leadership of the creative industries because of a serious disconnect between the ministry and key arts and cultural institutions of Zimbabwe.

In my observation, this disconnect is being created deliberately by the senior directors within the ministry. So far Langa’s ministry is not doing a good job for the nations creative industries. It remains irrelevant to the country’s economic, social, cultural and political development.


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