via Nothing will come of them, Professor November 8, 2013 – MuckRaker
“Zim economy set for top 10 position,” the Sunday Mail told us at the weekend.
Clarifying this extraordinary claim, it turned out to be Zimbabwe having the potential to become the fastest growing economy in Africa and the sixth fastest in the world.
Professor Ricardo Hausmann of Harvard University is evidently not very familiar with Zimbabwe’s situation. We do indeed have the potential to grow, but as we all know, the gap between hope and reality is a wide one. How many national plans have been trumpeted over the years only to get stuck on the starting blocks?
Exploitation of our vast mineral deposits will be driving the growth, Hausmann claims in his Atlas of Economic Complexity. Researchers at Harvard say their method is 10 times more accurate than that of the World Economic Forum. Sounds a bit wild doesn’t it? That’s probably because it is!
We all know Hausmann’s views will be quoted ad nauseam in the weeks ahead. And we also know equally well nothing will come of them.
Muckraker was delighted to see the Herald’s picture of Glen Ford who contributes to the Black Agenda Report. He looks nothing like the famous actor. That’s because he isn’t. This Glen Ford is off the wall, the sort of crazy contributor who occupies vast acres of forest space, abusing Zimbabwe’s public media to fill what would otherwise be barren plains. Who wants to hear that George W Bush, Barack Obama and Bill Clinton are all the same as Charles Taylor? Does anybody actually read these daft claims?
Last week, Muckraker commented on the success of Singapore as a banking and trading nation and the way it had come on in the space of 30 years. One facet of the island nation visitors comment on is its cleanliness. What a contrast to China. Singaporeans are fined for stubbing out cigarettes and throwing gum in public. And they don’t spit.
Somewhere we don’t hear much of is Rwanda which is equally impressive, visitors say. They have in a short space of time cleaned up their capital and built a network of motorways which are well-maintained. President Paul Kagame is the Lee Kwan Yew of Central Africa. And that includes the authoritarian dimension!
Doesn’t add up
Certain things in life just do not add up. Here is a simple man-made mathematical problem. One of our local weeklies reported that Harare Central Hospital is now a health threat to patients. I hope this won’t sound like an exaggeration in an era where some of us are now professing the positive impact of the Zanu PF manifesto that has started bearing fruits.
Harare Hospital prepared a budget of US$30 million for the year 2013 and they only got a paltry US$2,5 million, less than the amount spent on luxury vehicles for our government officials. US$2 billion in diamond revenue was reported missing by Partnership Africa Canada from diamond sales through illicit parallel market activities. As usual, the answer to this mind-boggling puzzle is … you guessed right — sanctions.
The ghost is back
Even the ghost called rigging that haunted us during our previous elections has suddenly resurfaced. Reports coming from the Midlands during Zanu PF provincial elections were disturbing to say the least.
According to one losing candidate, Larry Mavima, the stench is no longer from the West, but coming straight from their polished boots. We are not amused by the allegations coming from a party that boasts itself a vanguard of democracy.
Probably Media, Information and Broadcasting Services ministry permanent secretary George Charamba is right. At a recent media gathering he remarked that the media industry is full of doers and not thinkers.
You were nearly spot-on George; just left your presumption hanging. We are actually a nation of thinkers who are really doers, too. We think education exudes “character”. If only we could translate knowledge into tangible development. Instead, we have without due restraint paraded our so-called thinkers on national television as fountains of knowledge.
Does anyone watch ZBC-TV’s Sunday Edition news programme? Millions of Zimbabweans could have missed a brilliant piece by the reporter Mhlomuli Ncube about how Zimbabweans still miss the 1980s Zimbabwe’s $2, $5, $10 and $20 notes.
The following is an extract from his This and That feature courtesy of ZBC-TV: “All who speak about this currency which was discontinued in the late 1990s cherish fond memories speaking about its value as the reason for their affection. It is evident these Zimbabweans certainly relish those times when they held this currency in their hands.
“Fond memories, beautiful time and a lasting legacy that will never be wiped away is the picture one gets when these people talk about our money. One thing for sure is that the era of the tiger fish, ngwarati and indlovu left deep wounds that will take time to heal … These notes certainly did wonders in their lives.
They could just fill a shopping basket … They could just but turn a dream into reality.”
Well done, Mhlomuli! This is the ZBC-TV people want. Telling it like it is. People are wounded; they need healing. Their baskets are empty and their dreams are just but pipedreams.
Probably you could ask our dear thinker and doer, political analyst Godwills Masimirembwa to give us his take on the subject “making money make sense”.
The President made some interesting disclosures when speaking to mourners at the funeral of the late Nelson Samkange last month.
“He was rejected by the people when he lost the last elections,” Mugabe said. “There was therefore no way I could elevate him. It doesn’t matter whether he is a Gushungo (Mugabe’s totem), if the people reject you then that’s it.
“He had gotten a plum farm at Rukoba which he again failed to fully utilise,” Mugabe said. “Maybe farming was not his calling and probably the frustration over the poor productivity at his farm could have killed him. He certainly needed a manager.”
A bit missing
Samkange’s brother recalled how he escaped “the wrath of the former white colonialists” by skipping to Zambia in a police van. He then moved to Britain where he also presumably escaped the wrath of the white colonialists although this would have been difficult! On returning to Zimbabwe he sourced footwear for the comrades in the bush.
But there was a bit missing in the obituaries. He was chairperson of Zimpapers. And despite the post being a non-executive one, he demanded a large office. His record at the newspaper chain was a disaster, contemporaries tell us. He made it impossible for the board to run things properly.
Mugabe again came to the rescue with the Mashonaland West governorship. But when Samkange tried his hand as an MP, he was trounced by the MDC.
This, it seems, was an emblematic story with party luminaries being foisted on the nation’s institutions — and failing miserably in the process. Here was a career which Mugabe can’t be blamed for trying to rescue. He did his best for Samkange and in the end there was nothing left to give him.
What a busy fellow Webster Shamu was!
Muckraker was leafing through an ancient edition of the Herald this week (actually the Rhodesia Herald of July 21 1969) when he came across the radio and TV schedules. There under the “African Service” at 5.30 was the Webster Shamu Show. This was followed by the News in Ndebele at 5.45 and then it was back to the Webster Shamu Show at 5.55. Following the News in English at 6.00 was the Webster Shamu Show at 6.10.
Then we had the News in Shona at 6.20 followed by the Webster Shamu Show at 6.30. This was followed by the News again at 7.00. At 7.10 there was the Webster Shamu Show which was followed by the Webster Shamu Show at 7.30. This took us up to the News at 8.00. Phew!