Yes indeed, Zimbabwe is led by ‘dunderheads’!

It is a fact that in most corrupt dealings, it takes two to tango!

Tendai Ruben Mbofana

There is usually the one who wants to gain fraudulently from a flawed system – and, of course, there has to be someone within that system willing, oftentimes through the abuse of office, to enable or facilitate that corruption.

This can easily be illustrated with what we witness at the national registry offices – whereby, due to the frustratingly endless queues of those seeking identity cards – there are those who opt to bribe an official in the department, who in turn, swiftly processes the desired document.

Both of the people are corrupt.

However, let us never fool ourselves in believing that this crooked relationship is a ‘win-win’ – where all those involved benefit from their criminality equally.

Far from it!

There will always be one side that gains more than the other.

In fact, the likelihood of the ‘enabling partner’ benefiting less, and even at risk of losing big time, is much higher.

Let us go back to the national registry example.

It is very unlikely that the individual who paid the bribe and had his identify card processed quickly will ever be caught – since the document would be legitimate – and can go on to live his life relatively normally, using the said ID without any worries.

However, it can be a very different story for the ‘enabling’ official – who risks being reported or found out – thereby, in real danger of not only losing his job, but also lengthy imprisonment.

Thus, in such corrupt circumstances, there is seldom an equal relationship – where both sides benefit the same.

That is the unadulterated truth!

It then goes without saying that, the one who risks losing everything, all for the love of a few dollars, is the fool!

This takes on an even more dark and disturbing form when this corruption reaches the level of national leaders.

Here, we have those entrusted with the welfare and well-being of an entire population, as well as being custodians of the future of the country.

Under such a scenario – a leader who is prepared to let his country crumble and fall, as a result of the grand looting of national resources – is a fool of the highest order.

I am reminded of what was allegedly uttered by one Ewan Macmillan, who is said to be a convicted gold smuggler – in which he reportedly referred to Zimbabwe vice president Constantine Chiwenga as a ‘dunderhead’.

This was when he (Macmillan) was being covertly filmed by a team of undercover Al Jazeera investigative journalists – who posed as crooked individuals, seeking to launder their dirty money in Zimbabwe, in dealings with gold smugglers – in a two-year project for a documentary entitled, ‘Gold Mafia’.

I am not really sure why Macmillan had the gall to call Chiwenga a ‘dunderhead’ – but, that seemingly insulting statements got me thinking.

What manner of a leader would readily facilitate or enable the grand looting of his own country’s resources – knowing fully well that this will lead to the utter destruction of the very state he is supposed to protect and develop, as well as potentially ruining his own reputation, in the process?

Whatever Macmillan meant, I have no clue – but, as far as I am concerned any such leader is truly a ‘dunderhead’.

Surely, as much as I may need money in my life – what kind of a father and husband would I be, if I had no qualms at all permitting some dubious individuals to freely loot my family’s wealth and children’s inheritance – thereby, leaving them poor, hungry, and without a secure future, whilst I pocket a few dollars for my personal pleasure?

What would people call me?

What would the same dubious individuals, I enabled to loot my family treasure for a few pieces of silver, call me?

Would they not regard me as a ‘dunderhead’?

Well, that is exactly how I perceive the Zimbabwe ruling clique – who have been at the forefront of facilitating the massive unashamed plunder of our vast natural resources for the benefit of only a handful – yet, leaving the country in a deplorable economic mess, with millions of ordinary citizens languish in unimaginable poverty.

What type of leader – mandated to safeguard the nation, and ensure the citizenry’s prosperity – sees nothing untoward in allowing the ruination of a country under his watch, just because he is given some personal creature comforts?

Who, with all his senses functioning, would allow the country he leads to be looted to such an extent that his own grandchildren, great grandchildren, and great great grandchildren will have absolutely nothing left to inherit?

Every normal person desires to leave a legacy for himself – of which he will be remembered for all eternity.

So, who, in his right mind, would be prepared to throw all that away for some few riches – yet, being recorded in history for having turned the lives of millions into a living nightmare, by running into the ground a once prosperous country?

Why would anyone apparently not have a problem with being remembered as the person who left millions of ordinary citizens unable to afford three decent meals a day, or send their children to school?

Or, known by future generations as the one who caused the needless deaths of thousands due to preventable diseases – due to the unavailability or inaccessibility of much needed medical treatment?

What will his own descendants say about him – when they are born in a country in utter ruin, without any prospects and hope – all being the handiwork of their forefather, who turned everything into dust?

All this for the love of kickbacks from crooked smugglers and other nefarious individuals involved in scandalous dealings!

For sure, Zimbabwe is being led by ‘dunderheads’!

  • Tendai Ruben Mbofana is a social justice advocate, writer, researcher, and social commentator. Please feel free to WhatsApp or Call: +263715667700 | +263782283975, or email:

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