Category Archives: Zimbabwe Politics and Economy

09Aug/20

Let’s Stop Pretending We Have an Independent Judiciary /Dr. Noah Manyika

If Zimbabwean lives truly matter, we will stop pretending that we have an independent judiciary. ‬We did not under Robert Mugabe, and we don’t under Emmerson Mnangagwa.

We will remind ourselves how in the place of brave men like Justices Dumbutshena and Gubbay we ended up with Chief Justices like Chidyausiku and Malaba who were installed to advance and protect the interests of a criminal and violent state.‬

‪We will remind ourselves that independent justices and people of conscience like Wilson Sandura would never become Chief Justices of Zimbabwe precisely because they were eminently qualified to be.

We will remind ourselves that many judges who had the integrity to resist political interference had to flee the country into exile, including Justice Sandra Mungwira who acquitted three MDC activists falsely accused of murder, and Michael Majuru who ruled in favor of an independent newspaper the government had banned.‬

‪Justices Ahmed Ibrahim, James Devittie and Nick McNally were also forced into exile after being threatened with violence when they resisted the government’s undermining of the judiciary.‬

‪Not all were able to withstand the pressure. There is the case of Justice Uchena reversing his own ruling after then president Robert Mugabe had called it “stupid” that Roy Bennet, a jailed MDC MP, was eligible to contest the March 2005 election.  Bennet had been jailed for simply shoving Patrick Chinamasa. Today we have people being detained simply for “insulting the President,” and in his recent State of the Nation address, Emmerson Mnangagwa signaled to his judiciary who he wanted to be treated like terrorists by the courts: anyone who opposed his rule and exposed the corruption that he and his family are part of.

Let’s say it like it is: magistrates and judges who, knowing that a citizen was detained unlawfully, still deny him/her bail and effectively sentence them to Chikurubi without trial knowing what awaits them there are as psychopathic and sadistic as their political masters. The lives and well-being of Zimbabweans don’t matter to them.

‪They, and grinning and evil civil servants like Nick Mangwana who celebrate the violations of our rights must ultimately be held accountable in a truly free Zimbabwe.

#ZimbabweanLivesMatter

Is There Not a Cause?

Follow Dr. Noah Manyika on Twitter @drnmanyika

08Aug/20

It’s Not ED Alone Who Has Crossed The Rubicon/ Dr. Noah Manyika

In a recent article on Zimbabwe, journalist Shannon Ebrahim argued that Emmerson Mnangagwa had finally crossed the Rubicon by calling his political opponents terrorists in his most recent State of the Nation address.

The reality is that Emmerson Mnangagwa crossed the Rubicon decades ago, and that what he publicly expressed recently is what he has been practicing for years.One of the reasons change has been slow to come to Zimbabwe is because we choose to overlook the psychopathy of some people in the system, while zeroing in on a single person as the enemy of the people. So it was that Mugabe became a devil surrounded by angels, and Zimbabweans foolishly celebrated his demise and replacement by his protege who clearly had more degrees in violence than his mentor.

Most of our judges and magistrates chose a long time ago to be on the side of the history that butters both sides of their bread. They have no incentive to become like the Constitutional and Supreme Courts of Malawi which recently asserted their independence from the executive branch if we continue to pretend that they are impartial upholders of our constitution, and are not to blame for the state of our nation.

There is no difference between a partisan judge who allows the continued detention of an innocent Zimbabwean for exercising their constitutional rights, and a state security operative who abducts and kills. The lives of Zimbabweans do not matter to magistrates and judges who, knowing that a citizen was detained unlawfully, still deny him bail. 

Again, these judges are as psychopathic and sadistic as their political masters, and it is important to send a clear and unequivocal message to them, and all those senior civil servants like Nick Mangwana who have been celebrating the political detention of Hopewell Chin’ongo and Jacob Ngarivhume that they too will not escape the law in a truly independent Zimbabwe for violating the constitutional rights of the citizens of Zimbabwe.

Two months ago we started a petition that has been signed by over 60 thousand people to stop the Zimbabwean army, police and state security services from obeying illegal and unconstitutional orders and brutalizing citizens. The voices of the people of Zimbabwe and those of our friends must not be silent until Emmerson Mnangagwa’s repressive rule ends and we can finally have the freedom they have denied us but which we fully deserve. Help us promote this petition.

#ZimbabweanLivesMatter

#freehopewell

 

Is There Not a Cause?

@drnmanyika

04Aug/20

Pick Up The Baton and Finish the Race/ Dr. Noah Manyika

A good friend said to me this morning: “Only in Zimbabwe…” When he did not complete his thought, I encouraged him, whereupon he said: “Only in Zimbabwe do people think something which put so much fear in the government that it shut down the whole country was a failure.”

I could have taken offense, but that is the truth we need to be telling ourselves. How was #July31 a failure when it exposed the brutality of this regime, provoking Malema and others now to denounce it?

When will we stop giving ourselves an excuse not to build on the efforts of others and recognize the power of this moment? Today non-Zimbabweans are pushing the #ZimbabweanLivesMatter precisely because of how Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government exposed itself in response to #July31.

When did Zanu(PF) ever seem so panicked and unsure of itself? Change won’t come through what we Zimbabweans are fond of, i.e. subjecting the actions of others to endless analysis instead of picking up the baton, even when someone has dropped it or been tripped, and completing the race.

The people who were arrested, including Fadzayi Mahere, Tsitsi Dangarembgwa, Hopewell Chin’ono, Jacob Ngarivhume and all those the regime has been hunting did not fail. They have exposed the system. No one who has lost their freedom, their livelihoods, even their limbs and lives in the cause of freedom has failed.

Itai Dzamara protested alone. He did not fail. The failure belongs to those who refuse to be inspired by the acts of courage of those who are fighting not just for their own freedoms and rights, but for everyone.

Two months ago we started a petition to stop the Zimbabwe army, police and state security agents obeying unconstitutional orders.

May we Zimbabweans and friends of Zimbabwe refuse to be silent until the abuse of Zimbabwean citizens by the government of Emmerson Mnangagwa stops, and we transition to the free Zimbabwe that has been long in coming but that we all deserve. Help us promote this petition.

Is There Not a Cause?

#ZimbabweanLivesMatter

#FreeHopewell

@drnmanyika

19Jul/20

Lets Not Forget Who Gideon Gono Was /Dr. Noah Manyika

Let’s not forget who Gideon Gono was: the lynchpin of Mugabe’s and Zanu(PF)’s criminal enterprise. The man who was the Governor of the Reserve Bank and for all intents and purposes, the Minister of Finance as well, and like Obert Mpofu, one of Mugabe’s obedient sons.

If Mugabe bought property outside the country or externalized funds, Gono knew because he would have had to authorize the movement of money. If on the countless international junkets millions in foreign currency left the country, “Your Governor” Gono who had become the personal banker for the criminal enterprise knew.

Compatriots, don’t underestimate how dangerous and sinister his spirited attempt to liken the scandal of the Farm Mechanisation Program that was the focus of @Wamagaisa’s BSR to every government program designed to help disadvantaged citizens is.

It’s critical to understand the grand strategy here. If we buy his argument, no act of corruption that Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government “legalizes” retroactively can ever be scrutinized. No one will be able to question the corruption of the Command Agriculture/Fuel deals involving Sakunda and other Zanu(PF) connected criminals.

Equating blatant acts of corruption by Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government (and Robert Mugabe’s government) with grants given to university students and the writing off of electric bills owed by citizens impoverished by the corruption, the plunder, the incompetence of this Zanu(PF) government is nothing short of evil and must be fully condemned. It is an attempt to criminalize every citizen, to silence everyone with the absurdity that “tose tirikudya” (we are all eating).

The majority of Zimbabweans live below the poverty datum line, not Gono’s opulent lifestyle. They neither own the Gono type of house nor drive the kinds of cars these robbers drive. Their children don’t go to exclusive schools, and when they are sick, they cannot afford to be whisked to China for treatment. Because of the state of our hospitals, any illness, including a common flu can be a sentence of death.

The beneficiaries of the mechanization program were not disadvantaged citizens. These are people who were perfectly capable of paying back these loans. It is virtually the same people who incurred huge ZESA and ZINWA bills and never paid them. The same group of people benefit from Chiadzwa diamonds, and from the corrupt Drax deals exposed by @daddyhope and others.

Claiming that there were names omitted from the BSR is not a defense. Those who make this claim must expose those names and let the chips fall where they may.

It’s clear that exposing these criminals works. It makes them panic. Citizens who have information about these criminals must continue to provide it. It is important that none of these robbers find a place to hide.

As for those who have defended them before because you claimed you did not know, well, now you know. #farewelltoinnocence. The greatest strategy against dictators and criminals is indeed truth. It will set us free.

Is There Not a Cause?

#ZimbabweanLivesMatter

@drnmanyika

19Jul/20

Stop Defending Your Own Victimization /Dr. Noah Manyika

In patriarchal African societies, victims of grotesque abuse by the “Fathers,” the “Chefs,” the “Honorables,” the “Excellencies” the “Mdharas” often defend their own victimization because of the perverse thinking that judging the morality of the actions of elders,mainly men, is wrong and unAfrican.
 
This version of the Stockholm Syndrome makes us chant stupid slogans and idolize those who rob, kill, rape and abuse us. It is nothing short of a sickness that makes us turn a blind eye on kutonga nekuba kwaro. Some will even dare to use sacred scriptures to let them get away with it, and in the usual perverse thinking of people whose minds have been altered by too much suffering, suggest that their guilt would make us guilty too.
 
I am unashamedly a person of faith, and Ezekiel 18:1-4 is clear to me which says: 1. Then the word of the LORD came to me, saying, 2. “What do you people mean by quoting this proverb about the land of Israel: ‘The fathers have eaten sour grapes,
and the teeth of the children are set on edge’? 3. As surely as I live, declares the Lord GOD, you will no longer quote this proverb in Israel. 4. Behold, every soul belongs to Me; both father and son are Mine. The soul who sins is the one who will die.”
 
We Zimbabweans must choose to no longer defend with our lives and livelihoods the sins of our fathers, our tribesmen, our elders, our chefs! Only then can we liberate ourselves.You might be a “Shumba Murambwi” like Emmerson Mnangagwa, or a “Gushungo” like your Mdhara Robert Mugabe, but if he is corrupt, a thief, a robber, an oppressor you must condemn it. He might be from Murombedzi or weZhira like you, but if he is stealing from you and destroying the future of your children, you must condemn him.
Is There Not a Cause?
#ZimbabweanLivesMatter
@drnmanyika
10Jul/20

Dictators Rule. Statesmen Lead /Dr. Noah Manyika

In 1980 the “liberators” chose the easier route of taking over a deeply flawed colonial construct called Rhodesia instead of building a new nation. We went from a war straight to elections, skipping a very necessary consultative process about what kind of nation we needed to build.

We failed to understand that the term “majority rule” itself did not automatically translate to liberty for all, but that by a simple numerical advantage, whoever controlled the levers of power would have their way, even at the expense of everyone else.

It took us 33 years to try to codify our social contract into a constitution whose drafting was informed by the views of all stakeholders. By then, those who had enjoyed over three decades of power led by Robert Mugabe had already figured out how to always protect their numerical advantage.

‪Voting districts had been gerrymandered to create 60 urban and 150 rural constituencies, the latter in areas controlled by over 270 mostly partisan chiefs and village heads.‬ The majority, meaning whoever won the rural vote, would always rule. The incumbent would always be able to control that outcome through programs like Command Agriculture.

Meanwhile if the opposition won in the cities, their performance would always be undermined by a macropolitical and economic environment they were not in charge of, while non-performers among them could also use the environment as an excuse.

One of the reasons history almost always repeats itself in Africa is because those who win elections see their victories as mandates to rule instead of the opportunity to lead in the redefining of these flawed colonial constructs into places where all can flourish.

The challenge is that doing the latter would mean they can’t rule forever. It would mean making the best decisions that would threaten their partisan interests, including appointing the best people into critical state offices instead of tribesman and relatives who will protect their turf.

It’s almost inevitable that those who “liberate” us whether from colonialism or from post-colonial dictators will become oppressors as long as the practice of our politics does not lead first and foremost to that place of deep, urgent non-partisan consultation and reflection about what is in the best interests not just of the majority, but of all.

But we can’t go there if that is not something we can practice in our own conversations in our small groups and political formations. Our problems are deep but not insurmountable. They need citizens and leaders who have the courage to be honest with themselves. They need us all to understand that dictators rule, but statesmen lead.

Partisanship can only gratify the needs of a few for a short while. It can never secure the future of all. Ultimately, if citizen statesmen never prevail, we shall all sink.

Is There Not a Cause?

#ZimbabweanLivesMatter

@drnmanyika

22Jun/20

The (Zanu)PF Regime is Not as Unstrategic as their Governing Incompetence Suggests /Dr. Noah Manyika

It is foolish to think that the Zanu(PF) regime is as unstrategic as their governing incompetence suggests. The looting, the abductions, the killings are calculated and executed according to plan.

If anything useful can be gleaned out of that, it is the conversations, meetings, people, documents involved in their planning and execution which can and must be fully exposed to advance the cause for change. Just like Cecil John Rhodes needed proof of his right to our land, hence the Rudd Concession of 1888, they have created fraudulent documents to give them title to what they have stolen and should not own.

There are proofs of payments to organizations they or their associates are connected to. There are  transfer pricing arrangements with international companies that leak billions out of our economy into the pockets and accounts of regime members and associates.

‪We must never underestimate their resolve to outwit and outlast those fighting for change.  There is indeed method to Emmerson Mnangagwa’s madness, just as there was in Robert Mugabe’s. They are perfectly content with us believing that slogans can replace strategy in the battle for change.They are fine with us forgetting that Command Agriculture with its mantra of “securing our tomorrow, today” was not mere a slogan, but a well-planned and executed strategy and program of looting and of securing Zanu(PF)s political tomorrow today.‬‪

They are fine with us forgetting that their rural dominance was not secured  through slogans, but by the  strategic  gerrymandering of constituencies which resulted in 60 urban seats and 210 rural, and that even if they lose all 60 urban constituencies in an election, they will still have a majority in parliament.‬

‪They are perfectly fine with us ignoring the fact that they manipulated succession processes for traditional leadership in the rural areas where the greater number of constituencies are, and that they secured the loyalty of the majority of chiefs and headmen who are their gatekeepers not by chanting slogans, but by buying cars for them.

‬‪After 40 years in power, their confidence is buoyed by the knowledge that even the born frees get tired of fighting and can therefore be enticed and pacified with crumbs, and confused into thinking that to be a lout and tout and money changer is all they can be. ‪

They have conscripted enough digital natives into their ranks to wage an effective psychological war that keeps the issues muddled and those who want change eternally shadow-boxing while they loot and strengthen the next generation of Zanuoids to continue with “chinhu chavo” and the “family” business.

‪I submit again that they are only afraid of two things: 1. The implosion of their empire of graft and 2. the collapse of the wall of protection around them made up of soldiers, state security agents and policemen mostly born after 1980. With those things gone, they will be done. ‬

‪We must remain resolute, clear-eyed and focused on making sure those two things collapse. We must make them understand that exposing them is just the beginning, and that we will not stop until they have absolutely no cover at home or abroad. Play your part.‬

‪As you wage your war for your emancipation in other ways, send a clear message by signing the petition below that we will not tire, we will not be confused. If you have already signed, keep sharing it and encouraging others to sign!

Is There Not a Cause?‬

https://www.change.org/p/zimbabwe-government-zimbabwe-army-police-state-security-agents-must-stop-obeying-unconstitutional-orders?recruiter=1115899373&utm_source=share_petition&utm_medium=facebook&utm_campaign=share_petition&recruited_by_id=4682c4b0-acd8-11ea-b60e-47bfb623bcc2

#ZimbabweLivesMatter

@drnmanyika

16Jun/20

The Lootocracy, Buffoonery and Our Duty to Intervene /Dr. Noah Manyika

For months, Zimbabwean journalist Hopewell Chin’ono has been encouraging Zimbabweans to understand what he calls “the interconnectedness of things.” There is a connection between the looting by the Emmerson Mnangagwa regime, and our dead economy, 90% unemployment, government failure to properly remunerate teachers and medical personnel, the state of our schools and hospitals, shortages of critical commodities, and the disappearance of the pensions of retirees etc. etc.

During this pandemic, testing kits and PEPs have been in short supply because senior members of this government have been diverting Covid19 funds to their own pockets. It’s no longer just an accusation that Emmerson Mnangagwa was involved with DRAX. The video provided by Chin’ono where Mnangagwa in his own words and in the presence of DRAX representatives confirms that he is the one who personally appealed to the company for COVID19 related donations provides incontrovertible evidence.

We are culturally averse to exposing an elder’s indiscretions. The evidence Hopewell Chin’ono provides induces a feeling worse than when one catches a child with their hand in the cookie jar. It’s tough to confront the reality that we have elderly people who have no reason at all to steal, or to countenance it, but who do it nonetheless.

We cringe at Emmerson Mnangagwa’s inadequacies for the office he holds, and how wrong many were to believe he was endowed with some mysterious presidential shrewdness that would be revealed once he assumed office. We observe the differences between him and Robert Mugabe, his mentor for over fifty years, who was the master of insults, and note that all the student outdoes his former boss at is unknowingly insulting himself.

The buffoonery is painful to watch, and sometimes we even allow ourselves to be amused. We must however guard against the possibility that in being amused by or feeling too sorry for it, we will forget the plunder, the looting, the abductions and the beatings.

This government is a grand looting machine that provides free and important lessons for all of us to understand how lootocracies work. The coup which removed Mugabe, himself a looter, was led by looters who had fallen out of favor with him. It replaced him with a man who a United Nations investigation concluded was the chief strategist for the Zimbabwe Defence Force’s plunder of the mineral resources of the Democratic Republic of the Congo under the pretext of a pan-African intervention to help a friendly government.

A key member of the elite network involved in the plunder was Brigadier General Sibusiso Moyo (Zimbabwe’s current Foreign Affairs and International Trade minister), who was Director General of COSLEG, a joint venture company formed by the DRC’s  Comiex and the ZDF’s company Operation Sovereign Legitimacy (OSLEG). Moyo was also the chief advisor to Tremalt and Oryx Natural Resources, which represented Zimbabwean military financial interests in negotiations with State mining companies in the DRC. General Moyo is the husband of Loice Matanda Moyo, the chairperson of ZACC and judge tapped by Mnangagwa to be Zimbabwe’s anti corruption Czar.

The looting machinery that plundered the DRC was well oiled by the time it turned on Chiadzwa, aided by Zanu(PF)’s “all-weather friends” who were invited to the bonanza by the regime’s “Look East policy.”

Every lootocracy needs expertise in moving money globally and a semblance of respectability, both of which are provided very well by the duo of Mthuli Ncube and Guvamatanga, the top team at the Ministry of Finance. The highly educated and well traveled Minister was a perfect choice for the job, having served as Managing Director of Quantum Global, the Swiss asset manager contracted to invest money for the FSDEA, Angola’s US$ 5 billion Sovereign Wealth Fund. Quantum Global was retained by the FSDEA’s former boss Jose Filomeno dos Santos, the ex-president of Angola’s son who is currently under criminal investigation and was part of the ex-president’s extensive empire of graft.

The involvement of the current State Security minister Owen Ncube with the criminals that invaded Gaika mine and the rampaging Mashurugwis in the Midlands is well known. Also well documented is the role of Sakunda and Tagwirei in looting through Command Agriculture.

To want more information to prove that this government is a lootocracy whose priority is to enrich itself at everyone else’s expense would be to insult yourself and your intelligence. None of this is new as the most perfunctory research of the corruption of Zanu(PF) governments in the last forty years reveals.

We have a choice either to be fed up with being provided the evidence of the looting, or being fed up with the looting, the violence, the abductions, the killings which are the reasons for our suffering. The former choice doesn’t change anything. The latter forces us to exercise the responsibility of every citizen: “the duty to intervene.”

Those of you who have been following the case of the murder of George Floyd in the United States will have noticed that the three police officers who did not ask their colleague to remove his knee from the victim’s neck are being charged precisely for failing to exercise that responsibility.

Curiously the Zimbabwean military cited that duty to justify their removal of Mugabe, and even attempted to set a precedent where military intervention was not unconstitutional. Even these protectors of this lootocracy recognize the constitutionality of the duty to intervene.

For the foreseeable, future I am going to relentlessly challenge you to exercise your duty to intervene, to tell your loved ones, your friends, your tribesman, the enforcers of the brutal orders of the regime meant to protect their looting, that it is illegal to obey illegal orders. If you are in the security services and law enforcement yourself, know that it is your moral, civic and constitutional duty to disobey illegal and unconstitutional orders.

Signing the petition I have created and shared with you is only a starting point, albeit an important one. For those who have already signed, it is working, as evidenced by how upset some regime apologists have become already, and also thankfully by the responses of some in these services who are sharing their commitment to never again violate your rights. Let’s keep sharing.

Is There Not a Cause?

#ZimbabweanLivesMatter

@drnmanyika

18Sep/19

True Heroes Inspire Us To Be Our Best Selves /Dr. Noah Manyika

I am sorry, but I personally find the idea of people tripping over themselves to restore Robert Mugabe’s legacy instead of focusing on pressing for the full emancipation of the Zimbabwean people not only obscene but grossly insensitive.

When time renders its full judgment, it will be clear that Emmerson Mnangagwa (and the post November 2017 repression that has caused the abductions of Dr.Magombeyi and many others) is Mugabe’s legacy. 

When the late President is buried in his extravagant mausoleum, over 72% of Zimbabweans, including people from Zvimba, will still be living under the poverty datum line. 

The old lady in Murehwa who broke her hip and can’t afford what is being demanded for her treatment will still be groaning in excruciating pain, or worse still be dead from septic bedsores.

University graduates will still be street vendors, and unemployment will still stand at over 90%. 

Queen Bee will still be plundering the economy and we will still be enduring 16-hour power cuts and long fuel lines.

The officially gazetted wage for a gardener and housekeeper will still be RTGS 160 and 168 respectively, or about US$10 per month.

Owen Ncube, Victor Matemadanda, Energy Mutodi and Ziyambi Ziyambi will still be ministers, and Chinotimba will still be considered our best parliamentarian. 

Wicknell Chivayo and Obert Mpofu will still be enjoying their ill-gotten wealth, and the billions of dollars missing from Chiadzwa and Command Agriculture will still be unaccounted for. 

People will still be perishing from needless accidents on the horrible Harare to Masvingo road whose improvement is currently stalled by the highly suspicious awarding of tenders without a road design. 

Barring an act of God, Emmerson Mnangagwa will still be president. SB Moyo will still be Foreign Minister and claiming that a Third Force is abducting Zimbabweans, while the government will still be viciously putting down legitimate protests and blaming sanctions for the consequences of their own incompetence and corruption.

Kirsty Coventry and Mthuli Ncube will still be pretending that the principle of collective responsibility for the repressive and violent actions of cabinet does not apply to them because they are a special category of citizen.

Some of us who refuse to travel with “eyes wide shut” are struck by the commitment of leaders elsewhere to simply make their nations work. I was thoroughly perplexed recently by how a relative whose savings completely disappeared under Mugabe’s rule and who in his old age cannot afford his own medical care fondly remembered Mugabe thundering that Blair could keep his “little England” while he (Mugabe) kept his Zimbabwe. I reminded my relative that Mugabe had reduced him to a life of penury, while he (Mugabe) and his family lived like British Royals. 

They carved out a life where everything worked for them in a country that was not working for everyone else.  

Or they would simply fly out to Singapore, Dubai, China, South Africa etc. to access services that were not available to ordinary men and women at home.

I am sorry but my definition of a hero is radically simple and has little to do with the qualities I hear being extolled even by those who claim to be fighting for change in our country. 

My hero is someone who inspires me to be my best self. To be the best citizen. The best worker. The best leader. The best entrepreneur and businessman. To produce the best social and economic good.

True heroes inspire us to build the best hospitals. The best schools. The best communities and the best nations. The breakthrough for our communities, nation and continent will happen when we start minting those kinds of heroes.

Its not my responsibility to grant or take away the place in history that only time and their deeds can give anyone. My duty to myself, my country and my children’s children in the event that there are few heroes in my own context to inspire me to be my best self is to do all I can to find that inspiration elsewhere, or die trying.

Is There Not a Cause?

#ZimbabweanLivesMatter

@drnmanyika

17Sep/19

Applying What Makes Other Nations Work Would Threaten Zanu(PF)s Hold on Power. /Dr. Noah Manyika

It’s impossible to land in a place like Doha, Qatar as I did this morning without thinking of the absolute heartlessness of the people who have led our nation for the past four decades.

Qatar is a desert nation of sand dunes with no perennial rivers or lakes. Qatari leaders have essentially two natural resources, oil and natural gas which they steward well for their people.

Unlike Zimbabwe’s rulers who simply plundered Chiadzwa’s diamonds and continue to plunder our gold, chrome, platinum reserves etc, Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund from oil and natural gas revenues now stands at over $170 billion.

The country works in spite of the demographic peculiarity of only 600,000 out of a population of 2.6 million being citizens, and the rest migrant workers and expatriates. Instead of allowing the outnumbering of their citizens by foreign workers to stoke their paranoia and threaten their sovereignty, Qatari leaders manage the foreigners as a critical resource for their economic well-being.

That Qatar, it’s complicated history, location in one of the most volatile regions in the world and the current diplomatic standoff with its powerful neighbors notwithstanding, could still have a vibrant and well-managed economy (Qatar has the highest per capita income in the world) and Doha could still be the vibrant gateway to the world that it is, speaks volumes of the commitment of its leaders to make their country work not just for the ruling elite, but for the majority of its citizens.

By the way, in June 1995, Hamad bin Khalifa deposed his own father, the then Emir of Qatar Khalifa bin Hamad not to continue the plunder as happened in the case of our own coup, but to accelerate the country’s modernization.

We believe at our own peril that Emmerson Mnangagwa does not know what he is doing simply because he can’t deliver a speech as effectively as his predecessor did.

He knows perfectly well what he is doing now, just as he and his team knew what they were doing during Mugabe’s tenure when they came up with brutishly sophisticated schemes to plunder resources in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, at Chiadzwa and in the rich gold and chrome fields in the midlands and the rest of the country.

He knew what he was doing when he appointed Owen Ncube as State Security Minister in spite of his reputation in the midlands.

He knew what he was doing when he appointed Matemadanda as Deputy Minister of Defense and Energy Mutodi as Deputy Information Minister.

He knew what he was doing when he did not take action against the people in the military who ordered the shooting of protestors in January.

He knows what he is doing by not coming out strongly against whoever is abducting and brutalizing citizens right now.

When we laugh at our leaders for being clueless buffoons, we miss the point that it was not the ability to give great speeches that enabled them to craft these schemes, but the fact that they are committed and calculating plunderers who understand that applying what makes other nations work in Zimbabwe would threaten their criminal enterprises and hold on power.

The late Robert Mugabe’s extravagant foreign trips at the public’s expense earned him the nickname Vasco da Gama. The difference between da Gama, the 1st Count of Vidigueira and Portuguese explorer who was the first European to reach India, and Mugabe was that while the former’s travels were to benefit Portugal, the latter’s trips and those of his successor were/are largely for personal benefit.

Our leaders travel to foreign places not to learn anything but to strike personal deals, to enjoy the services provided by other nations which they deny their own people at home and to siphon money out of our economy.

We must not forget that it’s not just the logic challenged Matemadandas and Chinotimbas among our leaders who insist that “we have the strongest currency in the region.” That claim is made by much traveled and well-educated leaders who could have easily learned from their recent junket to Japan the elementary lesson that the real strength of a currency is its purchasing power for the average citizen, not where the decimal point in expressing the rate of exchange relative to other currencies is.

By the logic of our leaders, the Japanese Yen at 0.0093 US$ would not only be weaker than our RTGS, but would suggest that our own economy is stronger than Japan’s which at US$4.87 trillion GDP is the third largest in the world.

I recently had a long conversation with a member of the PAC who said the view from the inside was shocking, and that we don’t understand the extent of the corruption and the depth of the hole our leaders have dug us.

While he was pessimistic that we would see change anytime soon, I was personally encouraged by the fact that there are those on the inside who are finally seeing what Zimbabweans on the outside have always seen and experienced.

I suspect that the scales are finally beginning to fall from the eyes of some on the inside because the country that has not been working for the majority of citizens for decades is beginning not to work for them. What was affecting ordinary citizens is beginning to impact the business interests of the elite.

May more of them who are on the inside see the light so that this house of cards may finally fall under its own weight for the sake of the people of Zimbabwe who have suffered enough.

Is There Not a Cause?

#ZimbabweanLivesMatter

@drnmanyika