Some commentators have been scornful of new finance minister Mthuli Ncube’s twitter resort to crowdfunding to help deal with the cholera epidemic. They are surely wrong to be so dismissive so early.
Ncube is a man of some pedigree and is apparently not even a member of Zanu PF. He has left his home in Switzerland to try to ski uphill in Zimbabwe. Quite a task.
As a comparative outsider, he faces an enormous challenge dealing with the vested interests embedded after 38 years of piratical government. Where do you start, given a bankrupt, corrupt, dilapidated economy?
As people have pointed out, you don’t start by dishing out luxury cars to legislators or hiring a private plane to curry favour with the Mugabes. But Ncube was not responsible for this. He hasn’t even had a chance yet to explore the minibar in his office.
Ncube has a doctorate in mathematical finance. This is important as it suggests he can add up – an ability not seen in a Zimbabwean finance minister since the days of Tendai Biti.
The Vigil believes we should reserve judgment on Ncube until we see whether he can persuade the government to make the unpalatable reforms essential if the economy is to be turned around.
Reports that China has rejected Zimbabwe’s request for a $2 billion bailout, apparently because it doesn’t believe the money will be repaid, underline the need for reforms. But, as they have repeatedly shown, the Zanu PF elite care only about their own pockets.
So perhaps a crowdfunding begging bowl is the only option left to Zimbabwe.
Thanks to those who came early to help set up the table and put up the banners: Jonathan Kariwo, Marian Machekanyanga, Patricia Masamba, Nyarai Masvosva and Peter Sidindi. Thanks also to Patricia, Marian and Nyarai for looking after the front table.
For latest Vigil pictures check: http://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/. Please note: Vigil photos can only be downloaded from our Flickr website.
FOR THE RECORD: 13 signed the register.
EVENTS AND NOTICES:
- ROHR National Executive meeting. Saturday 6th October from 11 am. Venue: The Royal Festival Hall, Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, London SE1 8XX.
- ROHR Central London branch meeting. Saturday 20th October from 11.30 am – 1.30 pm. Venue: Royal Festival Hall. Contact: Daizy Fabian 07708653640, Maxmus Savanhu 07397809056, Sipho Ndlovu 07400566013.
- The Restoration of Human Rights in Zimbabwe (ROHR) is the Vigil’s partner organization based in Zimbabwe. ROHR grew out of the need for the Vigil to have an organization on the ground in Zimbabwe which reflected the Vigil’s mission statement in a practical way. ROHR in the UK actively fundraises through membership subscriptions, events, sales etc to support the activities of ROHR in Zimbabwe. Please note that the official website of ROHR Zimbabwe is http://www.rohrzimbabwe.org/. Any other website claiming to be the official website of ROHR in no way represents us.
- Mike Campbell Foundation – Zimbabwe: rising from the ruins? Tuesday 9th October from 7 – 9 pm (doors open at 6 .30 pm). Venue: Royal Geographical Society, 1 Kensington Gore, London SW7 2AR. Speakers include: Kate Hoey MP (Chair), Ben Freeth MBE, Fergal Keane OBE, Archbishop Sentamu, Chief Felix Ndiweni and Gift Konjana. To book, visit: https://event.bookitbee.com/18402/my-first-event-1347?preview=y
- The Vigil’s book ‘Zimbabwe Emergency’ is based on our weekly diaries. It records how events in Zimbabwe have unfolded over the past 15 years as seen by the diaspora in the UK. It chronicles the economic disintegration, violence, growing oppression and political manoeuvring – and the tragic human cost involved. It is available at the Vigil for £10. All proceeds will go to the Vigil and our sister organisation the Restoration of Human Rights in Zimbabwe’s work in Zimbabwe. The book is also available from Amazon.
- Zimbabwe Action Forum meets regularly after the Vigil to discuss ways to help those back in Zimbabwe to fight oppression and achieve true democracy.
Facebook pages:ROHR: https://www.facebook.com/Restoration-of-Human-Rights-ROHR-Zimbabwe-International-370825706588551/