The art of bathing in dirty water: Joice Mujuru and land compensation in Zimbabwe

12 Oct

The theatrics to take over after the geriatric President Mugabe kicks the bucket or calls it quits (honestly I don’t see him leaving office on his own volition anytime soon) seem to be reaching a c…

Source: The art of bathing in dirty water: Joice Mujuru and land compensation in Zimbabwe

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The art of bathing in dirty water: Joice Mujuru and land compensation in Zimbabwe

12 Oct

The theatrics to take over after the geriatric President Mugabe kicks the bucket or calls it quits (honestly I don’t see him leaving office on his own volition anytime soon) seem to be reaching a crescendo in opposition quarters. What with all the drama last week from former Zimbabwe Vice President Dr. Joice Mujuru when she announced that she met with the white man whose farm they grabbed or got “reallocated to” by ZANU PF when her late husband was still alive. At the least I find the whole thing unfunnily theatrical and at most cheap propaganda trying to sway the international community (read white people) to believe she is a repentant former ZANU PF zealot. I am convinced that her theatrics were not even meant for the general Zimbabwean audience. This is just trying to take a shower in dirty water, IT CAN’T!

I am not getting it. Joice Mujuru says she wants to compensate this man, this former white farmer whose land she alleges they “grabbed”. My understanding is that ZANU PF policies and laws that were enacted at the time the land was taken from most white farmers and redistributed to black people converted all that land into state property. So if the land belongs to the state, how then will she be able to compensate this white farmer when the land does not belong to him and purportedly never belong to him?

Maybe, Joice Mujuru wants people to believe that she wants to work out an arrangement that she will compensate him for “developments” made on the farm. Maybe she wants to compensate the former “landowner” for his machinery and or crops they “looted” at the time. That would in a sense be understandable but still it would be interesting to see how they will reach an agreement on the compensation rates. Of course, whoever lost his property would have an inventory but I’m really interested in seeing how the values for these properties/machinery etc. will be calculated.

This same Joice Mujuru who pleaded bankruptcy in recent court processes after her alleged step – children stepped in to claim their inheritance from their dead father is the same person who is claiming she can compensate people? Okay?

Cheap, very cheap, miscalculated propaganda I say!

One might want to see racism in these questions. However, I am of the opinion that the land question that Joice Mujuru wants to fiddle with cannot be used as a backbone for her attempts to get back into politics. There is no question that the majority of former white farm owners inherited from their ancestors this land that was stolen from black communities that were in Zimbabwe at that time. Joice Mujuru now wants to ride on a charade that seeks to trivialize this matter. She of all the people cannot forget that the liberation struggle was fought for among others to retain this same land from the erstwhile colonizers.

That ZANU PF is rogue and could have made mistakes in handling the land question does not mean that Joice Mujuru can try to downplay the need for land to be repossessed and be utilized by black Zimbabweans. The argument that white people were “very good’ and were good farmers is just unacceptable hogwash that should be told as folktales in faraway lands. It is a fact that most white families benefited from cheap bank loans, protected markets and so on such that they became “profitable farmers’. The new farmers in Zimbabwe who have been given that same land need to be given the same chance. There is nothing special about being white and neither is anything wrong with being black.

If there is one issue that will break Joice Mujuru’s attempts at the Presidency in Zimbabwe’s future it will be the land question and how she proposes to deal with the land redistribution process from the controversial “Third Chimurenga”. There are questions of principle on the much delayed and botched land redistribution process as well as questions about black empowerment and the need to possibly compensate the white folks who lost “their farms”. For her to conflate and confuse these issues with her attempts to renter politics is just mere political suicide and puerile propaganda which will not fly or win her the hearts of Zimbabweans! In any case, it is not these folks who will vote in 2018, if her recent theatrics are about looking for votes.

Compensation! Compensation for what purpose, to who and how much is the question she has to answer!

Diaspora Remittances: To send money or not to Zimbabwe?

1 Aug

So another debate is raging on the “controversial Zimbabwe social media” (LMAO) over the proposed shutdown on diaspora remittances to Zimbabwe from 3 – 10 August 2016. Mixed feelings really from different quarters all with genuine concerns. Others have opposed this move arguing that those who receive the funds in Zimbabwe will starve and those in favor are arguing that the remittances are propping up the ZANU PF regime and have to be blocked for a while.

There is no doubt that remittances serve a huge role in sustaining people in Zimbabwe. However, I am of the view that we need to put emotions aside and reevaluate how we are propping the ZANU PF Government through this diaspora money. I will argue in support of the 10 day shutdown of remittances to Zimbabwe and propose one or two solutions for discussion.

  • What is the message being sent here? This call for a remittances shutdown should is sending clear messages to the ZANU PF government to change its ways. The message is indirectly being sent to the Zimbabwe business community for being overly quiet when their customers are constantly faced by a ruthless and uncaring ZANU PF prevailing over a decaying economy. Indeed, those who are receiving the diaspora money should not take it for granted and think that its free money which can be used to buy from Choppies or even those Gushungo yoghurts and milk or some of these funny funny petrol stations! How dare you use hard earned to buy from a shop whose owner sleeps in a $1 000/day hotel room at the taxpayers’ expense?
  • The fear of beneficiaries starving in Zimbabwe: This fear is acknowledged and should not be taken lightly. However, we also need to acknowledge that not all the money coming into Zimbabwe is meant for food. There are people who send their savings home; there are people who are investing in Zimbabwe in construction, business and other ventures. These can wait; if the ZANU PF government is screwing you anyway, through corrupt central and local government officials what is the point. These people need money to run these institutions, it is not as if they get money from other sources to keep their well-oiled patronage systems running. A disruption of 10 days income would make them think seriously about their behaviors.
  • Is the ZANU PF Government playing its part in generating funds for the country: There is a very simple fact that 20% of the value of Zimbabwe is propped up by big and small monies sent by hardworking Zimbabweans from South Africa, USA, Canada, Australia, UK and many other countries. This is not unusual as remittances are now being counted as part of the solution to many an African government’s liquidity problems. Is it not scandalous though that Zimbabwe can afford to lose USD$15 billion worth of potential from diamonds through corruption and misgovernance and actually have to depend on such diaspora remittances for 20% of its economy? Imagine how dire the situation would have been if these diaspora funds were not brought back to Zimbabwe. Without these diaspora funds they certainly would think twice. Think about it!
  • No real value for money, anyway in Zimbabwe: The prevailing unstable political and economic environment in Zimbabwe largely caused by ZANU PF’s bad governance, offers no real value for money from the diaspora and even the funds earned locally. Overpricing and low quality products and services form the order of the day all the time. Withholding funds would send a very clear message to service and goods providers that they need to change their ways and provide value for money. The argument from the business sector is usually that they are constrained by the political and economic environment but they remain quiet because they know Zimbabweans will always come to buy. Starve them and they will also push the ZANU PF government to act. Let’s face it, your mum in Zimbabwe is sick and you send her money to a local hospital in Zimbabwe only to be told that there are no drugs and yet you would have paid the full fee. Solution: Send the money to South Africa, Botswana or even India and she will get treated there for even half the price.

Take universities for example, it’s a well – known fact that most private universities are now charging full fees. Why bother sending your brothers, sisters and children there. These institutions are collecting full fees which are now masking the real problems this ZANU PF government has unleashed on its citizens. The ZANU PF government now does not worry about how its lecturers and employees will be paid because they know students in the public institutions will pay anyway using the same diaspora funds. Look at it this way, sending your relative to another university outside would not be bad after all, would it? While they are busy looking for the lost $15 billion, your relative can be going to school somewhere else and you can be getting value for your hard earned money. Please don’t even start on the issue of patriotism. If they want to talk about that, they must start governing properly first.

  • Boycotting ZANU PF run businesses: I have on a number of occasions questioned the morality of politicians running businesses that supply public goods. I have come to an agreement with myself that there is nothing wrong with this as long as the businesses are transparent and do not get unfair advantages. The current situation where ZANU PF officials have positioned themselves in key service delivery institutions where they arrogantly keep prices high producing substandard products or unfairly benefitting from unscrupulous tax loopholes cannot be tolerated one moment further. So if diaspora funds were withheld even for those proposed 10 days coupled with clear information to families on the ground on what companies to avoid; what products not to buy and who to engage for services it would go a long way in sending very clear messages to this rogue government.

Talking temporary solutions

  •  So, a solution would be to send only the bare minimum for humanitarian purposes this time if need be. There is no need to be emotive about this. The ZANU PF government is screwing people whether they have the money or not anyway, but what is a sure way to deal with them is to withhold that which they need the most to keep them floating, and that is the diaspora money. Diaspora remittances have now become oxygen and blood for the arrogant ZANU PF government saving it from the shame and humiliation of failing to look after its own people while they gallivant and plunder national resources.
  •  Find other ways of money to Zimbabwe eventually not necessarily as cash or through the bank: So faced with a situation like the one we have in Zimbabwe, one solution would be just to ensure the money does not go through the formal banking system or the traditional money transfer agencies directly to Zimbabwe. There are a number of ways that can be done. Batter trading is one simple way. Exchange good and services where you can. No need to give these people unnecessary money. Pay for goods and services to accounts in neighboring countries. They will call it externalization or whatever but so what? Sending goods, clothes, medication are some simpler ways. Don’t be afraid, there is a threshold that can taxed, not everything.

My two cents!

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You garrulous Nathaniel; ZANU PF must just deliver the 2 million jobs it promised!

31 Jul

Dear George/Nathaniel Manheru/Charamba I see you have taken it upon yourself to issue two very arrogant salvos one on 23 July 2016: ( and another on 30 July 2016 ( on the demand for the 2 million j…

Source: You garrulous Nathaniel; ZANU PF must just deliver the 2 million jobs it promised!

You garrulous Nathaniel; ZANU PF must just deliver the 2 million jobs it promised!

31 Jul

Dear George/Nathaniel Manheru/Charamba

I see you have taken it upon yourself to issue two very arrogant salvos one on 23 July 2016: (http://www.herald.co.zw/graduates-where-are-the-two-million-jobs/) and another on 30 July 2016 (http://www.herald.co.zw/graduates-builder-pole-daga-thatch/) on the demand for the 2 million jobs promised by ZANU PF in the last election. Well, as a ZANU PF stalwart this would have been expected. Would it not have been a misnomer for everyone in ZANU PF to go mute faced with such brutal truths/questions about the party’s failure to deliver on these and other social goods? However, as much as you are entitled to your opinion, there is plenty of hogwash in your responses which is utterly false and call on you as a citizen to reflect on. Contrary to your beliefs ZANU PF as the governing party has a duty to all its citizens to provide social goods of which the promised two million jobs are part of!

“ZANU PF will deliver jobs to its constituents”

Well come now, Cde Charamba. This is the kind of nonsense you tell your children or party stalwarts who are ready to listen without question. Yes indeed, ZANU PF in its 2013 campaign promised to deliver two million jobs – the simple question that is being asked now is where those jobs are. The truth of the matter is that the Zimbabwean economy is in a comatose state and no new meaningful jobs have been created since the last election. If any meaningful jobs have been created give us the numbers in any sector. Why do you want to “speak in tongues” and advise on where young people should go and find the jobs. Do you not know that it is almost impossible to look for a needle in a haystack? I don’t think you expect anyone to believe that there are jobs that have been created by ZANU PF and they have been given only to ZANU PF supporters.

This same divisive nonsense that you allude to about ZANU PF working towards rewarding its own is what makes your party starve people in Zimbabwe’s rural areas without shame – confiscating grain from donor agencies and dishing it out to ZANU PF supporters lying that it came from Baba. Pity you can’t “grab” any two million jobs to dish out.

Why should ZANU PF govern to MDC’s benefit?

Don’t you see that you are contradicting yourself by asking such a puerile question? The political party in power is supposed to provide what it promised to deliver in its election manifesto. You go on to mention that as a political party ZANU PF is preoccupied with retaining power and gaining new votes. How do you expect to retain the same votes when even your own supporters don’t see the benefit of what you promised to deliver as a party let alone any new voters? Yes you have delivered land, but where are the two million jobs you promised?

University education is about building survival skills

Indeed, in the normative sense this is true. But in real life, you have managed to teach young Zimbabweans that the real life skills that anyone needs to learn is to join ZANU PF, get into commissions, government agencies and milk institutions like PSMAS and other state enterprises (ZANU CASH COWS) from Board sitting allowances amounting to $200 00/month or more. Your party sucks these students’ parents’ taxes dry on a monthly basis from your fuel rations; security allowances; school fees allowances etc. and you want to be garrulous standing there on a high pedestal talking about university and survival skills. Get off that high horse and come down to earth Cde! You can at least have the decency to “eat” quietly and not insult those who look after you.

You even become insulting that you are looked after by “matoto”. What crap, why don’t you declare all your assets and income and see if what you are worth can be traced to that chicken business back in Buhera. Why don’t you just say the matoto you are referring are the small sums of income taxes brutally chopped from civil servants salaries? You the son of Charamba, the one with the foul mouth wazvimbirwa manje! “Murume mukuru, unenge pwere sei. Kugaro ropodza zvisina maturo?”

Questions for you:

  • Bank Loans: What banks are giving money to young people’s “startups” in this day and age where your government has run down the economy and is even trying to reintroduce the Zimbabwe dollar through your party’s “bond papers”?

 

  • Looted Youth Fund: What happened to the Kurera/Ukondla Youth Fund – how many even of your ZANU PF two million party faithful accessed this money? Of the ones that got the huge chunk of it, how many have repaid so that even your own can benefit as well?

 

  • Teaching jobs: You want people to go and teach – where? Has your government not frozen all civil servants and teaching positions countrywide? Let those who have gone to teaching practice teach and let others find work elsewhere.

 

  • Sinister Statutory instruments – OGIL: You are mistaken as your fellow comrades to think that Zimbabweans are clamoring to import “chilies” and that we enjoy crossing the border just in a bid to destroy Zimbabwean industries. Infact, the biggest conspiracy comes from your ZANU PF. Coming up with such irrational policies to ensure that your “tuck-shops” called supermarkets enjoy free reign by importing duty free the same chilies and selling them at chopped up prices in Chitungwiza and Masvingo. You bar yoghurts and other dairy products so that you can prop up your overpriced dairy products from Mazoe.

 

  • The lucrative Construction industry: Maihwe zvangu, graduates to look for contracts where? Who are you trying to fool here? Let your government open up the tendering processes and stop giving contracts to yourselves and all will be well.

 

  • Trying to court the diaspora remittance in a foolish manner: It is folly that in your garrulous behavior you still see that your behavior defeats what Chinamasa and Mangudya are trying to do by courting diaspora funds. So now you come down to earth and try to convince young people to convince those in the diaspora to bring the money for you so you can expand the tax base to loot.

Your government is corrupt! You do not work for what you eat. Your own children’s school fees are paid for by taxpayers’ money. You and your cronies are benefiting from PSMAS contributions while civils servants queue for days in PSMAS clinics without drugs. The cars you drive are fueled and serviced by taxpayers’ money. When will it end, you who found pleasure in listening to mudara Dzobo’s moans and groans. Little did he know that his offspring from that rueful early morning escapade would be left to be tormented by your ilk? If only he had known, he would have stopped.

Zimbabweans need jobs! As a government you should have by now developed high tech cities to encourage the use of ICTs; why can’t your government stop the rot at AirZim; GMB; NRZ; Hwange; etc. and create jobs; why is it you do not question yourself on why we continue to produce engineers; doctors; IT technicians, geologists and they continue to flock out of the country?

BONDNOTES: ZANU PF & RBZ Governor’s complacency to think Zimbabweans are stupid!

6 May

So the RBZ is at it again – the shenanigans of printing money have come back to Zimbabwe. The Herald announced today that the Central Bank Governor had announced that the new “currency” called #Bon…

Source: BONDNOTES: ZANU PF & RBZ Governor’s complacency to think Zimbabweans are stupid!

BONDNOTES: ZANU PF & RBZ Governor’s complacency to think Zimbabweans are stupid!

6 May

So the RBZ is at it again – the shenanigans of printing money have come back to Zimbabwe. The Herald announced today that the Central Bank Governor had announced that the new “currency” called #Bondnotes would be introduced “within two months”. Well, this really should not come as a shock to anyone – it was only a matter of time before the beleaguered ZANU PF government would revert to its usual thuggery and carnivorous ways against citizens. We are now approaching the general elections; ZANU PF will need cash and the associated US Dollar expenditure cannot be sustained “with a colonizer’s currency”. Moreover, ZANU PF has been paying salaries and bonuses without any new money being brought in. To cover whatever gaps money they have incurred especially after this month’s bonus payments money will have to be printed. The printing of #Bondnotes provide a simple solution to this quagmire ZANU PF finds itself in.

My point is that these ZANU PF officials at the RBZ as well as the Ministry of Finance should not be excused as ignorant or incompetent when they execute such vile policies. They know exactly what they are doing and everything they do is well calculated and self – serving. Leave this whole hogwash about plastic money – Zimbaweans not being tech friendly bla bla. If the definition that public policy is “what a government chooses to do or not to do” then definitely these people are in charge and are fully aware of the consequences of their criminal, rogue and selfish actions.

What exactly is going on?
Nothing much! Just the usual ZANU PF voodoo economics! What Zimbabweans must understand is that the announcement of the launch of the #Bondnotes is not a knee jerk reaction to the cash crunch problem that has gripped Zimbabwean banks since the beginning of 2016. The RBZ Bank Governor and his Finance Minister, would rather have Zimbabweans believe that this is just a reaction to trying to solve the current cash flow problem. It is not!

The cash crisis is problem that was always going to be there – it’s been with us since the day Zimbabwe did away with its worthless Zimbabwe Dollar currency. What and how on earth with this comatose economy and a foreign currency which you can’t print were they expecting to have enough cash flowing around to cater for the whole country?

My argument is just that the RBZ Governor and his team at the RBZ have been planning for this process for quite some time. In the past they have intimated the re-introduction of the Zimbabwe dollar but faced resistance. They have toyed around with the introduction of the Chinese Yuan but this was not received with great enthusiasm either because Zimbabwe’s trading partners who are its neighbors would make it difficult for Zimbabwe to trade with them. So they know exactly what they are doing and have just been waiting for the opportune time to reintroduce the Zimbabwe dollar equivalent they now call the #Bondnote. In any case the #Bondcoins doing their rounds in Zimbabwe were the tester and now ZANU PF is going full throttle in their bid to cheat Zimbabweans by printing this fake worthless “currency”.

Most likely scenarios after today

Scarcity of products in Zimbabwean shops
It is not rocket science that Zimbabwean industries rely heavily on imports of raw materials from neighboring South Africa and China. For them to be able to buy the finished products and raw materials they need the elusive US Dollar. What we can be assured of in the next few weeks and months is that shops will start running out of commodities as retailers and manufacturers struggle to get hold of the much needed US Dollars needed to import their wares. So back again to long queues for cooking oil, bread, soap and what have you.

The return of the Black Market forex Trading
No economics degree is needed here. For manufacturers, suppliers and ordinary Zimbabweans to be able to go on their day-to-day business they need a reliable and universally accepted currency. If the RBZ and the banks push Zimbabweans to the edge, there is always an easy way out – Go to Ximex; Fourth Street, Kumbudzi, ERenkini and Ku Border ku Masvingo and you will be sorted. So the idiotic thinking that the #Bondnote will have the equivalent value to the US Dollar will prove to be false in the long run. Before you know it and even blink on the streets the exchange rate will be 1USD to 1.50 Bondnotes and as sure as the first grandchild will return home from Singapore the rate of the Bondnote will rise against the Greenback. And this is exactly what the government wants. The idea is to cause this chaos, print more #Bondnotes and sweep away all the forex that is circulating on Zimbabwe’s streets and leave Zimbabweans with worthless papers. The drill is well known – after a year or so the RBZ Governor will apologize and life will go on and yet Zimbabweans would have been swindled big time.

ZANU PF laughs all the way to the bank – raiding company, NGO, embassy forex accounts
The introduction of the Bondnotes alone is sinister, and the addition of clauses that 40% of remittances will automatically be converted into #Bondnotes is criminal. But who cares, ZANU PF knows exactly what they are doing. The RBZ Governor is reported to have directed banks to give pay up to a maximum of USD 1000 only at the ATMs and inside the banking halls. What they are basically doing is expropriating forex without any hassle from individual and company accounts and leaving people with the worthless #Bondnotes. The raiding of private individuals and NGO forex accounts has been done before, people have enough experience and it will be done again. It is interesting that most of the money that they will acquire will definitely go to funding government trips, allowances and other expenditures which of course cannot be carried out without forex. To maximize and justify the expenditure on these raided funds, I can assure there will be so many trips outside the country by government officials the Harare International Airport will develop potholes again.

Reduction of foreign remittances back to Zimbabwe
It would only need an idiot to listen to this crap from the RBZ Governor and still send money to Zimbabwe through the formal channels such as Western Union and the international banking SWIFT system. As has happened in the past, you can be assured that money will be deposited into banks in South Africa; Botswana and Zambia and Zimbabweans will travel to collect the cash, bring their groceries and keep their cash under their beds. The people in the diaspora send money to Zimbabwe for construction; family upkeep and so on. What you can be assured of is that major suppliers of construction materials etc. will just open forex accounts in neighbouring countries and transactions will be done from New York to Johannesburg and from Birmingham to Gaborone. It is very simple, and the Zimbabwe system will not touch a single dime and the economy will not enjoy the remittance except whatever will be acquired through taxing people for foodstuffs at the borders. Cry the Beloved country.

Increased numbers of the unbanked
The banking sector in Zimbabwe has been struggling to get more Zimbabweans banked. There is no trust at all with the banking system in Zimbabwe and thus people prefer to keep money under their mattresses and shy away from the banking system. The banking system is not trusted for a number of reasons: – not so long ago people had to produce burial orders and drug prescriptions to get cash from banks; long queues were the order of the day and people lost their savings through collapsed banks. So with the introduction of the Bondnotes, banks can say bye to the many who were being suffocated already by the punitive bank charges. Unbanked populations have the potential of driving economies underground to a point which can cripple the formal economy. It will become difficult for the cash strapped government to collect tax and the potential for corruption to rise within ZIMRA, city council tax collectors across the country, police officers etc. will just become uncontrollable. But who will care to listen?

Possible closure of international banks and staff redundancies
There is a whole politicized dimension to the #Bondnotes saga which could potentially spell doom for internationally owned banks in Zimbabwe. Look at it this way, the RBZ has the sole rights to distribute cash to all banks in Zimbabwe. With the recent debacles over indigenization with a number of “international banks with major shareholding by foreigners” it is possible that they can be suffocated deliberately by the central bank and cause them to fall into distress easily. If there is no cash, in a highly cash transacted economy like Zimbabwe, it is clear that a bank without cash will be useless to Zimbabweans. Who loses out? – definitely the staff will have to “go home” and this situation is likely to happen without any hassles what with the new labor regulations prevailing in Zimbabwe. The collapse of the so called international can only spell more doom for such a trouble economy but well who cares as long as ZANU PF survives another day.

Advise to my fellow Zimbabweans
I definitely do not know much about finance and economics but I certainly know that whatever the Reserve Bank Governor and the Finance Minister are toying around with here (BONDNOTES) will be more detrimental to Zimbabwe and its comatose economy. Whether we like it or not #BONDNOTES are coming ‘within the next two months” reportedly according to the RBZ Governor. “Within two months” can be tomorrow, it can be in a week’s time or next month but I am of the view that the vaults have been stacked already – the notices have been given and now we just await the guillotine to be brought down. The money cooking ovens at the RBZ had been too cold for a long time! Eish!

The best way to deal with #BONDNOTES:

  • Don’t put your hard-earned money in any bank in Zimbabwe if you can. Of course clearly if for example you are in the civil service, they pretty much have you by the B#&s
  • Pay for goods and services with people who will trade with you with real currencies
  • If you can do not use ZANU PF controlled banks
  • If you are in the diaspora please find other ways of getting money to Zimbabwe as cash and not through the formal banking systems

Whatever you do, don’t let these hoodlums enjoy your money for free!
Passive resistance is possible! No need for Chimurengas – just starve them of the Greenback they so much long for but CANT PRINT and burn in their vile ovens!

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