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Zimbabwe's intellectual prostitutes and the national question

27 Sep 2020 at 07:41hrs | Views
My Ghanaian broth er, Dr George Ayiteyi, was the first to connect fraudulent claims to the title of professor to Professor Jonathan Moyo as the quintessential intellectual prostitute. I scolded Ayiteyi for being overdramatic, but soon came round to his way of thinking.

Brother Ibbo Mandaza, in his Steve Biko memorial lecture at South Africa's Nelson Mandela University, connected the nationalist question with an unfinished business.

Cecil Rhodes made an observation. The problem of 40 000 unemployed workers in London could be solved by outmigration to the colonies. However, as Mandaza noted, that necessitated removal and degradation of Africans whose lands the colonials were to occupy. This included the removal of their history as well.

That is the national question which has not been resolved to this day.

Ayiteyi squarely placed the blame for the delayed transference of wealth and for lack of progress to the presence of pseudo intellectual prostitutes like Moyo.

Prostitutes and procedures

In taking over the academic world, intellectual prostitutes involved in the award of the Grace Mugabe doctoral degree ran roughshod over all the rules of the game. A pivotal requirement in the defence of one's dissertation before five professors is that acknowledgment of contrary views.

By removing this procedure, Zimbabwean intellectuals, turned their new products into polemicists.

Bear with me.

Before Moyo was Kempton Makamure. Makamure deserves the title of prostitute par excellence because he brought the weight of whatever scholarship he had in support of socialism.

I addressed a group of political science students at UZee in 1984.

"To the aspiring students, I said, "why are you drinking only from one fountain of socialism? Have you not heard that even as I speak, Soviet Union leader Mikhail Gorbachev, after visiting a farm in Iowa (US), was scandalised to find that Soviet ideological farmers could hardly produce 17 tonnes of grain per hectare, while US farmers on average produced 36 to 40 tonnes for the same hectare."

I put it to you that proponents of command agriculture have not heard of the Soviet experiments.

"why are you running towards socialism when Gorbachev is running away from it?" This was regarded as an insult.

I was escorted under armed guard.

The aspiring student prostitutes had not heard Tanzania's Agriculture minister Muhammad Babu's instructions to Robert Mugabe about handling white farmers in Zimbabwe with kid gloves?

I cried as I witnessed young minds being led into prostitution. According to Aristotle, the ty rant may be very popular, but his abandonment of procedures is what creates a sense of insecurity. without security of tenure, there is no accumulation of wealth. Simple! without security and the assurance of procedures, there are no savings. Simple, my dear Watson.

Here is a test in credulity. According to the world Bank collection of development indicators, teachers' salaries after all allowances, were pegged at US$35 725, or about US$3 000 per month in 2000.

Then in 2008, Dr Gideon Gono printed his billion dollar bills. Economist Sylvester Mguni, who attended some of the meetings, told me that at times he could only gap in wonderment. No procedures were followed. No contra ry ideas were allowed.

The intellectual polemicists were expert in one thing. Opponents are tarred and feathered and driven out of the country.

Gibbs Dube, writing for Bloomington on January 3, 2020, report ed that teachers' salaries aver aged US$200 per month.

In June, these salaries (counteracted by 450%) were further reduced. The average as we speak is Zee dollars 2 800 (US35).

When Professor Mthuli Ncube made the decision to abandon the US denomination, wage earners, trade unions and banks were not consulted.

These intellectual prostitutes give government decisions the aura of respectability while ignoring the negative results on what Mandaza called the nation al question.

Pettinah Gappah's observation about these intellectuals is written in stone in my heart.

"They appear at international forums with the largest delegations, are the best dressed, are loud and boisterous and appear to know everything. But they have come to beg."
They have even borrowed the plane they travel with.

In 1984, the Swedish ambassador told me that the first Mugabe cabinet had the largest number of doctorates in the whole world.

In 2016 during the height of a drought, I visited the Engineer ing Department at UZee. Just out side, across the road, was a water spigot spewing water. It had been like that for more than two years, supporting a satellite bamboo forest there.

I was treated with respect, I will therefore not say any more about that.

What a shame.

In that year Brother Patrick Zhuwao was walking on water. He was a director of the Zimbabwe Institute of Development Studies, or held some lofty title. He had memorised all the big words, underdevelopment, colonialist, and neo-imperialism.

My quarrel with him was over the Kombi drivers' plight. I had calculated that with a one dollar ticket, carrying 12 passengers from Chitungwiza to the city centre, paying a police bribe, pegged at $20 per stop, finding petrol re fills in Mabvuku, kombi drives could not possibly make a profit.

If procedures and common sense were followed, the kom bi drivers' association should be consulted before decisions were made for them.

Procedures! Silly!

As I was going to press, Ruth Mushore of Martin Groebler farm sent me a video of her plight. Groebler, I assume, was born in Zimbabwe. Ruth's father worked there. Ruth raised four children as a single mother.

Groebler supported the children with school fees, slaughtered a beast for Christmas and provided housing and water for his 100 workers. By all accounts, Groebler and his wife were benevolent. She kept a small clinic at the farm and ferried sick workers to Harare.

While police for hire were throwing out Groebler's house hold goods onto the yard, Zimbabwe's president was assuring the International Monetary Fund and world Bank that Zimbabwe is open for business.

Is it not, my dear Shylock, that justice is tempered with mercy?

Zhuwao is no longer on my list as an intellectual prostitute. Bitter exile, the loss of his farm, and his inability to be readmitted into Zanu-PF has sobered him. He blames it on lack of procedures. Mature, he now understands Aristotle's dictum that the abandonment of procedures is the foundation of tyranny.

Without due procedures, my dear Mandaza, nothing is secure, no wealth can be safe, as Zhuwao has since discovered, and no national agenda can be achieved. Former President Barack Obama used to laugh at Republicans. They cannot chew gum and walk at the same time. He called it "nuancing".

The price we have paid, by tolerating these intellectual prostitutes, has cost us 40 years of desperation.

Ken Mufuka is a patriot who writes from the US. His best sellers are: Life and Times of Robert Mugabe: Dream Betrayed and Matters of Dignity. These can be found in Zimbabwe at INNOV Bookshops and in the wider world at

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