Please don’t insult our intelligence, Mr Vice President
It is with a heavy heart that I am made to respond in this manner, for it may not yield fruits immediately, but when posterity judges the current generation, at least I would have said something.
Reverting to my pen, my favorite weapon – for it is mightier than the sword-has always been a solace when I witness leaders pour scorn on the people who give them legitimacy, the way our Vice President Emerson Mnangagwa chose to insult delegates at a recent business meeting.
The business brief was part of a two day program for the VP as he toured the moribund industry in Mutare, whose blushes have been saved by the resuscitation of Cairns Foods, the soldiering on of Quest Motors and the perennial performance of Mutare Bottling Company.
Otherwise there is no industry to talk about in Mutare, the most notable have all closed shop, downsized or are under judicial management, as industry continues to struggle in the constrained macro environment.
As he presented on the myriad of challenges besetting our government Mnangagwa, in his usual charming offensive, spoke of the need to mobilize resources for special economic zones.
He then joked that those resources for Manicaland would not include the $15 billion looted from the diamond revenue from the Chiadzwa diamond fields, a figure he in no uncertain terms benefitted from as a top official.
“Also we have natural resources in the mining sector as diamonds, except the 15 billion, but we have diamonds, we also have gold and many other resources, this must be harnessed to be used benefitting the local people,” he said.
It does not need any rocket scientist to tell that from the heavy involvement of the military in the extraction of the diamonds that the Minister of Defence would also get his cut. Mnangagwa could not make us believe otherwise even if he pontificated in his habitual humorous manner on any platform that he didn’t benefit from our diamonds.
For him to then jokingly refer to the issue as a matter of little relevance is to show us how the powers that be, trivializes matters of national into butts of jokes.
May I remind the Vice President and Minister of Justice Legal Parliamentary affairs that this $15 billion could have resolved our comatose economy, and even made irrelevant the Lima agreements on debt re-payment to which you made reference.
For this amount could have paid off the foreign debt, which incidentally Patrick Chinamasa as the Minister of Finance is battling to settle on behalf of the nation.
My indignation would not be complete if I did not mention the complicit role that the captains of industry played in all this.
I was equally appalled at their audacity to play along with the Vice President’s gaffe, laughing along as if they had heard a joke told by a comedian.
When one expected the business people to know fully well what the $15 billion could have done to our basket case of an economy, surely Confederations of Zimbabwe Industries should take up this matter.
Even if they don’t, it just goes to prove the point, which he took time to rhetorically address, as top officials guilty of corruption than any other person in this country, that corruption is our number one enemy. Corruption has seeped deep into the tentacles of our moral fabric that we now ululate to those who promote it by the night and denounce it by the day.
To continuously hear these politicians speak out against corruption, one would imagine they are spotless, yet it is now my belief they denounce it out of their guilty conscience.
Guilty I say because of a lack of better word to express myself, for I do believe in their rationale they all earned the bits and pieces of thousands of dollars they got from the diamonds, as they shared among themselves the spoil of our national treasure.
So if next time the Vice President chooses to joke in front of us, please don’t insult our intelligence, in the same manner we respect your repressive state apparatus.