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Letter from America: Is Zanu PF impervious to change?

By Professor Ken Mufuka

I was holidaying in Saint John, Canada, along a river by that name. As is my custom, I sought out native Canadians who told me about a horrible legend associated with the Saint John River Falls.

Ken Mufuka
Ken Mufuka

The rising sea tide overrides the falls allowing stray fishermen and explorers to safety above the two hills which lie above falls. But legend has it that English explorers, with the self assurance common among their race, refused to obey the calls from the natives to take shelter, even when they signaled with fires about the danger.

The moral of the story is that woe unto those who refuse to seek shelter while there is time. I am afraid that ZANU-PF is at the moment caught up in an irreversible tide which cannot be overcome by half hearted changes.

IS ZANU-PF LOSING THE MOMENT?

The overthrow of the monstrous government of President Robert Mugabe, December 2018, gave ZANU-PF a breather.

Every sensible person wished them the best. The problems to be solved were clear as daylight as were the solutions. The issue, as in the case of Saint John explorers, depended on how quickly they could master the moment, before the tide turned to where no man returned.

Item Number one:

Zimbabwe is not a poor country.

In reading the proceedings of the Zimbabwe Mines Oversight Committeee headed by Chindori-Chininga between 2009 and 2013, one finds references to correspondence between Marange Diamond Companies and the Zimbabwe treasury.  For these years, the companies repeatedly supplied figures of revenues submitted to treasury which were not received (in millions).

I did not know at the time that the revelations in the Chindori-Chininga Report about diamond dealings showed only the tip of the iceberg. Chininga was warned not to proceed and when he did, his life was forfeit.

A revelation from former Vice-President Joice Mujuru shows how deeply the whole ZANU-PF echelons was deeply involved in soverign wealth theft. Mujuru writes:

“One’s share of the cake depends on how much the president is willing to give. My husband got permission…so we formed ACR. Ltd. and the President had Mbada, Grace (Mugabe)  formed DMC, the army formed AINJIN with the Chinese ,  Chihuri (Police Commissioner) and the police formed Guvaye, Bonyongwe (Intelligence Chief)  and the CIO formed Kusema and the government formed Marange Resources.”

This information is absolutely precious and explains why Chindori-Chininga’s life was forfeit. It explains the absolute dearth of a country through direct extraction of sovereign wealth and the exportation of that wealth abroad.

Casting a wider net, according to Eddie Cross’s estimation, Robert Mugabe and his cabal were responsible for the loss of over $23 billion in eight years.

We go further; it also explains why President Emerson Mnangagwa is soft footed in his anti-corruption efforts.

But more importantly, and this where MDC Nelson Chamisa should hang his hat, the sins of the present rulers are as red as scarlet and even all the mercies of God’s angels cannot make them as white as snow.

That is why the effort of the government is to throw their own sins under the carpet. Let by-gones be by-gones.

The extent of Mugabe’s legacy is the corruption of all the institutions of state.

The case of Dr. Cuthbert Dube, who is alleged to have masterminded a scheme at  PSMAS (Public Services Medical Association) in which he and his cohorts  pocketed half the revenues while health providers and workers went unpaid.

I was in Zimbabwe during the summer when Samuel Udenge, a deputy minister was brought before a magistrate for a fraudulent authorization of over a million dollars at the Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (ZESA).

 Udenge’s defense caught my curiosity.  He was very angry that he was arrested for stealing peanuts, yet “some people have been given contracts worth millions of dollars without going to tender.” He had in mind a travel contract awarded to the Vice President’s wife.

Udenge has since been released.

Joice Mujuru’s letter is the smoking gun. The half-hearted attempt to stem off corruption means that a sinner cannot save himself, save by God’s mercy after repentance.

The failure of government to correct the cash crisis is only one example that it is clueless about the causes and depth of its involvement. I am not one to agree with Jonathan Moyo, but I assume that we must have read the same books.

It amazes me that with so many nyembe, some dropping off their behinds, these brothers have not understood Adam Smith book, Wealth of Nations. Prices will fall when greedy merchants enter the market, only to find that it has been flooded. As they try to get out before losing their shirts, prices drop.

Instead of arresting below the belt foreign exchange dealers, they should be required to buy a $10 tax stamp at the Post Office and let them ply their business wherever they can.

When the tide of Saint John River reverses itself, there is no escape for the sailors who have refused the call to beach their crafts.

The winds of change are in favor of Nelson Chamisa, but he must stay on the message. Can a sinner save himself? That is the message. Silly. How long should we tolerate the fact that sovereign wealth is stashed abroad. That is the message. Of course, Chamisa’s life is forfeit. So was Chinginga’s life. Third World countries have awakened to the fact that their rulers, once above the law, have been responsible for their economic stagnation.

I have been reading Professor Tony Hawkins book for the third time. In the book: Regime Survival, there is a chapter entitled Creating Poverty. Hawkins says that any reforms, no matter how effective they were, that created “markets over which (ZANU-PF) had limited control and the rise of an indigenous class of entrepreneurs that was not beholden to the ruling party for their enterprises” was anathema to them. (Page 174) Therein lay ZANU-PF’s resistance to change. Hawkins goes further. Faced by changes, he says, Minister Didymus Mutasa would prefer that one quarter of the population (four million) leave the country, if their presence would interfere with ZANU-PF control.

By politicising everything, ZANU-PF has destroyed the possibility of encouraging virtue in society. I took some American students to a remote village in Chief Nerupiri paramountcy in Gutu District.

A nine year girl postess impressed the visitors greatly but she was to leave the school for lack of fees that day. When we paid the fees (U$5 per semester) and left some money for books and a uniform, we got into serious trouble. ZANU-PF Commissar Jonathan Nyoni wanted to know if we had sought permission from ZANU-PF in the district.

The junior doctors’ strike shows how the ZANU-PF government is out of touch with reality. The complaint by the doctors is that their regular income is less than $500 Bollars per month and that they work all kinds of hours. The ZANU-PF reply was that they are not real doctors. It is not in the Vice President’s purview to assess their qualifications. We will say no more out of respect.

Item Four: Lost Cause.

I have visited a few colleges in Zimbabwe and expressed my wish to expose their professors to the international stage. Although I am the least of the saints in the Methodist Church, grace and mercy has followed me in all my efforts

I was able to bring Professor Ed Chikoko and the revered Professor George Kahari. 

If my memory holds true, Chikoko’s lecture, Tradition and the oppression of women in African society, attracted many Afro-women who wanted to know if he was married. “He speaks like you, but he is more (sic) younger and more handsome,” my assistant Ms Genea Kinard revealed to me.

Professor Kahari electrified the audience, speaking for forty minutes without lecture notes on: Bad governance and economic stagnation in Zimbabwe..

Such an event is usually presided over by the president of the college, or the provost followed by a dinner in his honor. A dinner is arranged in his honor, where if the law permits, a  fuss is made in opening a twenty-five year old wine bottle in his honor. Americans are generous to a fault. A nice fat check is reluctantly passed to the visiting luminary, the presenter confessing the meagerness of the donation.

It is an experience which every professor should go through.

My services (which are free) to Zimbabwe have been churned, because of politics. That is Chamisa’s message. We are descendents so Great Zimbabwe. 

It is time to throw away childish things and woe unto those who refuse to change. That is Chamisa’s message.

A new book titled “Life and Times of Robert Mugabe 1980-2017: Dream Betrayed” by award winning United States based author Professor Ken Mufuka and Cyril Zenda has hit the shelves.

The book is available on https://kenmufukabooks.com/  or by contacting [email protected] . It costs GBP20 via PayPal and is available in Zimbabwe from Innov Bookshops.