re posted from Nehanda Radio
www.nehandaradio.com (apology to source – unable to link due to technical error)
The emperor with no clothes and the economy of Zimbabwe
Jul 2, 2016 16
By Tendai Mazenge
Our President Robert Mugabe has failed us and the blame lies with him. Robert Mugabe’s dream of a new world quickly turned into a nightmare for the people of Zimbabwe. What happened? Where did things go wrong?
Mugabe like so many others, started out with noble but naive ideas and aspirations. An extremely intelligent man with more than 5 college degrees, he genuinely wanted to make a difference and improve the plight of his people.
What he underestimated, as we all do is the wickedness that lies within a human heart, including his own. When one is suddenly handed the reigns of a whole nation and given such power and authority, its too intoxicating to handle.
Men change and he is not an exception. Brilliant men become stupid. History testifies that, when leaders gain power with bitterness, resentment and unresolved conflict in their souls, they become destructive. Revenge becomes their obsession at the cost of everything else.
Mugabe fell prey to what was hidden inside his heart. The truth always has a way of coming out into the light and revealing itself. Mugabe is in fact an emperor with no clothes. When one has power, it unfetters the greed and lust hidden in one’s soul.
Like Mugabe, you lavish yourself with a massive new palace and bulldoze thousands of people’s houses just to clean up the neighbourhood. Once you have power you become paranoid about losing it. In order to preserve your power you gather around your family and friends that you trust and put them in key positions in your government.
In order to maintain their loyalty you grant them special privileges and wealth which in turn corrupts them. Over the course of time, instead of having a truly socialist government where everyone is equal and cared for, you have a few at the top that control the wealth and the masses are still enslaved to poverty.
This corruption trickles until you have a totally dysfunctional family under the guise of the government. Whether imperialism or socialism the result is the same the little guy with no power, he remains poor. Mugabe refuses to let go control of the military and the police, which allow him to use force to maintain power.
While Mugabe spent his time scheming to maintain power and control the people, the nation is on the verge of a catastrophic humanitarian crisis. Poverty is rife and the economy is shrinking everyday. Is this the kind of President we voted for in 1980?
Things did fall apart in Zanu PF and its leaders and its time for citizens to take a stand and say no to this tyranny. Robert Mugabe, caused all this because he is the President surrounded by criminals but he protects them.
Now there is shortage of money in the banks,unemployment is sitting above 80%, the agriculture sector is dead together with the manufacturing industry. All this affects the economy. Now we must take a holistic view of the events that have led us to where we are today as a nation.
Our problems did not come as a result of precolonial imbalance caused by the white minority who oppressed the black majority, neither did the economy shrink because of sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe by the West.
Robert Mugabe is the root cause of all these problems. What we need now is to look at the best possible solution. Most of the problems Zimbabwe is facing are political ,rather than economical e.g corruption, inconsistent policies like the indigenisation policy, government deficit that is propelled by politics of patronage.
The solution lies in the political will when it comes to correcting all the wrongs that Zanu PF and Mugabe did. It is now difficult to correct because many people at the upper echelon benefited from the current system and current culture of corruption.They have a woeful disrespect for economic principals, but as you all know economics is a powerful than Politics.
Politicians must be willing to accept reality and embrace change. Politicians must step out of administrative offices. We have ministers who have no technical ideas of the ministries they lead e.g retired army generals managing parastatals. This should stop. This is what killed our Agriculture sector because soldiers not farmers were given farms.
The Anti-corruption body should be independent so that it executes its duties without fear or favour. Proper systems must be put in place so that the guilty will be arrested, punished and recover what they looted. The government should appoint competent balanced executive directors to run parastatals.
Recently we saw Minister Undenge and the ZESA tender board awarding a tender worth more than 300 million dollars to construct a solar farm to an ex convict without following tender procedures.All these people should be brought to book so that they can answer for their transgressions. The political and electoral structures should be reformed to enable people to express themselves freely.
When people feel threatened they do not contribute meaningfully. Also the government ought to engage Zimbabwean business people and intellectuals who left the country. Zimbabwe suffered a major brain drain and now its time to find out why they left and what it will take to bring them back.
Now the government is broke and hey have moved the dates for salaries of civil servants. Since they sent panic in the banks by annoucing that they want to introduce the bond notes , the citizens are busy withdrawing their money everyday because they know what happened to their money during the time of Gideon Gono.
When Tendai Biti was the Minister of Finance during the inclusive government, he tried to manage the size of the civil service while Zanu PF controlled ministries continue to employ more people. When Tendai Biti carried out an audit, many ghost workers were exposed but nothing was done to correct the imbalance.
Biti also found out that money was being stolen at Chiadzwa Diamond Mine but nobody listened to him. He knew the people behind the looting of the diamond money but no one was willing to do the right thing. Also the ministries must be trimmed because they are increasing the expenditure bill in a country without production.
We really need to fix our economy but the big question is, What are the current leaders doing to mitigate the effects and pressure of those who did not do their duties as expected, for whatever real or perceived reasons.?
If the current leadership can not fix the economy yet they are the ones who caused it to collapse, then the leadership must be dismantled and let others be given a chance. The truth is Robert Mugabe and Zanu PF have failed and its high time they admit and save Zimbabwe from this quagmire.
Together we can and another Zimbabwe is definitely possible.
Tendai Mazenge is a political writer and PDP Secretary for Policy, Harare Province.