Mugabe’s Zhing-Zhong Legacy

via Mugabe’s Zhing-Zhong Legacy | The Zimbabwean 10 September 2014 by Vince Musewe

China is taking advantage of the lack of competition and has therefore given us raw deals.

I understand that in the event that China funds Zimbabwe with the $2 billion infrastructure loan, it will be payable over 20 years. I also understand that only Chinese companies will be contracted to the infrastructure deals that have been recently agreed in principle with China subject to viability. Viability here means that Zimbabweans through taxes will be able to pay for the loans.

This means that Zimbabweans will be paying their taxes over the next 20 years at least to China. That is the legacy that President Mugabe will leave us with. We will be feeding Chinese families while ours wallow in poverty, we will be creating jobs for them while our children must look for employment elsewhere, and we will provide business opportunities to their companies while our local companies are closing down.

I have been in fiery debates lately on the recently announced deals with China. I am totally amazed at ZANU (PF) and their audacity to create serious debt at the expense of all of us.

This is my position; the role of the President is to protect the interests of Zimbabweans who pay his salary and maintain his luxurious lifestyle and protection. He mandate is to do whatever is necessary to create jobs for Zimbabweans and ensure that this economy grows as the country develops. On that score he has dismally failed.

In principle there is nothing wrong with us attracting Chinese investment in our economy but this must be done to the benefit of Zimbabwe.

In my opinion, infrastructure development is very important but not that urgent, what is urgent is for us to revive our local productive sector, cut on imports and create jobs. My argument remains that infrastructure development is a result of economic growth and not the other way round. The economy does not grow simply because we have good roads. Of course we need decent roads but investment in roads must be as a result of a growing economy. Our focus must therefore be Zimbabwean jobs first.

As I have said before, we can easily revive this economy by focusing on agriculture as the trigger for further development. It therefore is national priority instead of the Chinese coming here to build roads and cement factories. The hesitance to deal thoroughly with the elephant (i.e. agriculture) in the room is because of the plunder that would be exposed by a land audit, a necessary starting point. In addition there is the issue of compensation of commercial farmers that everyone knows must be done but is being avoided by all.

The benefits to the country from a vibrant agriculture sector are numerous and include food security, employment creation, the rehabilitation of agriculture related infrastructure, exports and the alleviation of rural poverty where 70% of our population resides. In addition our land assets would be of significant value that we can them leverage.

It is becoming clear to me that it is not really the intention of this government to create a modern economy in Zimbabwe. They seem quite content with the status quo as long as they remain in power. That is our tragedy in that, we are unlikely to see the Zimbabwe we want as along as ZANU (PF) stays in government.

Brazil recovered because they focused internally by ensuring that they have a vibrant local business sector that created jobs. They also had a government that spent only what it generated and avoided unnecessary debt. We are doing exactly the opposite.

There seems to be a lot of speculation on the MOUs signed last week and I really would like to have a look at them and see what the conditions are. Clearly the one condition is that Chinese companies get the money so there is nothing to celebrate here.

President Mugabe has been heard complaining of the delays in projects that cost the taxpayer as though this is new. The main reason for that first is that his ministers are not project managers and they continue to interfere with projects in order to have influence on who gets the project. Patronage and greed are our problems and the President knows that but has done nothing about it. I am still looking for a single project that this government has done successfully and on time since 1980.

As far as I am concerned we can build our own dams and roads and power stations. We have the skills and know how the only thing lacking is an economic environment that attracts foreign investors to come to Zimbabwe. Until we do that, we will find that China will take advantage of the lack of competition and therefore give us a raw deal.

When we get into government we will certainly review all these deals and where Zimbabweans do not benefit, we will reverse the deals; the sooner that happens, the better for our children.

Mugabe is going to leave us with a legacy of high debt and Chinese colonization. That is unacceptable. – Vince Musewe is an economist and author based in Harare. You can contact him at vtmusewe@gmail.com

COMMENTS

WORDPRESS: 13
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    bruce koffe 8 years ago

    Mugabe and his ZANU PF do not think. They are stooges.

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    “It is becoming clear to me that it is not really the intention of this government to create a modern economy in Zimbabwe. They seem quite content with the status quo as long as they remain in power.”
    With a due respect Vince we have been saying this all along on this Forum.Anyone that does not see that or did not see that must be sleeping. The War Lords in Somalia you might think are suffering. They are enjoying whilst the dooryard Somalis suffer. Its all about what they have and they lifesyle. As long as it suits them they are fine. Do you for a moment think Obert Mpofu rides around the streets of Bulawayo feeling sorry for the people in the streets?No he doesn’t. He enjoys being a have amongst so many have nots. If he did care he would be investing in the city. creating employment and helping get the kids off the street. He can afford it. No, he continues to steal from the very poor and feasts like a King whilst those he calls his people starve. Mugabe is no better. In fact they are all the same and are rotten to the core.

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      Doc do little you are so right. Sadly, but it the truth nevertheless. At the centre of God’s compassion are the poor, the weak, the needy, the widow, the orphan and the stranger. Zanu Pf have and are trampling on the heads of all these groups. There is a terrible judgment awaiting them. They have lost all fear of God and have put themselves in terrible danger of serious judgment. they only fear Bob: a mere man! ‘Hear now oh you heads of (government) and you rulers of (Zimbabwe) Is it not for you to know justice? You who hate good and love evil. Who strip the skin from My people and the flesh from their bones. Then they (the leaders) will cry to God but He will not hear them. He will even hide His face from them ….because they have been evil in their deeds. ….The rulers of the house of (Zimbabwe) who abhor justice and pervert equity. Who build up with bloodshed and iniquity. Her heads judge for a bribe. Her priests teach for pay and her prophets divine for money… There for because of you (Zimbabwe) shall become heaps of ruin…” Micah 3:1-12

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        Only repentance can fix this! And it must start in the house of God: the church! Shame on us!

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    Grace Gono 8 years ago

    Hey at 90 years !!!God have mercy, the man is wearing pampers kuti abude pavanhu. Akwegura zvakare hapana ari qualified to replace him kunze kwa Giresi

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    Bloody fools

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    John Thomas 8 years ago

    One thing is for sure. The Chinese will not get their money back. Look at all the others who have lent money to ZANU. They all remain unpaid

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    Chaka 8 years ago

    Clueless is the word. They don’t know Zim’s priorities. Fancy cars and good roads are for campaigning. Only fools will fall into such a trap. Zimbos wake up

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    We may yet approve you muse we for membership of y.o.z.a.( youth of Zimbabwe arise ).

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    Johann 8 years ago

    History repeats itself- Lobengula, in his desperation to hang onto power, conceded the mineral rights to Rhodes because he had very few options. Mugabe is the modern day Lobengula who is conceding all in a desperate attempt to retain power.The archaeological evidence of all the ruins in the land seems to suggest the land between the Zambesi and limpopo river will be in a perpetual state of flux and the folks there will just have to learn how to live with it.

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    Rukweza 8 years ago

    Lobengula never knew what he was doing so don’t equate the 2

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    Farai 8 years ago

    ZANU are nothing more than Chinese puppets!!!!!!!

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    Zvomukonde 8 years ago

    Just looking on the bright side.If that loan is to be received and is actually put to good use Zim will spend the next 20 years paying taxes for something they really benefited for. I think at least that is the reason for securing the loan.
    But knowing Bob, that money will vanish and nothing tangible will happen, I am sorry guys there is no bright side.
    Then I ask what is a revolutionary,what cloth is he cut from.Why is he so stubborn?
    What is war?
    What did those who were alive during chimurenga time see?
    Why are we willing not to stand up and fight?
    What is it that Ian Smith saw in black people and made him conclude we are no ready to rule ourselves. Is this what he meant?