DISSATISFACTION with Gideon Gono is all very well. Understandably so. Fuel queues are back, companies are still closing down, no jobs have been created and the economy continues to haemorrhage jobs. Parastatals continue to revel in incomp
Robert Mugabe is still president and half the world is not even talking to us, let alone prepared to lend a helping hand. To all intents and purposes, the Zimbabwean economy is dead.
But I believe that laying the stinking corpse of Zimbabwe’s economy on Gono’s doorstep is a diversion. The real devils in all this are the Zimbabwean people themselves.
Gono had enough money for fuel imports and queues disappeared. The parallel market diminished and some banks that had been busy fuelling inflation have now been brought to heel. The “productive sector” had access to cheap money with which to add jobs to the economy, as was Gono’s intention when he set up the facility.
All this has been destroyed, not by Gono and, in spite of our fervent prayers, not by Mugabe. Did Gono hold a gun to fuel importers’ heads to force them to sell the precious forex they got from him on the black market instead of importing fuel?
Did Mugabe torture some so-called productive sector companies to use their low-interest loans from Gono to dish out dividends to their shareholders?
Who, I ask you, is responsible for the productive sector’s speculative gluttony? What production did they need the money for if they were simply going to invest it and make a tidy profit from interest? How many jobs are created by a paper investment?
The answers to these questions show just how shallow this whole Gono debate is.
A lot of people in this god-forsaken country are living off the sweat of the downtrodden. They are not necessarily politicians of any hue. They are “normal people”, although this description seems somewhat inappropriate to describe these sharks. These people have done more to defeat Gono than Mugabe did.
No one disputes that Gono’s assault on inflation has had astounding results. His target for year-end, derided by many so-called economists, now looks ridiculously pessimistic and Gono has had to revise it downwards. Yet businesspeople still have hiked rates and prices by as much as 1 000%, citing inflation as a fig leaf with which to hide their moral nudity.
These, fellow countrymen, are the vermin among us. Driven by the profit motive, they will gladly sell their own mothers if the profit percentage is good enough. This evil mindset will slowly strangle our country, no matter who is in power.
Men of unquestionable virtue will be frustrated and silenced because these people thrive on confusion and panic. They detest the very concept of hard work and are not above looting other people’s property if it is entrusted to them for safekeeping.
You will find no horns on these people. You will see no tail on them. They hold no pitchfork.
In other words, they look nothing like the devils that they are. They are your neighbours, friends and workmates. They are the lingering disease that is slowly eating this country from the inside out.
As much as I agree that there will be no real economic progress without a change in our politics, I am equally certain that there will be no economic or social progress unless the people of this country change their mindsets. The political situation in this country, bad as it is, is no reason to excuse a thief who breaks into your home, steals from you and kills your children.
It is very worrying when newspapers encourage the thinking that no matter how badly a person misbehaves, they should be excused because Mugabe and Zanu PF are in power.
This is the mentality that says you can beat up your wife because everyone else is doing it, or that when you see people looting a shop during a riot, then it is OK to join in because everyone else is doing it. If you want to see real anarchy in Zimbabwe, then the people of Zimbabwe should be encouraged to continue thinking like they are doing now.