The mystery tour

When you board a kombi in Harare these days, you are signing on for a mystery tour, thanks to the zealous ZRP.

People suspect that some senior policemen are running fleets of kombis.
People suspect that some senior policemen are running fleets of kombis.

The other morning, just as we took another diversion to avoid the third road block, one passenger remarked “But don't a number of cops own fleets of kombis?” and someone replied “You mean they're promoting their business? Hitting their competitors?”

Is that a plausible explanation? After all, the ship of state is sinking – the state of oppression we have lived under for 120 years – and maybe these rats are trying to grab all they can that might keep them afloat when they leave the sinking ship.

Those are the smart, middle-rank rats. The lower ranks are hitting out blindly because they know they are losing, but all they can do is smash more things before they go under.

That's why they break up a meeting scheduled to be addressed by an MDC MP and the Zanu (PF) minister of local government on Saturday, attack the minister of Finance in his office the following Monday . . . and who knows what they will do next?

The optimists will say this is the last kick of a dying horse, so if we can endure it, things will get better soon. I hope they are right, but they may be forgetting that there's probably a King Rat or two in this game.

Those are the guys who, before the ship goes down, will have boarded their personal rescue submarines, to reappear somewhere a long way away from all the nastiness, with brand new CVs that show the international community they never really agreed with the excesses of our late unlamented dictatorship.

In any case, since they own so much of our economy, their help will be needed in reconstruction. The “international community” don't want too much trouble or expense and might listen to anyone who sounds plausible and looks like a respectable businessman.

That is just one possibility, but one we should be prepared to challenge. Our future, and not just a kombi trip into town, could still be a mystery tour. The destination isn't certain, but we can influence it.

Post published in: Opinions & Analysis

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