By Cde Pfepferere
THE UN proposal to have Zimbabwe classified as one of the world’s 50 Least Developed Countries (LDCs) is a common sense call to the government of
Zimbabwe to desist from the paralysing stupidity that has been the hallmark of political and economic decision-making in the country for the past seven years.
The proposal has sparked some interesting if not emotive debate. It raises a number of hotly-contested issues, one of which is global governance.
The UN and the UN system itself is a far cry from an exemplar of an equitable system of governance. Developing countries often argue that the skewed international economic order and the dominance of the West in international affairs amount to global apartheid. No amount of ranking and categorisation of countries will change the status quo unless significant resources are mobilised to address the debilitating poverty in most developing countries.
Developing countries’ concerns regarding global inequalities are both genuine and legitimate but they should not become a smokescreen behind which governments and leaders hide while plundering and mismanaging their countries’ resources.
Half of what has led to Zimbabwe being considered an LDC has been self-inflicted.
The dilemma in which Zimbabwe finds herself is similar to the practice of kutanda botso with which most Zimbabweans are familiar.
Kutanda botso happens when someone wrongs or assaults their mother. Assaulting one’s mother was considered such a serious crime that it could only be atoned for by the perpetrator being publicly humiliated and held accountable. As a result of unexplained misfortunes the perpetrator will eventually be forced to put on sacks, go round the villages publicly proclaiming his misdeeds being jeered by children and begging for millet that will be used to brew beer for the atonement ceremony. Refusal to kutanda botso often ends in untold suffering.
The question to be asked is whose mother or mothers has the Zimbabwean government assaulted to warrant the LDC label?
* The author is a Johannesburg-based human rights lawyer and writes under a pseudonym.