Living in Mugabe’s Zimbabwe

Living in Mugabe’s Zimbabwe


ZIMBABWE – Broken dreams and broken souls as alcohol and religion have become the opium of the masses to escape reality.

Our once beautiful country is on the brink of social and economic collapse. The sad reality about it is that those who have caused it are still in power and actually think that they deserve to be there. The pain would not be as bad if Mugabe admitted his failures and tried to change his ways, but that is not about to happen and in fact, will never happen.

Millions of Zimbabweans have turned to the prosperity gospel to take away their attention from the suffering they must endure in the hope that one day it will all go away. The new age self-anointed bishops, prophets and prophetesses are living ostentatious lives as they collect millions of dollars from the desperate each week.

There is no better business than religion right now in Zimbabwe and the government is of course following the money since they intend to tax churches in the coming year. It’s a sad and ridiculous spectacle of desperate sheep who are hoping to survive by turning to hyenas for help.

The natural consequence of decreasing disposable incomes due to rising unemployment is a fall in the aggregate demand of products and services. Most companies are therefore struggling simply because customers are drying up. It’s as simple as that.

The interesting phenomenon is that the business sector is very quiet and taking the blows of Mugabe’s continued misrule without so much as lifting a fingure. That is rather curious. It is clear to everyone that this man just doesn’t care anymore. He has been insulated from reality by those who would benefit from his continued misrule.

Ordinary citizens are just plodding on and it appears to me that most have accepted their fate to remain desperately poor. Many times I have heard people say there is really nothing we can do except wait for Mugabe’s passing away. They have resigned themselves to poverty and daily stresses until their God hears their cries, but there is no guarantee that this will happen any time soon.

Even if it were to happen, there still remains a real danger that ZANU (PF) will finally collapse and we shall see many factions vying for power. Not that any one of them qualifies to take Zimbabwe to the next level but, as we all know, our politics is not about that at all. It’s more about preserving the vested interests of thieves and murderers at all costs.

The plundering of our resources by ZANU (PF) cronies and parasites that has been going on for a while is shocking. No surprise then that the looting machine must be re-oiled and preserved at all costs even when Mugabe goes.

I went to Mbare musika that other day and I would contend that there are more US$ exchanging hands there than anywhere in Southern Africa. The grass roots commerce going on there is dumbfounding. Those who are lucky to have space there are given it by ZANU (PF) connections and must pay them rent for doing nothing. The same applies to the small scale gold diggers all over the country.

What Mugabe has done is to informalise the once formal business sector as happened with the agriculture sector. The result of that is that of course taxes dwindle but you gain control of the masses as they become beholden to the party in order to survive.

In fact you hardly get people shopping in town these days. It just doesn’t make sense when you can get a decent second hand shirt for $5 at Mbare compared to $60 for a new one in town. The same applies to most products. I would estimate that Zimbabweans GDP is way underestimated.

Of course nobody keeps money in the bank anymore. It’s now a cash economy anyway so formal banking is actually an inconvenience. Mobile banking has been the biggest winner. How ironic after all the troubles that Econet went through.

I suspect that is why ZANU (PF) wants to clandestinely get a stake in Telecel at the expense of its current indigenous shareholders- they are merely following the money trail.

It just doesn’t pay anymore to be graduate or a professional in Zimbabwe because the demand for professional services has diminished. It’s the street wise and the police who are making good money every day as those in formal employment go to work without any guarantee that they will get paid at the end of the month.

An interesting phenomenon is that the number of young girls prostituting has certainly increased and it has now almost become an acceptable “profession”.

Of course this is hard choice for any young woman, but there are not many formal decent jobs for young women and your education level is now irrelevant to your economic well-being anyway. Other young girls have chosen rather to go and prostitute outside Zimbabwe, but there is no doubt that has become an alternative career for many.

The surprising development is that Europe has decided to re-engage with the ZANU (PF) government and the IMF is promising to assist with our arrears. I still need to understand their logic here but on the other; it is not their responsibility to help change the politics of Zimbabwe. It is ours.

I am convinced that there is a secret economy in Zimbabwe. There is definitely a mafia economy that is going on underground because how can one explain the mansions being built by the not so smart politicians and ZANU (PF) cronies and the expensive cars that on sees on the pot holed streets of Harare. I just don’t get it.

The energy crisis has arrived merely due to lack of foresight and planning and we are again likely to see hunger as the next agriculture season is not looking good at all. Everything is falling apart and you certainly can’t take consistent power and clean running water for granted anymore. Woe be tide if you get sick and must be hospitalised.

In a nutshell there is nothing going right in Mugabe’s Zimbabwe.

In Mugabe’s Zimbabwe, most citizens are all surviving on hope and hope alone while those who can leave the country are doing so quickly.

God help us!

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