Surely, with each day, the ever-suffering citizens of Zimbabwe – who never appear to get any reprieve from their daily struggles against poverty – are bombarded by endless reports of one disgusting scandal after another, involving those in power, most of whom seem to be the kingpins of Mafia-like cartels, whose main mission is to plunder the country’s coffers dry.
Without any shame or conscience, those occupying some of the highest echelons in Zimbabwe (including Cabinet Ministers and even touching the presidium) there is never a shortage of them being figured in one devious scheme or another, which has no other discernable objective, besides lining the pockets of those involved.
Following events of the most recent past, in which the minister of local government has even reached levels of hysteria, in his fierce attempts at forcing the reluctant cash-strapped city of Harare into forking out millions of dollars – desperately needed in a city ravaged by a severe water crisis, a crumbling health delivery system, poor road network, and general service delivery that has gone to pot – for a disputed waste management deal (fronted by a corruption-riddled individual), which is shrouded in scandal, leaves more questions than answers.
Why be so rabid in pushing for the payment of monies that were budgeted for other much-needed services in the city, towards a project that was not only rejected by the responsible authorities (city of Harare), but also which flouted all tender legal requirements, and unacceptably draining on the fiscus at a staggering US$22,000 per day?
Even the state-controlled broadcaster knows this fact – since, I remember during the early days of this shady deal, in which ZBC News boldly and excitedly declared its illegality, and chose to place all the blame on the opposition CCC party – even buttressing their assertions with a tweet to that effect, posted by a well-known Murakashi (ruling ZANU PF party social media toxic troll).
Only when it became clear that the ruling establishment was behind this undeniably questionable arrangement did state-owned media suddenly change their tune – and, overnight, everything was ‘above board ‘ and ‘acceptable’.
Even the ruling party, including the hateful Varakashi, curiously fell in love with the dubious waste management agreement – without so much as an explanation, throwing away all those questions they had prior.
Who are the real beneficiaries of this deal?
If Harare residents are the ones who stand to reap great rewards, why then are they not the ones ferociously pushing for this to proceed – as opposed to a minister of government, who is not even supposed to be involved in such agreements, which are strictly the preserve of the local authority?
This is not, by any stretch of the imagination, the only scandal bedevilling the country – forcing the economy onto its knees.
The same local government minister has notoriously decreed that all city, town, and rural councils procure ridiculously over-priced fire engines, again without going to tender, in a dodgy deal with a shady Belarusian company (accused of numerous other nefarious activities across the continent) – from cash that, as before, would have been better spent on desperately-needed ambulances, fix street lighting, repair pot-holed roads, and so much more we require of our city fathers and mothers.
Why force this down our throats, if we truly wanted these fire tenders – in fact, in my own Redcliff town, our municipality just last year purchased one, so we clearly do not need another – especially, when these are being sold at a shocking US$464,292 each, yet normally going for US$194,000?
So, who stands to benefit from this deal – again, certainly not the residents of those areas?
Then we have all those mining companies, mostly from China, who appear to have been awarded carte blanche to do as they please in Zimbabwe – who can freely displace and evict villagers from their ancestral lands, without so much as any legally obligated agreement with effected communities, and never channeling anything meaningful back.
Who can forget the deplorable plight of the people of Marange and Chiadzwa, and the dim fate awaiting those of Hwange, Binga, Chilonga, Mutoko, and many others across the country?
This is not to mention the over US$1.5 billion lost from Zimbabwe each year, due to illicit gold smuggling by those linked to the ruling establishment – leaving the country unable to provide adequate medical facilities, educational standards, or even enough to stabilize our economy.
This is definitely not a simple case of ‘investment’, but obviously something fishy and underhand with these deals!
The question then becomes, “What manner of leaders are prepared to see their own citizens sink deeper into the abyss of pain and suffering, all for the love of wealth that only benefits the powerful”?
Indeed, the love of money is the root of all evil, and Zimbabwe’s ruling elitist clique has proven Jesus Christ right, in that, it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than these corrupt money-greedy looters to enter the kingdom of heaven.
Who, on earth, would rather residents have no access to clean easily accessible drinking water in their homes – all because they want that money for their own selfish aggrandizement?
Who, in his right mind, does not give a hoot even when thousands of poor villagers are kicked off their ancestral lands, and placed in areas not conducive for decent human habitation, against their will, without so much as the basic amenities – in typical colonial occupation fashion?
I am sure, only someone who has no qualms selling his own mother, if he honestly believed will get away with it!
© Tendai Ruben Mbofana is a social justice activist, writer, researcher, and social commentator. Please feel free to contact him on WhatsApp/Call: +263715667700 / +263782283975, or Calls Only: +263788897936 / +263733399640, or email: [email protected]Post published in: Featured