Satanic absence of conscience


PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe has expressed utter dismay at the mega-salaries scandal.
And, coming from someone who has consistently fought to realise the liberation objective of black empowerment, one is left with no doubt that what lies at stake in the mega-salaries scandal is the legacy of liberation struggle.
After over a century of liberation struggle, the black people of Zimbabwe must decide whether to vindicate the ultimate human sacrifice that Nehanda and those who lie in mass graves at Nyadzonia, Chimoio, Mkushi or the mineshaft at Chibondo put into it, or, let a few thieving chief executive officers trash it in acts that translate to cannibalism.
Therefore, if there is no law to prosecute the harvesting of obscene mega-wealth from human desperation, the Parliament which the people elected to protect their interests must as a matter of conscience promptly exercise its constitutional mandate to not only create the requisite law, but to also give the new law retrospective application in order to recompense the wronged.
And by the same token, the same Parliament must design commensurate punishment because punishment is sometimes ineffective because it is based on pre-supposed and not experienced crime.
On the frontier of Zimbabwean time, the parastatals and town council executive criminals are new arrivals on the criminal block.
What is new is not the type of crime.
What is new is the sheer magnitude of the crime; and the absolutely satanic absence of conscience; and the catastrophic threat to the legitimacy of liberation struggle.
Logic persuades the public to believe that those who manage public health schemes do so informed by conscience, compassion and the desire to preserve life. Logic persuades us to believe that those who manage the public health schemes to which we sincerely subscribe do so informed by empathy which puts them in the desperate position of a civil servant enduring a desperate US$300/month life below the poverty datum line.
We are persuaded to believe that the empathy allows them to ask the same questions civil servants ask themselves kuti: “Ko kana ndikarwara on a US$300/month wage ndinopona here?”
And, this is the trust that is still making it impossible to imagine how the CEO of a public health service scheme for a desperate public can be comfortable with taking home an executive salary that inhibits the purpose of the scheme.
An executive income that is the equivalent of the wages of over one thousand seven-hundred civil servants whose health is already sapped by a harsh economic climate is too outlandish for any normal mind to imagine.
This person’s responsibility is to give health to the public and if the public from whose subscriptions he draws his salary fails to access the health services for which they pay, it means the moral and legal legitimacy to draw that salary falls away.
If he proceeds to draw the salary, fully knowing that the subscribers are not getting the relevant service, the act translates to robbery with arrogance.
The same logic applies to a town council executive whose salary is over one hundred times the civil servant’s wage.
A town council executive, who, notwithstanding full knowledge that he is not delivering the services for which the town residents are paying for, continues to think they owe him the stupendous salary that buys him exclusive luxury in the sea of poverty he has created.
The Minister of Justice recently brought out an interesting point while addressing defence officers.
In retrospect one feels that the interesting point offers a very good way of dealing with the mega-salaries problem.
The way I understood the interesting point was that the constitutional right to life is not absolute.
Much of it is dependent upon our own recognition of that right in others.
That is how he explained the presence of 91 inmates on death-row.
They had not themselves recognised the right of life in others, and it had been the courts’ judicious decision to put them away as a measure of preserving life in others.
The informing principle was LIVE AND LET LIVE, and not LIVE AND LET DIE.
In oblique, the foregoing stance legitimately questions the right of PSMAS executives to invoke for themselves the right to the health they have for years denied faithfully paid-up members of the scheme.
And, of course the same applies to parastatal and town council executives.
And other deafeningly mute questions that now haunt the victimised nation are:
If these criminals’ incomes are as clearly not based on performance as they are; and they are not commensurate with the current state of the national economy; and they are not consistent with the objectives of liberation struggle, then exactly what are they based on?
Was the liberation struggle prosecuted to replace white-skinned capitalists with black-skinned Cuthbert Dube, Happison Muchechetere, Tendayi Mahachi and like executives?
Is this also not a test of credibility … a test of sincerity to the liberation struggle?
A demand for the legislature and the judiciary to show their hands and prove non-complicity (through action) in this most outrageous betrayal of the people’s trust?


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