Sanctions maybe the demon, but corruption is the devil
By Kudakwashe Chikwanda
Zimbabwe has been ridiculed, belittled, choke-slammed and demonized from around late 1990s. It has survived but on hand-to-mouth; credited be all Zimbabweans for surviving that piece from hell. The reasons for being sanctioned are shrouded with controversies based on one’s political lenience but they include the disregarding of the rule of law (property rights/land rights) by Mugabe and ZANU-PF.
Is it reasonable for the west to stand with their kith and kin in maintaining the segregative land distribution inherited from Smith? Should the pink-nosed claim right of ownership to stolen property because the apartheid system gave them title deeds? Short Claire’s letter insulted reason by disclaiming responsibility to pay victims of eugenism despite the fact in history that her government made German pay for destruction of the First World War. Sheer eugenism by Claire, why should the Brits not pay if the Germans paid, is it because ‘some animals are more equal than others’?
Zimbabwe did what any rational society could do and the west sees human rights abuse and disregard of the rule of law in land reform but where were they when the locals were taxed, robbed of their cattle and chased out of their prime land.
Sanctions were devised push RG and ZANU-PF out of power for failing to protect interests of the minority. Zimbabwe’s capacity to get budgetary support and new lines of credit from Breton Woods institutions and their sister organizations was strangled. OFAC, ZIDERA and EU’s Common Positions instituted pauperization of the masses to effect regime change. It’s beyond doubt that sanctions pauperized Zimbabwe; for exporting became as hard as importing and with no hard currency fuel shortage became a norm and the shortage of fuel had ripple effects on transport industry, agriculture and mining.
The economy was screaming and civilian pain was intended to produce political gain for the west and their domestic clients. Zimbabwe was reduced to a cut from hell but to everyone’s surprise it didn’t turn into a Libya, Iraq or a Syria. The truth is sanctions dehydrated the economy, multiplied inflation and had negative impact on the financial services sector and other critical sectors of the economy.
Through OFAC, IDCZ which have larger stakes in fertilizer manufacturing was targeted and no new lines of credit were availed and this produced an artificial fertilizer shortage to a country which had no hard currency to substitute through importation thereby depicting the land reform as a failure and thereby guarding against the exportation of combative reclamation by indigenes at a global scale. Sanctions crippled the central government to deliver, limited choices and made the country an outpost of hell. Sanctions were a demon, Zimbabwe could not breathe, enjoy life or even smile.
Credit to the masses for standing against the demon but woe to them for the devil is scot-free and is roaming freely in the corridors of power and all arms of governance. For perspective remember the Santana scandal, war veterans’ funds scandal, the salary-gates at all town-houses, salary-gate at PSMAS, ZIFA, ZBC and ZIMRA, Masimirembwa, 15 billion and now Robin Wood.
Imagine if the funds were used to resuscitate ZISCO, ZIM ALLOYS, ZIMGLASS, Willowvale to mention just a few. Zimbabwe is very unfortunate for its leaders are self-centered, extremely corrupt and no one is standing for truth and rightness. We have officials who behave like billionaires in a country which don’t have the capacity to pay its workers in time and with that mentality we are doomed unless we act. All government ministries are infested with tenderprenuership and courts need evidence; from where when we have a code of conduct which bars employees to speak to the mouthpiece of the masses.
Zimbabweans must stage a war on corruption now and everybody has his role to play. It’s saddening that the corrupt have guts to sue even the Anti-Corruption Commission and hide on a tribal card on cases of this gravity. Office holders are devil-possessed, they steal like there is no tomorrow and some parliamentarians instead of standing for the masses are said to be asking for laptops from ZIMDEF funds.
Sanctions made us scream but corruption wants us dead and the society has to understand that national security and our general survival is under threat from this animal called corruption and it calls for a mortal combat. According to my experiences its better we win against the devil and demons will capitulate. Remember if you stage a war against the demons you will be tired before the devil is defeated so it’s advisable to use your entire armory against the corrupt Satan. In Shona they say, ‘isimbakavirikurwanemukadzi we asipo’.
- Kudakwashe Chikwanda is a political analyst for Khuluma Afrika.