When the corrupt prevail

“In any country where talent and virtue produce no advancement, money will be the national god. Its inhabitants will either have to possess money or make others believe that they do.

In such a country, the greatest fortunes will vanish in the twinkling of an eye. Those who don't have money will ruin themselves with vain efforts to conceal their poverty. That is one kind of affluence: the outward sign of wealth for a small number, the mask of poverty for the majority, and a source of corruption for all.”

This quote by Denis Diderot many years ago cannot be truer than today in Zimbabwe. We surely must have been a laughing stock of Africa as we saw men dressed in suits dancing upon the adoption of a bill that will accelerate the country’s economic decline. It was sad spectacle of Zanu (PF) minions who have effectively mortgaged the future of this country to the greed and corruption of a regime that must now pack its bags and go.

Zanu (PF) MPs, who sang and danced like schoolboys celebrating a sports victory, could not see that by their naïve actions they have condoned the plunder of the resources of the state by an elitist predator cabal whose greed knows no bounds. To them it was “victory” and yet to the millions of poor Zimbabweans who must meet the cost through their blood and sweat it is indeed a funeral – a funeral of the death of accountability and integrity in the office of the Governor of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe and a funeral of the death of our rights as citizens to hold our leadership accountable for their acts of commission and omission.

We have seen our value systems deteriorate – starting with the chaotic land invasions of 2000, where this government condoned the theft of land assets. Since then, it has been a slippery slope indeed. We have heard endless stories of plunder and greed in all government-related deals, including the infamous state enterprises that have been used as a ground for predatory consumption at the expense of the poor masses.

As if that is not bad enough, we have also seen how senior state employees have helped themselves to money and those in our private sector who have plundered and destroyed banks and companies have walked away free – and even have the audacity to even flaunt their ill-gotten gains. As a result, thousands upon thousands of good men and women who seek to apply their skills honestly have had to leave the country in disgust.

The pursuit of the common good and of those things that are not material although more nourishing to the soul that the pursuit of money, things and fame is no longer popular. Zimbabweans are now in everything they do for what they think they can personally benefit.

Will Zimbabwe ever rise?

I do not want to be pessimistic and yet I think this generation and the next will struggle to get things right. In my opinion, the potential of this country lies hidden in our value systems as a society because we have all the resources and the skills we require to create a better life for all. But as long we continue to focus on “what can I get out of this”, we will miss the boat.

These values of selfish ambition at all costs are being demonstrated every day by our leaders and those who have been given the responsibility to represent the interests of the people in parliament. It is shameful.

The spectacle in parliament recently was despicable and yet inevitable because, through toxic patronage, our President has built a predator cabal that surrounds him and insulates him from realities on the ground.

They continue to benefit from the crumbs he may throw at them from time to time to keep them interested in his continued rule. This is exactly what happened during Gono’s era at the Reserve Bank and it appears that despite the regular monetary statements that we are now fed by the new governor there, it’s a-looter-continua as before.

The message that the approval of the $1,3 billion looting bill is that firstly this government is not accountable and secondly that those who have been given the responsibility by the people to keep an eye on governance are actually complicit in the corruption and non-accountability of state institutions.

Will investors come to Zimbabwe? I doubt that. We cannot expect other people to give us the responsibility to manage their funds when we cannot be accountable for our own funds. We cannot expect those in foreign lands to feel pity for us as we dance to the destruction of our own economy and the mortgaging of the future of our children for the sake of material conspicuous consumption by a liberation struggle elite that calls itself Zanu (PF).- Vince Musewe is an economist and author based in Harare. You can contact him at [email protected]

Post published in: Opinions

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *