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Eric Bloch Column

Governmentium predominates in Zimbabwe

By Eric Block

THERE has recently been very justifiable excitement in Zambia, for the remarkable economic turnaround in the last few years has now been capped with a discover

y of oil reserves in the north-west of that country.

The Zambian government is rapidly and dynamically pursuing the commercial exploitation of the discovery which, if proven to be viable, will accelerate even more the spectacular recovery of the economy that has stemmed from the creation, albeit belatedly, of genuine democracy, respect for law and order, human rights, economic deregulation and an investment-conducive, welcoming environment.

Not to be outdone, Zimbabwe has recently discovered the heaviest element yet known to science, and this columnist is obliged to the anonymous author of the following “authoritative” report: “The new element has been named Governmentium. Governmentium (Gv) has one neutron, 25 assistant neutrons, 88 deputy neutrons, and 198 assistant deputy neutrons, giving it an atomic mass of 312. These 312 particles are held together by forces called morons, which are surrounded by vast quantities of lepton-like particles called peons.

Since Governmentium has no electrons, it is inert. However, it can be detected, because it impedes every reaction with which it comes into contact. A minute amount of Governmentium can cause a reaction, that could normally take less than a second, to take over four days to complete.

Governmentium has a normal half-life of four years; it does not decay, but instead undergoes a reorganisation in which a portion of the assistant neutrons and deputy neutrons exchange places. In fact, Governmentium mass will actually increase over time, since each reorganisation will cause more morons to become neutrons, forming isodopes.

This characteristic of moron promotion leads some scientists to believe that Govermentium is formed whenever morons reach a critical concentration. The hypothetical quantity is referred to as critical morass. When catalysed with money, Governmentium becomes Administratium — an element which radiates just as much energy as Governmentium, since it has half as many peons but twice as many morons.

That Governmentium exists in pronounced quantities in Zimbabwe is indisputable, for the evidence of its presence is to be seen within virtually every facet of Zimbabwean life. Authoritative scientific confirmation that Zimbabwe is possessed of infinite resources of Governmentium include:

* Having, over the first quarter-century of Zimbabwean Independence, had six economic plans to bring about well-being for all Zimbabweans, each launched with great fanfare and promises of imminent economic utopia, but none of the promised deliverables being forthcoming, it is now almost a year since government, with even greater fanfares, launched the National Economic Development Priority Programme (NEDPP).

But all that it has appeared to yield to date has been the creation of innumerable “task forces” which have apparently produced nothing but endless talk-fests, and thousands of column centimetres in the state-controlled media, heralding the imminent massive economic upturn (whilst ever greater numbers become unemployed, are homeless, under-nourished, without access to healthcare and suffering intensely). Only Governmentium can create an administration that can unendingly be duped by its own specious propaganda, and that can be continuously blinded by the realities;

* The Head of State, speaking in Beitbridge only a few months ago, said that Zimbabwe welcomes white farmers, wants white farmers, and will facilitate white farmers, provided that they recognise black farmers as their equals, but his Minister of State for Security and Lands states vigorously that no whites will be permitted to farm in Zimbabwe and, pursuant to that intent, continues to authorise and encourage evictions of whites from farms.

He promotes authoritarian, discriminatory legislation, spews forth racial diatribes in disregard for policies enunciated by his president and in disregard for Zimbabwe’s constitution, which prescribes against racial discrimination. Clearly affected by Governmentium, he not only contemptuously disregards his president, the constitution, justice and equity, but also exacerbates Zimbabwe’s economic ills and national poverty;

* Governmentium has also pervaded the corridors of the Ministry of Agriculture, ever since 2000, as is assertively demonstrated by the year-on-year assurances of gargantuan increases in agricultural output. Undertakings that Zimbabwe would be rapidly restored to food self-sufficiency, that productivity would be undoubted because of timeous availability of essential agricultural inputs, and so forth. In contradistinction, year after year the production of the agricultural sector has declined, and the economic foundation of Zimbabwe brought to near-total destruction;

* Endlessly enthused statements flow forth from government of the long-awaited upturn in tourism, with those statements supposedly corroborated by impressive statistics of fast-growing numbers of tourist arrivals. Concurrently, however, disclosures from tourism industry operators indicate that there has been virtually no increase in the number of bed-nights sold. Thus, either the data on arrivals is incorrect, or the tourists are curtailing their stays in Zimbabwe, or the increases are attributable to back-packers who do not patronise hotels, caravaners, or visitors residing with family or friends. Whichsoever of these is the case, there is little or no benefit to the tourist industry and the economy;

* Great emphasis is placed by the president, the presidium, the Ministers of Information and Publicity, Industry and International Trade, and many others, upon Zimbabwe’s supposedly most beneficial “Look East” policy. Few will dispute that Zimbabwe should, in its endeavours to attract investment, develop the economy, and generate trade, look to the East, but only contemporaneously with looking North, West and South. But although the governmental claims overwhelming success from its “Look East” policies, the populace can see little, if any, of that supposed success. Admittedly, a cement factory has been opened in Gweru, a glass factory is being established in Kadoma, a brickfield has been created by Chinese investors in Mt Hampden, there has been some limited investment into mining, and there are stated to be 37 other small-scale, corporate investments, but the aggregate investment is minimal when compared with the repeated projections of gargantuan investment that emanate from national leaders impacted upon by Governmentium. To a major extent, Zimbabwe has benefited China, with comparatively little reciprocal benefit to Zimbabwe.

China has sold at least six aircraft to Zimbabwe, fleets of buses, tractors, and other mobile equipment, tonnes of clothing and shoes (much of which were second-hand and rejects, quality products being consigned to Europe, USA, Australia and other first world economies), and much else, but the quid pro quo trade has not been substantial. Those are but five examples of the permeation of Governmentium in Zimbabwe, but are only indicative of like infiltration of that element throughout the Zimbabwean autocracy. It is surely an element that Zimbabwe could do without!

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