Gumbo in a Bubble

Sadly, the speculations benefit the one person who should, at this point, be answering a number of questions:


Where are the jobs promised to us last year in July?

When are you going to arrest those implicated in many cases of corruption?

Zanu (PF) spokesman, Rugare Gumbo, says there is ‘plenty of money’ in Zimbabwe.

“Some talk of people getting poorer and poorer, which is not correct. It’s absolutely not correct. Yes, we have tight liquidity conditions as a result of the fact that we are not able to service our loans… that is what is creating all these problems.

“It’s not that there is no money in Zimbabwe. Look at the cars that are there, look at the construction of houses – money is there but people are not in the first place banking. They are hoarding… our people have to learn to save, to bank… but money is there. There is plenty of money in Zimbabwe.”

The large fleet of second-hand cars that exists in Harare should not be taken to mean affluence. There is no denying that Harare has an elite group of the newly moneyed who own several cars and properties – some of them through shady deals and/or political connections.

But Harare is not Zimbabwe. One wonders if Gumbo reads the same newspapers as the rest of us who are aware of rural girls using cow dung in lieu of sanitary pads and others surviving on one meal a day. Zimbabwe’s GDP per capita in 2013 was $441, against South Africa’s $5,916. According to Zimstat, over 60% of Zimbabweans live beneath the poverty datum line.

Gumbo believes the country’s construction sector to be vibrant yet no major civil construction projects are in evidence. If Gumbo sees millionaires driving Hyundais and Corollas, it is worth pointing out that a significant number of motorists struggle to pay insurance and quarterly licenses.

Today, it is exactly a year since the July 31, 2013 election. Despite Zanu (PF)’s election promises of 2,2 million jobs, the resuscitation of the productive sector, repair of road and water supply, our economy and infrastructure remain in tatters.

Weekly, scores of companies are shutting down, due to viability challenges. If Zimbabweans were hoarding cash in their mattresses, that would certainly be reflected in their spending patterns and businesses would be thriving.

The first step to fixing a problem is to acknowledge it. Zimbabwe’s troubles will persist until such time that those in power acknowledge those problems.

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