FOR all its insensitivity to the ailing economy and our social needs, Finance minister Herbert Murerwa’s 2004 budget is a window into the abyss where we’re headed – a totally military-oriented di
A frightened one, of course.
Consider the three top votes: civil service, education, sports and culture, and defence and security. The maths is simple.
A satisfied civil service is the backbone of any dictatorship. It’s an extended arm that maintains a gag on the population. The police and other security agencies have done a sterling job of brutalising us in the last couple of years. Led by Tobaiwa Mudede, the civil service has repeatedly done a remarkable job of maiming the electoral system and defeating our will in the ballot. Even John Makumbe, the dedicated democracy propagandist that he is, would envy the propagandists in the government media.
With the ongoing indoctrination of the youth, our educational system, once the envy of the continent, has assumed a new meaning. The indoctrination machine is sure to receive more oil from this budget.
In this plethora of madness, where does the much-hyped land reform thrust stand? One would have expected the budget to smile on agriculture, in the form of material and intellectual empowerment of the resettled farmers. One would have expected more focus on revamping the economy.
But the regime’s most urgent priority is fortifying itself and militarising the state apparatus. In recent years, President Robert Mugabe has been opening the door to militarism. There is the militarisation of the youth through the youth camps. Towards last year’s presidential election, the top military brass made a naked pronouncement that they would not salute a chief executive without a war background. Now we hear that Vitalis Zvinavashe is favoured for the vice-presidency.
Worried as I am about the military muscle eventually grabbing state authority, I’m alarmed by the obvious. The regime is using our meagre resources in its ongoing standoff with the world that is demanding Zimbabwe’s unconditional return to democracy. In a peaceful region like southern African, the enemies we want to defend ourselves against are all imaginary.
But the regime is in a constant state of war-preparedness. Its enemies are everywhere. Because of our unrelenting fight for democracy, we represent this regime’s enemy on the home front. Therefore, the military and security forces have to be equipped and motivated to crush us.
This budget is the offspring of the regime’s fear, which stems from its outlawed authority.
Obert Ronald Madondo,