Ever since The Lord banished the two, fig tree leaf clad, lovers, Adam and Eve, from the Garden of Eden with those unforgettable and unforgiving words:
“In the sweat of your face you shall eat bread
Till you return to the ground,
For out of it you were taken;
For dust you are,
And to dust you shall return.” Genesis 3 verse 19.
Waauuu! That was some “go to your room” price to pay for a quickie! But like it or not, the two lovers and all their descendants have had to work hard for their daily bread. Those who would not work have starved and met their dusty end even sooner than need be; it is that simple!
Mankind has worked hard and prospered and has come up with all manner of cures to disease, tool to lighten their burden and machinery to explore the heaven and the mysteries of life itself. Mankind is still mortal but, full marks, he is doing his best post pone as much as is humanly possible that dusty end.
Zimbabwe is not a far cry from the Biblical Garden of Eden; we have some of the best land and ideal climate on earth to grow all the nation food. Until the year 2 000 the country produced more food than it needed and so had plenty to export. We were the breadbasket of the region.
Ever since 2 000, the powers that be decided in their infinite wisdom to “redistribute the land”. I will not waste time and go into details of how this was done and who got what; it will suffice to say that ever since the nation has failed to produce enough to feed its own people let alone have any left over for export.
This year 3 million Zimbabweans are facing starvation and many will have died already if it was not for generosity of the foreign donors.
Yes the whole SADC region is suffering from the ill effects of a severe drought brought on by El Nino. Still, it cannot be denied that having empty silos at the start of the drought and an economy in total meltdown has turned a bad situation into a national tragedy.
Zimbabwe could have bought all the food it needed this year from the windfall from the Marange diamonds alone. Mugabe casually remarked in an interview in March that $15 billion of Marange diamond revenue was looted in the last seven years. There is evidence to believe the looting has been going on for a lot longer than seven years and that the looted amount is a hell lot higher than the mere $15 billion; still we can accept Mugabe’s figure. What does it mean in real terms?
$15 billion = Zimbabwe’s GPD (the whole nation’s annual produce)
= 5 X Government’s collected annual revenue of $3 billion
= 5 X Government food aid appeal
Where others nations have turned the dry and sandy deserts into the blooming Garden of Eden we, in Zimbabwe, are starving in the Garden of Eden, with all its rich soil, plentiful water, diamonds and gold deposits. Where others have demonstrated mankind’s indomitable spirit and ingenuity in Zimbabwe we are proving mankind at his primeval worse.
Zimbabwe’s fall from being the “Jewel of Africa” in 1980 into one of the poorest country ravaged by man-made problems is a living testimonial to failed leadership, laziness and stupidity!
I am a black Zimbabwean and I am ashamed to see millions of Zimbabweans out of work and suffering in abject poverty and despair because I know the country is capable of doing a lot better than this! There is nothing to be proud of in a nation were billions of dollars meant for the commonwealth is siphoned to pay for an elaborate vote rigging scheme to deny the people their free vote and perpetuate the oppression and looting.
My contention is root cause of all Zimbabwe’s economic, social and political problems is one thing - bad governance.
At the top level of government; we have an incompetent, corrupt, vote rigging and murderous tyrant assisted by a completely useless but equally corrupt and incompetent cabal. At the next level; we have a throng of the wannabe opposition leaders who too have already proven to be corrupt and incompetent. At the bottom we have the people who, because they are naive, gullible and ignorant, have allowed the politicians ride roughshod over their freedoms, rights, human dignity, hopes and dreams.
People get the government they deserve and we, in Zimbabwe, cannot deny that we deserve this Mugabe tyranny complete with complement of incompetent opposition leaders who follow the tyrant like Saturn and her many moons.
If the people of Zimbabwe want to see an end to the criminal waste of the nation’s human and material resources and to have a competent government that will deliver freedom, justice, liberty and economic prosperity then they must work hard and earn one such government. Such a government is called a democracy; we do not have to reinvent the wheel only to adopt it to meet our needs.
A democracy is “a government of the people, by the people and for the people” said USA President Abraham Lincoln.
Democracy demands an electorate who take their responsibilities and duties as the owners of the government (government of the people), the ones running it (by the people) and for their own benefit (for the people) very seriously. Elections, for example, are not a one day event were the voter cast their vote and switch off until next voting day. The voters must take an active interest in the big issues of the day, listen carefully to what others have to say and, when it comes to elections, votes for the best candidate.
The right to vote is a blessing but in the hands of a naïve, gullible and ignorant voter it is a national curse!
It is not enough to wish for a free, justice and prosperous Zimbabwe; the people must be prepared to work for it. When the freedoms and human rights are being systematically denied as is the case in our country, people must be prepared to stand up and fight for these freedoms even with their very lives if need be.
The way out of the economic and political hell-hole Mugabe and his cronies have landed us in is for us, the people and not the corrupt and incompetent opposition, to demand the full implementation of the democratic reforms designed to dismantle the de facto one-party dictatorship we are suffering under and thus restore the usurped people’s power to have a meaningful say in the governance of the country.
Zimbabwe is a great country; you would not think so seeing the mess the nation is in today. We took the wrong turn 36 years by allowing Mugabe to assume absolute power; he has since become punch drunk with it. To restore Zimbabwe’s greatness, we must institute a new system of government where power is invested in the people and they alone will decide who rules the land.