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Is Nepotism a Good Thing, or Bad?

18 Mar 2021 at 07:27hrs | Views
I read with amusement the article written by Luke Tambolinyoka titled "Emerson Mnangagwa : the primitive clansman and the villagisation of politics."

In his article Tambolinyoka accused the president of being a tribalist and man who practices nepotism. He contented that since Mnangagwa's Mother is from  a Moyo clan so every Moyo in the government has been corruptly appointed. He raised issues with Muda NCUBE whom he said was appointed on cronyism grounds.  While I do not support Muda's activities in the Midlands I still do not think that his appointment was as a result of nepotism.

Many names were dragged in the mud by Luke Tambolinyoka as he went to town denigrating the president.  Looking at his article many things come into mind.
Zimbabwe is blessed with both good and bad  leaders.  There are some very wonderful appointments which were made by the president and some appointments  are horrible.

We must appreciate that the president is a human being and he does err on the side of mistake some times. He appoints according to what he believe is a good appointment. Some appointed leaders will turn out to be great disappointments and some become machete wielding thugs and many are wonders of the world.

Off course  we do have serious tribalists in these provinces.  But what is nepotism?
Did you know that the origin of the term "nepotism" comes from Catholic bishops who would bequeath wealth, property, and priesthood to their "nephews"? The nephews were usually their illegitimate offspring, and it served as a way for church clergy to both own property and to retain power in their families. This system is understood in many cultures. In Zimbabwe we have the nephew system" Chana chava Tete". Today, we use nepotism to refer to the hiring or promotion of a family member (including in-laws), and it smacks of favouritism.

Nepotism is favoritism granted to relatives regardless of merit. The word nepotism is from the Latin word nepos, nepotis, from which modern Romanian nepot and Italian nipote and Catalan nebot, "nephew" or "grandchild" are also descended.  Many leaders in the world always chose those close to their hearts to fill in positions of authority For example, Romanian Communist leader Nicolae Ceaușescu filled the top posts in the country and the ruling Party with his siblings, nephews, nieces, and in-laws, as well as giving increasing power to his wife, Elena—she officially held the title of Deputy Prime Minister, and by the early 1980s she was placed in charge of the country when Nicolae was away on tours abroad. This is  completely different from the situation in Zimbabwe.  
Nepotism can have advantages and disadvantages.

However we must not wonder away from the insults and lies forwarded by Luke Tambolinyoka. Emerson Mnangagwa has made some dubious appointments but in no way on tribalism grounds. There are people who are all out to spoil the name of the president.

It is those the president has trusted who make it look like the trust is made in a very tribal way. There are leaders within Zimbabwe who are very careless and they boast around about their tribe and put the president in it.  We have people in Midlands and Masvingo who plainly boast that "Chinhu chedu" meaning it is their turn to rule. These idiots do not represent the president in anyway.
We have members of parliament who are attacked daily because they are MP's in another province which is not their birth place. A very strong tribal war behind the scenes is underway in Midlands targeting MPs who are not born from Midlands trying to turn people against them.  Those in the forefront of tribalism in the Midlands are the ones who have senior cabinet posts and claim to be very close to the president. They lie to the people that the president has instructed them to remove none Midlands born MPs from office. They mount their tribalism so ferocious and plant the seeds of division in the people.

What these big heads forget is that they serve at the pleasure of the president. Some of the divisionists have lost to the MDC and are in CABINET at the pleasure of the president. These are the people who try to run the Midlands on tribal lines and they put the name of the president in it. There is in no way that the president will concentrate on one province. He is a National figure and dragging his name in the tribal cronyism nonsense is a shame.

We have people who try to put their nephews in constituencies which are already safely in ZANU PF. They lie to the people that the president is actively involved in the petty provincial politics. Unfortunately these people are the ones who give Tambolinyoka a belief that Mnangagwa is a tribalist.

People who have nothing to offer in their constituencies will always drop names In order  to get respect. They always claim that what they are doing they are doing it for the president.  It is indeed such carelessness which splashes dirty on the good name of our national leader.
Now being that as it may the president can not be said he is a tribalist because a power hungry Buffoon has claimed that he is related to the president.

On the whole, nepotism is not a bad thing. But it is an orientation with definite limitations. The extension of family privilege is a strategy of diminishing returns.

For example, hiring relatives is easy and can lead to greater trust (what we call "swift trust") if the relations get along and share a common purpose. Where nepotism becomes problematic is when non-relative employees feel that there is unfair favoritism, and when relatives are hired over more competent non-relatives.

Nepotism" is the practice of giving jobs or favorable treatment to friends and family members. Nepotism in and of itself is not illegal. A company owner is allowed to hire a daughter, son, sibling, friend, or any other person they like, even if that person is not the most qualified for the job. But yes Zimbabwe is not a company or anybody's private company.

Many presidents have had personal appointments which were not classified as nepotism.
In the past years the president of Azerbaijan's wife became vice president, the president of Tajikistan's son became mayor of the country's capital city, Angola's president appointed his daughter head of the state oil company and Ivanka Trump became an unpaid White House staffer. Ivanka joins her husband Jared Kushner as a special advisor to President Trump. Trump has also appointed relatives of senior campaign aides to prominent positions. In his time Trump picked Kellyanne Conway's husband George to head a division of the Justice Department. Their primary qualification was their relation to the president.

But most worrying of all was the way he was trying to make it normal for public officials to be appointed based on family links. Often considered the preserve of third world regimes, like Azerbaijan, Angola, and Tajikistan, nepotism, or the practice of using political position to benefit friends and relatives, is becoming central to presidential politics in the United States.

Trump ran the White House like he ran his private business. Trump appointed his children to senior positions in the Trump Organization. Promoting family members in the organization helped keep it a family business. And Trump did not seem to have any problem with this. Speaking to The Telegraph, Eric Trump claimed "Is that nepotism? Absolutely. Is that also a beautiful thing? Absolutely. Family business is a beautiful thing." And it seems as though many Americans agree. According to U.S. census data, 22 percent of American men have worked at the same employer, at the same time, as their father before they turn 30.

But the while Zimbabwe is not a private business Appointing relatives to senior positions is not a new phenomenon. Many of president Mugabe's relatives Eisenhower's son worked in the State House. So is the current status at State House with Kutyauripo running rings of terror  at state house boasting that nothing will happen to him. But remember Kutyauripo has been at the state house during President Mugabe's time and only grew a big head when ED ascended to the throne. The way Kutyauripo treats state house staff does not reflect on the president. In every appointment you find some overzealous people who definitely abuse their proximity to the president.

During Mugabe's time Temba Mliswa claimed to be related to Mugabe. When Mugabe left office Temba now claims to be related to the current president. There is no doubt that come next president someone will claim close relations.

Tambolinyoka did not do a deluge to research before he wrote his article. It is not all Moyo's in the government who are related to the president. If these close appointments are done in Zimbabwe it is reported as the worst thing ever done on earth. Remember the late American president Kennedy appointed his brother Robert Attorney General and put his brother in law in charge of the Peace Corps. Bill Clinton put his wife in charge of healthcare reform.

So the practice among those with power or influence of favouring relatives or friends, especially by giving them jobs can be corruption and nepotism"

Again patronage bestowed or favoritism shown on the basis of family relationship, as in business and politics: Cronyism is the practice of partiality in awarding jobs and other advantages to friends or trusted colleagues, especially in politics and between politicians and supportive organizations. ... Whereas cronyism refers to partiality to a partner or friend, nepotism is the granting of favour to relatives. Nepotism is a form of favoritism which is granted to relatives in various fields, including business, politics, entertainment, sports, religion and other activities.
Max Weber (sociologist) argued that nepotism was an obstacle to modernization and the rise of the organization. He gave special treatment to the example of China arguing that tightly restrictive family ties in China would thwart the development of more impersonal social networks essential for modern business organization and practice.

Jason's Law of Corruption states:
*"The decibel of an average citizen's public outcry is directly proportional to his distance from the opportunity to do exactly what he condemns." So MDC and it's Tambolinyoka are not in any position of giving us any lesson.  Tsvangiray's children  have been all thrown in as Members of parliament in Glenview.

Jason's Law further states that:
"The difference between many a vociferous, sanctimonious and pontificating citizens and the villainous, itchy-fingered kleptomaniac is probably the absence of the opportunity to steal."

Jason's Law concludes that:
"In all probability,  should the opportunity occur, yesterday's moral crusader is more likely to crumble and disappear under the weight of corruption."

Explained in simple terms, Jason's Law maintains that the further the distance between a citizen's and power authority position, the higher the noise he makes against acts of corruption while the nearer he is to the position, the lesser the noise he makes.
and when in the position, the noise ceases.

So people must not take note of the comments by him.
President Mnangagwa can not be a tribalist simply because some people claim to be related to him. Some even steal in his name and as we have said many MPS are being persecuted for not being Karangas. This is not a true reflection of our country president. Not all who say they are related to ED are telling the truth. Again sometimes you need to trust those you know in places of importance.

There is no nepotism crisis in Zimbabwe at all.

Source - Dr Masimba Mavaza
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