A desperate government

The closure of many local companies has resulted in an atrophied revenue base. Mugabe’s desperation has escalated. Not content with taxing penurious street hawkers, there are further rumblings about the installation of tollgates within urban areas, where motorists already struggle to pay vehicle insurance and quarterly licences.

In his desperation, Mugabe will soon yank the shirts off our backs. False prophets are encouraged to preach their prosperity gospel – ‘religious tourism’ creates revenue.

Exporting skilled labour suits the broke exchequer. Mugabe’s government will be paid its pound of flesh by the host nations taking Zimbabwean professionals. And of course, Patrick Chinamasa will be salivating at the prospect of receiving more Diaspora remittances. According to the Reserve Bank, between January and May 2015, $740million has been received and, in the last 17 months, Zimbabwe received $1,2Billion from the Diaspora – which is 40% of the national budget.

Government has stuck to its guns, claiming 11% unemployment. If only 11% of adults are without jobs, one wonders why then we have to send our sons and daughters to foreign lands just so they can survive.

Enormous human cost

As with most of Mugabe’s policies in the last 15 years, the government’s scheme to export skilled labour is merely treating the symptoms, rather than tackling the root cause. The treatment should be industrial revival. Sending our engineers, teachers and doctors to Namibia might help massage local unemployment figures. But it will not resuscitate Zimbabwean industry. CSC and Willowvale will not suddenly jolt back into life because South Sudan received our graduates.

To ease their conscience, Mugabe’s strategists will call this ‘brain circulation’ rather than what it really is; brain drain. Those in government will pat themselves on their fleshy backs – ‘we have delivered jobs’ – but the human cost will be incalculable; broken families, contamination of culture, xenophobia, muggings and death.

‘Baba vaMugabe, Baba vaMugabe’ the hired cheerleaders often say. Whose father? Yours, mine? Mugabe is like the drunken deadbeat dad who cannot feed his own family so he sends his wife and children next door to catch the crumbs from the neighbour’s table. – Till next week, my pen is capped. Jerà

Post published in: Economy

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