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It’s not strange at all

YOUR story “Zimbabwe under new ‘colonialism'”, (Zimbabwe Independent, October 8) about Asian countries dumping shoddy goods reports the ZCTU’s Collen Gwiyo blaming government for the crisis, saying: “For some strange reason they just open

ed up markets under the guise of economic liberalisation yet they do not know the effects.”

I suspect the reason is not strange at all.

“They” may or may not know the macro-effects but I’m sure most of us believe they know the micro-effects at the level of their individual external bank accounts.

Nothing for nothing, as we say.

To illustrate how far public officials will put their personal good above the public good, let me tell you about a story I read in Kenya in January 2002 when the National Rainbow Coalition won the general election against Kanu.

A former minister of agriculture had reportedly frustrated attempts for years to expand the sugar industry in Kenya.

It turned out he was importing and selling sugar, an immensely profitable sideline.

Makes you think, doesn’t it? If you believe that politicians as a class are primarily self-serving hypocrites who may only occasionally and incidentally do some public good, then you need never be puzzled about their apparently odd behaviour.

Just look for the money.



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