Sunday, 29 April 2018

ED's "Zimbabwe is open for business!" vs Mukadota's "Sadza hoboo!" Wilbert Mukori

“Sadza hoboo! Nyama hoboooo! Rimai!” (There is plenty of food! Plenty of beer! Work!) Is one of the late Safirio Madzikatire’s best catch phrases.

To those who do not know who Safirio Madzikatire or more commonly known as Mukadota was; he was a comedian and musician who made many Zimbabweans laugh in the decades before and after independence.

In the above quotation, Mukadota, the town-wise, was encouraging his naïve and gullible “humwe” (gathering of neighbours to assist in some chore requiring many hands in return for food and drink) to work harder before breaking up for their food and beer. When the workers finally take the break, they discover there is very little food and beer!

“Vanida kukorera pano!” (Do they want to become obese at mine expense!) Is the cheeky reply to those complaining they are hungry and thirsty!

President Mnangagwa and his coup junta’s clarion call “Zimbabwe is open for business!” has all the essential ingredients of Mukadota’s humwe sketch.

1)     Mukadota needed people to weed his field – ED needs cash and investment, plenty of both, to kick start Zimbabwe’s very sick economy after 38 years of gross mismanagement and corruption. Under Mugabe Zimbabwe had earned a reputation as a pariah state ruled by thugs, big spenders who did not like paying their debts. This reputation had driven lenders and investors alike out of the country. From the day ED was sworn in as the new president, he committed himself to attract the investors and lender back.

2)     Town-wise Mukadota was being deceitful, encouraged the workers to work even harder on the promise there was plenty of food and beer – the junta promised all the removal of Mugabe and “the criminal elements who had captured the state” had completely transformed Zanu PF and Zimbabwe from the dictatorship to a democracy. The regime has talked of “new era, new Zimbabwe and new dispensation”.

3)     The setting is pregnant with theatrical drama, Mukadota encourages his neighbours to work harder on the promise of plenty of food; that is unheard of! If, for nothing else, this junta regime will be known for its passion for spin. The “new Zimbabwe” self-promotion has its roots with the very first act of the coup. “This is not a coup,” Lt General Sibisiso Moyo in the small hours of the morning of 15 November 2017, “it is a military assisted transition”.

4)     Whereas Mukadota deceived his naïve and gullible neighbours, who humoured him be playing along, even they were not going to be fooled again and again; ED is not that lucky. The lenders and investors were not so easily fooled by all this whitewashing. The investors knew the Zanu PF dictatorship was a colossal monster with many players including President Mnangagwa and the junta members; the monster was not going to be cleansed squeaky clean by the simple act of removing Mugabe and a few G40 thugs! Indeed, many investors must have raised their eye-brows at the clumsy attempt to deceive their by insisting the coup was not a coup.

5)     Mukadota had his neighbours in the field working and it was only after the work was done that they learned he had conned them. Mnangagwa promised the coup change Zimbabwe and the investors asked him to prove it – hold free, fair and credible elections. The regime’s failure to implement even one meaningful reform has proven to the whole world that Zimbabwe has not changed one bit.

6)     “Zimbabwe is open for business!” cry has failed to attract any business because until the country embrace democratic change, investors and lenders will continue to shy away from the country. No amount of spin will ever change that economic and political reality!  

7)    Like all good performers Madzikatire dressed, walked and talked to suit the town-wise Mukadota. As President Mnangagwa and his high-powered entourage of 10 Minister, 88 CEOs and many hangers-on all attired in their colourful scarfs they looked like Southern Ground hornbills with rainbow wattle instead of the usual red.

With the national economy in serious trouble; unemployment at 90%, ¾ of the people living on US$1.00 a day, etc. the nation is desperate for economic recovery. We need a cure to the country’s many economic ills. Instead of economic doctors with the statoscopes round their necks all we have is spin doctors, human size hornbills, squawking “Zimbabwe is open for business!” The shrewd investors can see for themselves that is a lie, they can see the country is still a pariah state ruled by thugs!

“Zimbabwe is open for business!” Back from China with mega, mega deals!


  1. "Sustainable economic growth will be achieved by us together, government, the private sector and foreign investors, my administration will consistently engage with all stakeholders to further improve the business operating environment," Mnangagwa told a packed ZITF grounds.

    Mnangagwa also seemed to admit that the civil servants who lately have been a headache to him over industrial actions, have lower salaries but again said things can only change if the economy improved.

    "I am also certain that the quality of living, the conditions of service for the majority of our working population inclusive of the civil service and security forces will be enhanced as the economy grows and resources will become more available," he said

    It is good that President Mnangagwa is accepting that the business environment has not improved since his takeover five months ago. His "Zimbabwe is open for business!" has failed to attract the anticipated flood of investors and lenders. It is disappointing here is that he is clearly refusing to accept why this is so.

    By refusing to implement the reforms you have just confirmed that Zimbabwe is still a dictatorship. Zimbabwe is going nowhere until we hold free, fair and credible elections.


  2. @ Noble Ngara

    What ED is failing to accept is that he and his coup junta DO NOT have the right to retain the dictatorial powers to rig elections just because the booted out Robert Mugabe. The right to free, fair and credible elections is not for him to deny some and give others. The right to free and fair elections is not negotiable.

    You argument that ED is delivering economic recovery is a nonsense because investors and lenders alike are not returning to a Zimbabwe ruled by thugs. A Zimbabwe ruled by thugs is not open for business!

    Zimbabweans have been denied their basic freedoms and rights for 38 years that must stop and stop now. To even suggest that this regime should be allowed to rig the elections because they will deliver economic recover is a nonsense. Why do they have to rig the elections? They have failed to run the economy these 38 years already; we are in this mess because of Zanu PF and because we could not remove the regime from office because Mugabe and his henchmen led by none other than ED rigged the elections.

    The days of rigging elections and getting away with it in Zimbabwe are over! These elections are going to be declared null and void!

  3. "If we had not done what we did printing money and allowing inflation to skyrocket, then the men and women you see in those beautiful uniforms, they were ready to get out of their barracks," he said.

    "Operation Restore Legacy would have happened much earlier, but not one that we would have been commanding ourselves.

    "It would have been a 'restore legacy' that would have been commanded from elsewhere

    "Any attempt to get money was met with blockages.

    "Faced with a situation that we were in, we chose to allow inflation to go the way it went as long as we preserved the lives of our people."

    Gono said most of the time they could not tell Zimbabweans the truth that the country had no fuel or medicines fearing unrest.

    How is it possible that this idiot was appointed governor of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe. Even now with the benefit of hindsight he still thinks he saved the country by allowing inflation to soar to the dizzying heights of 500 billion per cent! The only people who benefited from the runaway inflation were the ruling elite who but foreign currency at the official rate and sold it at the black-market rate!

    The root causes of the country's economic meltdown we see today were the white farm seizure and the run-away inflation. If there was any justice then there should be a thorough investigation of the economic mismanagement and looting that took place in Zimbabwe and those responsible held to account. It is shocking that people like Gono should be living in luxury from the huge profits they made on the backs of destroying everything innocent people had.

  4. Sometime one wonders whether our political leaders are a full shilling! Of all the people to try to deceive the investors and lenders are certainly the last people who will be fool by such Mukadota antics as "Zimbabwe is open for business!" when they can see the farm seizures, corruption, vote rigging, etc.

    The people of Zimbabwe will be very foolish to allow Zanu PF to get away with rigging these elections because they believed the nonsense the regime will deliver economic recovery.

  5. How can you say someone pointing the injustice of forcing of millions of ordinary Zimbabweans into abject poverty, living on US$1.00 a day, is doing "the work of the devil"? And have nothing to say against those whose corrupt and tyrannical rule is the root causes of the economic meltdown? You must either be blind, so thoroughly brainwashed by all the propaganda from Zanu PF or the foolishness from the opposition.

    Or you are one of the corrupt and incompetent politicians taking time-off to defend the indefensible by assuring the brainwashed that Zimbabwe is rich and there no poverty in the country.

    I think Wilbert does not need anyone to forgive him much less the corrupt and incompetent ruling elite. "Zimbabwe is open for business!" is dead in the water because no investors were fooled by that the nonsense of the same old Zanu PF thugs calling themselves the "new dispensation'! What is there to be forgiven for, for stating a fact!

  6. @ Paradox

    There is a political dimension in ED's "Zimbabwe is open for business!" initiative that will make all the difference between Zimbabwe enjoying successful economic recovery or country continuing down the disastrous path it was travelled these last 38 years. Before ED even put on his colourful scarf and hit the campaign trail, he should have addressed this political dimension and not waste the nation's time and resources on a wild goose chase.

    Zimbabwe's economy is in a mess because no one has wanted to do business in a corrupt country, that does not pay its debts, has no respect of property rights and rigs elections. Political stability is important and by failing to show commitment to holding free and fair elections Zanu PF has shown the world that the party is still full of lawless thugs and all talk of a "new dispensation" was all hot air.

    Whatever other good work ED has done it does not change the fact that he has not implemented the reforms to ensure free, fair and credible elections. The only reason ED has done nothing about the reforms is because he wants to rig the elections so he can be absolutely certain he and his junta remain in power. Zimbabwe is in this economic mess precisely because for the last 38 years the nation was stuck with a corrupt and tyrannical regime. The issue of implementing the reforms is therefore of paramount importance and ED cannot cherry pick!

    We are not going to accept another rigged election, period.

    The argument that someone who has rigged elections should be given time to prove himself is a foolish idea from foolish people. If, a year from now say, it is clear that ED has failed to bring about the economic recovery then what? We have been stuck with Zanu PF for 38 years already and we are only being asked to add another five years to make it 43 years!

    The biggest challenge of this year's election is to dismantle Zanu PF's vote rigging power; if ED cannot do it then we must get someone who will do it. ANOTHER RIGGED ELECTION IS A DEFINITE NO!

  7. Decades of oppressive Zanu PF autocracy has poisoned Zimbabwe's political environment making it impossible for quality leaders to emerge. All we have now are corrupt and incompetent idiot and/or thugs. Just because one dismisses ED and the junta as corrupt and murderous thugs does not mean I support the corrupt and incompetent Chamisa and his MDC sell-outs. I do not!

    I want democratic reforms implemented before elections to allow for quality leaders to emerge and they will.

  8. @ Manginde

    These elections are not going to be decided by the electorate because Zanu PF is rigging the process that is exactly the reason why everyone has been calling for the reforms BEFORE the elections.

    I think the comparison with Mukadota is spot-on. Both ED and Mukadota are trying to con people the latter succeeds but because the neighbours do not know there is no plentiful supply of food and bear. The investors know Zimbabwe is not ready for business because it is still ruled by thugs, so ED is conning no one!

  9. @ Paradox

    I have tried, one does not always succeed, to explain that with his "Zimbabwe is open for business!" message President Mnangagwa is targeting two distinct groups; the investors, first and foremost, they are the businessmen and women he is inviting to flood back into Zimbabwe. He is also addressing the ordinary Zimbabwean, to assure them that the regime is doing something to address the serious problem of the economic meltdown.

    The investor is a shrewd individual who will not be easily fooled, after all he stands to lose his investment. The investors have shied away from Zimbabwe all these last decades because Zimbabwe was a pariah state ruled by thugs. So, before the investors would flood back into the country, they would want to be convinced Zimbabwe is no longer a pariah state ruled by thugs. If a group of thugs who have just stage a coup tell you Zimbabwe is no longer ruled by thugs one does not have to be a shrewd investor to take that with a pitch of salt.

    By refusing to implement even one democratic reform the junta made it clear Zimbabwe is still ruled by thugs. Again one does not need to be a shrewd investor to see that, you and me, ordinary Zimbabweans should.

    I am "blasting ED", as you say, but for good reason - for failing to implement the democratic reforms, hold free and fair elections, etc.; the pre-requisites for economic recovery. Investors are not going to do business in a country ruled by thugs! Zimbabwe needs to hold free and fair elections to get out of the hell-hole Zanu PF landed us in.

    "Kana muchifunga kuti nyika inogadzirwa nezvima article zvenyu imi zviri negative you are not doing anybody favour," you say.

    If you think my analysis is wrong then say where. If I am being unduly "negative" then investors, as we both would agree, are a shrewd lot they will not flooding in because of some foolish article. On the other hand, if I am right then all I am doing here is saying why the flood of investors has not materialised.

    I think Zimbabwe is in this mess because of people like you who want to stifle debate and always take what the leaders tell you no questioned asked. You are naive and seek comfort in burying your head in the sand. You are so naive and concerted you even believe you are doing the nation a great favour by being so foolish and idiotic.

    Zimbabwe is in serious economic and political trouble and cannot afford the luxury of another rigged elections or waste time listening to idiots like you. You want the nation to give ED time; wait for what! We have waited 38 years already, if he fails to hold free and fair elections then he and his junta must ship out!