Letter from America: Zimbabwe: I want my country back!

By Ken Mufuka

Zimbabwe had everything other African countries do not have. We assumed then that we were going to be successful as a country. The land was flowing with milk and honey already and all we needed to do was to expand the cake and share it.

File picture of President Robert Mugabe addressing the Zanu PF politiburo while flanked by his wife and the two Vice Presidents Emmerson Mnangagwa (left) and Phelekezela Mphoko (right)
File picture of President Robert Mugabe addressing the Zanu PF politiburo while flanked by his wife and the two Vice Presidents Emmerson Mnangagwa (left) and Phelekezela Mphoko (right)

The news from Zimbabwe in the last three years has destroyed my dream. What I see is not what I imagined Zimbabwe would be. I want my country back. The reaction to my dream story was fast and furious.

Brother Dr Blessing Zambuko asks a difficult question, to which wiser men than I have failed to find an answer. Is it possible that we have failed as a race to take advantage of the opportunities offered to us even in countries like the United States, which are flowing with milk and honey?

All I can say is that Washington Post senior correspondent Eugene Robinson and his wife started a foundation to help black kids get into Ivy League universities for free. Catch your breath. They came to a folk in the road when they realised that almost 80 percent of scholarship winners were Nigerians and foreign people of colour.

The lesson seems to be that Zimbabweans, like other oppressed peoples, do well abroad, than at home. Therefore, the fault lies in the atmosphere at home which destroys enterprise.

But hope is eternal. “Brother, look at Gambia. After 37 years under a Yahya Jammeh, they are free at last.”

Geoffrey Mbanga is young but wise. These mafioso are fighting a “tide (age) whose course they cannot change. You see Ken. (Yes my brother, I see.) It’s Zimbabwe that owes us dreams deferred.”

My eyes opened to the fact that in fact the mafioso’s days are numbered. I should rejoice.

The mafioso are living in hell, reduced to buffoons, after drinking a special muti. I laughed myself to sleep.

Members of the mafioso must sing songs of praise even in their sleep lest spies tell on them.

They are called to the airport every other day to sing hallelujahs when their master arrives or departs. Their businesses are ruined for lack of concentration.

Many suffer from sleeplessness fearing being “done a Mujuru.”

Out of touch

These mafioso play us for fools. An audit of Harare City Council showed that five managers were paid US$343 900, including holiday allowances. One manager took half the sum, and none of them went on holidays.

The average wage for city workers is US$500 per month. I am not sure if their actions are illegal, since it is possible that the mafioso wrote the regulations to suit themselves.

What we know for sure is that they have neither compunction, shame, nor any sense of proportion. They are irredeemably deplorable.

Being out of touch, they spend large amounts of time over irrelevant issues. Since the expulsion of Joice Mujuru from ZANU-PF, they have spent all their energies in the last three years doing an Indian dance.

No matter what the dancers do, they return to the starting point. Leadership must be chosen by the people, yet the two Vice Presidents have no electoral mandate.

Stupid solutions are implemented to problems which do not exist. Travelling from Harare to Masvingo, a distance of 250 kilometres, there were 11 roadblocks — all of them authorised to fleece motorists of their petty cash. There are well known unwritten rules that the driver of a private sedan can get by with US$5. A kombi driver must folk out US$20 and a bus driver will negotiate.

Usually police at roadblocks zero in on reflectors and fire-extinguishers. These must be manufactured in the factory of a “chef.”

Police Commissioner Augustine Chihuri told a parliamentary committee that spot fines should be increased. In Germany, he said, a driver may lose his number plates to the police, for which he may have to folk out US$10 000 per plate. The brother commissioner has forgotten the parlous state of Zimbabwe’s economy and the fact that the German police are deferential towards the courts.

My British white brother, Richard Eatwell, (nicknamed Mudyandigere) could not contain himself when a friend motorist was stopped 21 times between Bulawayo and Kariba.

A parliamentary report says that on these spot checks, drivers have been strip searched.

The fact that the leadership declares Harare roads a “disaster area” as if this is a solution, or an indication that the problem was unknown before, reveals a sense of terminal paralysis.

I witnessed this leadership paralysis in Malawi and Zambia leading to the collapse of the ruling parties there.

The looming crisis in South Africa is being ignored. South Africa, copycatting the United States can now pronounce with confidence that South Africa belongs to its people, not foreigners.

There are 3,5 million Zimbabwean immigrants there.

Budget deliberations show that Zimbabwe’s 2016 expenditures were US$4,3 billion, exceeding income by US$1,2 billion. Asians are the next target for expropriation.

Except for the lone voice of Patrick Chinamasa, the leadership has lost its way.

In Richard Wagner’s dance of the Valkyrie, the dancers yearn for an elliptical reality (the virgins) which is unreachable because they are protected by a ring of fire.

I missed the obvious. This is the end dance of the Valkyrie.

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