Thursday, September 15
Saturday, August 2
The entire image of the organisation rests with the CEO and the way he represents it to stakeholders through the media.
Conversely, the way the media portrays the CEO has a positive or negative impact on his organisation’s reputation.
In an ideal situation, the CEO and his organisation should be well equipped and trained to tackle any crisis — particularly one that is generated by the media.
However, in the case of Salarygate, we had, and still have, what strategic planners call a worst case scenario, a situation where a crisis evolved out of another crisis.
Next week we examine what these crises were and how the leadership of the affected
organisations could have handled them.
A crisis can happen to any organisation at any time and it can shatter a reputation that has been built over time. It is the preparedness that makes all the difference. Experts suggest that strategy should address reputation weaknesses through evolution not revolution.
Lenox Mhlanga is a commmunications and media consultant. firstname.lastname@example.org
Also read: http://nehandaradio.com/2014/02/23/mugabe-lacks-guts-deal-salarygate/
Monday, September 9
Judging by the casual glance at today's papers, it seems there is no news of significance except excluding The Herald who are in a class of their own in incredulity. I won't even post their link here for you to judge because it would be patently embarrasing.
Sunday, August 18
|Students flee campus after invation|
Thursday, November 8
Was I so vain by thinking that the world is full of nice people? I have never come across such a bunch of angry people anywhere. If we were to tap the negative vibes some of them generate, we are sure to get rid of the national power deficit at the flick of a switch. No need for the Chinese to construct their environmentally unfriendly power stations.
That reality check may have lasted this long, but there were extenuating factors that added to the enforced hiatus. I have discovered that if I were to allow myself to be controlled by someone else, then I would surely die of the misery some of our colleagues in the Diaspora suffer from. Please note that I said ‘some’. That is a heavily qualified statement lest the critics find fodder with which to construct their case.
Criticism is fine and welcome as long as it is constructive. So I won’t be Zanu PFish about it and settle for the gag or worse still… Anyway, having rediscovered the fact that there are people out there who have chosen to be mean, I can also confirm that life can be unfair, sometimes. These two points were confirmed by my rather acrimonious exit from the land of the Batswana.
|Botswana immigration office in Francistown|
I now realise the utter stupidity to exercise patience in order for one to be insulted and be called a ‘Mokwerekwere’ which for the unititiated means 'a foreigner.'
It took Botswana authorities the best part of six months to deny me an investor’s permit with the claim that my business was ‘not viable.’ I will not bore you with the details, save to confirm what Zimbabweans have always known ukuthi abantu laba kabasithandi! (The Batswana don't like us.)
From the arid verges of the Kgalagadi desert, I returned home to Bulawayo in August to discover a city more dead than a cemetery in the North Pole. The first thing you hear when arriving back home from the Diaspora is to head north. That statement alone is very loaded. It tells you in the least number of words possible that the south of the country is dead economically unless you are into gold panning. Secondly, it points to where the money is to be made.
So why blame me of all people, stripped to the bare bones and without a plan, for joining the money making trail to bambazonke? Admittedly, Harare takes on an enduring allure when dollar signs are embellished around its reputation for grabbing all that comes its way. If the mountain won’t come to Mohammed, then why shouldn’t Mohammed go to the mountain?
Taking the cheapest steel-clad camel available, carrying the barest minimum in luggage, I found myself heading north to what my clansmen fondly refer to as eButshabi. The journey reminded me of the stark reality that is my beloved country Zimbabwe. Not that I regret being back home, far from it. It’s that there are some things that remain the same.
As we negotiated our way through no less than 20 roadblocks, I had a brilliant idea. Why can’t police checkpoints be declared a national heritage? That would turn them into tourist attractions in advance of the United Nations World Tourism Organisation General Assembly to be hosted next year. We would make a killing.
Another stark reminder was the dingy state of the cities of Kadoma and Chegutu. If rumours of the dualisation of the highway are true, then these are two eyesores the new development can gladly bypass. Perhaps the only positive thing I observed on that journey which was littered with the sight of abandoned and unproductive commercial farms, was the fact that the road itself was being fixed.
If there is one thing that gives an impression that things are indeed looking up, it’s the sight of heavy construction equipment and the smell of fresh asphalt. And also that all the food outlets, except those in Kadoma and Chegutu of course, looked neat, no chance of one catching cholera or typhoid there!
Arriving in Harare was a shock. There seems to be more cars than people and all of them are rushing somewhere. Granted that Harare has always been associated with speed, and coming from a leisurely paced country like Botswana one finds the existence in the capital hair raising. I was swept by the tide when I got there and I just had to hang on to my hat.
As I shook off the effects of my ‘Themba comes to the city’ experience, I soon got into the scheme of things. Wheeling and dealing is the pulse of Harare. Decision makers meet the shady characters downtown. Sometimes it’s difficult to tell which is which. The story of survival in bambazonke is one for another day. At this juncture all I can say is, with a hint of sarcasm, it’s good to be back home.
Pause for Thought: Domestos is a locally available brand of toilet cleaner. They are being touted as the official sponsors of the World Toilet Summit. My son Bongani wonders what will be discussed at a world toilet summit. Food for thought!
Saturday, April 21
|Cartoon in NewsDay|
It is well understood that towards the holidays it has become necessary for the police to conduct special operations as way of reducing accidents and save life and limb. But the above statistics tell a numbing story. Which begs a question that has been thrown around by all and sundry; Is Zimbabwe a police state?
This has been vociferously denied by the police themselves whose chief is in his element telling people, particularly pesky politicians where to get off. According to Commissioner Augustine Chihuri, the police are not obliged to reveal to the public why, when, where and how they conduct their operations for obvious security related reasons. That is clearly understood.
But what really gets at motorists and their passengers alike is the ‘malicious overzealousness’ displayed by traffic police. This is particularly noticeable directly after a public outcry about their conduct or when stung by criticism during parliamentary debates, cabinets meetings or the media.
Even the brazenly verbose Deputy Prime Minister Prof AGO Mutambara had very few kind words for what he said was a force that bred corruption through the use of roadblocks as ‘fundraising methods.’ Minister Biti weighed in by saying that roadblocks had become the ATMs (Automated Teller machines) of certain members of society.
What members of the public argue against is whether the number of roadblocks has led to a corresponding decrease in crime or accidents for that matter. The evidence on the ground glaringly shows that this is not the case.
Roadblocks by their very nature are normally set up in times of crisis, an unstable condition that is supposed to be temporary. So road blocks at Easter or other holidays could be justified. Temporary is the opposite of permanent by the way.
Roadblocks, economists will tell you, are the worst form of crime prevention in as far as the free flow of traffic, passengers and goods are concerned. Perhaps we need some research to determine the amount of down-time lost to the economy through the sometimes unnecessary delays at these barricades. Quantified, the money lost to the fiscus must be phenomenal. And that is where the police force is supposed to be getting paid from.
If commuters travelling from Luveve or Chitungwiza to the city centres of Bulawayo and Harare respectively were to be stopped at least 5 roadblocks, how much of production time would be lost even if they were vendors for argument’s sake? And to think that the police would be the first to complain that their budget allocation is inadequate! It’s because they do not see the link between the two or they simply refuse to.
That aside, the gripe with traffic police is why they intensify operations so soon after constructive criticism? If a very public institution like the police are above the oversight of parliament which represents members of the public, they who do they answer to, if we were to ask a stupid question.
The increase in the number of roadblocks has struck terror on drivers of foreign registered vehicles in particular in that they have become sitting ducks or moving targets for traffic cops. Is it because they are so eager to avoid the inconvenience of being delayed that they are wont to quickly part with all manner of bribes?
‘Money for a coke’ has become the slogan even though the said beverage costs just a dollar unless one is expected to buy the entire police force. This should worry the Ministers of Tourism and Foreign Affairs because among the worst verdicts about Zimbabwean hospitality emanates from the mistreatment of tourists at roadblocks that, for some sadistic reason, are strategically located near tourist resorts.
So much to the extent that an Australian travel warning on Zimbabwe reads thus: ‘Roadblocks are very common throughout Zimbabwe and can appear with little warning.’
One tourist even wrote on his blog about how the highlight of his long planned trip to Zimbabwe were the numerous roadblocks he encountered where the reception ranged from disarmingly polite to downright rude. In fact, so polite was one officer that after fleecing the bemused visitor of $20 for missing reflectors and detaining him for the best of 30 minutes was told to ‘have a pleasant stay.’
Granted that, as police spokesman James Sabao says, police are not violating the civil rights of members of the public because ‘the law allows them to do so’ doesn’t it follow then that the police should give due respect to the mandate of MPs to change a patently bad law and so debate it openly without being called all sorts of names?
A point of contention has always been the police insisting that motorists pay fines on the spot. This lands credence to stories of officers going on a fishing expedition around the car looking for an offence to charge the driver for. Many a driver has spoken of a police officer’s ‘Aha!’ moment when he or she would have eventually discovered something amiss with a vehicle.
Like the frequent cases of foreign vehicles without front white reflectors that seem to be mandatory in Zimbabwe alone and not in other SADC countries. Instead of being given a warning and a chance to purchase the said reflectors, they are ordered to pay a fine on the spot. We eagerly await the standardisation of traffic rules in the region.
As if to emolliate the bad publicity those roadblocks have generated, we have encountered officers who are so professional as to be insidious in their efficiency. Like when one is instructed, albeit very politely, to ‘pull your car off the road and await an officer who will DEAL with you.’ That expression alone has so many connotations and none of them are positive.
Psychologically this is intended to reduce the driver to ground level from which you painstakingly work yourself from with a mix of pampering (as in saluting ‘makadini chef?’) to downright bribery. I agree that it takes two for corruption to take place but the way one is manoeuvred into bribing an officer leaves one without any doubt whatsoever what the ‘deal’ is.
On another note, have you noticed that when the police react to accusations of over-handedness on the roads they seem to equate the behaviour of every driver to that of commuter taxi drivers? That is where part of the problem lies. Commuter taxi drivers are a breed on their own and if you ask me they deserve everything that is coming to them.
We all know that commuter taxi drivers are a law unto themselves. Their malcontent behaviour is legendary. No one in his right senses should have any sympathy for a driver who treats his passengers the same way as he would a load of pumpkins. Police should desist painting every driver with the same brush, to use their language.
If it is reducing impunity on the roads that the police are in intent on doing then why not take their fight to the commuter bus ranks where the real purveyors of the traffic jungle prowl? It makes sense doesn’t it?
The tact of distinguishing between two distinctly divergent types of drivers will reduce the agony a lot of them will have to endure. It’s like the incident of a high court judge who was roundly humiliated by a traffic cop still wet behind the ears who said, rather unflatteringly, ‘Kana urimu-Benz unofunga kuti unoshamisira?’ (Do you think you are great just because you are driving a Mercedes Benz?)
It took the alertness of a nearby senior officer and profuse grovelling on the part of the said constable to rescue an embarrassing situation.
While we are constantly reminded by police spokespersons that those who observed the law have nothing to fear and defective vehicles are cleared off the roads, then why should reasonably sound vehicles endure the phalanx of roadblocks still? Is this not an indication that roadblocks are not an effective deterrent?
As Minister Biti correctly pointed out, the positioning of some of these check points defies logic. We can only speculate that the areas with the highest concentration of roadblocks are those that have drivers rich enough to shower cops with monetary confetti.
Another thing, can the officers ‘soliciting and collecting bribes’ please do it more discreetly. You never know who is watching or taking pictures in these days of tabloid and yellow journalism.
There now is a website that identifies places where bribes are taken by density and such spots are then geo-tagged and labelled according to the amount and the government department affected. The novel idea is called ‘Bribespot’http://www.bribespot.com and anyone with an android mobile phone for now can send information to the site via an application or app.
As a parting shot there is a joke that used to do the rounds that goes something like: Question: What is the difference between a spot fine and a bribe? Answer: You get an ‘admission of guilt’ for one and ‘guilt of commission’ for the other!