Friday, 28 February 2014
Monday, 24 February 2014
Wednesday, 19 February 2014
a unique brand of an African with powerful principles which have been tried and tested successful against colonialism and more recently neo-colonialism. The defining feature about this extraordinary visionary is the strong commitment to the ideas of self-determination, self-respect and self-preservation. The belief in the struggle to truly separate the Zimbabwe indigene from the unfair neo-colonial construct that has throughout history continued to burden the African continent. A man who has stood firm and facing the front in this struggle to practically disconnect the people of Zimbabwe from a system that has forsaken the people of the continent to second class citizenry on their own soil.
Bernard Bwoni can be contacted at email@example.com
Sunday, 16 February 2014
Friday, 14 February 2014
The only sure way towards enhanced organisational performance and efficacy is strategic involvement by middle management. That layer of eager-beaver supervisors who act as a buffer between senior management and the workers on the ground. It keeps any organisation ticking and moving forwards and is that lubricant in the middle. It sets the objectives on the ground, identifies responsibilities, risks and has the knowledge of how to manage and control processes. Middle management has the role of engaging workers, identifying the effects of failure and taking appropriate action. Left to their own devices, workers are not productive! This is common sense, this is stating the obvious some will say, but then if this is common sense and stating the obvious why are we still talking about it?
In Harare, when you drive from the city centre towards Braeside there is a railway crossing just before the Markro wholesalers. There is a traffic signal at the railway level crossing with a steady amber or red light. This level crossing signal is obscured and visibility is almost zero, well it is in fact zero. You cannot see it full-stop. As with everything in Zimbabwe at the moment, due to the effects of the nefarious sanctions imposed indiscriminately against Zimbabwe, it has been difficult to maintain things and that is a debate for another day so please bear with me.
Now at this railway level crossing with the highly invisible amber rail crossing light, and this has been the case for a while now, we have on almost a daily basis, our beloved police officers camped out there stopping and fining the beautiful citizens of Zimbabwe at will. The role of middle management is to identify risk and the effects of failure and take action. And not extract bribes out of the already poverty-burdened citizens of Zimbabwe!
My point is, this is a very dangerous level crossing and it is just a fatality waiting to happen or has already happened repeatedly and will happen again and again. The identified problem is the risk of harm to the public and the role of this middle manager is to drive up his own department, and appropriately report to senior management. Let us stop blaming senior management for failure to execute the responsibilities of middle management! It is a fact that strategy and execution are not mutually exclusive and without planning you cannot execute and strategy without execution is pointless. Instead of this senior officer or middle manager taking this extremely high risk issue to senior management, he is choosing to let the problem be for selfish, self-serving bribery-induced gratification.
What is the purpose of risk assessment? Again stating the obvious, you identify the potential for an accident or dangerous occurrence and you take practical steps to protect people from the risks that cause real harm and suffering. The signal light has been like that for a very long time and this middle manager is clearly aware of it and that is why he has stationed his officers there. Repeatedly fining hard pressed citizens $20 for going through an invisible traffic signal is just a practical example of dearth of middle management in Zimbabwe. The grass that is obscuring the light could be cut and the dust that has accumulated over the years could be cleaned. That is not going to cost $100 surely. With an effective middle management that will definitely happen. The term is effective! The key is initiative!
An effective middle management relays orders, decisions and guidance downwards and most importantly they take problems, difficulties and suggestions upwards to their superiors. It is easy to blame President Mugabe for this mediocrity from the so-called middle management we have! The middle management deals with operations on the ground and they should be interpreting and explaining policies framed by top management and motivating workers on the ground to work towards organisational, departmental and national vision and goals.
You often hear some say Zanu PF is full of useless policies and blue prints! It is not the policies; it is not Zanu PF and not the blue-prints that is the problem. It is that missing link between middle management and the senior management. Do you expect President Mugabe to come to this railway level crossing at Braeside to cut the grass and dust down the signal light casing? We have to admit that we have a dearth of middle management in Zimbabwe. This example I have given is just the tip of the iceberg and every department you go to it is the same. I just love the passport office and so does everyone else who has been there recently! We have a non-existent or dysfunctional middle management.
Senior management set out the policies and blue-prints, the vision and direction for the organisation or department. The expectation is that this is delegated to middle management to promulgate down to the ground and the middle management must understand the jobs below them, what is expected of those jobs and how to appropriately report to top management. Zimbabwe is a country going through socio-political redefinition and this level of management is critical to this change process. Senior management has a responsibility to disseminate exactly what is expected of middle management and follow up is just as crucial.
Zimbabwe is on the threshold of a major economic boom and that is fact. So a failure of senior management and a lack of middle management will only hamper our socio-economic journey. Workers need to be managed; workers have to be managed and managed effectively that is.
Sunday, 9 February 2014
As citizens of an
acquisitive society, Zimbabweans have a deeply entrenched metric for success
that is derived from the external manifestations of a distorted self. Whilst
the distinction between serving the self and serving others is powerful and viable,
it requires everyone to have that inherent courage to be altruistic and apparent
for the sake of transparency. With the recent revelations about the sleaze and
salary scandals the dilemma we are faced with a loss of individual uprightness
and the question to pose is do those incriminated have the inner sustained
stamina and courage to be accountable for their individual indiscretions? The
only gate-keepers to losing one’s moral fibre and conscience are courage,
self-awareness and empathy which are integral to social and emotional
President Mugabe has been rightly dismayed and let down by the recent revelations and instructed that action is taken directly from those responsible ministries implicated in the scandals. Jonathan Moyo has been the most proactive and instrumental in initiating and unmasking these financial felonies and there has been a sense of urgency in defining and driving up processes and national trajectory. Moyo has been putting emphasis on the reframing of the construct of leadership from being heroes and celebrities to being servants of the people. The recent salary sleaze and economic transgressions by individuals must never be allowed to tarnish the great name of the revolutionary party. Individuals are entirely responsible for their individual impropriety and irresponsibility. The public outrage and associated emotive responses to the revelations are understandable under the circumstances but in all fairness have to exonerate the revolutionary party and target the independent offenders. The revolutionary party is bigger than any personality and individuals are mere component parts of this ideologically-affluent composite structure. The individual is the individual and the party is separate and that distinction must be made clear.
Leaders are human and therefore fallible. Those who lose their way are not necessarily bad people but rather they lose their moral mettle, often giving in to worldly seductions which form the petal paths of their careers. No one goes into a position of power with the sole purpose of self-gratification or to do wrong, yet we all have that susceptibility to actions and behaviours we will end up regretting unless if we stay grounded. Along the way the rewards, the bonuses and other alluring trappings fuel increasing desires for more and succumb many will.
Courageous and upright individuals do not make excuses when they are wrong, they come forward and boldly say ‘I was wrong’. I have utmost respect for George Charamba who has shown no hesitation in admitting his misjudgement. Apologising freely requires a moral backbone and Charamba coming forward and doing that surely must be uncomfortable but the fact that he has done so publicly shows that he is putting honesty and honour ahead of personal comfort and self-preservation. The positive power of acknowledging and apologising for one’s misdoings is not only inspiring but also courageous and morally upright. I am fully aware that excusing people’s behaviour is in essence trying to redefine what is and what is not morally acceptable in society and I am not about to do that. In every unethical predicament the costs vastly outweigh the benefits and in this case the wrong-doers have a case to answer.
George Charamba’s morally-conscious stance is a brand new phenomenon in Zimbabwean politics and he deserves credit not outright castigation for admitting that he was wrong. Emotions and outrage aside, Charamba coming out and admitting his involvement in the long run is likely going to increase solidarity, innovation and openness in Zimbabwean politics. Any individual in a position of leadership who can admit to an error in judgement embodies a positive measure of character. Humility and the ability to admit to error and error of judgement are probably the most important qualities in leadership. Charamba is embracing humility and in admitting his miscalculation and hinting on resigning he is showing a unique understanding of self and those around him.
The biggest fear of admitting error of judgement is the fear of being entirely dipped in the illegitimacy immersion and rightly so. The honest truth though is that I have more respect for someone who has the courage to come out and say I was wrong and I apologise for my wrongdoings. I trust Charamba more than those who remain engrossed in their self-serving egotistical preoccupations while portraying and preserving a picture of assumed righteousness and imagined impunity. I find Charamba’s acknowledgement sincere and he is secure enough to realise and recognise his weaknesses. I listened to his interview and he seemed very self-aware and did not seem weighed down by any insecurities. The problem for Charamba is that the fact that he has acknowledged the involvement does not necessarily erase it or make it any better, it remains a miscalculated involvement and error of judgement at the end of the day and that he has to live with. However his saving grace is that he has been brave enough not to try to conceal any wrongdoing which could have created the perception of a lack of integrity and self-awareness.
There has been a renewed commitment to unearthing and condemning the actionable financial misconduct which has become permanent in parastatals and nationwide. Jonathan Moyo, the media and others who have been upfront in uncovering these misdemeanours of capital crimes are ushering in a brand new political phenomenon in Zimbabwe. Every individual is responsible for their dirty deeds and must never be allowed to drag the name of the revolutionary party into the sleazy slime for their self-serving ends. There are no ‘external forces’ trying to sabotage the revolution in this instance, this is about opportunistic self-seeking unscrupulous individuals out to super-enrich themselves at the expense of the destitute masses! We urge media ignore any second ranking calls to stop the digging and to continue unmasking the perpetrators of these commercial crimes. It is the hope that more and more of those implicated are as honourable and honesty as George Charamba in acknowledging their misjudgement. This is the brand new and brave political new world order that is emerging and will redefine this country forever.
Thursday, 6 February 2014
Saturday, 1 February 2014
The model created, Y=β₀+β₁ᵡ₁+β₂ᵡ₂₊+β₃ᵡ₃+β₄ᵡ₄+β₅ᵡ₅+β₆ᵡ₆+β₇ᵡ₇+e where Y is the Zanu-pf invincibility (dependent variable), β₀ is the intercept and the independent variables are β₁ is economic empowerment entrenched, β₂ is resource endowment, β₃ is societal homogeneity, β₄ is projected development, β₅ is weak opposition politics, β₆ is the efforts of tackling corruption gathering pace and bearing fruition, β₇ indigenisation and foreign direct investment equally augmenting the economy and e is error term. The assumption is that with time people become fully empowered, the country takes positive developmental steps as it is silently doing, the Zanu-pf long-term vision and values for the country becomes homogenous and interlinked with societal and national values, the Zanu-pf vision is the national vision. The country is well endowed with natural resources to sustain such developments, as the Zanu-pf vision for Zimbabwe continue to ineradicably root itself the opposition politics will continue to be further weakened unless they reinvent themselves.
A simple model which can have even more explanatory variables but if you look at the past and repeated current and compelling bedroom and political malfunctions, opposition politics is going to require at least thirty years to harness all the discerning voices and start engraining collective national aspirations as Zanu-pf has done. Elton Mangoma was recently chastised and threatened for clamouring for that reinvention and renewal and my point exactly. As the Zanu-pf political patchwork gathers pace, the oppositional structures are unravelling with cataclysmic inevitability. There is absolutely nothing to dislodge Zanu-pf from helm for the next half century.
Bernard Bwoni can be contacted on firstname.lastname@example.org/ bernardbwoni.blogspot.com