Why Zimbabwe is failing – Vince Musewe

via Why Zimbabwe is failing – NewsDay Zimbabwe by Vince Musewe June 5, 2014

Zimbabweans are all waiting for somebody to lead and yet nobody is willing to look in the mirror.

I have thought a thousand times on why my country, so endowed with both human and natural resources, is failing. I have arrived at only one conclusion: President Robert Mugabe no longer has the capacity to think beyond a certain point nor has been able to extricate his brains from the past which hugely influenced who he has become.

He is now a leader unable to think beyond a certain time frame because the times we live in are significantly different from the past in which he was quite successful as a leader.

We then add liberation struggle diehards made up of security chiefs, retired generals, spies, Zanu PF alumni and praise singers who have occupied this vacuum solely to their material advantage and not in the interest of Zimbabwe at all.

Their role is to maintain the status quo by isolating the President from reality that he is even shocked by the state of our roads. Their interest is to ensure that one of them occupies the throne in order to maintain their comforts and safety. All this is fuelled by fear of any alternative. They will therefore protect that throne to the death.

Those who have an opportunity to make money have done all they can and we have seen an elite comprador class emerging; people whose sense of responsibility and ethics leaves much to be desired. These elites, in partnership with their political masters, have bled the country dry and continue to be “successful” through murky deals and pervasive secret corruption. This can be evidenced by the flashy cars and huge mansions that one sees in Harare.

In these circles, it is not about the work ethic nor is it about conscience, but it is more about making as much as one can now by any means and at all cost.

The business sector which is reeling under Zanu PF’s fear and unwillingness to see an apolitical national black bourgeoisie emerge, remains locked up in a condition which they can hardly change.

Over the years our business sector has been weakened as a change agent. We have seen those who want to survive the day choosing to be complicit and partnering with Zanu PF cronies; corruption is their creed, apathy and fear their disease.

In civil society we have struggle fatigue. The last 14 years since 2000 have been years of struggle and anguish for the majority of Zimbabwean adults. Change looked like it was coming in 2013, but it never arrived.

Unfortunately most adult Zimbabweans who have lived through terror and loss have run out of energy and motivation to fight. This has certainly entrenched Zanu PF while it has weakened opposition political parties whose only remaining power is to write protest articles in the Press.

The international community seems to have now accepted the reality that dislodging of Zanu PF will take more than targeted sanctions and its further isolation will not bear any desired results in the short to medium term. Hence we have seen the European Union removing targeted sanctions and are now promising to resume aid from the end of this year. We have seen a softening of attitudes towards Zanu PF in general.

We also have non-governmental organisations who must now fight for relevance and resources. The mandate to fight Mugabe has shifted and they must come up with new ideas and new mandates of how to operate in the emerging geopolitical landscape.
Increasing unemployment levels have added to the weakening of organised labour; a voice of the workers which continuously challenged the status quo in the past. We have seen a lukewarm approach to confronting this regime, a capitulation and lack of direction which can be blamed solely on the need of millions to merely survive on a day-to-day basis.
Sadly our youth remains confused and misguided as this environment has not created any opportunity or hope for a better future. Those who can leave do so and those who cannot are damned as they search for meaning in a country with no values, no leadership and no hope.
The Diapsora continues to make the right noises through social networks, but is disadvantaged in causing change on the ground in Zimbabwe.
The rule of law has failed us because those who must implement the law have themselves become corrupted. Any social system that is not based on universal human rights and the respect of private property tends to regress, both morally and economically.
All this has resulted in money becoming a national god. Where talent and virtue offer no advancement and corruption has become the only means to survive. This culture has permeated all sectors of our society from the public sector, State enterprises, churches and the private sector.
Our moral values have therefore deteriorated and life has become cheap, brutal, short and very boring. The numbers of the poor are increasing daily. The poor can hardly be agents of change because poverty disempowers and absolute poverty disempowers absolutely.
Our only hope is therefore for a few amongst us to reject this narrative and to realise that we are on our own.
There is no time difficult for any generation as our present times and yet we must remain hopeful and do what we can.
We must fight and not give up. We must never accept this dreadful narrative that has been created by Zanu PF.
The struggle continues!

l Vince Musewe is an author and economist based in Harare. You may contact him on vtmusewe@gmail.com



  • comment-avatar

    When the Politicians admit that the have demolished the house of Zimbabwe then that will be the time sanity prevails for the economy. When they step aside and let the builders start to build then that will be the beginning of the rebirth of the country. As long as laws exist that favor one color over the other and attitudes that favor one tribe over the other there will be no progress and we go backwards. Until we have a leadership that respects the people that it leads we are stagnant. As long as we have people that preach hate based on past sins of our forefathers then we dig a hole for our selves. When we start trying to pick each other up rather than dragging each other down then we go deeper into the pit. When we stop kicking those below the ladder we are on and assist them to climb the ladder with us we can never reach the top. In other words Zimbabwe has to start from the beginning and build the foundations first. The only problem is that those that stole think that Zimbabwe is in their houses and cannot see the sufferings of those that have nothing.

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    I have to agree with Doctor Do Little on this one.Vince is talk economist talk. Zanu is full of degree’d people that have degrees in economics and they still fail. They fail because they won’t go back to the start line.At the start line you have to make sure.

    1.The developing the country’s infrastructure; facilities, factories telecommunications, and distribution routes can be built to make the country’s resources more accessible and/or usable, and attract FDI (foreign direct investment).

    2 By attracting FDI into the country, foreign companies can invest in local workers. Foreign companies can help train and educate the local labour force and hire them. Thus creating employment and bringing in more money into the country’s economy.

    This unfortunately is not on Zanu’s Menu.

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    And having said that Vince this is a good article and opens prospects for a good debate. Come on Murimi Whanasi join in and tell us how your success is going to benefit the Masses. (You said you killed it. the harvest) Maybe no maize imports this year?

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    nyoni 10 years ago

    Another good article by someone who is telling it as it is right now . The reality of the situation and I have been saying this for years is ZANU ARE SIMPLY TO PIG HEADED TO SEE ANYTHING. They are still thinking the enemy is out there. They were so traumatised by the near defeat of the cause they never took any post traumatic stress therapy. Thus resulting in the situation we find ourselves today. The true veterans of war are hardly heard of. The ones that sat back and enjoyed life namely Robert are glouting on the demise of Zimbabwe. A true indication of nationalist fervour. What fits me fits all. Zimbabweans must realise this is a cruel world and no one and I mean no one will hold your hand to the bowl of milk yonder. Thats the way it is. GOD BLESS MY COUNTRY AND ITS GREAT PEOPLE. PASI NE ZANU AND ROBERT GABRIEL MUGABE.

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    mandevu 10 years ago

    Well done Vince. Now, we need to find a rallying point for civil society to stand up. What or who will that be? I personally think it is coming soon

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    zanupf fear me 10 years ago

    Always regurgitating the obvious we already knew. Nothing new here. Keep practising for a pH.d meaningless. Bereft academic pretensions. Oh yes. Guess what. I’m also economist

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    Tinomunamataishe 10 years ago

    ” from the past in which he was quite successful as a leader.” Surprised to hear that Mugabe was ever successful as a leader. When was he successful Vince? In Ghana?

    In the late 60s and up to 1975 in prison. Came out and the war was being managed by other people whilst he wined and dined in Lusaka, Dar es Salaam and Maputo.

    In the 80s killed more than 20,000 innocent civilians whilst implementing Smith’s policies. When those ran out now see the mess he has created.

    In a nutshell the biggest problem for Zimbabwe is corruption(which Mugabe has nurtured) and total lack of leadership among other things.

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    yaa if u respect sadza too much its gonna be too difficult for u to get into the bush and spent some days without it . Morgan called u for a march , how many turned up ? No one bcz u could not imagine leaving a plate of sadza alone . Lets forget abt regime change ,lets keep on looking in the plate , nature wil take its course .

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    Little victories. One small stone at a time. Lift it, move it, place it in a better place. Keep the heart clear and clean. one small stone today, one tomorrow.

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    mwana wevhu 10 years ago

    RGM hijacked & personalised the liberation struggle.Clearly he has steered it way off course & corrupted it.Some “smart” ones are playing the support cast. To terminate this status quo will require the same sacrifice, organisation, dedication & determination like it took to dislodge the RHODESIANS.
    I PRAY “JEHOVAH, grant us leadership for this cause.” The coming Restoration of JEhOVAH’s Sovereignity is the answer.

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    Mbama yaMutiro 10 years ago

    Every empire falls down at some point especially the evil ones. Who would have thought Gaddafi and Saddam would fall. We can cry and lament but when the time comes Zanu is gonna vanish. Lets keep praying because prayers can beat a million gun. Remember the Jericho trumpets. By attacking ana madzibaba, Bob has started a spiritual war that he can win.

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    maita 10 years ago

    Vince this Why is known all over Zimbabwe.What is failing Zimbabwe is how to remove this Why. It is now How which is wanted the whys have been answered long ago.

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    Mbama yaMutiro 10 years ago

    By attacking ana madzibaba, Bob has started a spiritual war that he CANT win.Will never win. Shall never win. Babylon is falling.

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    Straight Shooter 10 years ago

    Don’t you think you are now repeating yourself for the umpteenth time with these self same articles?

    Nobody, witin the gukurahundi establishment is listening!!!!!!!!

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    Zimbabwe is like a kombi, the driver is only looking in the rear view mirror, the party is too busy collecting the fares from the passengers and no one is looking where they are going. We need to start by changing the driver, ask the passengers where they want to go and make sure the fares go back into fixing the kombi. And this time lets ask the passengers who they should drive and when he/she gets tired lets change them.

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    Zvomukonde 10 years ago

    Yes we could have nipped this in the bud 2002..’Morgan called u for a march ‘ Ask your self where were you that morning.

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      You cannot ask a coward to march, not even for his/her own freedom. isn’t it there’s a Shona saying that goes like :’nhamo yemumwe hairambirwi sadza”. thats the mentality of Zimbabweans. They were probably at home enjoying their “plate of sadza”telling themselves those who are suffering can march. now everyone is suffering, including the cowards.

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      Zvomukonde – Over the 2002 elections I was monitoring elections in Guruve and then spent 3 days in police cells with 14 other MDC activists we were charged under POSA and faced a possible 20 years in prison if convicted, after 4 court appearances was acquitted. Thats where I was Bud.

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    Johnny k 10 years ago

    The problem with Zimbabwe is that Mugabe has corrupted every single fact of Government over the last 34 years. There is no person in any government paid job who does not owe allegiance to ZANU. You cannot point at any Judge, DA, Permanent Secretary, Policeman. soldier, Teacher, Doctor. Nobody and state that he is an independent thinker and is able to apply the policy impartially.
    The isssue of corruption cannot be solved at any level unless the Mugabe family is first investigated. If say a Town Clerk were to be arrested and prosecuted for fraud he in turn would point the finger at the person above him that allowed him to carry out those corrupt practices with impunity. So it goes up the ladder until no parastatal, council or government official is able to be prosecuted. The only thing that will change is when either the person at the top owes no allegiance to any other government official or he is absolutely squeaky clean and therefore untouchable. Where are we going to find such a person?? That is the connundrum.

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    It will happen. Others will be prosecuted for their crimes. Some will become witnesses for the people. They will have to explain how their wealth was acquired. They will have to show how much tax they paid. Some will flee and live in exile forever watching their backs. Some will like Saif Gaddafi will be extradited from their exile. Some like Charles Taylor will end up in the Hague. Others will just die of fright. Others will sell out each other. IT IS ONLY A MATTER OF TIME.

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    Petal 10 years ago

    If Vince is an economist why has he not approached figures like John Robertson and Erich Bloch they are the fundis at this sort of thing?

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      there is no need for figures with regards to the zimbabwean situation because whatever they are we know they are horrendous. Thats all we need to know.

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        Straight Shooter 10 years ago

        This includes the country’s population; that of Matebeleland and Bulawayo in particular.

        Trust nothing from gukurahundi ZANU PF, you will live happily ever after!!

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          Straight Shooter, we got one big problem, like you say, in the shape of the GH Zanu PF.
          For our country to stand a chance at revival, we got to get rid of this lot.
          Dividing Zim into regions will only add to the weakening of the fight.
          As Doc do little has mentioned, we need to move away from the blame game and misdeeds of the past if we are to forge ahead as a country.
          Those responsible for that atrocity of gukurahundi have to be brought to book, of course.

          But please, lets not fall into the trap of a people living in the past.

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    Dube spot on tichanakirwa zvedu zvakudhumana, but Mugabe will be spared because he would be either senile, in-care or dead, the lucky bastrd one consolation though, Grace will fry

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    psalms 58 10 years ago

    These people have to much to lose. brace yourselves.

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    loveness zvavanhu 10 years ago

    Thanks Musewe for opening our eyes .

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    John El-Amin 10 years ago

    I will reply in depth to Mr. Muse we in depth but first , let me say that I am an American, a black American who Fies NOT believe that America has Zimbabwe’s interests at heart.

    Research former US Senator Trent Lott, Sen. Lindsey
    Graham, Gov. Rick Perry, Congressman Peter King, and specifically the legislators of the Southern states and the corporate investors on Wall St.
    and see for yourself the the so-called leaders of the free world are some of the most vicious,racist, thieving liars that have ever walked this Earth.

    You think America’s leaders care about your history, cultures, families and future ??

    America wants your wealth Zimbabwe and it DOES NOT want YOU.

    America will give you guns, weapons, training and all manner of “assistance” for you to kill each other .

    Look at US history and contemporary actions – name ONE place on this Earth where American “leaders” have gone and left a nation if people in peace. Name ONE place on Earth where my country has not borough bloodshed, death and destruction in the name of “freedom”.
    .Mr. Obama protects Israel, first last and above all else.

    And PLEASE remember the words of Dr .Martin Luther King- “judge a person by the content of their character NOT the color of their skin.

    Mr. Obama commanded the killing of over 5, 000 people, including over 500 children, who are considered “collateral damage “. Beware of America. Study America’s history and think “how can America lead others to “peace” , when it has no experience ever doing so ?

    Poverty , lack of affordable health care, , denial of educational funding and underemployment STILL plague America.