Mugabe’s legacy of plunder

By IndepthAfrica
In Article
Sep 11th, 2012

Vince Musewe

Those that have benefitted must face the law for crimes against Zimbabweans.

I am more pained than angry at what my country has become. It was only last week, when I sat down with a distraught single mother of two, who has been trying to do all she can to make a difference. She opened a crèche to look after disabled township children. Her thinking was that, it is better for these kids to spend the day being supervised and stimulated, than sitting at home doing nothing because the parents cannot afford any care or school fees for them. She offered this service free to township residents, and managed to convince some NGO’s to provide for the daily needs of the children that she was looking after. After a while, she was approached by local Zanu-PF youths, who questioned and harassed her, wanting to know who was funding her crèche. They would come each day and forcefully take all the groceries provided for the kids by the NGO and leave her with very little. She gave up.

This is but one of many stories that I have heard. As I write to you, the minister of finance, Tendai Biti, is off to Australia, South Africa and Angola to beg for funds to pay for civil servants salaries. This is mainly because there are no revenues coming from our diamonds. ZANU(PF) cronies continue to live large while we have to borrow taxpayer funds from other countries to pay our bills.

It was only yesterday that I read on the Save Conservancy corruption, where a not so honorable Zanu-PF old bag was boasting of how much money she is making from hunting licenses. She boasted that she doesn’t have to do much except sit back and get paid. That is the culture we are fighting against. A culture of patronage and laziness.

I have been watching election campaigning in the USA, from there you can see how backward our democracy has become. It is no longer about delivery or economics but about plunder and fear. If there is one good thing the British did, it was to educate Zimbabweans and instill value systems where it paid to work hard and to be honest. All this I am afraid, has been wiped out over the last ten years or so. It is no longer fashionable to be hard working and to postpone gratification. It is no longer fashionable for our politicians to spend their time and energy in serving the public. Politics has become a means to wealth and if necessary expropriation from those who have invested their time and effort in building their assets.

Each day we hear of how the resources of our country are pillaged by a select few in the name of indigenization. We hear how Zanu-PF ministers shower accolades on Mugabe as they pretend to go to work but have produced nothing of value for us. Their mandate is merely to frustrate and delay any possible change and progress so that they may continue to literally sleep on the job.

For me Mugabe’s legacy will certainly be that of patronage and pillage. A legacy of rewarding the incompetent, the foolish, the praise singers and the lazy. This will foreshadow all the good that he might have done. It will be a legacy that we must quickly obliterate.

I anticipate that on the MDC coming into power, it will be necessary for us to perform a complete audit of all national assets and dispossess those who have plundered our assets. We will need a high level team of forensic auditors to unravel how Zanu-PF has plundered Zimbabwe. Those that have benefitted must face the law for crimes against Zimbabweans.

Vince Musewe is an independent economist and you can contact him on

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