Leaders must learn to speak the truth

HARARE - On Wednesday, Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe governor John Mangudya said that the stubborn bank queues — growing longer by the day — were a mere symptom of a bigger problem.

Simply put, the central bank chief, who was addressing a business symposium at the University of Zimbabwe, admitted that the deepening cash crisis is a tip of an iceberg that is just highlighting the demise of Zimbabwe’s economy.

In his assessment, Mangudya said Zimbabwe is a special case, being the only country in the world that is using other nations’ currencies, but has no access to foreign currency due to international isolation.

That is true. You are spot-on Mr Governor.

And you must be commended for that admission.

As a man occupying such a high and important office, you owe the authorities nothing, but the truth.

It’s time those in the corridors of power are told the painful truth — nothing seems to be working, the centre is no longer holding and the system is failing.

This approach of frank, tough talk, hopefully, will jolt the authorities into action. 

Mangudya’s admission that the cash crisis is an indication of bigger deep-rooted problems needs support from honest and courageous voices prepared to bite the bullet in order to get Zimbabwe back on track.

But that is where the problem lies.

We are surrounded by cowards — both in the business and political spheres; people who are afraid of speaking the truth and questioning authority.

More often than not, Zimbabwe’s business leaders fear openly criticising government’s policy, only to raise the red flag when the horse has bolted.

The same culture is in government. Rather than advise, they bootlick. 

One of the major reasons why Zimbabwe is where it is today — an almost pariah State dogged by a dying economy on the back of gross misgovernance and political mayhem — is the lack of courage and will by those in the body politic to tell the truth.

That has been the greatest weakness of President Robert Mugabe’s administration.

The 93-year-old leader’s government is packed with a bunch of cowards who would rather crash with him than simply tell him the truth.

Mugabe is surrounded by people who lie and turn a blind eye to folly in order to please him.

But that culture of currying favour and bootlicking has had grave consequences.

It has caused untold suffering to the ordinary masses.

Zimbabwe has become a broken society, which badly needs a new crop of leadership with the political will and crucially, guts to speak the truth, to save it from the abyss.

    Comments (2)

    Anyway "speaking truth to power" may appear noble. However, it depends on the nature & character of the power concerned. in fact, one can only advise someone who takes kindly to advise. But we all know that dictators are dictators. They want things their own way. Hence, why they are dictators, otherwise they would be something else. So, talking to a dictator & expecting it to listen is sheer daydreaming. One really has to do much more than engaging a dictator in some boardroom chats. Some of us remember how one Herbert Mrehwa got fired for merely stating that cancellation of zero had nothing to do with fighting inflation. For merely stating the obvious, the man was vilified left, right & centre, before eventually sent packing. Let's not pretend to forget such historical incidents; as we enjoy talking like others who are fortunate to have a listening leader; fact is we don't have such a leader.

    mapingu - 16 July 2017

    The same Governor vowed to resign if Bond Notes do not solve the cash crisis...why is he still a governor and the writer is giving him kudos for stating the truth!

    Sinyo - 17 July 2017

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