A heinous crime against a trusting nation


THE obscenity in the mega-salaries and allowances of parastatal and town council executives that has rocked the nation is unforgivable especially because it was premeditated.
The mega-salaries and outrageous perks did not suggest themselves. They were signed for and then squandered by the criminal beneficiaries.
The whole thing translates to a heinous crime committed against a trusting nation; a crime that cannot be redressed by salary cuts, suspensions and reinstatements of the same criminals.  
Coming after the July 31 2013 polls, this is perhaps a perfect test case for the elected executive and legislature as well as the appointed judiciary to prove their loyalty to the people as well as the black empowerment revolution.
If the vote that excluded the Western sponsored MDC from decision-making was an emphatic statement by the people of Zimbabwe that they wanted to be the masters of their own destiny then the judgment of these sell-outs must vindicate the people’s electoral choice.
The general observation is that if it was in China, guilty verdicts of such heinous crimes easily lead to executions.
And, there are historical precedents that predetermine exactly how the wronged people of Zimbabwe must view this ultimate betrayal, but it is important to first define the current context, characterised by the just ended negotiations on what wages civil servants deserved for keeping government machinery running.
The civil servants’ demands were simple.
They did not demand holiday allowances, cars or mansions.
They simply wanted sustainable remuneration, that would allow them to buy food and household basics as well as put something aside for health care, pay rates and water bills to guarantee safe drinking water and a cleaner environment, where refuse is routinely collected, the roads are safe and sewage flows in pipes and not the open streets.  
On the other hand, the Government’s position was that the civil servants’ demand for wages above the poverty datum line would be unsustainable by the current economy; an economy battered by turbulent change of ownership from racist settler hands to indigenous black hands.
The civil servants eventually succumbed and accepted life below the poverty-datum line in the hope that the austerity measure had been specifically taken to restore their dignity through indigenous empowerment.
And then the hitherto simmering mega-salary and allowances scandals of chief executives in parastatals and city councils blew up. And, it turned out that the austerity measures had no universal application.
The ultimate goal of our revolution as defined by Chitepo has been obscenely subverted by mercenary CEOs.  Chitepo said:
“What is the ultimate goal?
“The ultimate goal in political terms is majority rule.
“The ultimate goal even in economic terms is the abolition of systems of exploitation.
“That means, all faces of the capitalist structure of society in Rhodesia.
“We don’t merely seek a so-called rough change in society in Zimbabwe.
“We are seeking what we sometimes describe as a systemic change. “We want to change the whole system.
“We want revolution.
“By revolution, we understand a turning of the wheel.  
“We want to turn it right over.
“To get an entirely new society based on no exploitation, true equality and true justice for all.
“It is this vision which our people have been fired with … so fired with that vision they have been prepared to take up arms to fight against the regime that oppresses them, in the hope, and for the purpose, of establishing a new Zimbabwe, a new country, a new justice, a new economic system, a new society.”
And perhaps the beauty of the thing is that the mega-salary scandals are getting fully exposed after the wages of the civil servants have been pegged below the poverty datum line.
Another beauty is the fact that, this is coming after the civil servants have accepted (with perfectly understandable grief) the austerity measure as a necessary evil, given the economic context purportedly informing the new wages.
And, this is not the first time Zimbabweans have been persuaded to accept austere participation in critical issues relating to the destiny of the nation.
Chitepo’s explanation of the 1966 Chinhoyi fiasco testifies to this:
“We realised before very long why we hadn’t made very much progress.
“It was because there had not been a complete hug between the freedom fighters and the masses of the people in Zimbabwe.
“And, it is for that reason that during the period that followed, we concentrated on a regime of political education of the masses to get them to appreciate the goals that the struggle was aiming at.
“To be fired by the new vision of a new Zimbabwe and to participate in its realisation and to realise that the realisation of the new Zimbabwe, the new vision that we tried to sell, which we tried to inspire in their hearts could only be achieved by struggles which involved life and death.
“By armed struggle.” 
In this context, the masses of Zimbabwe were persuaded to accept the austerity measure of life and death in mortal combat to end economic exploitation by the racist white settler community.
The masses accepted, and the austerity measure was universal.
It spared no one.
Chitepo, as the chief advocate of it had already demonstrated his commitment to it by abandoning the prestigious post of director of prosecutions in the Tanzanian government in order to be on the ground with the guerrillas.
And the commitment had cost him his life, in the same manner it cost the lives of ordinary guerrillas, refugees and villagers.
The second precedent is the Mgagao Declaration in which freedom fighters chose the leadership of Comrade Robert Mugabe specifically because at a time when the revolution was threatened, he abandoned armchair-leadership-from-a-distance in order to share, in flesh and blood, the hardships that characterised guerrilla and refugee life in the bush.
The Mgagao Declaration that resuscitated a dying revolution today indicts executives who buoy themselves on the poverty of the masses. The critical lesson in Mgagao is that no executive should ever be allowed to insulate himself from the condition his post is created to address.
An elected administration must have the wisdom of understanding that privilege should never be an absolute right.
Privilege should never be wrung from scarcity or mass desperation. Privilege should be justifiable only as a bonus abstracted from surplus.
An elected administration must understand that by its very nature, squalor/poverty indicts extravagancy. 
An elected administration must have the wisdom of understanding that the loyalty of an electorate is a spiritual and very personal subscription to a cause they hope those they elect into parliament will have the mutual loyalty to translate into a tangible reality for them. An elected administration must understand that loyalty is a spiritual value that can be withdrawn without the beneficiary knowing.
The dire challenge for the elected administration is to vindicate the electorate’s trust in them by recovering what has been stolen from the trusting electorate, give exemplary punishment to the mercenary CEOs and then identify men and women with conscience as well as a cosmic perspective of the revolution to lead the subverted institutions.


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