By Patrick Guramatunhu- A few years ago I interviewed a number of job applicants and was shocked that many of them did not know what a verb is, although they had studied to “O” level and some even to “A” level. Now I can see the rot has gone up to not only University graduate and PhD level but right up to the University Lecturers and Professors!
“A group of academics in Zimbabwe under the banner of Lecturers Anti-Sanctions Network, (LASN) have embarked on research to prove that sanctions imposed by the West were detrimental to ordinary people,” reported a local publication.
The sanctions issue has been discussed over and over again and there is a mountain of evidence to prove sanctions are but a minor cause in Zimbabwe’s economic meltdown.
The root causes are gross mismanagement, rampant corruption and rank lawlessness which have turned Zimbabwe into a Banana Republic in which the few ruling elite have creamed off the nation’s wealth becoming filthy rich and wasteful at the expense of the overwhelming majority whose lives have become hell-on-earth.
“Zvinotoda mazvikokota kuziva mutsauko yenyama yegwai neyegwayana. Nyangwe Ndomupeyi anoziva mhiripiri!” (It will take an expert distinguish lamb meat from mutton. When it comes to chilli, even a half-shilling Ndomupeyi, knows!) So goes the Shona adage.
People have long stopped believing in sanctions as the root cause of the nation’s economic meltdown because they can see with their own eyes how the ruling elite have become filthy rich. Of course, it does not make any sense at all that sanctions so be crippling the ordinary people who are not even on the sanctions list whilst those on the list thrive.
Corruption and mismanagement are the root causes of Zimbabwe’s economic meltdown, the hot chilli in the Zimbabwe dish, everyone can see that with their own eyes.
The real reason why sanctions have remained on the national agenda is because Zimbabwe is a de facto one-party dictatorship, a dysfunctional political system, in which Zanu PF thugs alone set the national agenda. And the thugs have decreed that sanctions are the root cause of all the nation’s ills and will not brook to hear of any other causes for the sole purpose of drawing attention away from the real causes.
The nation failed to address the problems of corruption and mismanagement for the last 41 years allowing them to spread and grown to the cancerous level they are today. The only effective way to stamp out corruption and mismanagement is to make those in positions of power democratically accountable to the people.
Zanu PF ruling elite are the beneficiaries of the corruption and mismanagement and as long as they retain the carte blanche powers to rig elections and remain in power; corruption and mismanagement will remain.
So Zanu PF is using sanctions to hide corruption and mismanagement which in turn are used to hide the curse of rigged elections and bad governance.
After 41 years of rigged elections and the nation sinking deeper and deeper into the abyss; one would expect Ndomupeyi, the half-shilling, to have finally figured it out that Zanu PF is using sanctions as cover to deceive the nation. And therefore for so-called academics to be leading from the front on this sanctions research is as meaningless as setting out to prove that the earth is flat!
“We, the intelligentsia of the Republic of Zimbabwe, hereby take a stand to unmask the myths surrounding the sanctions saga bedevilling Zimbabwe,” said LASN national co-ordinator Obediah Dodo, a lecturer at Bindura State University.
“We acknowledge that like any other sovereign State, Zimbabwe has its own fair share of internal contradictions which we, as Zimbabweans, should deal with, guided by our own peculiar socio-cultural dynamics. (No doubt a tacit admission that there are other causes, which LASN should look into but will not dare!)
“In a bid to contribute to the cause of our sovereign nation, we shall engage in rigorous research and make presentations and submissions to the international community and particular Western countries for a relook into the issue of sanctions.
“From the onset, we hereby declare that our position is that of academics who rely on verifiable facts to petition for the removal of sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe.”
So LASN has NOT yet engaged in rigorous research and yet is already petitioning for the removal of sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe!
Of course, what Dodo and his fellow LASN, half-shillings masquerading as intelligentsia, are not only helping Zanu PF to keep sanctions on the agenda but, more significantly, are keeping the regime itself in power. The regime just added sanctions as an excuse to deny Zimbabweans their basic right to a meaningful say in the governance of the country.
In June this June Zanu PF’s Acting National Political Commissar, Patrick Chinamasa announced that the three million plus Zimbabweans in the diaspora will be denied the vote “as long as the sanctions imposed by the West on Zimbabwe remain”!
Considering President Emmerson Mnangagwa won the presidency with 2.4 million vote or 50.8% of the cast votes; so the diaspora votes constitute 3 out of 8 million potential voters or 37%. How can an election in which 37% are arbitrarily denied the vote be legal, free, fair and credible? A question for Dodo and fellow LASN Ndomupeyis must answer!
What is killing Zimbabwe is the failure to hold free, fair and credible elections and bad governance; not sanctions. Zanu PF and its apologists are like a doctor who insist on giving painkillers even for a broken limb even even the stench of gangrene is overwhelming. And now Dodo and his LASN half-shilling academics are throwing their thrupence worth pontificating on the efficacy of painkillers!