via Deliver us from this evil: Vince Musewe – Nehanda Radio Feb 20, 2014
The sheer unadulterated vastness of greed and selfishness within ZANU (PF) cannot be extinguished as long as they remain in power.
“In any country where talent and virtue produce no advancement, money will be the national god. Its inhabitants will either have to possess money or make others believe that they do. In such a country, the greatest fortunes will vanish in the twinkling of an eye. Those who don’t have money will ruin themselves with vain efforts to conceal their poverty. That is one kind of affluence: the outward sign of wealth for a small number, the mask of poverty for the majority, and a source of corruption for all.” (Denis Diderot – October 1713 – July 1784).
Nothing better than the above quote, succinctly captures the situation in Zimbabwe. For many years I have wondered my country is not on its knees after 34 years of mismanagement and that still remains a mystery to me.
Eddie Cross, a respected economist, estimates that since 2008, about USD 12 billion from Marange diamonds has disappeared. He contends that in 2012 alone, possible diamond revenues of USD4 billion was illicitly earned and unaccounted for.
He further notes that after 27 years of operation, NSSA has a mere asset base of about USD300 million, indicating massive abuse and fraud that has gone undetected and nourished by those in power, namely ZANU(PF).
Let’s not also forget that the USD1, 3 billion debt of the Reserve Bank which remains a mystery in how it emerged. These are huge amounts that could have been used to revive industry and infrastructure despite the so called sanctions. I am sure there are more revelations to come.
Our country Zimbabwe has been raped by ZANU (PF) while they claim that they want to empower, indigenise, develop and create employment. As millions of poor Zimbabweans continue to wear the now rag tag ZANU(PF) bright yellow t-shirts with a faded picture of Mugabe, dished out in July last year, it is indeed a comedy of catastrophic measure.
The question now must be what can we do about it?
Firstly I must say that the ZANU (PF) machinery and all who derive benefit from its existence are responsible for this mess, either through blind loyalty or acts of commission, theft and fraud that no doubt will be swept under the carpet. It is inexcusable that this rampant abuse of money collected from the poor, be it in councils, medical aid or NSSA, has been abused for the material comfort of our political elite. Our taxes of course suffer the same fate.
The mispricing of goods and services by state enterprises and some private sector companies, geared more towards meeting high executive costs, has affected every Zimbabwean. Shall we remain unmoved by such abuse?
In my opinion, we cannot look at this government to deal with corruption because an effective and lasting solution to corruption would destroy its very foundations. The sheer unadulterated vastness of greed and selfishness within this government cannot be extinguished as long as they are in power. The foundation upon which ZANU (PF)’s existence is based is built on the lie that a majority of Zimbabweans support them. Nothing can be further from the truth.
We need civil society to take the responsibility to represent our interests. We need to strengthen and participate in resident associations, we need to encourage people to take interest in how our taxes and rates are being used, and we need to fight over pricing of goods and services through consumer education and boycotts if necessary. It is only when we fight the abuse that things may change. We must withold our consent to be abused any further.
The age of apathy and accepting what the politicians dish out to us must now be over, but it can only become so where each and everyone fights to get our power back. Zimbabweans must realise that as long as the current leadership remains in power, corruption will not decrease. In fact it is likely to increase and remain hidden. Political parties will not deliver our democracy, only we the civil society can.
I shuddered when I heard that ZimAsset seeks to attract USD27 billion and then some, over the next five years. It’s probably the correct number if not more, but can you imagine how these politicians are going to feed themselves from that trough.
I pray each morning the God hears our prayers and that he quickly delivers us from this evil. But that requires action on our part. If only Zimbabweans would put the same zeal and zest which they put into this prosperity religion into developing our country or fighting for their rights, we would surely see a better Zimbabwe emerging.
The false hope that millions of Zimbabweans are buying from prosperity preaching is “an opium of the people” that is making them drunk with false expectations that things will change and even if they don’t change, they lie to themselves that it’s okay. That is a delusion that gets millions of Zimbabweans pouring money into churches to prop up the ridiculous lifestyle of fake bishops and prophets and prophetesses. Hope without action kills.
As long as we do nothing we will postpone fundamental change in our country and ZANU (PF) will continue to be the false prophets of hope and prosperity. The MDC will continue to be our hope for political change but let us be wary that it too has become a platform for personal power struggles and self-actualisation of some of its leaders at the expense of the people’s project.
I must repeat my views once more; political party structures as they are will not deliver economic freedom to Africans. They may succeed in removing tyrants but will continue to be the haven of power hungry oligarchs with special interests. I am convinced the civic organisations established around needs are a more appropriate tool for freeing Africans from themselves.
The people come first!
Vince Musewe is an economist and author based in Harare. You may contact him on firstname.lastname@example.org