via Zimbabwe’s Architects of Poverty — Nehanda Radio NOVEMBER 28, 2013 by Vince Musewe
As we speak, Barack Obama is working hard to ensure that Americans get better wages, get more jobs and that their children can go to varsity while their parents live a decent quality of life; it’s good for the economy and its good for Americans. That is what a President must do.
As we speak ZANU (PF) is speculating on what to do next; we are actually getting tired of reports of infighting as if whoever “wins” will have better ideas.
Companies are closing and jobs are scarce for our graduates. Our children are not sure whether they can ever go to varsity or get a decent job so that they can start their own new lives. In fact, most are probably planning to leave the country, I don’t blame them.
Millions of Zimbabweans will face starvation in 2014 and we have an agriculture sector that needs pretty effortless but bold solutions. We must admit that we totally messed it up and must now use all the local skills and resources we have so that we may lift our country out of the rut.
Each and every sector needs an “out of the box” solution divorced from ZANU (PF) culture of arrogance and incompetence. Fear has no room and the demagogue status of Mugabe must be rejected.
I do follow Manheru’s column, in fact I quite enjoy it. However, at times I feel that he displays a rather unique and rare talent of compressing as little thought as possible in a large volume of words.
For years and years, he continues to tell us how blessed we are to have such a wise and politically astute leader in Mugabe. What a pity because that wisdom has created nothing except strife, hopelessness, poverty and talented Zimbabweans leaving the country in droves.
That is not good for business.
We need a new narrative. We need to accept that a singular narrative as peddled by Manheru, no matter how many times it is repeated, is dangerous for social progress and can only be judged by the results it has created on the ground. The true facts will not cease to exist simply because we ignore them.
If anything, we must learn from our past. Politics is not playing the role it should in our society. It is more about personalities and access to resources without accountability. This has resulted in the abuse of power. As Zimbabweans we must be one of the few countries that pay taxes that are used against us.
We pay (or are forced to) pay radio and television licences to listen to propaganda that does not serve us. We have leaders who serve their stomachs first and profit from the failure which they manufacture. I can bet you my last dollar that the “chefs” are now all scrambling for maize import licences so that they can benefit from a crisis which they have created.
This time last year, I thought that would be the last Christmas we were having under ZANU (PF). How wrong I was and I dare not even think of 2018 in that, it is possible that once more, we shall be cheated of our vote.
That is what we must work on now and build enough social pressure so that never again can a political party control the voters’ roll, the army, the police, our national resources and the media and then abuse them to its benefit while confessing to be democratic.
I fear that our rural folk are not getting better information so that they may remove themselves from the claws of chiefs and their minions who remain backward and caught up in a culture driven by superstition and fear. That is one challenge we must take; to inform, educate and agitate for better access to information for all, especially our rural folk, so that they may be liberated first in their minds.
I have seen that we also need to build confidence of Zimbabweans in general. In a community meeting I attended recently, it was obvious that most think that solutions are outside there; that somebody out there must come and solve basic problems like waste management for them and yet it is them who create the rubbish.
If anything, our psychological emancipation is urgent and I encourage that we focus on that first, instead of establishing new political parties fashioned around personalities. That formula will not work. Rather we must come together, unite and combine our resources and ideas to reject ZANU (PF)’s narrative in its entirety. It is moribund.
I look forward to 2014 as it must now dawn on us that, as long as we accept things as they are and not act to change them ourselves, nothing much will change and Zimbabwe will go down in history as a country that had much, but could not do much with it because its people are cowards.
I wish all my readers new revelations and wisdom to realise that the power is in our hands. It has always been, so have no fear.
The people come first!
Vince Musewe is an economist and author based in Harare. You may contact him on email@example.com