Govt should stop milking poor citizens

Source: Govt should stop milking poor citizens – NewsDay Zimbabwe July 24, 2017

ON Saturday, we carried a report that the government has ordered its workers, rural communities and resettled farmers in Manicaland to make contributions ranging between 50c and $10 towards this year’s Heroes’ Day commemorations.

Comment: NewsDay Editor

That this is happening at a time most Zimbabweans are struggling to feed their families due to effects of the comatose economy is inconceivable, deplorable and disconcerting to say the least.

The order was issued to all schools and government departments by the Mutasa district administrator, Tendai Kapenzi, last week.

The above is simply not an isolated incident, but could have been replicated across the country. What is worrying is that the Zanu PF regime has personalised all national holidays, and yet, expect everyone to contribute towards its functions.

Indeed, Zimbabweans paid a huge price for the country to attain its independence in which the liberation war fighters were the vital cog, but it is important for government to refrain from making life even more difficult for citizens through such demands.

It is a fact that the economy has stagnated under the Zanu PF regime due to corruption, politics of hate and poor governance, which has made life unbearable for ordinary Zimbabweans.

Therefore, forcing the citizenry to pay for the Heroes’ Day celebrations is regrettable and clearly, is in itself an extortionist idea that speaks a lot about Zanu PF’s crooked leadership and governance system.

In other African countries, such events are sponsored by the government. In Tanzania, its President has decided not to commemorate such events at a time the bulk of that country’s citizens are wallowing in poverty.

Yet in Zimbabwe, where recent studies have shown that 10 million citizens are lurching in poverty, the government wants to further worsen the suffering majority by forcing them to pay for something they are not enjoying.

It is agreeable by a lot of people that democracy is probably the best way to organise a society, but in Zimbabwe’s case, it has become a curse, which has relegated the majority to the dustbin of history, as the political elite enjoy the fruits of independence.

No doubt, the mere action of calling for forced contributions from the electorate is an act of exploitation. We believe that sleaze is a mortal threat to democracy and markets. And, the meltdown of the Zimbabwean economy is a perfect example.

We consider that politics is becoming increasingly dominated by those who have big money, or their surrogates, which both disgrace the concept of politics in a democracy and also causes the view that people are going into politics to make money.

Zimbabwe’s deliberate economic malaise has provided an opportunity for Zanu PF elites and the corrupt to consolidate their positions and enrich themselves further at the expense of the poor majority.

Forced donations are corrupt money. This is theft of the welfare and happiness of Zimbabweans, who are actually the victims of endemic State corruption.

We trust if there is anything that has destroyed the country, it is dishonesty and its innumerable forms, where those who want to investigate graft — rather than those who are accused of it — are prosecuted.

President Robert Mugabe should spare a thought for Zimbabweans’ anguish and halt this boloney.