Not the sort of general who tolerates surrender – Jera

via Not the sort of general who tolerates surrender | The Zimbabwean by Jera 22.05.14

In the 2nd half of 2014, mining giant, Hwange Colliery Company will retrench 1,500 employees. Given the choice between $1 in coins and a single $5 note, most four-year-olds will pick the stack of coins. By child logic, lots of coins equals more money. Maybe all these company closures and retrenchments are part of Mugabe’s complex strategy of creating 2,2 million jobs. Maybe Africa’s most learned president, Robert Mugabe, sees something that we mere mortals, who use child logic, do not.

Even his Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa admitted in Parliament that the economy is in ruins. Chinamasa was quick to latch onto his party’s most worn out excuse – ‘illegal sanctions.’ Nelson Chamisa, with tongue in cheek, enquired whether a cabinet reshuffle was imminent, given the failure by government to revive the economy.

Mugabe, under siege and outnumbered, is not the sort of general who tolerates surrender among the troops. In February, Mugabe hinted that he threatened Chinamasa with dismissal if he admitted to failure. When ex RBZ governor Kombo Moyana made similar admissions about the economy, he was promptly dismissed and replaced by Gideon Gono – who was prepared to keep the central bank’s printing press working overtime. Mugabe’s parting shot was to call Dr Moyana a nerd – ‘bookish’ he said.

Stolen diamonds

Meanwhile, as the economy atrophies further, the president has been away in the Far East, from where he is expected to return re-energized ahead of Africa Day, an occasion he will no doubt use to preach Zim-Asset and his usual homophobic diatribes.

It is worth remembering that the Rhodesian economy, under much stiffer sanctions, stood strong. At Independence the local currency was worth more than the greenback. Even when nature, God and the ancestors conspire to throw us a lifeline in the form of mineral deposits, Zanu (PF) still bungles the economy.

It was not illegal sanctions that stole 1,3million carats from ZMDC’s diamond vaults. There is certainly no connection to sanctions and the looting that went on at ZBC under the stewardship of Mugabe’s lickspittle, Happison Muchechetere. If the country is going to haul itself out of economic quicksand, there is need for government to engage in honest introspection.

Deranged people

Human Rights Watch is alarmed by villagers’ allegations that the Tokwe-Mukosi floods were a government engineered move to force the inhabitants of the area to move, without compensation, to a new settlement where they would be forced to be contract sugar cane producers. HRW states that if the sluice gates of the dam had been kept open, the floods which occurred upstream would have been prevented.

Zanu (PF)’s Didymus Mutasa, who has recently returned from sick leave, has lashed out at HRW. “We would never do such a thing to our people. Tell them that it is wild imagination on their part which can only come from deranged people.”

Somebody should tell Mutasa that, as our desperation for financial assistance grows, we have abandoned our 14-year-old policy of yelling abuse at international organisations. Perhaps the memo was circulated while Mutasa was away.

He should also be reminded that if Zanu (PF) did deliberately caused ‘their people’ to be homeless, it would not be the first time. Murambatsvina left 700,000 people without shelter. Despite declaring the Tokwe-Mukosi floods a national disaster, over four months ago, Mugabe has not visited the area.

There are reports of police demanding sexual favours from Chingwizi camp dwellers, in exchange for food and some villagers allege that politicians are hijacking donations, which end up being sold in their tuck-shops and flea markets. Morgan Tsvangirai was barred from visiting Chingwizi by Masvingo provincial minister, Bhasikiti.

Zim Republic of China

Zhou Zhengling, a Chinese man who fondled his colleague’s bottom, has been cleared of an indecent assault charge when the magistrate ruled that the complainant, a local woman, was a disgruntled employee seeking revenge. The judge said the woman waited two months before she reported and only lodged her grievance when she was dismissed. As a result, Zhou walked out of court free to grope more women.

Speaking of zhou – the tusker not the tusk smuggler – not too long ago, Feng Dejin, another Chinese national, escaped with a nonsensical fine of $150 after he was caught trying to board a plane with a stash of ivory products. In comparison, the poachers who poisoned elephants with cyanide in Hwange each received a 15-year sentence.

A joke overheard on a kombi: Zimbabwe is like the single mother who puts her children to sleep in the dog kennel, so she can provide a warm bed for her lover. We were made to believe that the eviction of commercial farmers was so that we coulc reclaim our God-given resources.

Zisco Steel is Indian owned and China may as well hoist its flag in Chiadzwa. Stores in downtown Harare, a lot of them Chinese owned, issue till-slips printed in Mandarin. We are yet to see how Eastern imperialism is any better than imperialism of the Western variety.

The results of the 2012 national census have finally been made public – two years later. In a country where government stashed away election results for six weeks, the delay in issuing the census report is hardly surprising.

Rigged census report

The report has left many wondering if Nikuv is involved, after revelations that the country’s unemployment stands at a respectable 11%. Most analysts estimate the country’s employment is over 85%.

It matters little that Zimstat has concocted this unbelievable figure of 11% because the hoards of unemployed youths seated outside bottle-stores from as early as 10am tell the true story. The queues snaking out of the passport office tell a story of youths desperate to get out of the country to seek employment elsewhere.

The statistics for the number of Zimbabweans who emigrated since 2000 – over four million – is another indicator. If Zimbabwe’s unemployment was that low – lower than South Africa’s 25% – then the brain drain would occur in the opposite direction.

Obviously our jobless adults have been concealed in the ‘informal sector.’ It is ridiculous to classify a part-time onion vendor as ‘gainfully employed’ if his income does not cover the monthly rent, food, water and electricity.

The truth is that most Zimbabweans are living off remittances from the Diaspora, which are estimated to be over $1,8 billion a year – or 45% of the national budget. Most informal sector jobs are essentially a pastime – something one does while waiting for an actual job.

Till next week, my pen is capped. – Jerà Twitter: @JeraAfrika


  • comment-avatar
    Pattern 8 years ago

    It seems as if the president goes out yo get “energised” in preparation for expected national events where he should officiate. Take note of the visits; april 18, 25 May etc etc

  • comment-avatar

    well spoken Jera. But where do we go from here?

  • comment-avatar
    John Thomas 8 years ago

    As sure as the sun rises every day ZANU will surrender. The only question is when.

  • comment-avatar
    Mukanya 8 years ago

    Sanctions!! my foot! nyika taisa musaga tikaponda nemutswi tega.