Crisis within a crisis

French writer Voltaire once said: “It is dangerous to be right in matters on which the established authorities are wrong.”

With Zimbabwe back on the spotlight, many now agree that we are living in perilous times.

Keeping your opinion to yourself will keep you away from this hazard, sadly.

Fundamental rights guaranteed in the country’s Supreme Law are being put to test and we can only watch.

That power is corrupt now seems true in Zimbabwe as the governing party Zanu PF remains defiant that all is well in Zimbabwe.

At home and abroad it is widely agreed that Zimbabwe, which is battling rising inflation, high unemployment levels, power cuts that are back and general political intolerance, has to turn the leaf and speak to each other.

Put plainly, there is a crisis which needs to be addressed.

The how is a debate for another day.

The economic impact of Covid-19 is already being felt.

Some companies have folded while others are sinking.

A few months back we were told that the government would inject an ZW$18bn stimulus package into the economy but many captains of industry are yet to get a dime.

Santa Claus will not jump into people’s homes as things stand.

With rival opposition parties on each other’s throat, any hope of demanding accountability from the ruling elite seems remote.

On the legislative agenda—we have the Constitutional Amendment and the Cyber security and Data Protection.

The latter is of particular interest to the proverbial Fourth Estate as well as the general citizenry.

Let’s leave discussions on the former for another day. In a few weeks the bill will be going for its Second Reading.

Bureaucrats will say it is now at an advanced stage.

Of particular interest on this Bill is the issue of non-protection of whistle-blowers.

Journalism 101 will teach that whistle-blowers are important sources in exposing corruption and promoting accountability and good governance.

Our colleagues from the “learned profession”, the lawyers say a clause within the Cyber security and Data Protection Bill which does not protect whistle-blowers is ultra vires the Constitution which guarantees the protection of sources.

One of the key demands by the generality of Zimbabweans is a stronger commitment in fighting corruption within the public service which they say now appears like a lost cause.

Speaking truth to power should be a hallmark for any democratic state and in 2013, Zimbabweans voted for a constitution which establishes the southern African nation as a Constitutional Democracy.

This constitution must guide us.

But as the infighting within the opposition continues and the ruling elites remain intransigent the citizenry stands in the pavilion as events unfold. This is the Zimbabwe we are living in.

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