The end is in sight

‘These vampires are looting even assets that are fixed to the ground’


yle=”FONT-WEIGHT: normal”>“Deliver us from evil”



BY JOHN MAKUMBE



The Herald Business headline screamed, “Consumer basket soars” (Herald, 6/2/06). The state-owned paper exposed that the Consumer Council of Zimbabwe had reported that the January 2006 consumer basket for a family of six had escalated by 30,7% from $16,6 million to $21,8 million. This is well above the monthly earnings of the majority of civil servants in Zimbabwe.


Even after the recent 231% salary increase awarded to these state workers, only a small fraction of them would earn salaries to match the consumer basket level. Meanwhile the prices of most basic commodities are still rising almost on a daily basis. Rural bus operators last week raised bus fares by a staggering 100%. The Ministry of Education and Culture allowed all schools to increase their fees by a maximum of 150% for the first term of 2006.


The list could easily be endless. Life in Zimbabwe is rapidly becoming quite unbearable. I paid a short visit to Bulawayo last week and discovered that there was no maize-meal in virtually all the shops and supermarkets in the City of Kings. The same situation applies to most of the country, except that in Salisbury you can always buy the scarce commodity on the parallel market at a premium. Most poor people cannot afford to buy Zimbabwe’s staple food. This is a serious indictment of the Mugabe regime. It is from this backdrop that a brief discussion of the problems and prospects for Zimbabwe in 2006 can be undertaken.


Mugabe and his crumbling party, Zanu (PF), will probably not agree that they have now effectively come to the end of the road in relation to the governance of this country. The innumerable problems that Zimbabwe is currently facing are more than enough testimony to the incompetence and bankruptcy of those that rule this ramshackle country.


Those in leadership positions in the ruling party and in government are pillaging our national resources with impunity. Corruption has reached astronomical levels; these vampires are looting even assets that are fixed to the ground. Pretentious attempts to set up anti-corruption agencies have not resulted in any consequential arrests of the corrupt elements in government and the ruling party. The few that have at times been arrested have since had the charges dropped for the proverbial “lack of evidence”.


The people of Zimbabwe are increasingly getting angry. Their docility is steadily turning into hostility towards the regime. The end of the regime’s oppression, repression and deception is certainly well in sight. All that is needed is a resolute political leadership to organise the people and get them into action against the dictator and his fellow rapists.


There are now adequate levels of poverty and suffering to force the people of this country to revolt against their former liberators who have now become their oppressors. The pain that Zimbabweans are experiencing today is much worse than what they endured under Ian Smith’s settler regime. This is an unfortunate admission of failure on the part of the debauched ruling party, but even they concede that what was once “The Great Zimbabwe” has now been reduced, by themselves, to the “Zimbabwe Ruins”.


The million-dollar question is whether audacious political leadership can emerge during 2006 to mobilise the people against the predatory regime of Robert Mugabe. It is my considered view that such political leadership already exists in this country. We have a strong opposition political party, the MDC, led by Morgan Tsvangirai; we have a powerful students union, Zinasu; we also have a variety of church groups that are now itching for change. Yes, it can and will be done.


The regime will obviously resist any demands for change, and will fight against those who may be vocal in criticising it in this regard. In the end, however, the people shall prevail against their oppressors. In 2006, the prayer of every serious Christian must be, “Deliver us from evil”.


It is always dangerous to make any specific political predictions in a country like Zimbabwe. I however, dare to predict that 2006 is going to be a progressive year for the majority of Zimbabweans. For some reason, I feel that this is the year when Mugabe is going to be forced to capitulate in one way or another.


I strongly feel that the old dictator will be forced by strange and weird circumstances to give up a lot of political space. I will not be surprised if he ends up quitting politics altogether voluntarily or otherwise. To me the year 2006 looks good, exciting and pregnant with surprises. Over the long run, he who suffers conquers (Anon).

Post published in: Opinions

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