IN the late 90s a local stamp cost 40c. Now one costs over 15 000 times as much while phone calls rival this.
Ironically, the government often blames the innocent
business sector for the high prices spawned when the late Chenjerai Hunzvi of hallowed memory had the ruling class over a barrel because he had sanctioned the looting of the War Victims Compensation Fund to enable him to demand $4 billion which the state did not have, for twice as many war veterans as existed in 1980.
Do you recall a woman minister, now very much in the news, admitting she had signed a form stating that she was physically and psychologically traumatised by her experiences in the 1970s because everyone else was doing it?
It was the subject of common chat in the bars as was the Willowgate scandal and the Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI) overdrafts.
Corruption was sanctioned in 1980/81 when those who looted monies due to guerillas at assembly points were allowed to escape as it was “invidious” for someone to be prosecuted when all could not be caught — the most weird “principle” in jurisprudence.
Under Rhodesian law (and I don’t think it has been erased) government employees were not allowed to own or run enterprises in order to make them concentrate on their duties and to prevent corruption which is the preserve of government and its agents.
When asked how he had suddenly become a plutocrat, the husban said the president had sanctioned it. It was still illegal, even if that was true.
In 1980 our Maoist chefs were to keep enough to live on decently and to give the rest to the party. That lasted a few months.
I recall a shareholder in the Midlands selling his capitalist enterprise and giving most to the party — a one-off copy of his betters’ hypocrisy.
Only after 24 years has the finger been pointed at corruption by the ruling class targetting bankers, politicians and their associates and financiers.
Apparently, however, the minister in charge of rooting it out found no one for months on end though he is surrounded by implausibly rich plutocrats.
It is typical of South Africa too that the only people there to own vehicles as fabulously expensive as the Swazi king’s were mere freedom fighters a decade ago.
Desmond Tutu was right. Harare has more BMWs to the metre than Johannesburg.
I have posted this letter and will have to go without my sundowner for a couple of days. Our post offices are almost empty and my bills are still to be delivered.
A letter delivered by air from the UK has just taken two weeks to arrive; it would have come in four days 40 years ago. Will the post offices close down and make way for pigeons?