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We are missing the point on Cecil the Lion

By Wilbert Mukori

People who are saying Cecil the lion is getting more national and international attention than the long suffering masses of Zimbabwe are missing the point completely.

Wilbert Mukori
Wilbert Mukori

The whole nation is in this political and economic mess because of 35 years of corrupt and tyrannical rule by President Mugabe and his Zanu PF cabal and not because the tyrant was paying any attention to Cecil the lion or any other big cat or wild life!

Indeed Cecil the lion and all the other wild animals right across the country are as much victims of the years of Zanu PF misrule as the people themselves. How many elephants and rhinos have been uprooted and sold for a song by the regime for a quick buck?

How many wildlife conservatories up and down the country have been seized by Zanu PF chefs for the sole purpose of wholesale slaughter of all the animals there?

How many elephants have been poisoned by poachers, who are otherwise reasonable people were it not for the country’s economic collapse that is forcing them to do these horrible things.

If President Mugabe and his cabinet have spent one hour discussing what should be done with the American who killed Cecil then we should cheer and applaud because that would constitute the only productive hour this cabinet has had in the last two years!

Zimbabwe’s economy is in total meltdown and, whatever this cabinet has been doing, things have been getting worse not better. Yes the people have good cause to be angry and to want the economy fixed but this cabinet has had:

2(years)X 12 (months)X 20(days per month)X 8 (hours per day)X 54 (cabinet members) = 207 360 – 54 (1 hour discussing Cecil) cabinet man hours.

So to be envious of 54 cabinet man hours for Cecil the lion out of 207 360 is pathetic!

All those people envious of the sympathy and attention, posthumous at that, Cecil the lion is getting are nothing but the pusillanimous chattering monkey venting its anger and frustration on the dragon fly when the wasp that stung him is there!

In 1990 and 1995 Zanu PF accepted the IMF and World Bank sponsored first and second five-year Economic Structural Adjustment Programme (ESAP).

The nation was told to accept some “belt tightening” economic reforms to revive the country’s flagging economy after a decade of Zanu PF socialism.

The programmes failed to revive the economy because the economic reforms affecting the ordinary people like scrapping price controls and food subsidies were implemented but not the reforms designed reduce the ballooning ruling elite and their extravagant lifestyle.

History is repeating itself!

The current economic reforms are savage because the economy is today in a lot worse state than it was back in 1990 because the two ESAP did not work nor did any other plans after that.

The current reforms are like the ESAP of the 1990s also doomed to fail because the reforms affecting the lowly paid workers are being implemented but, again, no reforms affecting the highly paid chefs are being implemented. 

Most of the workers who are going to lose their jobs will be the poorly unskilled or semi-skilled workers; in NRZ, ZISCO and other institutions these workers have not been paid for a year or more anyway.

It is the top managers and their board members who have been soaking up the little revenue these institutions are making; it is them who are responsible for the mismanagement and corruption; and therefore it is them who should be axed and not lowly paid workers!

There is never a good time for anyone to be losing their job but to do so when unemployment is already sky-high and therefore there is no chance of landing another job would be the hell-on-earth moment every one dreads.

What makes the suffering of all these workers even more tragic is that their sacrifice will be all for nothing because there will be no meaningful economic recovery unless all the other underlying economic problems of mismanagement, corruption and lawlessness are dealt with too.

As pointed out above, there is no political will on the part of Mugabe and Zanu PF to implement the political reforms affecting the ruling elite.

Life in Zimbabwe is governed by the same laws of thermodynamics and economics as is life in Britain or anywhere else on earth.

Zimbabwe is in this economic mess because since independence in 1980 the nation has behaved as if we were not subject to the same economic rules as other nations, as if we could buck the system by achieving economic prosperity regardless of the mismanagement, etc.

By the 1990s, when it was clear the country’s socialist policies had failed and the economy was flagging, Zanu PF jettisoned the masses but would not implement the reforms to end the ruling elite’s wasteful lifestyle.

Today with the national economy in even deeper trouble, the regime is jettisoning the few lowly paid workers who were lucky to still have a job but will, once again, do nothing to end the opulent lifestyles of the shrinking number of ruling elite.

Needless to say the economic meltdown will only get worse and next time the regime will have no one but the ruling elite to jettison.

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