via Africa vs greed, poverty – DailyNews Live by Bill Saidi 7 FEBRUARY 2014
It can no longer be argued that poverty in Africa is closely related to the greed of its leaders.
Most of the people in power would like to remain there for a long time.
At some point, they may have been driven by the altruistic desire to “do good for the people”.
Later, however, having tasted the nectar of power and how helpless the “people” were to throw them out of power (the soldiers would always make sure of that), they decided they could be in the saddle for ever.
The attraction included undreamed of wealth.
In Zimbabwe, there were recent examples of how people in top positions were being paid obscene salaries while poverty throughout the land rose to equally obscene levels.
Nearly 34 years into independence, the poverty in the land is as shocking as it was in 1980.
All public services have deteriorated to pathetic levels.
Hospitals, clinics, schools, universities, prisons, roads — you name them — are in a pathetic state.
The government pleads a lack of money to put things right.
But you hear of large-scale corruption in government, of people paying themselves lavish salaries, allowances and other perks.
Promises are made to probe all this theft of public money. But we are told nobody would be prosecuted until all the facts have been established.
Whoever asked for “instance justice”?
It seemed the authorities want to take their own sweet time before bringing anyone to book. Why? People ask. It could be the police. They know their hands are not clean.
A front-page picture of Cuthbert Dube raised interest nationwide.
He is a news maker of note. He is involved in football administration — some fans called for his ouster.
It was said he was being probed over his salary and perks.
Had he not messed up soccer too?
Others were also said to be the subjects of probes over the same irregularities. What was going on? People asked. Why were so many people stealing from the government?
And what was the government doing about all these shenanigans?
Others responded quietly: “The government is deep sh….”
Where was the evidence? people asked.
Is our government so rotten it can’t even probe itself?
Since the elections last July, we have seen the main opposition, the Movement for Democratic Change led by Morgan Tsvangirai, plunge into crisis — and then somewhat recover.
Zanu PF has been smug — this probably led to some members believing nobody would touch them if they stole something from the cookie jar.
Could this have resulted in the scandals which blew up one after the other?
Some conclude it’s an African disease.
The people in power may, at some point, have decided that, if they played their cards right, the majority of the people might allow them to keep power indefinitely.
This may have happened in a number of countries, but the price, in some instances, was higher than anyone expected.
The people rose in protest and a good number of them were killed in cold blood by the disgruntled soldiers.
The rest of the world was shocked, cutting off ties with the country, halting all aid and encouraging every other country to suspend trade with the country.
Chaos would follow. There would be hunger and disease — until the soldiers probably decided to take matters into their own hands, with unpredictable consequences.
Zimbabwe could not be headed that way, could it?
The people in power, cocky as hell because of their alleged thumping victory last July, must pause.
The people being ruled can only take so much…no more.