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Opinion / Columnist

Zimbabwe now a Vampire State

08 Jan 2021 at 18:54hrs | Views
A Vampire State is a country where anyone who gets to be the president ends up with much more wealth than before s/he became president. On the other hand the poor and working class are always left behind. The democratic requirement that a government must be "of the people, by the people, and for the people," does not exist. There is no responsiveness to the needs of the people to perform some basic services for the people.

Zimbabwe government is totally divorced from the people and perceived by those running it as a vehicle not to serve but to fleece the people. Dishonesty, thievery, chicanery, and embezzlement pervade the public sector. Public servants embezzle anything while high-ranking ministers are on the take. We don't have a government but a Vampire State.

In 2017, Zimbabwe government was hijacked by a phalanx of bandits, gangsters, crooks, and scoundrels who use the state to enrich themselves, their cronies, and supporters and exclude everyone else. It is sad to think apartheid system of exclusion was better. The richest in Zimbabwe are the ruling vampire elites and government ministers. The chief bandit is the head of state himself.

The bandits suck the economic vitality out of poor people. Corruption has become an insurmountable obstacle to the country's economic development. Ministers got rich from 2017 in a very shameless and cynical way. From day one of the coup, Zimbabwe ministers and soldiers bare their fangs and suck as much as they can in frenzy. Soldiers who felt left out by Mugabe are the most bloodthirsty. The word Army has become synonymous with fraud, corruption, and economic devastation.

All the armed robberies climbs up the chain of command to some General; all the criminal activities climb up the chain command to some minister; all the roadblock loot ends up in some fat pockets of some Colonel. The chief bandit is always rewarded for looking the other way. What are supposed to be state apparatus to protect the homeland are now private militias protecting the Vampire elites.

There Vampire State has deepened social and economic inequalities; the unfortunate part is the masses have joined the grave train. Instead of provoking social discontent and sparking revolutionary movements like in other countries, the Zimbabwean people are jumping into the bandwagon to fleece even their own unsuspecting relatives especially those in the Diaspora.

The societal decay excites the vampire elites who seize any opportunity to point a finger to divert attention from real issues. Vampire elites monopolize social, political and economic power to advance their own selfish and criminal interests, not to develop their economies, and they care less about the poor. They act like parrots, they have one mind - amass wealth while you can - buy a fleet of flashy cars, build fabulous mansions, and date a bevy of fawning women. Helping the poor, promoting economic growth, or improving the standard of living of their people is anathema to the ruling elites. "Food for the people!" "People's party!" "Houses for the masses!" are simply empty slogans that are designed to fool the people and the international community.

Zimbabwe is now the mother of all vampire states. I will need to write a book to list all the corrupt activities going on in our society. New government policies; government employees, roadblocks, soldiers etc. are all corruption vehicles used to fleece the poor.

In case after case, government officials in Zimbabwe get rich by misusing their positions. Faithful only to their chief bandit, these official buccaneers have no sense of morality, justice, or even patriotism. They kill and maim their own people and destroy their own countries to acquire and protect their booty because, functionally illiterate, they are incapable of using the skills and knowledge they acquired from education to get rich on their own in the private sector. Needless to say, they are derided by some experts as ‘the extractors,' people who squandered wealth without building for the future.

The inviolate ethic of the vampire elites is self-aggrandizement and self-perpetuation in power. They took over and subvert every key institution of government: the civil service, judiciary, military, media, and banking. As a result, state institutions and commissions are paralyzed. Laxity, ineptitude, indiscipline, and unprofessionalism flourish in the public sector. The country have a police force and judiciary system to catch and prosecute the thieves. But the police are themselves highway robbers who are under orders to protect the looters in power, and many of the judges are themselves crooks. Needless to say, there are no checks against brigandage.

The military is the most trenchantly perverted institution. In any normal civilized society, the function of the military is to defend the territorial integrity of the nation and its people against external aggression. But in Zimbabwe, the military is instead locked in combat with the very people it is supposed to defend. Just speak up in Zimbabwe or try to protest and see where you will be by end of day if at all you will still be alive.

The long held belief in Africa that a soldier's uniform and gun is a license to engage in banditry has set roots in Zimbabwe. We used to think that Zimbabwe is special but we are now finding out quickly that our economic well-being is inversely related to the length of time the military stooge, who is the chief bandit is going to stay in power. The longer he stays in power, the greater the economic devastation.

His ruling vampire elites are clueless about how to resolve the economic crisis and are resorting to desperate measures to keep things under control, but they are failing to arrest the deterioration. The vampire elites have given up and are now flexing their muscles; daring anyone to hold them accountable or take power away from them. It is a sad truth but steadily, the vampire state, infused with arrogance of power is hardening into a coconut republic and it will be a miracle not to have another coup in or before 2023.

Source - Sam Wezhira
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