Mugabe is abusing the goodwill of the Zimbabwean people
11/10/2004 2:58:31 PM (GMT +2)
It was Aristotle who said that it is in the course of our dealings with our fellow men that we become just or unjust.
Maybe someone can help me to understand because, like so many of us here in Zimbabwe, I am unavoidably submerged in the morasses and mysteries of the murky and cloudy political fields of the ruling ZANU-PF.
Except for pseudo government/ZANU-PF employees at Zimbabwean embassies abroad, all our compatriots in the diaspora have been denied the right to vote. Those who left the country ran away from the worsening economic situation, the violence, the deteriorating and intolerant political climate and the none existence of jobs. Our compatriots rightfully blame President Robert Mugabe for all these woes.
Today, some of them are not even free to leave their host countries such as the United Kingdom or South Africa because they will not be allowed back in. For some, an attempt to depart would expose their illegal presence in the host country. Yet still, some face arrest upon arrival back in Zimbabwe.
But why are so many of our citizens out there in the first place?
Didn't they leave because they were either denied the opportunity to participate in the 'development' of the country or they were nudged out of jobs as jobs for which they were qualified were given to unqualified subalterns because of patronage?
How are these citizens supposed to help in development when there are no jobs to make that possible, unless if they are coming back to hawk cheap Chinese goods?
Our compatriots might also not care to live in a country or under a government that accepts the destruction of life with no explanations, repercussions or consequences.
We are losing our professionals, including the much maligned farmers, to the west, Europe and to fellow African countries but Mugabe says we must now look east, a place infested not only with mediocrity but also with sub-standard products and junk.
Africa never learns!
Asked what he thought about complaints by Zimbabweans that Chinese goods were inferior and of extremely poor quality, a Zimbabwean diplomat to China called the Zimbabwean people "ignorant" on a live newscast. He said that Zimbabweans are unable to discern good products from bad ones. Really? So all that Zimbabweans need to do now is to bend over and face Mecca?
Meanwhile, the Governor Of the Reserve Bank Of Zimbabwe, Gideon Gono, announced that the government has established a $750 billion housing facility to assist Zimbabweans living in the diaspora.
To the government, this is apparently a stroke of genius. Gono's endless trips out of the country to convince our disenfranchised foreign-based citizens to send money home through the government-owned money transfer shop called Homelink, failed.
In retaliation, the government did not extend to them the right to vote. Neither did the government lift the threat to arrest some of them upon their return home.
Yet Gono wants these people to take advantage of the housing scheme set up just for them by this same government here in Zimbabwe.
This comes from a man who is a bit too economic with information about failed and failing banks. Gono quietly collected these failed banks and is 'amalgamating' them into one. Alas! Zimbabwe's largest bank is going to be composed from the ashes of all of Zimbabwe's failed indigenously owned banks.
Gono even promises our foreign-based compatriots "a refund in foreign currency at the ruling auction exchange rate", should they fail to continue with the scheme.
Am I a moron or am I a moron?
Since the government's "project promoters are expected to conduct a thorough screening of applicants in determining their eligibility and credit rating", I conclude that this scheme is just for ZANU-PF operatives scattered around the globe lazing around at embassies. Or is the government conveniently forgetting that many of our compatriots have rather preferred to live as fugitives and refugees in foreign countries than to be "free people" in the country of their birth?
We have already seen that there are no property rights in Zimbabwe and, should recourse be necessary, the courts are totally unreliable. So what person in their right frame of mind would invest in Zimbabwe under the prevailing conditions and under this government?
Today, the minimum postage fee for the posting and delivery of a letter within Zimbabwe is $4000. Even Zimpost and TelOne (government owned posts and fixed telephone companies) can no longer afford to mail their own invoices and statements.
(We are asked to call the billing office to learn the amount due).
In some cities, it costs a thousand dollars to travel into town from surrounding suburbs. So for $4000, Zimpost and TelOne can distribute more of their statements cheaper without using their own facilities because a 'messenger' can make two trips to the suburbs by bus with boxes full of their statements.
The people we see cheering Mugabe are overburdened but they are hopeful people; they are optimistic and encouraging. They are not morons; they have faith. Yet, again, it was Aristotle who told us that moral goodness is a child of habit thereby proving to us that Mugabe never cultivated the individual habit to heal our wounds. Nor to appreciate the trust we put in him.
What Zimbabwe needs is not just a government or a president; Zimbabwe is in desperate need for leadership.
Tanonoka Joseph Whande
Peace and Tranquility???