Letter from America: with KENNETH MUFUKA
If I were to make a list of the idiotic commiserations former Information deputy minister Energy Mutodi has made to bereaved families, there would be no end of it. The only conclusion would be that he is an idiot. The matter before us is to illustrate that Mutodi, like any of our leaders since Robert Mugabe, have created an alternative reality, which exists only in their imaginations.
Therefore, like Mutodi, they are like kings who walk naked, wonder why their policies are failing and why women and children cover their mouths with mirth.
They persevere, with utter indifference to reality, in their idiotic activities, hoping to reverse the flow of the Nile.
For reasons of space, allow me to make only two observations, which prove that Mutodi was not only an idiot, but disgraced the position of Information deputy minister.
The role of an information minister is to always put the best foot forward on behalf of his government. They learn this at diplomacy school. When the patriot Itai Dzamara was abducted and disappeared from the face of the earth, Mutodi taunted his wife, Ms Shefra. Shefra, he suggested, must look for another beau because her old beau was not coming back. Shefra was a woman in bereavement, left a “widow”, to care for young children in a hostile economic environment.
If this is heartless, the disappearance and return of three MDC activists, legislator Joana Mamombe and her two young fellow feminist fighters, was a god-sent for the idiot. Looking at the traumatic appearance the women were in, no man in his imagination could have thrown out mouthings of glee. But the scoundrel was at it.
“Details emerge MDC youths Joana Momombe (and company) went out for a romantic night to Bindura with their lovers who are artisanal miners.”
His attack on Tanzania’s approach to the coronavirus pandemic contradicted the very purpose of his position as Information deputy minister. His job is not to make enemies with neighbouring countries. Further, he apparently did not coordinate with his boss, Monica Mutsvangwa, nor did he solicit information from the Foreign Affairs ministry. Tanzania was simply none of his business. Full stop.
This brother refers to himself with the title, Honourable Dr Energy Mutodi, Musoro weMbada, deputy minister of Information, Republic of Zimbabwe. There is nothing honourable, nor is there anything that implies much learning enough to deserve the title, Docere et Philosopher (teacher, wise one); neither does the brother place his best foot forward as a representative of the Republic of Zimbabwe.
Mutodi is only the worst among the brothers who, like him, have lofty titles, but walk in the dark, eschewing all the wisdom of the past and directly contradicting the history of other nations.
Also, these brothers are like fish in a tank. In their fish tank, they pass accolades to each other; pat the more idiotic brothers on the shoulder as brave and stalwart cadres. The more idiotic mouthings a brother engages in, the more revered he is regarded among the Zanu stalwarts.
Mutodi is not the only one who lives in this alternative reality.
The twin doctors
I have some empathy for the twin wizards of Zimbabwe’s financial world, Dr John Mangudya at the Reserve Bank and Professor Mthuli Ncube, at the Finance ministry. Having paid my respects, let me say that the policies executed by these twin enfants terrible (Latin for horrible) are doomed to fail for the simple reason that they are based on an alternative worldview, which does not exist outside their brains.
But, like Mutodi, and supported by the culture in Zanu PF, cultivated by former president Robert Mugabe, they walk in darkness, looking for a door and a way out of the mess that worsens by the day.
These twin brothers took the advice of the World Bank, knowing full well that, that mother of all imperialists has only one aim, to ensure the payment of their customers and the transfer of resources from Africa at a cheap price as is possible.
By devaluing the Zimbabwe dollar by half (2018), common sense dictates that by that stroke of a pen, one has doubled the amount to be paid to World Bank customers. It is simple mathematics.
A Zimbabwean comedian explained it to me thus. You had two cows yesterday and you left them with your in-laws. On your return, the in-laws give you two goats back. Surely, whereas yesterday you could have sold one cow in exchange for a bicycle, and had some money left over, now you must sell 10 goats. In American lingo, you are now 10 times poorer.
The $3.6 billion in surplus Ncube revenue is useless if that money has to be converted to US dollars. The boast that international creditors and white farmers would be paid now looks like a chimera. The longer time passes, the more the Zimbabwe dollar loses value, and creditors are screaming dirty murder on the door.
This is a problem the twin brothers created for themselves because they live in an alternative reality which is of their own creation.
The second idiotic reality is the inexorable decline of the Zimbabwe dollar. The twin brothers need to re-read Adam Smith’s Wealth of Nations again. In a chapter on monopolies (like Sakunda), Smith says that a monopoly does not encourage increase in production because it can get the same revenues by a slight increase in their prices. Nor does a monopoly encourage new entrants into their area of business.
But the most significant of Smith’s conclusions is that every actor in business works in his (her) interest. Zimbabweans know that in the long run, the US dollar is a store of value, much better than the Zimbabwe dollar. Why do I have to explain a simple truth, which the doctors should know already?
Therefore, the run on the Zimbabwe dollar is natural.
l June 1 2018 Zimbabwe dollar 2.5 US dollar: 1.00
l January 30 2020 Zimbabwe dollar 24 US dollar: 100
l May 20 2020 Zimbabwe dollar 60 US dollar: 1.00
The third area of expedience is the diamond sector. Any casual reading of parliamentary reports (Chindori-Chininga Reports) shows clearly that the diamond fields are under Mafioso management. Their dealings and revenues are private and inaccessible to government. It is not a secret that planes loaded with “something” — as my informants told me — take off for China every week.
If your best resources are under foreign management, then there is no hope of ever coming out of poverty. My twin doctor wizards believe that by some magic, the world will alter its reality to suit them, and one day, manufacturers will erupt out of the earth to satisfy their whims.
Mutodi is not the only one who walks proudly without clothes.