We have all become rats – Vince Musewe

via We have all become rats | The Zimbabwean by Vince Musewe

There are a few amongst us who are prepared to sacrifice and dispatch their energies for the betterment of society – and not merely expend their valuable time here on earth pursuing riches.

We have all become rats, rats in a race to win that lucrative contract, to get that powerful position, to score big in the shortest possible time while doing the least amount of work. We seek the most pleasure we can get in the shortest possible time with as little pain as necessary, the pain of cumbersome, patient and inconvenient work.

The seed of corruption continues to spread and the norm has become fast deals, non-delivery, conspicuous consumption and a general view that we must live for today and tomorrow will look after itself.

Corruption is indeed a scourge that our economy faces. Unless it is arrested and diminished through an incorruptible law enforcement regime, we are bound to see it increase. Tragically the police are corrupt themselves. All you have to do is speak to our Kombi drivers and how they are forced to pay a fee of $40 per day just to stay on the road!

The fundamental driver of corruption in Zimbabwe, and Africa for that matter, is of course pure greed, further exacerbated by the enormous income disparities evident in our economy.

Although the public sector is rife with unfair practices that benefit only those in the ruling party, big private corporates are in no way innocent of questionable business practices, which have seen some making billions on contracts awarded to them because they have influence or because they use their financial muscle against any form of competition.

As long as we have an economy where there are easy means of making money, where economic activity and the ensuing benefits are perceived as inequitable, corruption will prevail. As long as we have a government that is partisan in nature and unaccountable to the masses, corruption will prevail.

I must add that we have seen the rise of a black capitalist class whose main concern is the amassing wealth despite the imorality and injustice we see around us. I have zero respect for those who continue to pretend that all is well and that we must “make hay while the sun shines”.

The profiteering in our economy is riduculous and regressive. Added to that is the cowardice of our business sector in challenging the status quo. They seem all to be de facto praise singers of Zanu(PF) – slow to condemn that which is wrong and unethical but quick to give credit where it is not due. They embarrass me.

It was only recently that a group of business executives came together in Bulawayo to join the fight against “sanctions”. Having taken their cue from Mugabe and in fear of being chastised or left off the gravy train, they all sang a sad song of victimhood.

Our industry is in the state it is becuase Zanu(PF) decimated the agriculture sector, stole company funds through the Reserve Bank and is stealing diamond revenues meant to develop our industrial base. On top of that, they have no plan to get this economy back on its feet. They continue to alienate potential investors through misguided and unnecessraily agressive statements about indeginisation, especially by the former minister responsible for that portfolio. That is why our manufacturing is down and unmployment is high.

To correct this situation, we all need to accept the problems first – instead of avoiding the inconvenient truths. So-called sanctions are NOT the root cause of our economic woes.

We need to revive agriculture by giving secure land tenure, utilising underutilised farms and stopping the massive corruption. We need to use modern techniques and ALL the skills we have available, regardless of race. That is the trigger of manufacaturing revival.

If our businessmen cannot stand up for the masses and for what is right, who will?

The pursuit of profit has created men dressed up in suits but with no soul. Our politicians are a liability that has not only destroyed livelihoods but lives as well. And all we can do is gather in conferences, lie to ourselves and expect help from a government that has proven over and over again its utter disregard for the rule of law, dignity, freedom and liberty of its citizens. What a disgrace! – Vince Musewe is an economist based in Harare. You may contact him on vtmusewe@gmail.com



  • comment-avatar
    Nyoni 11 years ago

    Once again Vince you have hit it spot on. Tell it as it is. If the truth hurts well tough luck.

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    Canuck 11 years ago

    Agreed Vince, but regrettably while you have been singing this quite correct song for a long time now NOTHING changes, month after month, year after year, election after election.
    So what is going to change the mess?
    Certainly not more talking about it……..

    • comment-avatar
      nesbert majoni 11 years ago

      No Cunuck. Let Vince tell until some of them see sense and act. Very soon we are going to have other baba jukwas from these people

  • comment-avatar
    Zvapasipano 11 years ago

    Chokwadi. So what’s next?

  • comment-avatar
    Tjingababili 11 years ago


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    Rwendo 11 years ago

    For those who find what Vince describes true, abhorrent and untenable; what’s next is all too often Harare airport and a new life under distant skies, eventually. This is the sad reality for Zimbabwe and for our mother-continent. If you cant beat them, join them. If you can’t stomach joining them (and you have the wherewithal…) give up, pack up and leave them.

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    Rwendo 11 years ago

    ….and perhaps, this is why Africa is where it is after all these millenia. Not the simple corruption – but more the inertia and resistance to and fear of change and new ways of doing things, the kowtowing to repression and authority that (as just one example) allows corruption and poor leadership to thrive in Zimbabwe.

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    Hey Vince I aplaud you for using your forum to castigate the morons who are destroying this country and the people, and it remains to be seen if a continuous barrage of castigation will eventually get through to these corrupt brainless twits and maybe if all of us slip out from under the banner of fear we can put these bullies in their place….maybe.

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    Great article. Corruption is indeed at the center of all the problems that Zim currently faces. Sadly it has become so deep-seated in our leadership that it will be hard to address and for the general society to unlearn unless there is a substantial change of leadership or change in leadership style.

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    Angela Wigmore 11 years ago

    Vince, Why don’t you team up with other sensible people like Tendai Biti, David Coltart and even Dumiso Dabengwa and form a strong, credible Party? Morgan is likeable and I’m sure his heart is in the right place but perhaps he is too naive to counter the evil of ZANU. There are so many intelligent Zimbabweans who only want the best for our nation and all its people but they need to come together and put an end to Mugabe and his thugs. PLEASE do it and put an end to Zimbabwe’s unnecessary suffering. All moderate Zimbabweans, both at home and abroad, would support you. So would the international community. Forget the blessings of the rest of Africa – most of these despotic rulers are too set in their tribalist, blinkered ways to be objective, and too afraid that if they endorsed world opinion on Mugabe that their own supremacy would be under question. We need you to stop merely talking and put into action your, and our, beliefs and aspirations.

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    Canuck 11 years ago

    NOW you’re talking Angela……come on Vince, become the leader Zim needs……have read many of your postings before, as you know, and you have the right ideas…….but what Zim needs is another leader, not more talk, as I said above…….I volunteer to become a fundraiser…….