THE article by Munyaradzi Huni, “Who said it’s all doom and gloom in Zim?” (the Sunday Mail, December 3) was all about the ostentatious and obscene levels of “conspicuous consumption” by Zimbabwe’s nouveau riche. A level of conspicuou
s consumption that clearly requires access to significant amounts of forex.
We see evidence of it every day on our roads — the ubiquitous Mercedes, the commonplace petrol-guzzling SUVs, etc. In drawing attention to this now prominent feature of the utopia ushered in by a ruling party once committed to building a socialist egalitarian society, I cannot decide if Huni is being subversive or merely subservient.
However, the beginning and end of his article offered hope that a more significant article might yet be in the pipeline — an article focusing on how all this wealth has been acquired — and possibly by whom.
The article began: “For a moment, let’s turn a blind eye to the source of the money,” and ended with the question: “Where are these people getting all this money?”
Many years ago the American gangster Al Capone, despite a life-time devoted to criminal activities, was eventually arrested and jailed for tax evasion. Perhaps in some future Zimbabwe these “fat cats” (an appropriate term given the levels of obesity among many members of our kleptocracy) might be found to have the same Achilles heel as Al Capone.
Huni’s next article, answering the question he himself has asked, is eagerly awaited. If he fails us, perhaps the Zimbabwe Independent could oblige. Such an expose would certainly make for a more entertaining read than another Eric Bloch analysis of government’s economic policies.