32 years of political corruption, desperate voters and appalling service delivery – Is it time to fight back?

Posted: April 18, 2012 in Uncategorized

Someone reminded me I once said “Greed is good”. Now it seems it’s legal. Because everyone is drinking the same Kool Aid.” – Gordon Gekko

Under 32 years of Mugabe’s leadership, city councils across the country have seen services deteriorate to unspeakable levels. Back in 1980, Bulawayo City Council boasted of massive infrastructure ranging from community clubs to fully equipped libraries, clean swimming pools and modern schools. This past Saturday, Zicorareported that Bulawayo City Council is likely to lose control of the city following reports that the local authority is failing to settle its US$4m loan to Kingdom Bank. This would put most of its properties including the Council’s “Tower Block” at risk of being seized by the bank. The loan was used to purchase 25 top-of-the-range luxury vehicles for senior council management. In the City Council’s confidential minutes dated 11 April 2012, it was apparently noted that the council failed to pay over US$3m by 31 March per an agreement with the Bank. As a result, Kingdom Bank is demanding title deeds for the city’s properties including the Revenue Hall, Princess Margret Rose Clinic, Matshamhlophe water reservoir and three other council flats. Worse still it was also revealed that some council workers have gone for up to 4 months without pay. Water

"..setting out a vision to neglect public services"

and electricity continue to disrupt life in Bulawayo’s townships as the council is struggling to pay for services from suppliers. I know that some people will point out that the Council in Bulawayo is led by MDC T but I believe it is Mugabe’s management style of the country that has set the precedence. MDC T councillors just joined the greed train and I am sure the voters will not spare them when it comes to next elections unless they have an explanation as to why their lifestyles must be a higher priority than voters who pay their salaries.

Why they do it?

It seems to me that the kinds of politicians we have today are those who say “if someone else is doing it, why I shouldn’t do it myself”. The collapse of Zimbabwe’s service delivery system has over the years been promoted by Zanu PF through corruption, violence and dictatorship. One example directly related to poor service delivery is that of the Minister of Local Government, Ignatious Chombo. On a Minister’s salary, Minister Chombo has to date failed to account for his vast wealth which includes dozens of residential and commercial properties spread across the country. Last year, during a trip to Zimbabwe by representatives of the Gates Foundation, Chombo apparently could not resist the temptation to brag about his American car, army of household staff and lighting that can brighten up a whole street.

Do good today and you will never see tomorrow!

Minister Chombo has been firing MDC Mayors left, right and centre with no clear reasons. Mutare Mayor, Misheck Kagurabadza, was fired by Chombo allegedly for misusing public funds but the mayor himself claimed he had been fired for showing United Nations special envoy Anna Tibaijuka the living conditions of people in Sakubva after Operation Murambatsvina. Another Mutare Mayor, Brian James, claims he was suspended for hiring external auditors to look at council books in his quest for transparency. A few weeks ago Gwanda Mayor, Lionel De Necker, complained about polarisation and meddling by the Minister and was immediately dismissed. It is clear from all these examples that the Zimbabwe we fought for against Ian Smith is one that promotes corruption and there is no chance people will enjoy their hard fought benefits as resources are limited to the connected few individuals.

Tower Block - Kingdom Bank wants it

32 years of desperate voters

As Zimbabweans celebrate 32 years of independence today, there are clear signs of desperate voters who will sacrifice many principles in order to remove Mugabe and Zanu PF from power. This desperation by voters threatens complete ruin of the country because the change we seek will continue to manipulate us. My view is that politicians across the board must be held to account for the power they hold for us. They must be pressured to make choices that serve us and if they defy these simple instructions voters must wield their unique power –the power of their vote– and choose someone else to lead. Greedy politicians will waste our time and before we know it, we will be gone to the gallows of deep debt and poverty. As Gordon Gekko speech in the movie Wall Street – Money Never Sleeps says: “…you are all pretty much F**ked, but you don’t know it yet”. He calls the listeners the Ninja Generation, one with No Income, No Jobs, and no Assets. Dominated by greedy bankers, the central question of Money Never Sleeps isn’t whether or not greed is good, but how to use whatever time it is we have on this Earth. Time, it concludes early on, is more valuable than money and so it asks us to consider how we’re using it, not just as individuals, but as a society. Thirty-two years is lot of time and while we’ve come a long way, there is still a long way to go. I suggest that we fight this political corruption and greed together as society through the power of “X”.

 

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