via Zimbabwe refuses to be weaned FEBRUARY 2, 2014 By William Muchayi NehandaRadio
Recent revelations in the Daily Telegraph, purportedly exposing the Mugabe regime begging for financial aid from the British government through the Department for International Development [DIFID] to cater for school fees for nearly a million impoverished children, are not only laughable but at worst embarrassing.
This naïve gesture synonymous with the folly of biting the hand that feeds you, makes a mockery of the aid concept in Africa as a whole and reignites the debate on the intelligence of African leaders on the global arena at a time Africans try to rewrite their narrative.
For, how can we redefine, reinvent, re-establish let alone restructure this new narrative when we refuse to take off our nappies as adults but opt to poo in our underwear like babies? Who, after all will take us seriously on the global stage as a people well worth listening to when we behave like chimps in a zoo?
It is on record that for the past 3 years, Britain has paid fees for about 300 000 Zimbabwean children, excluding the more than 13 million textbooks she donated with the assistance of Germany and other European donors.
Not only that, recently a US$53 million dollar loan, earmarked for power and water support was given to the Zimbabwean government by the African Development Bank, of which almost US$40 million is being funded by the Zimbabwe-Multi Donor Trust Fund whose major donors are Australia, Denmark, Germany, Norway, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.
In December 2013, the Mugabe regime pleaded with the United Nations to bail out the country by scaling down its humanitarian programmes and instead channel the funds to development work.
Indeed, there are even calls among some within the regime to have all outstanding debts owed to donors cancelled so as to start on a clean sheet. Oh dear!
Unfortunately, the international community seems to underestimate the gravity of the rot that cripples Zimbabwe, hence the UN‘s willingness to entertain Mugabe’s bail out request without considering the beneficiaries of the goodwill gesture. Entertaining Mugabe’s request for donations is as misguided as spraying poo with perfume, the assumption being that, the latter will change the state of the former. Will it?
The Zimbabwean government fails to raise the requested US$73 million for the Ministry of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare needed to fund BEAM [Basic Education Assistance Module] because education to the regime is not a priority.
Mugabe is primarily concerned with his security and lavish life style and anything else is secondary. The country is capable of sustaining itself without any need for foreign aid, but because she chooses to be a baby in nappies instead of an adult, she cries to be bailed out all the time.
Mugabe and his criminal cabal desperately need the cash to loot and not for development, hence the request before the UN to scale down humanitarian assistance but instead channel the funds to finance the discredited Zimbabwe Agenda for Sustainable Socio-Economic Transformation [ZimAsset] that needs funding to the tune of US$10 billion.
This ambitious programme is used as a front by the regime to siphon funds from aid organisations which rarely reach the intended recipients but line the pockets of the minority elite.
Isn’t it now in the public domain that Harare Town clerk Tendai Mahachi and his 18 member management team gobble close to US$500 000 in monthly salaries at a time the city doesn’t have running water let alone electricity?
The aid the regime begs for is not meant for the improvement of either the water and power supplies in the cities but to line the pockets of a minority like Tendai Mahachi and his administration with the blessings of Ignatius Chombo and Mugabe.
If Tendai Mahachi pockets more than US$30 OOO monthly and Leslie Gwindi taking home US$15 000 over the same period, how much does Ignatius Chombo and Robert Mugabe earn respectively?
How can Africa‘s new narrative be taken seriously on the global arena when we behave as if we are still at a different stage of evolution compared with other nationals of the world ? Africa thrives on begging because her people plunder as if there is no tomorrow.
How can the new narrative be positive when the country is under the stewardship of a 90 year old man who presides over this rot but instead of acknowledging responsibility, he prefers to sing the sanctions rhetoric?
Joyce Banda in Malawi makes an effort today to prosecute these criminals but what does Mugabe do beside globetrotting and claiming allowances ? The Chinese are not foolish for not entertaining Chinamasa’s begging chorus for they are well aware that the Mugabe regime plunders beyond its ability to repay.
It is estimated that in 6 years, the Mugabe regime stripped the nation of an estimated US$12 billion in raw diamonds that flooded the world market. Compounding this tragic loss is the fact that the country doesn’t have sufficient regulation to harness the economic strength that could come from diamond mining.
In contrast, neighbouring Botswana’s regulation has resulted in far higher profits than Zimbabwe. Diamond exports account for 30 percent of world diamond sales by value in Botswana, about one – third of the country’s GDP, and about 70 % of its exports.
In monetary terms , the country earned US$3.6 billion from diamond sales in 2009 compared to Zimbabwe’ s official sales of US$20 million with the rest unaccounted for . In 2011, South Africa imported 1.3 million carats from Zimbabwe to add to the 7 million carats she produced which earned her US$1.3 billion while Zimbabwe earned a meagre US$476 million despite producing more than 8.5 carats.
In addition to this tragic tale, the raw diamonds smuggled from Chiadzwa with Mugabe’s blessings are reported to have created at least 60 000 jobs in 2012 in India’s Surat Diamond Cutting Centre while thousands of more jobs were also created in Dubai.
All this drama happens when Zimbabwe reels from massive unemployment reaching a staggering 80 percent. Africa is poor not by design nor is it by destiny or coincidence, but because her people are gripped by mental poverty.
It is the poverty of the mind that forces an elderly Mugabe to be carried in and out of office in a wheel chair without retiring gracefully. It is the poverty of the mind that mislead the Tendai Mahachi administration into believing that it is alright to pocket US$500 000 monthly when residents survive on sewage contaminated water let alone turning urban areas into rural ones by drilling boreholes.
It is mental poverty that grips ordinary citizens so that they remain silent as Ignatius Chombo spits in their faces without rising against him. Until they realise that they are their own liberators, their plight will worsen.
As a goodwill gesture, the international community doesn’t help the situation either, for in the name of humanitarian assistance, they pour billions in the hands of the regime, thereby indirectly sustaining it while at the same time masking the rot that stinks underneath. It is the taxpayers’ money supplemented by funds from donors from which the Tendai Mahachi administration thrives on.
Aid to Africa should be drastically scaled down and eventually stopped altogether for it retards the minds of Africans. Instead of it being a blessing, it has become a curse, promoting laziness, corruption and greed.
Africa’s new narrative can’t succeed when her people thrive on hand outs for survival. The continent urgently needs to be weaned of her dependence on foreign aid for she can’t be in nappies for eternity.
Mugabe’s sanctions rhetoric, a scapegoat for the regime’s incompetence, greed and gross economic mismanagement becomes hollow and at worst naïve when premised against the revelations emanating from PSMAS and Harare House.
Instead of sacrificing Cuthbert Dube and calling for the resignation of the Tendai Mahachi administration, why not bay for Mugabe and Chombo’s heads for a snake can’t survive without its head?
For, the rot starts with Mugabe and Ignatius Chombo and not Cuthbert Dube or Mahachi. Isn’t he the same Chombo who retained former MDC councillors who were sacked for graft?
Even Beijing is well aware that in spite of the favours they get from the Mugabe regime , it is foolish to bankroll ZimAsset, hence their insistence on ‘bankable projects instead of policy pronouncements ‘ and clear repayment plans when Chinamasa dangled his begging bowl recently only to return home empty handed.
For, where will the money come from to repay the loans when the criminal cabal plunder the country’s wealth like starving baboons? And, Mugabe at the age of 90 would want us to believe that the genesis of the country’s demise lies in sanctions? Cry my beloved country !!
William Muchayi is a pro-democracy and political analyst who can be contacted on firstname.lastname@example.org