African economics: a disaster unfolding

I define “African economics” as the institutional failure of post-independent African governments to deliver to the masses on one side, with the emergence of a cabal in politics and business whose main concern is the accumulation of wealth on the other.

Vince Musewe
Vince Musewe

I conclude that African economics is a result of the fact that the African has not, in the past, had the opportunity to accumulate wealth and will therefore use the political platform as his means to wealth while really not motivated by his promise to serve the interests of the majority. Having come from poverty to power, he is shackled by his past and releases himself through the accumulation of wealth that he hardly needs but must have at all costs.

Land acquisition in Zimbabwe and the indigenisation policy, including the plunder of our mineral resources by our politicians, is clear evidence of the above malaise.

The vote has been and remains inadequate to transform the economics of Africa and engender democratic societies. Democracy in its full extent, therefore, remains elusive because its very existence threatens the hold on political and economic power by an emerging black bourgeoisie, a black capitalist class that aspires to replace its former white colonial masters.

We now have a situation in Zimbabwe where the obsession with political power has become the only focus. It is evident to all of us now that Zanu (PF) stole political power without an economic plan. They now do not know what to do with the votes they stole.

Mugabe’s role as a leader in the second most developed African economy in the Sub-Saharan region in 1980 is going to end up in a disaster where we have 90% unemployment, widespread hunger and poverty, hopelessness and the emigration of millions of educated black middle class.

This decline is not about to change for several reasons, the main one being that Zimbabweans have become totally disempowered to cause political change in their own country.

Those in the Diaspora cannot do much as they have been disenfranchised. The rural folk are caught in traditional structures that determine and control the allocation of resources and dare not challenge this status quo for survival reasons. The urban working class are fast becoming unemployed and are also concerned primarily with survival issues. They will not rebel against the system.

The unemployed youth are powerless and most were deliberately disenfranchised. They are also rudderless. They do not have anything to protect nor do they have any hope that things will change. The corporate sector is compromised and lacks the courage to see that we have a new political system in Zimbabwe. This continues to bolster Zanu(PF), despite its lack of leadership.

African economics is the economics of poverty – the concentration of wealth in the hands of a few. It is a system designed to have a strong centre that controls all economic activity and allocation of resources. It is characterised by corruption, greed and an unaccountable leadership that stays in power by force. It is against liberty, freedom of speech and progressive change.

We are going to see the further deterioration of life conditions in Zimbabwe. We are going to see economic collapse and widespread human suffering. Zimbabwe is going to the bottom of the pile in Africa.

Companies are closing, unemployment is increasing every day, poverty is increasing and life is becoming brutish and hard for ordinary citizens. These are the facts we cannot ignore. Zanu(PF) has completely failed and we are now victims of that failure. No matter how they may try to put on a brave face it is obvious to all that the centre cannot hold and things fall apart. The chickens are coming home to roost.

The good news is that when this evil system collapses, at least we can see a new system emerging. But at what cost? – Vince Musewe is an economist ba1sed in Harare; you may contact him on [email protected]

Post published in: Analysis
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