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Zimbabwe is divided between filthy rich few with veto vs voiceless filthy poor majority

11 Dec 2017 at 06:56hrs | Views
A house divided cannot stand the test of time. A nation divided cannot thrive. Zimbabwe is a nation tiring apart because we have become a divided nation of the filthy rich ruling elite few, on the one hand, and on the other the desperately poor majority. The rich few live in massive mansions such as General Chiwenga's C&M mansion and Mugabe's Blue Roof palace, they have farms and many businesses. The rich are sending their children out of the country for their education and they go oversea for all their health needs.

Contrast this with the majority who have nothing. 90% of our people are unemployed. We can afford to build multi-million dollar mansions whilst even the nation's big hospitals like Mpilo and Harare are so poorly funded they regularly run out of such basic requirements as clean running water and pain killers. 72.3% of our people now live on US$1.00 or less a day. This is not right!

Zimbabwe is not a poor country, we would not afford the megastar lifestyles for the ruling elite if we were a poor country. And yet the poverty of the overwhelming majority has swallowed up the opulence of the few so that, collectively, we are now the poorest nation in Africa.

There is a moral imperative, urge, to find out what went wrong and to put it right!
The root cause of our economic meltdown is simple enough to see, it is the 37 years of gross mismanagement and rampant corrupt. We inherited a robust economy in 1980, when the country attained her independence, but most of it has rotted and decay because of decades of underinvestment and neglect.

Two years ago, Mugabe admitted the nation was "swindled of US$ 15 billions of diamond revenue". No one has ever been arrested. Not one cent has ever been recovered. We know the swindling has continued unabated to this day because, a year ago, Finance Minister, Patrick Chinamasa, told parliament he was receiving 1/6 of the revenue he expected from diamonds.

There is documentary evidence to prove that Joice Mujuru and her late husband tried to sell diamonds worth US$ 15.8 billions. The two were not the only swindlers. Mugabe himself pocketed as much as $2 billions in 2012 alone, according to an Africa Canada report. The ruling elite have bought their posh cars, build their mansions and afforded their lifestyles of unparalleled luxury on the back of the wholesale looting of the nation's wealth.

Zimbabwe has been losing as much as US$ 15 billion a year from the rampant corruption alone. No nation can afford that level of economic haemorrhage much less a nation whose GPD is a mere US$10 billion like Zimbabwe.

Of course, the people of Zimbabwe have known for years that Mugabe and his Zanu PF government were incompetent and corrupt and were dragging the whole nation to economic ruins. However, for 37 years and counting, they have failed to do anything about it because the regime has rigged elections to remain in power frustrating the people's democratic wish for meaningful political change.

We have the absurd situation where 72.3% of the population live on $1.00 or less a day whilst a tiny minority live 25 bed-room mansions with a luxurious lifestyle to march because for the last 37 years the majority have never had the political voice to cry. The essence of our struggle today is to make sure the majority of Zimbabweans have a political voice and that it is heard, loud and clear.

At the heart of our national economic meltdown and the growing schism between the filthy rich few and the desperately poor majority is the systematic denial of the majority of a meaningful say in the governance of the country.  

"Mwana asingachemi anofira mumbereko!" (The baby that does not cry will die on the mother's back!) so, goes the Shona saying.  

Last month's military coup saw the forced removal of Robert Mugabe and a handful of his senior associates in the G40 faction of Zanu PF. Many people have welcomed the change and some have argued that we should allow the new President Mnangagwa government the space and time to see if it will be any better than the Mugabe regime of the last 37 years. By all means, let us!

Given the real economic mess the country is in, there is no doubt that there are many things that President Mnangagwa can do reduce the mismanagement and corruption, even if these changes are significant what we must not lose sight of is the need for political change designed to restore our political voice.

We must not forget we are in this mess because we had lost our political voice. We need the political changes to restore our political voice otherwise the country will once again slip back into the same economic mess we are in. There is absolutely nothing that would lead one to believe that President Mnangagwa is doing anything to restore the common man's democratic freedoms and human rights include the right to free, fair and credible elections. Nothing!

Indeed, if anything, President Mnangagwa is doing everything to consolidate his own iron grip on power. He has retained Mugabe's de facto one-party dictatorship and has dismissed all calls to implement democratic reforms with total contempt.

"Zanu PF ichatonga! Igotonga! Imi muchigohukura!" (Zanu PF will rule! And rule! Whilst you continue barking (about reforms)!) He boasted on his return from exile last month!

President Mnangagwa has plans to improve the economy, whether or not any of them will add up to much, is doubtful.

Some people have said Zimbabwe could have become the South Korea of Africa. Sadly, that was not to be, we have become the North Korea of Africa in every respect – Police State with a belligerent and ruthless authoritarian regime. Considering how far this nation has sunk in this economic hell hole under this Zanu PF dictatorship and the over 30 000 innocent lives murder in cold blood for no other reason than they dared to seek for a more just society; the very least we can do is to demand the democratic reforms and dare not drop the ball.

The country's economic meltdown has hit the ordinary people hard but it was not spare the Zanu PF ruling elite either. The shrinking nation cake and the ballooning greed of the ruling elite has forced the number of those at the feeding trough to be reduced again and again. Zanu PF member have been fighting amongst themselves for feeding access like hyenas. The recent firing of then VP Mnangagwa followed soon after by the coup that forced Mugabe to resign was the collimation of the factional war that has torn Zanu PF asunder.

The Zanu PF dictatorship is weaker now than it has ever been in all its 37 years in power. Zanu PF imploding has presented the nations with the next best opportunity, after the one wasted by MDC during the GNU, to push through the demands for democratic reforms.

If all this nation ever get from the Zanu PF implosion was the replacement of one dictator, Mugabe, with another, Mnangagwa, leaving the dictatorship itself untouched; then we have dropped the ball for democratic change. All the misery brought on by the dictatorship and the lives lost along the way would have been all for nothing! Nothing would have changed; we started with a divided nation of a few filthy rich and with a veto vs the filthy poor with no political vote. Mugabe's going has brought no change, none, although the opportunity for change was and is still there if only people would open their eyes.

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