Eddie Cross vs. Fay Chung – incisive dichotomy

via Eddie Cross vs. Fay Chung – incisive dichotomy January 20, 2014 at 12:05am

Towards the end of last year, Eddie Cross wrote what was probably one of his best pieces in recent times. It was titled The Need for a New Road Map”. He posted a very discerning analysis of China’s economic development since 1980 against Zimbabwe’s decline in the same period, unpacking contributory factors for the dichotomy of the two economies in a very incisive fashion. It was a brilliant article! 

Interestingly, it took Fay Chung, former Minister of Education, nearly a full month to craft a response in the form of a counter-analysis.  Hers was titled Mugabe ouster no panacea for Zimbabwe’s economic problems”.

What prompted me to invite myself to this discourse was Fay Chung’s description of Eddie’s key point of argument as “superfluous”. If anything, having objectively read both articles a number of times, I found Cross’ postulation much more convincing and quite to the point as opposed to Chung’s desperately defensive and partisan position.

While Cross convincingly argued that the problem with Zimbabwe’s economic decline was caused primarily by poor leadership, Fay Chung strongly disagrees, opting to put the blame squarely on lack of innovation and initiative by business leaders and industrialists who should have transformed the structure of Zimbabwe’s industry by now. In other words, her argument is that the failure of Zimbabwe’s economy has nothing to do with politics but everything to do with lack of strategic thinking in industry and commerce, which is nonsense!!!

Given her level of education and social standing, one would have expected a person like Fay Chung to understand and appreciate, without much effort, the nexus of politics and economics. If the two are not pulling in the same direction, it is like a misfiring engine. This is an obvious reality which doesn’t need the resurrection of John Keynes or Albert Einstein for anybody to understand.

In her forlorn attempt to defend ZANU PF, especially its leader, President Mugabe, Fay Chung ended up embarrassingly contradicting herself. I was somehow concerned to recall that she was once my education minister when I had a short stint as a teacher. To paraphrase her “In the case of China, while Mao concentrated on internal policies, his successor, Deng, focused on taking those policies to the world stage. In the process, Deng sent 10,000 Chinese students to United States of America to take study in different areas. When these troops returned home, they transformed the Chinese economy”.

Now, my question to Fay Chung is “What would have happened if Mao had remained in power up to the present day as President Mugabe has done? Didn’t change of leadership from Mao to Deng result in outward-looking policies which ultimately transformed China?”

While it is true that President Mugabe’s departure may not immediately elevate Zimbabwe to utopia, the fact remains that his exit from centre-stage will certainly usher in a new era and bring with it some new impetus, thrust and focus just as Deng did for China. And this is not without precedent in Africa. Look no further than Zambia, if in doubt. When Kenneth Kaunda was defeated by Chiluba without resorting to the new Nikuv science, willingly moved out of State House and focused more on playing golf, Zambia started recovering steadily. Today, we shamelessly import grain from what was once Southern Africa’s poorest country. Ghana, Tanzania and Mozambique are other examples. Of course, Fay Chung would like us to believe that these are just ominous coincidences, they aren’t!

Anybody who doesn’t believe that Zimbabwe’s problems are a result of poor political leadership is disingenuous, naive’ or simply clownish. Zimbabwe has more than three million of its people in the Diaspora, much more than the 10,000 Chinese that are said to have transformed China. If we consider Diasporans per capita, Zimbabwe will be among those nations at the very top. Most of these people have skills, education, qualifications and experience that can easily change our country for the better. Why hasn’t this happened? The answer lies in our political leadership as epitomized by none other than President Mugabe together with his party. To them, Zimbabweans in the Diaspora are enemies of the state or prodigal sons and daughters who abandoned home and chose to clean bums in Western countries. What a misnomer!!!

In her weak analysis, Fay Chung anxiously avoided the issue of corruption. Why didn’t she tell her readers that China has zero tolerance to corruption while in Zimbabwe, “chefs” actually get rewarded and protected for it? Not long ago, Xi Jinping, who was touted as next in line for Chinese leadership, was given a lengthy prison sentence for corruption. Can this ever happen to Ignatius Chombo, Obert “Obedient Son” Mpofu, Joice Mujuru or Emmerson Mnangwagwa?

If Morris Nyagumbo did not carelessly take his life, (some say Tongogara still wonders which country makes the rifle called Cressida) he would still be in cabinet today. Fredrick Shava and Calistus Ndhlovu (the real one, not Webster Shamu) are still beneficiaries of the patronage system, so are many others.  So, yes, Madam Fay, our problem is bad political leadership no matter how much spin you put to it. Isn’t it obvious to you that while China is still stuck with one party, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) gets a new leader every ten years? How many leaders have we had in Zimbabwe since 1980? While I never liked Kamuzu Banda, at least he openly declared himself life president though that was not to be.

Fay Chung also talked positively about Chinese products flooding Western markets as a big win for China. One thing she forgot to tell us is that there are several American, European and Australian companies operating in China, using it as a base for cheap labour as well as an easy access to a big market. Which Zimbabwean companies are in Guangdong, Shanghai, Peking or Xian? However, I only agree with Madam Fayie on one point, which is that some of the wages and salaries in Zimbabwe are detrimental to the economy. While I wouldn’t want to see a university professor earning US$150 as she suggests, it is totally unacceptable for anybody to earn as much as US40, 000 per month for  heading a corporation that has no clue what “profit” means. This is worse than looting!

Zimbabwe desperately needs a new generation of leaders whose agenda is different from that of the nationalists. Yes, our forebears played their part by fighting and defeating colonialism. Beyond that, they have now become obsolete, just like typewriters in the digital era. They should have been focusing more on writing memoirs, grooming and providing advice to young leaders. It is now time to navigate the future with a new generation of leaders. Who needs a 286 PC running on Dos 3.0, Lotus 123 and WordPerfect 5.1 in the era of Wi-Fi, iPad and iPhone?

ZANU PF probably thinks people eat acronyms. They are experts at creating them. From ESAP all the way to Zim Asset, we have literally lost count but nothing positive has happened. This points at nothing but poor leadership. Madam Fay Chung, you were there when your government crafted health for all by 2000. A visit to Mpilo, Gomo or Parirenyatwa hospital today tells us exactly what you meant by that!  I won’t talk about dualisation of the Harare-Beitbridge road, construction of Chitungwiza railway line, Matabeleland-Zambezi Water Project, rural electrification program – all of these failed as a result of poor leadership entrapped in a vicious circle of corruption and self-aggrandisement! If we had good leadership, some of these programs and projects would have been delivered in our time.

When a whole Minister of Finance dishes out US$200 million to the president’s office alone against a combined allocation of less than US$40 million for the crucial ministries of Education and Health, this is not only grossly incompetent but terribly criminal. Zimbabweans have every reason to suspect that such an unjustified allocation is used to oil the patronage system as well as fund covet operations. No wonder why some people would want to see ZANU PF ruling forever, they just can’t afford to forego sordid privileges disguised as presidential budget. Yes, the president needs frequent trips to the Far East but would those have been necessary if ZANU PF did not destroy what was once the best health delivery system in Southern Africa?

Even if Zimbabwe were to adopt the economic template from the s0-called Asian Tigers or BRICS, with the current crop of leaders we have, nothing would come to fruition. If we don’t transform the structure, nature and content of our politics by embracing a new generation of leaders as well as new thinking, we will always be like a person on the treadmill; running very fast and sweating profusely but not covering any distance. When we have failed dismally, we blame everybody else except ourselves! Madam Fay, it is poor leadership. Period.

Moses Chamboko is the Interim Secretary General for Zimbabweans United for Democracy (ZUNDE). You may visit us on www.zunde.org or email info@zunde.org

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29 comments on “Eddie Cross vs. Fay Chung – incisive dichotomy
  1. Canuck says:

    Oh Dear…….
    Zim is missing SUCH a wonderful economic opportunity to be an industrial/agricultural/mining powerhouse it makes one cry…….
    But it will NEVER come about under present leadership/political parties/dishonesty……
    The opening is HUGE and being frittered away by those in leadership who have only “feathering their own nest” at heart…..

    • B.Mathe says:


  2. Tugamba says:

    Good article. These Zunde guys clearly know what they are saying Even acknowledging the work of other political voices elsewhere. It shows they are a bunch of fair minded thinkers who are not selfish. If we could all recognize our points of agreement and not our differences, we will certainly go a long way. ZUNDE has really led the way here. What can Fay Chung tell us really i wonder?

  3. Madhuku says:

    We have sold our franchise to ZUNDE. From next month, this shop will be closed.

  4. joe says:

    Fay Chung is delusional and trying to argue against a delusional individual is literally impossible. I am very highly qualified and want to return home but not when 200 companies have just not opened their doors after Xmas break, no power, no clean running water, corrupt police force and corruption per se, pot holes, importation of virtually everything. How can any rational person accept to return under those conditions. Its Zanoids who have done this and they must all go down together including our Zhing zhong ex minister who obviously is a Mugabe sycophant

  5. hypocrite says:

    Excellent article. It exposes the likes of Fay Chung who are cement bound in the old nationalist rhetoric of the war and nothing else. They have destroyed everything which was functioning in 1980. Name any one parastatal which is working well i.e delivering goods and services to people as it was mandated to do.None.!!! This clearly is a lack of leadership especially after 34 years at the helm.

  6. Manyongori says:

    Excellent article VaChamboko.Murimi wanhasi let’s debate.

  7. Chenai says:

    Where are ZANU PF apologists tin this informed debate? Dzinokunda rufu!!!

  8. Tjingababili says:

    C VS C

  9. John Thomas says:

    Zambia, Mozambique and other African countries that have been developing for some time now share a common thread. They all follow policies recommended by multilateral institutions like the World Bank and IMF. If these policies are followed it pretty much does not matter who is in power, growth will happen.

  10. Zimbo says:

    Game,set and match!What a great article Moses.

  11. Ndava Kuenda says:

    Here lies a man who ruined Zimbabwe for 34 long years before God sent us Moses through ZUNDE!!!

  12. Permanent resident says:

    Fay is not that wrong! The business captains want to make the quick buck instead of thinking long-term. Why have the former manufacturers become traders? Because of poor leadership? Has any university or college contributed to the wealth of the nation after 1995? Have the politicians destroyed our infrastructure or was this done by the workers of ZESA, City councils, etc. Everyday I see so much incompetence amongst the socalled engineers, technicians, artisans, teachers, shop managers, event planners, farmers, church ministers, domestic workers, gardeners, civil servants, medical profession, you name them.

  13. Rich says:

    In order to finalise this absolute genuine accuracy, the epilogue could have intended to say that Simba Makoni, is still waiting behind the curtains.

  14. Mixed Race says:

    You can only get a UN job if you support your current government,this is how she got the posting at the UN,therefore its surprising in her response which is intended to make herself relevant to her party.Where is her daughter?She is in London with the rest of the diaspora because there is nothing for her here.Why have they both moved overseas instead of implementing what she thinks should have been done by the private sector? She knows the truth but her simple partisanship compels her to mislead the public for her selfish goals. This is a well researched article full of facts.There is a well known proverb which says “new brooms sweep better” because the grass making them is still fresh and strong.This simply means new mindset,commonsense and wisdom give you a new approach to old problems.Change of leadership is always healthy for any organisation otherwise it becomes irrelevant and obsolete.

  15. Mixed Race says:

    ps-omission correction-therefore its not surprising….

  16. NBS says:

    Excellent article: Agree 100%! May the Lord himself raise up a leader for Zimbabwe: A man after His won heart like King David.

  17. Joe says:

    Fay Chung is a zhing zhong idiot. Not only parastatals are not functioning all the blue chip companies bought by zanoids have collapsed because they thought buying a mercedes Benz borrowing money from the buddy Zanoid banks and not paying back the loan would make the economy a success. Show me a company that was “bought” and is now successful. There are none. Try arguing about facts. Facts are brutal

  18. chokwadi chinorwadza says:

    Stop whining zimbabweans we all just a bunch of cowards and scared morons..peace don’t always work my friends go on the the street demonstrate destroy whatever let it b known u mean business not just sitting behind a computer and typing ‘we gonna send these zzanoids to chikurubi’..what?u think that stuff scares these individuals..no wonder all other countries have also given up on us coz they look @ us nd think these guys not putting that much effort removing mugabe mayb they actually like him like he says

  19. NBS says:

    Yes! The facts are brutal. Its called judgment. Its called reaping what you sow.

  20. Don Cox says:

    Business will never flourish under a Marxist leader.

    China started to move only after Mao was gone and Marxism was abandoned.

  21. tafadzwa maguta says:

    with such mindset,zim wl come of age.may the sun shine again,in zim.

  22. Morris says:

    Very refreshing article. Just one point of correction; it is Bo Xilai who was sentenced in China not Xi. Xi Jinpping is the current Chairman of Chinese communist Party and President of China.

  23. Richard says:

    Fay Chung, as poisonous as they come. Disgusting piece of sh@#$! Who cares what she thinks.

  24. Angela Wigmore says:

    I am not yet convinced that ZUNDE is the way to go but I do think Moses Chamboko’s article is intelligent and an example of the kind of thinking that Zimbabwean politics desperately needs.

  25. Havanyani says:

    This is an excellent article Moses. Culture always flows from the top in a country or a company or a club. It is ironic that the top in Zimbabwe is the most clueless of what it takes to achieve the vision of national development, preoccupied with infantile paranoia about enemies everywhere. Being Chinese, Madame Fay might have felt her rejoinder to an article involving China would have sent smart alecks scurrying for cover.

  26. Zhunde mere opportunists jumping on a sinking zhip. Too academic and puffed up with self importance. Bogus liberators

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