A GOOD number of pupils who were in primary school at independence in 1980 are now grandparents. This is not an exaggeration. Such a simple perception of the passage of time demonstrates that some of our leaders have indeed overstayed their welcome.
This generation of students recalls how normal it was for a teenage boy to go for years proposing love to a girl only to fall into some kind of a relationship way into high school or beyond. The day when the girl wrote “You have been pestering me for a long time, I thought seriously about it last night, I’m now yours” was usually the day when the boy would virtually freeze and literally run out of ideas as to what to do next. Superlatives used in the past would quickly vanish from his vocabulary. Indeed, a time for a reality check!
This appears to be the most unenviable position that Zanu PF finds itself in. After investing so much effort, money, time and whatever means towards winning the July 31 election at any cost, they are now faced with a crumbling economy. They don’t know how to proceed or react as they encounter the same pre-election problems and challenges if not worse – foreign debt, unemployment, de-industrialisation, cash crunch, power outages, water woes, food shortages, slave wages, a despondent populace – the list is endless.
Patrick Chinamasa, the “new” Finance Minister, recently returned from an overseas trip visibly frustrated with nothing but an empty begging bowl. Joining the fray was former CIO operative and ambassador, Chris Mutsvangwa who chided the IMF for causing all the problems that Zimbabwe is grappling with.
The drama climaxed with an empty threat from the highest office to sue European countries for maintaining sanctions that were said to have bled the economy of billions. We were not told how exactly this actually happened. People can only assume that opulent shopping trips to London and New York’s most affluent boutiques by “chefs” and their families were generating a lot of income for our economy. This is a subject best left to the imagination of first year students of economics.
However, most of us vividly recall that the main commodity we traded in Europe was beef. The industry wasn’t obliterated by sanctions but ignorant destruction of the national herd. The net effect came heavily on the Cold Storage Commission and, therefore, the entire beef industry. As we speak, stock theft and fresh farm invasions are in full swing in our country.Advertisement
Zimbabweans might be materially poor, but certainly not intellectually. Even graduates from The University of Gonakudzingwa know this for a fact. As reality bites, Zanu PF has started pointing at anything and everything as the root cause of our problems, other than themselves. Not long ago, they were blaming the GNU for all failures. Now that they are running a homogeneous government, they are busy looking for scapegoats as far afield as America and Europe.
They are not interested in finding a solution to the crisis they created but apportioning blame. For as long as they and their families have food on the table, do they really care? They did the same thing with ESAP in the 90s when they were asking everybody to tighten their belts while they were busy loosening theirs. Now they are at it again!
What became of our Look East policy which was at one time as much of a mantra as indigenisation is today, if we may ask? Does Zanu PF think the entire nation suffers from amnesia? Clearly, China uses Zimbabwe as a willing or unsuspecting dumping ground for obsolete military hardware, substandard technology and all sorts of poor quality products (ma Zhing Zhong). Even Gushungo would rather fly on a very old Boeing aircraft than a brand new Xian-made MA60.
The Commonwealth, World Vision, UsAid, AusAid, Sida, Danida, GTZ and many other agencies and organisations from Europe, America and The South Pacific helped Zimbabweans and Africans in many different ways for many years. They funded schools, hospitals and clinics. They sank boreholes and fed the hungry. Why is it that up to now, we cannot point at any significant humanitarian project sponsored by our traditional friends in the East, the Chinese in particular? What positive thing have “friends” around the world such as Israel, Iran, DRC, Russia or Equatorial Guinea done for the ordinary Zimbabwean? When shall we ever hear of something called ChinAid or RussAid?
Do the Chinese only become friends when they hear of diamonds in Marange where they thank us with looting, abuse of employees and environmental degradation? Do they only become friends when they can make millions by building our national stadium with labourers, bricklayers, plumbers, painters and wheel barrow “operators” all imported from Peking? Are these the kind of friends we really need? If they are genuine, why are they not coming in droves to invest and revive our comatose economy? Didn’t somebody tell them that their friend won resoundingly and is now in full control?
Given that China is a leading producer of rice, why don’t we see them in Binga, Zaka, Muzarabani, Plumtree, Nembudziya, Chibwedziva, Nyamaropa or Checheche dishing out free bags of the commodity to starving Zimbabweans? Why would we stoop as low as to beg for grain from poor Malawi and Zambia when our number-one friend from the East has plenty of it to donate for free? Are we only excited about the benefit of a new breed of “coloureds” that is forming in Kuwadzana, Tafara, Mabvuku and soon Dangamvura?
China has the capacity to build a city the size of Bulawayo in a month. Why don’t our friends help us upgrade waterworks in Harare, Bulawayo, Gweru, Mutare and Masvingo so that life in our cities can return to normal again? What kind of friends are they who don’t come to the aid of a neighbour in times of need such as this? From Israel, is it only the likes of Nikuv and Ben Menashe that have some interest in our predicament?
It would appear that Zanu PF does not only suffer a crisis of ideology and policy but of pathetic friendships. If the truth be told, the Chinese are among the worst racists as well as environmental enemies of this world. If indeed the expansion and refurbishment of Hwange Power Station has been awarded to these “friends”, then it’s not too late for the nation to seriously consider solar power.
As for Cde Dzikamai Mavhaire, indeed my homeboy, it is probably time to make serious contact with the Chinhoyi Diesel brigade and ask for Rotina “The Rock” Mavhunga’s whereabouts, pamwe magetsi angapfuta!!!!
Moses Chamboko writes in his personal capacity. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org