Mega-looting and success in Africa: Part Two

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THE West has imposed and maintained illegal sanctions for 14 years, all in an effort to make Zimbabwe’s economy ‘scream’!
Whether Britain and her allies remove the sanctions or not, the fact remains that no other countries in the world have caused as much suffering to Zimbabwean people as they have done since1890.
It is therefore logical to label Britain and her allies as ‘enemy number one’ and teach future generations accordingly.
The second enemy which Zimbabwe faces is wholesale corruption that is threatening the country from within!
And Zimbabwe’s elites have a lot to answer for!
It is as if both the internal and external enemies are working in cahoots to undermine everything that Zimbabwe has achieved since 1980!
It is in the context of the above that we need to look at two stories which hogged the limelight in both print and electronic media in Zimbabwe during the early part of 2014, namely:
a) the story of Pastor Robert Martin Gumbura who could not resist the charms of some of his female flock.
b) the still unfolding salary-gate scandal involving executives running some of the key parastatals of the country; some of the financial figures reportedly earned by these executives has left the country shell-shocked.
On the surface, the two stories appear different, but at another level, both say a lot about the kind of people we have become over the years.
. What grips our attention as observers is the yawning gap between the proclaimed ideals of the pastor and the sordid sexual details which have been bubbling to the top in the media!
The other story centres on those elites who have been formally acknowledged as powerful enough to lead big national institutions and organisations, but people whose limitless desire for money has created monsters out of them—soul less people without conscience and not bound by what is good or bad, moral or immoral.
One can argue that there is much more between these two stories!
For instance, Gumbura’s lust for control over people and sex is matched by the unquenchable lust for money by executives from PSMAS, ZBC and Air Zimbabwe.
The common denominator here is that the pastor to whom so much is entrusted by the general public turns out to be a ruthless predator to his dear flock just as the executives turn out to be predators to the very organisations they are entrusted to lead on behalf of the nation!
It is tempting to regard these two stories as unfortunate incidents which can be explained away and quickly forgotten and buried in our sub-conscious so that we can move on with our lives!
Another way of looking at these two stories is to say that they are cautionary tales demanding that we tighten our leadership structures and management systems and monitor closely the
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performance of those to whom leadership roles have been allocated!
Our idea of success, and our dream of what it means to be successful in life appears contaminated to the core by this limitless desire for instant material wealth, like instant coffee!
Greed is destroying us from within!
The maxim guiding our elites seems to be—by hook or crook loot as much money as possible and do not worry about the rest!
In other words, success as a concept is understood in a narrow material sense that is sterile and amoral, far removed from all those aspects to do with creativity, inventions, knowledge,
wisdom, experience, truth and integrity!
Such a suffocating view of success is widely held by our elites groaning as they are already with vaulting ambition that is not always matched by their abilities! A colossal moral failure is at work here and it is affecting our elites like a pandemic!
It is important to realise that the cancer of corruption is not confined to Zimbabwe alone!
Recently in Malawi nearly 100 officials from the Ministry of Finance and from other financial sectors have been arraigned before the courts on allegations of generously helping themselves from public funds meant for development projects.
In South Africa, the Finance Minister had this to say about corruption: “there is a growing culture in South Africa … of making easy money — not having to think hard, work hard, be clever and find innovative ways of making money…”
Corruption is an African story. What matters most are the institutions a country sets up to combat this disease and the value system which informs the outlook and activities of those institutions.
One is not referring here to one or two anti-corruption institutions set up for that specific purpose. The fight against corruption has to be pro-active and has to be introduced in our primary and secondary schools and colleges so as to nurture the values and outlook of generations to come.
That fight against corruption has to be embedded in our national culture and value systems.
There is something fundamentally wrong in a society which says that success means that one should own huge palaces of Borrowdale in Harare, of Sandton in Johannesburg and of Muthaiga in Nairobi, but that those palaces need not be associated with hard work, creative thinking and or entrepreneurial work; there is something terribly missing in a society which says success is driving the latest flashy and most expensive cars which Africa can hardly afford, success that is far removed from the sweat of hard work!
Today, a soul less African elite is in a hurry to get rich quickly by any means necessary and in the process of doing so it is wittingly or unwittingly mimicking the predatory characteristics associated with lives of former white masters!
The African elite is an aspiring middle class in its rudimentary formation, but one which does not even control the means of production let alone generate ideas of its own to influence society!
It is a pseudo-middle class whose consumptive lifestyles are borrowed wholesale from erstwhile colonial masters!
There is nothing new or original in this type of class to emulate!
Vanhu ava vakafanana napastor Gumbura and are bound to disappoint us all!

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