A letter to the Diaspora

via A letter to the Diaspora – The Zimbabwean 25 February 2015

It has been a while since I last wrote to you all my brothers and sisters.

Since then, your country has truly become a banana republic because some good men have chosen expediency and have kept quiet while those hoping for change within Zanu (PF) have been emasculated by President Mugabe’s wife Grace, to ensure that there is nobody who remains in the party who can challenge him to the throne.

As you walk in the streets of Harare it is difficult not to see and smell the poverty and hopelessness of people trying to make a living. The informal economy is now the main driver of daily economic activity as formal companies close or delist from the stock exchange and factory warehouses become Pentecostal churches – whose business is roaring, but unfortunately is not included in our GDP. It’s an economic catastrophe.

Zimbabwe’s living standards have gone back 60 years with an estimated 75% of the adult population making an average of $200 a month. The Mugabe regime has taken us back to Southern Rhodesia standards, even before Ian Smith’s time.

The sad part is the continued naïve enthusiasm of your average Zanu (PF) member, who is still convinced that Mugabe is the best thing that ever happened to Zimbabwe. Nothing can be further from the truth.

As the supreme leader turns 91 no doubt newspapers will be inundated with adverts from loss making state enterprises, jostling to place adverts to wish him many more years. His birthday bash is on Friday the 28th and will costs a cool $1 million and 20,000 underlings and VIP’s are expected to feast themselves on elephant, buffalo, sable and lion steaks.

The economy will not grow significantly in 2015 as we are too dependent on mining exports and these are always determined by China’s growth, which is expected to retract in 2015. So expect nothing new in 2015 except lies that things are getting better.

Agriculture has not gotten any better since I was at school and your smallholder farmers who occupied vast tracts of land remain too dependent on Mugabe’s politicised farming inputs scheme. Most of them are growing tobacco and you can imagine the environmental damage being caused as they cut down trees to cure the product. We expect to have to import maize again this year. The chefs can’t wait to make super profits once more – as they award the import licences for maize with a huge mark up to themselves. Food shortages will continue to oil the patronage machine.

In the mining sector, small-scale gold miners are now producing about 65% of our gold and are also doing their best to contribute to mercury pollution of our water. It is estimated that $800 million worth of gold is smuggled out the country each month and there is no prize for guessing who is involved.

The Zimbabwe that Zanu (PF) has created is shameful and yet they continue to claim that things are improving. Now they are focusing on poor vendors. We have a new VP, Phelekezela Mphoko, who is a true embarrassment to us all as he berates vendors as lazy while condemning young people for crossing the border to South Africa to seek jobs. He is staying in luxury at a hotel in Harare until the government provides him with a mansion, courtesy of the tax payer of course.

Your opposition parties have been rather quiet and continue to play corporate politics by holding regular press conferences in Harare and condemning whatever Zanu (PF) does. It is most likely that they are all waiting for 2018 elections but they forget Zanu (PF) is diverting attention from the real issues with their internal battles, while working in the background, as they did in 2013, to secure another victory in 2018. I hear that NIKUV have already trained some CIO’s for the 2018 election rigging plan. We also have lost faith in ZEC, a mere department in the Ministry of Justice.

It seems there is no end to Mugabe’s rule. He is old, tired and clearly does not have the energy to occupy such an office especially in these times where the country needs to take a completely new path into the future.

The only people who can build the Zimbabwe we want is you who have had exposure and we must keep fighting so that in the end you can return to build the Zimbabwe ruins that have been created by the ruling party.

I wish you all well I am aware that life is not easy for you but at least you get a pay cheque at the end of month unlike millions of your brothers and sisters here. I do believe that soon we shall see the end of the dictatorship because, as Oliver Mtukudzi aptly puts it, hapana chisikapere. – Vince Musewe is an economist, author and President of Zimbabwe First! You can contact him directly on vtmusewe@gnail.com



  • comment-avatar

    A truly sad summary. I have in the past spoken about if elections came by right now I would choose the better option. I am now as confused as ever. It would seem that our Politicians are all in the self destruct mode. They are all looking at each other in their own camps and trying to see how they can destroy and discredit each other. During the past months the windows of opportunity have come and gone and no one has seized the initiative. The opposition are trying to destroy the opposition so to speak. Zanu pf has rocked itself to the core and tore out some of it’s organs. The Police force has been running it’s own economy and nobody cares. The military quietly looks on. The Grace train rumbles on smashing everything in it’s way and no one has the guts to STOP IT. Vince, Zimbabwe is in a limbo. Even here on this website people are weary. WE ARE IN THE EYE OF THE STORM.(the calm region at the centre of a storm). I would think that as the storm moves, as we have seen, it would be a folly for anyone to try to build anything. Your last sentence can never be any truer. Survive my friends. Rebuilding is going to be a hard long process.

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    Mudzimai Wanhasi 8 years ago

    I share your sentiments. Zimbabwe’s only hope is in the Diaspora. We are coming to rebuild our country.

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    Fundani Moyo 8 years ago

    The problem in Zimbabwe is that those of us in the diaspora have, inadvertently , contributed in strengthening the hand of the “supreme leader”. The tireless support we give our families back in Zim is the source of our undoing. It has created a culture of complacency – the youth are not agitated regarding their future because they know that at the end of the day Western Union will deliver money for food and rent every month-end. They wear the latest fashions and own smart phones even if they have never worked a day in their lives to earn a living. I particularly single out the youth because I remember how I, as a youth was involved in politics during the Smith regime. We were totally against an oppressive system whose leader happened to be white at that time. The youth should be at the forefront of opposing an oppressive system regardless of who is in power, because their own future is at stake.

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    kelly 8 years ago

    Cool smart ones. Then why not start a political party or organization in the diaspora to address the situation at home. No one will arrest u or beat you up. It should not be any of the existing parties because they have failed.
    Is there anyone with guts and a vision out there???????
    we will support u. Not all of us in diaspora are comfortable and even if we are, we still yearn for our homeland. I agree with the writer , it might just take the effort of diaspora effectively linking with the masses to resolve this situation.

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    Son of the soil. 8 years ago

    Rebuild! Not now. First burn all the old grass,plants, dead trees , thear branches and seeds.Wait untill the next good rainy season ,then you will see how green and fresh the land regenerats its self.Of course at the begining you may have to ‘sakura’ one or two weeds which may smuggled them selfs in the new spring.

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    martin chirodzero 8 years ago