Erich Bloch: So Much To Hide

IT is almost incomprehensible that government should bar three worldwide prominent persons of the stature of former United Nations Secretary-General, Kofi Annan, past United States President Jimmy Carter, and Graca Machel,

wife of the world-revered Nelson Mandela, from visiting Zimbabwe. Not only is it blatantly evident that none of them have any political axe to grind on Zimbabwe, but also that their intended visit was wholly and solely intended to assess the present humanitarian needs in Zimbabwe,  undoubtedly  with the underlying  motive  of thereafter facilitating the provision of aid to address those humanitarian  needs.
There can be no credible or justifiable reason for government to obstruct and prevent the intended evaluation of the humanitarian needs crisis that is prevailing, and intensifying daily, save and except if government fears exposure that the culpability for the inordinately pronounced humanitarian crisis lies fairly and squarely with government.
Clearly the governmental hierarchy has so very much to hide that it considers it an untenable risk to allow persons of the stature of Annan, Carter and Machel to see the factual circumstances.
Government has long deluded itself that skills of its Ministry of Misinformation and Duplicity are of such great magnitude that Zimbabweans and the world at large could endlessly be duped into believing the plethora of spurious and specious contentions that the circumstances of the Zimbabwean people were only minimally as grievous as Zimbabwe’s enemies contend, and that such circumstances are wholly due to the malevolent intents and actions of those enemies.
But government must have recognised that if persons of the renown and integrity of Annan, Carter and Machel witnessed the realities, and made those realities internationally known, the old maxim of “the truth will out” would materialise. Thereafter, any governmental denials would be devoid of any credibility.
Moreover, government’s foolhardy action, against the best interests of the grievously embattled populace which government is supposed to care for, cannot achieve government’s objective of truth concealment. The calibre of the trio who intended to visit Zimbabwe in order to see for themselves is such that they are not so easily deterred.  Instead they now intend to conduct their investigation from South Africa, and they can readily access authoritative information from the millions of Zimbabweans living there. Almost all of them are there in order to generate support for their dependants at home, who are struggling to survive under extreme straitened circumstances. They will also be able to gather considerable factual and well-informed information from the Zimbabwean diplomatic corps. In addition,  undoubtedly many of  the non-governmental organisations (NGOs) operating in Zimbabwe  will send  emissaries to brief these three  eminent persons of the harsh facts of Zimbabwean conditions, and of the monolithic humanitarian crisis that is erupting ever more strongly  in the distraught  Republic of Zimbabwe.
Unquestionably the international investigating team will become aware that:
l Millions of Zimbabweans barely exist on the threshold of intense starvation, malnutrition, ill-health and the debilitating repercussions of extreme hunger pangs, and very many are dying from resultant ill-health. The primary cause of these disastrous conditions has been government’s continuous destruction of the economy through  massive mismanagement, ill-conceived excessive  regulation, punitive taxation, uncontained corruption, collapsed  infrastructure, constant deterrence  of investment, alienation of the international  community, and very much else.
The consequential pronounced poverty is exacerbated by an equally pronounced insufficiency of food. Government has reduced agriculture to near total destruction. Maize production has declined, in eight years, from two million tonnes to only 500 000 tonnes, which is only marginally more than a quarter of national need. Similarly distressing production levels apply to other key crops, such as wheat.
lThe majority of the employable population is unemployed within the formal sector, due to the gargantuan contraction of that sector in consequence of the governmental destruction of the economy.
Instead, those formerly employed in the formal sector, now strive, inadequately, to generate some livelihood form informal sector operations, ranging from cross-border trading, black marketeering in currencies and commodities to much else, including gold panning, illicit diamond dealing, and many other crimes. However, these alternative occupations fail, with some exceptions, to generate a sufficiency of income to raise those so engaged above the poverty datum line (PDL);
lThose circumstances are exacerbated by those in receipt of any income, no matter how inadequate, having to support  an ever greater number of dependants, due to the wide-ranging, poverty, and due to the repercussions of HIV and Aids;
lThey are further exacerbated by the hyperinflation which has soared to  levels of quadrillions percent;
lFew can access needed medical care, with most hospitals  being almost inoperative due to mass emigration of doctors, nurses, and other health care professionals, and with almost all medical  equipment being in appalling  disrepair.
Much of the humanitarian aid that has heretofore been given to Zimbabwe has either been applied to pursuit of political objectives, being distributed only to those favoured for their actual or promised  political  support, or has been diverted for personal gain of a politically influential  few. These are but a few of the facts that the international trio will have become aware of from their visit, and will undoubtedly still be comprehensively appraised of, albeit externally of Zimbabwe.
With usual political duplicity, the Zimbabwean government has denied that it has barred the intending visitors from coming to Zimbabwe. Such action was denied by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Simbarashe Mumbengegwi. However, this was clearly nothing but a semantical interpretation  of the terminology “barred from entry”, for the hard fact is that the trio  were refused entry visas, on the trumped-up contention that there had been no prior consultations with government on the “timing and programme” of the visit.
In other words, government wanted time to arrange a rigged tour for the international investigative trio, in order to mislead and deceive them, partially refuting allegations of a humanitarian crisis, and partially ascribing any humanitarian crisis to the evil machinations of others, with government being blameless.
Once again government has put itself ahead of the needs of the people, for by preventing the visit, in order to protect its hallucinatory image, much aid which would undoubtedly have been forthcoming to ease the ills of the Zimbabweans will now not be forthcoming.
In addition, by its foolhardy and attempted  self-protection  action,  government  will have further  worsened  the economy, for now even more of the country’s grossly inadequate  foreign exchange resources must be applied to food and other humanitarian need imports, instead of funding of other economically critical  imports, and by creating yet another  massive blemish  to Zimbabweans tarnished image, to the prejudice  of investment  and other international  support.