Putting Zimbabwe first!

via Putting Zimbabwe first! – NewsDay Zimbabwe July 2, 2015 by Vince Musewe

“The most successful tyranny is not the one that uses force to assure uniformity, but the one that removes the awareness of other possibilities; that makes it seem inconceivable that other ways are viable, that removes the sense that there is an outside.”

Allan David Bloom, an American economist, said this and my greatest fear right now is that some Zimbabweans do not believe that there is an outside to the tyranny and hopelessness created by Zanu PF and yet there certainly is! Yes, there must be an outside and that outside cannot be created by anyone else except us.

I noted that President Robert Mugabe was recently admonishing youths to put country first and to take responsibility for their economic development. I agree with that totally and, in fact, I want to add my thoughts to that idea.

If there is any fallacy, it is that our politicians are driven by putting country first. If there is any con, it is that those in leadership positions are having sleepless nights to come up with solutions that put the country first. Nothing can be further from the truth!

How can we then expect our youths to put country first when their elders have clearly shown them in the last 35 years that it has all been about the stomachs and bank accounts of those within the Zanu PF leadership and patronage system than about the country?

If we are to put Zimbabwe first, it would require that we judge some of the actions of our political leaders against that — so let us do that here.

First, our country is facing serious food shortages and yet we have all the resources and skills to feed ourselves. The reason for this is racism against Zimbabwean citizens who happen to be white farmers who have the skills and knowhow to farm, but we have rejected their input at the expense of the country.
That to me is hardly putting country first. Zimbabwe belongs to all who were born in it and we cannot afford to continue discriminating each other because that minimises the potential of our country.

Next is the issue of corruption. It was estimated by economist Eddie Cross that Zimbabwe lost in excess of $12 billion of diamond revenues from 2008 to 2012. Now $12 billion can certainly make a huge impact to revive our economy, but none of those involved in this scam ever put Zimbabwe first. They put their stomachs and bank accounts first at the expense of the country.

If we add to this all the gold being smuggled out of the country and all the scams by this government, its institutions and its predator cabal, we will find that we have lost billions of dollars that have found their way into foreign accounts to feed the patronage system of Zanu PF. That is definitely not putting country first.

If we are to put country first, it would mean that we spend the scarce resources that we have on our people and our country. We would ensure that our budget expenditure is spent more on improving the quality of life of the vulnerable in our society, the jobless and marginalised and yet we as a country spend more on cars and travel than we spend on education and health. That is certainly not putting country first!

Our country exports more jobs than it creates and yet millions are unemployed or employed in an unstable informal sector. We are importing more than we export and some of the largest projects in Zimbabwe employ foreigners and use foreign materials. That is definitely not putting Zimbabwe first.

In my opinion, if we had put our country first in all we do from the outset, we would not be in a collapsing economy. The resulting economic and social conditions we face today in Zimbabwe were created by people who do not really care about developing this country. In fact, Ian Smith developed this country better. Even though he was a stupid racist, he put the country first and even his lifestyle tells us so.

Our infrastructure and industrial base were developed during his time because maximum resources and time were spent planning and implementing projects to build our own capacity to produce many things and protect the country from sanctions. Zanu PF leaders have chosen rather to use sanctions as the excuse of doing nothing, but complain every day. That to me is not putting the country first!
It is therefore a fallacy that politicians can put the country first and we therefore can never expect our youths to listen to words that are not supported by actions. Zanu PF politics, even during the liberation struggle itself, has always been about personal power. We cannot be duped.

Us, the young progressive Zimbabweans, who are not looking at politics as a means to create personal wealth, but as a means to serve our country and make a difference, are the only ones who can begin to live the dream of putting country first.

We are ready to take this country where it has never been and to empower our youths so that they can enjoy the freedom that so many died for. We are ready to lead by example and not be fixated on personal material gain at the expense of country.

We are here to reverse the damage done by Zanu PF since 1980 and create jobs and focus on ensuring that all Zimbabweans benefit from the resources of this country and not just a few liberation struggle elite who want everything for themselves.

Yes, we are here to show our old men that it is indeed possible to put country first but that can only be done be possible through the creation of a new social system that is based on justice and equity.

So indeed I agree with the President on putting country first, but actions speak louder than words don’t they?
Vince Musewe is an economist and author based in Harare. You may contact him on vtmusewe@gmail.com


  • comment-avatar
    Gomogranny 7 years ago

    Oh yes…and now that the farms, industry,diamonds and gold have been thoroughly exploited and looted our ministers have started on the wild life….ivory, live animals, dead animals, skins, bones – all for sale. The heritage of future Zimbabweans…stolen, destroyed. By those who should have been building a future for our nation instead of trashing it.

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    Angela Wigmore 7 years ago

    I enjoy your clear-sighted articles, Vince, but I DO object to you calling Ian Smith a ”stupid racist”! He was nothing of the kind – he simply did not suffer fools and was not prepared to offer them important jobs where they would destroy the economy and our beloved country. Which is exactly what they have done!

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      Tinomunamataishe 7 years ago

      @Angela, Vince is right to call Smith a stupid racist and its something that cannot be defended. The laws crafted during Smith’s tenure were meant to benefit people of a particular race excluding another race altogether. That was racist but there are so many other examples but I just don’t want to dwell on that.

      The economy might have flourished during that time but that does not cover for the fact that Smith was indeed racist and the record is there for everybody to see.

      People who have destroyed the economy are Mugabe and his cronies and that cannot be extended to the generality of the population – black or white, green or yellow.

      There are indeed Zimbabweans who if given the chance could resuscitate this economy but Mugabe has made sure at this time only him and his gang can dictate the pace.

      As Zimbabweans we need to keep focused otherwise we end up being just like Mugabe who unfortunately also happens to be a stupid racist and there is no need to defend the indefensible.

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    ADALANDOINDA 7 years ago

    It is interesting that you call”our beloved country”.Your surname would indicate that you are the descendant of a colonial family and therefore not entitled to call Zimbabwe “your country”. As immigrants we are guests of the citizens of the resident country.
    Secondly, your misplaced belief that Ian Smith “did not suffer fools” seems to imply that all Zimbabweans are incompetent with various exceptions such as Vince. If Mr Smith was not racist,why did he declare UDI? to keep the economy intact for fools?to reserve important jobs for white people , the only competent on earth?

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      Tinomunamataishe 7 years ago

      @ADALANDOINDA, Angela has every right to call Zimbabwe her country, her origin is neither here nor there and its not for you to judge. Its time people moved away from those trivialities that do not make sense at all especially in the global world we now live in. This is 2015 by the way.

      However, I do agree with you that Smith was racist, its there for everyone to see.