MDC-PF, It's Animal Farm All Over Again

Shady Deal: Tsvangirai and Mugabe pose for a group photo today after the swearing in of 25 Deputy Ministers and Ministers of State at State House

Deputy ministers were sworn in today in Zimbabwe in a mockery of the rights and expectations of the people of Zimbabwe.

After forcing 36 ministers down the throats of destitute Zimbabweans, Mugabe and Tsvangirai have now added another 25 corpses to their cemetery of the living dead, to make a grand total of 61 good-for-nothing parasites, a drain on the public finances and a curse on the people the government is supposed to serve.

Morgan Tsvangirai and Robert Mugabe seem to be working well together, now that they have agreed to let MDC supporters rot in jail. But this is coming at the expense of the people. In the rush to appease Mugabe, Tsvangirai is increasingly aping the dictator.

How on earth do you justify imposing such an onerous burden on a bankrupt country? What are the priorities here? Certainly not solving the country's ills. Right now:

  • nearly five million Zimbabweans are starving and in need of food aid.
  • cholera is killing thousands, Tsvangirai's new government says it can not afford to buy water treatment chemicals (yet they can afford luxury cars, fuel expenses, allowances and staff for a 61 member executive, if you do not count the functionaries). There is no water in most surburbs and people are still dying of the disease in the rural areas.
  • Industry and the productive sectors are still bedevilled by power cuts and shortages of foreign currency for raw materials.
  • Teachers are still refusing to go back to their jobs, laughing derisively at the insulting US$100 "vouchers" which they are being asked to accept gratefully as pay. (Which reminds me of an encounter between Fay Chung, who was then Minister of Education, and Robert Mugabe, who was still Prime Minister then. Fay had gone in to argue for a minimum pay for "her" teachers of not less than the equivalent of US$600. Mugabe lost it, asking Fay Chung, "Why does it always have to be about money?" before dismissing both her and her request brusquely. The attitude has not changed.)
In fact, we are probably the poorest country on earth right now, a distinction once enjoyed by Mozambique. Yet we have a cabinet that is larger than that of the United States, which has a population of 300 million people and is a million times more prosperous.

We would have expected the new guys coming in, the Tsvangirai crew, to at least show some restraint at the feeding trough. We expected that there would be a contrast with the traditionally piggish ZANU PF.

Instead, it seems the more things change, the more they stay the same. 

And please, do not give me that twaddle about giving them time to see how they get on. Their intention is clear at this very early stage. Tsvangirai was refusing to accept this deal because, amongst other things, he was demanding the right to appoint ministers of state in the Prime Minister's office.

Instead of the agreed 31 ministers, we ended up with 36, with the concurrence of Tsvangirai, of whom we would have expected better. 

Instead of 15 Deputy Ministers, we have 25. There will be offices to set up, the cars have already been bought, brand new. Which shows us what the priorities of this government are. How much water treatment chemicals could we have bought instead of  61 brand new Mercedes Benzes?

What donor would give money to such a bunch of naked mercenaries? What foreign aid does this crowd expect to get, and for what? Do any of them see donors pouring aid into Zimbabwe so that it can first sustain the lavish living of this Executive Branch, with the people getting whatever crumbs fall off the high table?

Is this, I ask you, not rank madness? Is it? Or Is it not?

MDC-PF are sending us all a strong signal that they do not intend to change a thing.

This is a disappointment.


In Other News, the Zimbabwe Stock Market started trading in US dollars today (as I told in my post, Zimbabwe Stock Exchange To Be Dollarised), but it was very quiet. Most of the shares are costing cents. Even teh heavyweight Bindura is quoted at only 50US cents oer share and Old Mutual was being quoted at 40US cents a share. The rest are well below this.

I fully intend to jump in there and get them now while they are still so undervalued. I expect as production picks up and the economy responds to the dollarisation, the values will go up.

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