It is curious how Saviour Kasukuwere can honestly believe the government he is serving is doing a very good job. Such claims by a minister of a hopeless government like ours provoke anger among the suffering people of this country.
THE ORACLE BY TANGAI CHIPANGURA
Does the minister not see crumbling livelihoods and poverty-wrought misery that stinks everywhere in Zimbabwe — except of course in places like Kasukuwere’s mansion and other such places where the architects of this desolation live?
Even as government fails to pay workers and the country has run out of cash, amid daily public exposure of multi-million dollar corruption by ministers in the Zanu PF government, the minister still has the arrogance to declare with a straight face that: “We are delivering as a party, simple and straight forward!”
What are you delivering cde Tyson?
Kasukuwere said this on Friday while responding to allegations that his recent promise to doll out land to youths in urban areas was not a national empowerment drive but a sinister Zanu PF political project put into motion as we go towards elections.
In Kasukuwere’s eyes, the government is “delivering” to its people even as it has become clear the country is so broke it could shutdown anytime. On the same day that he was making his eccentric “we are delivering” declaration, government issued an official statement saying it had failed to raise civil servants salaries in time and has had to reschedule pay dates.
Meanwhile, long queues have become a permanent feature outside banks all over the country as those that eventually get paid cannot access cash from the banks because there is no money there.
And then, on the same Friday, the same Kasukuwere was at Bazel Bridge in Marange where, in his trademark patronising arrogance, he tried to fool poor villagers that the diamonds that were literally snatched from their mouths would be returned to them.
“When the diamonds were discovered here we all thought that it would improve the livelihood of the people in this area. Now all we have is a lot of theories on what could have happened to our diamonds.
“Why should the people of Marange remain poor when some people siphoned their riches to foreign countries? We did let down the people of this region,” he said while promising to investigate and recover the stolen diamonds.
“If it means we are going to squeeze out our diamonds from those big tummies, we are going to do so. Whoever stole the diamonds must face the full wrath of the law. We want this issue to be brought to its logical conclusion,” Kasukuwere bellowed and the bemused villagers clapped their hands as they have done countless times when similar false promises were made by these heavy-tummy politicians.
One would think Kasukuwere and the government he represents were not there when these big-bellied politicians were pillaging our diamonds in broad daylight. You would think Kasukuwere was not there when these men who grew dropping tummies on the sweat of the poor villagers publicly claimed that they were born rich — that their personal acquisition of entire cities was above board and that the source of their wealth should not be questioned.
Kasukuwere himself is today angry that questions are being asked about his colossal mansion in Harare and, like his colleague whose belly he threatens to squeeze stolen diamonds out of, Kasukuwere also refuses to have the source of his wealth questioned.
The fact is that Zimbabweans are now aware that their government — right from the very top — is corrupt, greedy, heartless, incompetent, shameless, arrogant and outright cruel.
President Robert Mugabe’s alleged nepotistic involvement in the Dema Diesel Power Plant project, where a close family member is set to irregularly benefit from the multi-million dollar project, is well-documented.
His deputy, Vice-President Phelekezela Mphoko, whose shameless profligate stay in the lap of luxury at a five-star hotel in Harare has earned him infamy, is now again fingered in a botched $350 million Zesa loan deal.
Names of senior ministers have become synonymous with corruption while others like Energy minister Samuel Undenge have become epitomes of graft and sickening moral decay.
Day in and day out, reports of corruption, open theft and other cases of financial rot among Mugabe’s officials, including the latest involving Mines secretary Francis Gudyanga, make newspaper headlines, including papers controlled by government.
Mugabe, who has exposed the shocking extent of his government’s corruption by his revelation of the disappearance of $15 billion in diamond money, is doing nothing about this economic carnage — and the people are wondering why.
It is no longer a secret that Mugabe is aware that it is the greed in his government that has dislocated this country — that it is this boundless avariciousness that has brought misery among the people of this country.
There can be no other reason for the shortage of money, the failure by government to pay salaries, the closure of companies and the attendant massive unemployment. This is the reason for the hunger that is ravaging the countryside where productive farms were grabbed by greedy officials who then pillaged and run them down.
Once flourishing industries were despoiled and abandoned and birds have come to make home in these factories while trees have shot from the floors and through the roofs.
Yet the likes of Kasukuwere want to tell the nation that they are “delivering”. The thieves are simply threatened with arrests while those that are taken for questioning over millions of stolen dollars get away with $50 bail before the cases are allowed to die. No effort at all is put into recovering the loot.
These greedy politicians actually claim that they have worked hard for their obscene wealth and that the masses that have toiled for their deep pockets have not done enough to pull themselves up by their bootstraps — never mind most of us never had the straps, or the boots.
Last week, the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe governor John Mangudya was confronted by a peaceful group of angry citizens protesting against corruption, poverty and misrule. The group which mobilised around the social media #This Flag campaign, spoke their minds frankly and asked the governor some hard questions.
When Mangudya sought to give the usual economic excuse, blaming the country and its citizens of “spending more than we are producing”, he was told clearly that the ordinary citizen was not spending anything because they did not have access to anything. They told him it was the few well-placed politicians who were spending more than the entire nation was producing!
It is true, the ministers and other senior government officials no longer appreciate that the purpose for their being put in those offices is more of answering a public call of duty rather than a narrow expectation of primitive accumulation.
The tragedy is that Zimbabwean leaders have chosen to embrace a carnivorous system. Our rulers are increasingly treating our country as a resource to be used up and then discarded once it falls apart.
A greater depth of wickedness than this is not easy to imagine.
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