For government, failure seems only choice

By RES Cook



PERHAPS the learned Reserve Bank governor should consult with Zimbabweans on the street (not those dug up by ZTV news crews to spout nonsense in front of a c

amera). If he does, he will discover that as far as his overbearing attempts to control all aspects of Zimbabwe’s economic and financial life are concerned, “failure is a reality”.


Recent events such as fuel unavailability, the fiasco over bread price increases, the lack of preparation for the forthcoming agricultural season, have once again highlighted the reality that this regime, and all those associated with it, are the cause of our economic and other problems.


It is not the non-existent, so-called “illegal sanctions” that have destroyed commercial agriculture in Zimbabwe. Neither have these sanctions created a rampant and ever growing culture of corruption.


Sanctions have not created a government dedicated to perfecting the art of kleptocracy or destroyed people’s homes and livelihoods during Murambatsvina.


Sanctions have not caused government to prioritise Mercedes, mansions and overseas travel before the supply of basic public services such as clean water, refuse collection, road maintenance, decent housing, not to mention basic education and health services.


Neither is it the governments of George Bush and Tony Blair, for all their faults, that oppress and brutalise the people of Zimbabwe whenever they seek to express their democratic right to peaceful protest.


In any functioning democracy, the price of failure for those holding public office, be they elected representatives or appointed officials, is resignation or dismissal. Unfortunately for us, but fortunately for Gideon Gono and most of his colleagues in government, we do not live in a functioning democracy.


* Cook writes from Harare.