LET’S give it to US President Donald Trump — if he thinks anyone is his team is excess baggage and is becoming a liability, he is very swift and ruthless in showing even his good friends the exit door. Just more than a week into his presidency, Trump fired acting Attorney-General Sally Yates, then it was attorney Preet Bharara and in a few months, we have lost count on the number of officials that the US president has fired.
He has even dismissed FBI director James Comey. But the most dramatic move by Trump was the way he fired the loud-mouthed Anthony Scaramucci, as the White House director of communications just 10 days after appointing him into office. Upon his arrival, Scaramucci had threatened to fire anyone at the White House but before he had closed his mouth, he was kicked out by Trump.
But we really shouldn’t be surprised by the Trump way of doing things. Before he took over as president, Trump had made a name for himself as a reality television presenter on the programme, “The Apprentice.” At the end of each episode, Trump would send one contestant home by turning his hand into a finger gun, pointing it on the contestant and yelling, “you’re fired”.
Now Trump is doing at the White House and it looks like many will soon be told “you’re fired”. The US leader seems to be a big fan of motivational speaker Sue Augustine, who in her book, “When Your Past Is Hurting Your Present: Getting Beyond Fears That Hold You Back”, wrote that in life there comes a time to “lay that baggage down and leave behind all the struggling and striving. You can be free as you journey towards a balanced healthy and rewarding future”.
Trump is not exactly an exemplary politician, but it looks like Vice President Mnangagwa can learn a thing or two from the US President. Following statements by President Mugabe and the First Lady Dr Grace Mugabe during the Zanu-PF Presidential Youth Interface rally in Gweru last Friday, it indeed is time for the VP to clear the deck.
It was clear from the statements by the President and the First Lady that VP Mnangagwa is not the problem with regards to reports of factionalism emanating from the Midlands province. In fact, listening closely to the statements, one got a feeling that the biggest disappointment was that the VP was being let down by some overzealous and reckless barking dogs from the province and a few misguided elements from around the country.
One writer once wrote: “You can run all you want, but the baggage you travel with will continue to hold you down until you let some of it go.” Another writer sarcastically wrote: “Pay excess baggage in airplanes, not in life. Let go!”
The time has come for VP Mnangagwa to let go some baggage that is weighing him down. Why should he continue paying excess baggage in life as if he lives in an airplane? The Energy Mutodis of this world, the Victor Matemadandas of this world and many more jokers and spoilers out there are now excess baggage for the VP.
Simply put, VP Mnangagwa should stop watering dead plants. Donald Trump may be overdoing things at the White House, but it won’t harm the VP to take a few lessons on how to clear the deck.
There are quite a number of people who have been pretending and faking support for the VP, yet their irresponsible statements and actions have done more damage to the VP. VP Mnangagwa has travelled a long and arduous road from the days of the liberation struggle up to now. He doesn’t need pretenders and cartoon characters to spoil his name.
While it has been his trademark over the years not to defend himself regularly in the media, the time may have come for him to change his communication strategy, especially in these days of the social media which doesn’t go to sleep.
For example, up until last Thursday when VP Mnangagwa issued the statement regarding events at the Gwanda Presidential Youth Interface rally that saw him being rushed to South Africa for treatment, a lot of lies were flying around.
The VP’s statement put everything into perspective and defused all the sinister theories that were being peddled by prophets of doom. We are not suggesting that VP Mnangagwa should be in the media every day and we are not suggesting that he dumps all his allies. All we are saying is; there is so much excess baggage on his deck.
It’s time for VP Mnangagwa to respect himself enough to walk away from anyone or anything that no longer serves him, that no longer grows him and that no longer makes him happy.
Gweru was quite revealing. Shrewd politicians would take Gweru as a foundation and build on it.
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