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To compare 1950 USA 'opulence amidst public squalor' to same in Zimbabwe is compare mouldy strawberries to yew berries

08 Jul 2019 at 08:32hrs | Views
"The late JK Galbraith, an influential economist in the US public sphere more than 60 years ago, described Americans' conspicuous consumption in his book The Affluent Society as "private opulence amidst public squalor", wrote Newsday.

"In so doing he made popular a term he borrowed from Sallust, the Roman historian who first expressed it in Latin more than 2,000 years ago: "Habemus publice egestatem, privatim, opulentiam" (We have luxury and avarice, but as a people poverty, and in private opulence). This painted a vivid image of the public decay that characterised the late stages of the Roman republic.

"Zimbabwe today is in every aspect much like both the late Roman republic when Sallust first coined the phrase and late 1950s America when JK Galbraith popularised it. It is a tale of unbridled gluttony, with political elites and their proxies who masquerade as business people enjoying unprecedented levels of private opulence amid public squalor.

"State-owned hospitals, schools and enterprises are invariably squalid and inefficient. The public transport system is virtually nonexistent.

"Recently, as if to dramatise this dichotomy, Justice Mayor Wadyajena, a Zanu-PF legislator for Gokwe-Nembudziya, one of the poorest constituencies in Zimbabwe, imported a brand-new Lamborghini Urus SUV, for which he reportedly paid $420,000 (R6m). It set tongues wagging among Zimbabweans both at home and in the diaspora."

The biggest mistake in this analysis is to compare Zimbabwe to USA. Ever since its emergence on the world stage USA has been kept two flames burning freedom and economic prosperity, the land of opportunity. Yes there have been periods in USA history when the two flame have flicked but they has never gone out and have always recovered to burn even brighter than ever.

In Zimbabwe freedom, human rights and dignity were snuffed out before the people even tasted them. Mugabe and his Zanu-PF party left the ordinary people in no doubt that if the party did not win the 1980 elections, the civil war would continue. And so instead of the people finally enjoying the first free, fair and credible elections, it was a grime choice of electing to stop or continue the war. If anyone ever doubted that Zanu-PF would have used violence, it was not long thereafter that the regime orchestrated the Gukurahundi massacre whose primary purpose was to crash-PF Zapu, Zanu-PF's main political threat.-PF Zapu was forced to capitulate and join Zanu-PF to create the de facto one party dictatorship that has ruled the country with an iron fist.

Yes there has been mismanagement and corruption in America but not even Alphonse Gabriel Capone, the notorious Chicago Mafia Godfather even accomplish the total state capture that Zanu-PF achieved. Capone had some Police Officers, Judges and Politicians on his payroll. Mugabe and now Mnangagwa owns all the Police Officers, Judges and Politicians including the opposition members.

The MDC leaders had their golden chance to implement the democratic reforms during the 2008 to 2013 GNU and thus dismantle the Zanu-PF dictatorship once and once for all. Mugabe bribed them with the trappings of high office and not even one reform was ever implemented. Ever since MDC leaders have participated in rigged elections knowing the elections would be flawed and illegal and, worst of all, knowing that by doing so they are giving the process the modicum of legitimacy.

"The electoral process was so flawed, so illegal, that the only logical step was to withdraw, which would compel SADC to hold Zanu-PF to account. But such was the distrust between the MDC-T and MDC-N that neither could withdraw for fear that the other would remain in the elections, winning seats and giving the process credibility," admitted David Coltart, former MDC Minister of Education in the 2008 GNU.

MDC leaders have admitted that last year's elections were "illegal and not free and fair!" They know this makes Mnangagwa and his Zanu-PF party are illegitimate. What Chamisa and company have turn a blind eye to the legitimacy issue and are frantically trying to get Mnangagwa concede some power sharing arrangement as a reward.

MDC leaders had their golden opportunity to end the Zanu-PF dictatorship and they wasted it. Anyone who expects MDC leaders to ever implement the democratic reforms is naive, to say the least.

On the economic front Zanu-PF leaders have proven to be breathtakingly corrupt and incompetent. Before independence Zimbabwe was the bread basket of the Southern African region. Zanu-PF leaders have completely destroyed the country's once upon a time very productive agricultural sector. We are starving in a country, for practically purposes, is the Garden of Eden! A damning testimonial to Zanu-PF leaders' incompetence!

It is bad enough to have breathtakingly corrupt and incompetent leaders, give them absolute power too and you know you are in deep, deep trouble. America has never ever sunk to the depths of depravity Zimbabwe has sunk into in 39 years of corrupt, incompetent and tyrannical Zanu-PF rule.

To compare Zimbabwe under these corrupt, vote rigging and tyrannical Zanu-PF thugs to America even with all the Mafia gangster corruption and violence is like comparing yew berries to strawberries. The Mafia thugs were nothing more than a few mouldy strawberries is the bushel. Zanu-PF thugs have effected complete state capture, we have a bushelful of yew berries; fresh or mouldy, they will kill you - period.

Once allowed to take root, gangster culture is very difficult to uproot, as the Americans would readily admit. When the corrupt and ruthless gangsters effect state capture, as Zanu-PF thugs have done, uprooting the set institutionalised gangster culture in near impossible, as we should know after 39 years of trying and failing.

For Zimbabwe to get out of the economic and political mess; Zanu-PF must be forced to step down. The regime is illegitimate and has no mandate to govern.

Besides, Zanu-PF and its self-appointed acolytes MDC will never implement the democratic reforms necessary for free, fair and credible elections. We need to appoint a body that will implement the reforms.

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