Latest News Editor's Choice

Opinion / Columnist

'Can still have successful economy regardless' ED advised - excuse for the illegitimate to hang on

31 Aug 2019 at 09:13hrs | Views
"PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa is surrounded by good people. Among them, he has great formal and informal advisers; talented and eminent people from different backgrounds, who really can make a difference if given some latitude to express themselves," wrote Dumisani Muleya, Editor of The Independent, in an article titled 'Free advice to Mnangagwa'.

"Of course, it is public knowledge that he is also surrounded by criminals; greedy parasites just there to enjoy the gravy train ride and loot public resources. There are certainly thriving scoundrels there. Overnight they are rich, but they can't explain their ill-gotten wealth. But to give the devils their dues, they are innovative and enterprising in their own way.

"Yet there are some genuinely resourceful entrepreneurs who have done well through formal and legal enterprise. Not every successful person around Mnangagwa is a thief. There are credible, honest and hard-working businesspeople around the president."

I challenge you, Mr Muleya, to name just one "credible, honest and hard-working businessperson" who is SUCCESSFUL!

Of everyone you can name, I will name hundred of thousands of credible, honest and hard-working businesspeople whose hard-work has come to nothing. The economic environment in Zimbabwe is now so harsh it is impossible to survive much less succeed through honest and hard-working alone!

It is impossible to be a successful shop owner when one cannot restock because there is no foreign currency to pay for the imports.

It is impossible to be a successful bus operator when several operating hours every day are wasted queuing for fuel.

How many hundreds of thousands of very productive white farmers had their activities cut short when the Zanu PF back jambanja thugs force them off the land with nothing other than the shirt they were wearing!

Even if one was to hit on a successful business formula and successful keep interfering Zanu PF thugs away; for how long will the business survive given huge burden brought on by mismanagement and corruption. In the last 39 years the burden has grown and spread

In 2016 the then President Mugabe admitted the nation was being swindled of US$ 15 billion in diamond revenue alone. He never arrested even one swindler and we know the swindling has continued because the then Minister of Finance, Patrick Chinamasa, told parliament in 2017 that government was receiving only 1/6 of the expected diamond revenue.

Mnangagwa, Mugabe's successor following the November 2017 military coup, promised "zero tolerance on corruption". Now, nearly two years later, he too has yet to arrest one diamond swindler.

Zimbabwe's GDP has dropped to a meagre US$10 billion and it is naïve to expect the country's economy to revive much less prospect regardless of the US$15 billion diamond revenue haemorrhage alone.

It is therefore down right irresponsible to advise Mnangagwa and company that there are businesspeople out there who, like the mythological Atlas, can bear the heavy economic burden brought about by the decades of criminal waste of human and material resources and still deliver economic recovery. There are no such business Titans!

Even the mythical Atlas has his limits; he is depicted groaning under the weight of the celestial heavens.

Let us get real here! The real businesspeople out there are nothing more than a skin and bone donkey that has collapsed under the dead weight of the load on its back, hunger, thirst, sickness and of exhaustion. The poor creature is so weak and feeble, it cannot get up much less do so with all the dead weight still strapped on its back!

The Zimbabwe economy needs a huge injection of foreign aid and investment to kick start the economic recovery. Most Zimbabweans are broke and will need help to start and run successful businesses.

But as long as Zimbabwe remains a pariah state ruled by corrupt, incompetent and vote rigging thugs there will be no foreign investment. No one, local or foreign wants to do business with thugs. No one!

The people of Zimbabwe must bite the bullet and deal with the problem of rigged elections and bad governance, the root cause of the nation's failure to deal with the corruption and mismanagement. Since Zanu PF will never implement the democratic reforms to stop the vote rigging; the regime failed to do so during the 2008 GNU, for example; the regime must step down so the nation can appoint an interim administration to implement the reforms.

Zanu PF rigged last year's elections, the party has no mandate to govern and it is per se illegitimate. All pressure must be brought to bear on Zanu PF to step down and allow the implementation of the reforms. The country's worsening economic situation only one more such pressure point.

Advising Mnangagwa that he can achieve economic recovery by looking for the mythical Atlas of economics is therefore a self-inflicted wound. Mnangagwa and company will seize every excuse they get to hang on to power.

If Zanu PF is still in office in 2023 then we can be certain the party will rig that year's elections and extend its rule. The economy will still be in a mess because Zimbabwe will still be a pariah state from which investors will continue to shy away.

All articles and letters published on Bulawayo24 have been independently written by members of Bulawayo24's community. The views of users published on Bulawayo24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Bulawayo24. Bulawayo24 editors also reserve the right to edit or delete any and all comments received.