Since the attainment of Independence in 1980, Zimbabwe’s economy has failed to perform well. At Independence, all Zimbabweans were optimistic of better times ahead, little did they’re know that only a few were going to benefit from self-rule. George Orwell’s Animal Farm was to be relived in Zimbabwe.
The birth of stockholders
Many youthful Zimbabweans crossed the country’s borders into the Frontline States to take up arms against the colonial settlers in the then Rhodesia. A greater number of these brave young men and women got killed in action while some got permanent disabilities. They fought for what they believed was right and thought they would all enjoy the fruits of Independence together with their families and other Zimbabweans.
By Elijah Tavengwa Svidzi
Little did they know that from their midst, “stockholders” would emerge. These “stockholders” would later selfishly develop a sense of entitlement to Zimbabwe. They alone had to benefit from Zimbabwe’s wealth at the expense of their compatriots. The “stockholders” would never be accountable to anyone except themselves. They would plunder the country’s resources at will, tear apart the economy till the country became a basket case. These “stockholders” are none other than the country’s ruling elite, just a handful of them. These are men and women who do not have a conscience. For as long as they are in their political offices, these “stockholders” would not be prosecuted for any form of crime they commit against their compatriots. No one would dare to question them for their actions or inactions, any attempt to do so would be dealt with ruthlessly.
Little did the “stockholders” know that economics does not relate well with impunity. In economics, there are certain rules that have to be followed, market forces are the makers or breakers of kings. Thirty eight years after Independence, Zimbabwe is in an economic mess. The country is highly in debt. Unemployment is reigning supreme. Poverty amongst the citizenry is unbearable. All this being caused by the elite few who feel that because of their liberation war credentials, they alone are entitled to preside over all the affairs of Zimbabwe. They call themselves “stockholders”, as if Zimbabwe is a private enterprise, whose stocks they can wantonly trade at the stock market. The rest should just silently suffer.
Milking from a malnourished and hungry cow
Surprisingly, the “stockholders” believe that there is “no gain without pain”. The Citizens must be subjected to some pain such that they too will “gain” in future (if ever that future is going to come). They forget that most Zimbabweans have constantly been in pain since the day they were born. Most Zimbabweans have never enjoyed being Zimbabwean. It has been a struggle for survival from the onset, only to be relieved by death. The “stockholders” have resorted to over taxing the suffering citizens. Recently, they gazetted a heartless two cents per dollar tax on electronic transactions.
The irony of this tax is that the country is a cashless country, with the majority of people rely on electronic transactions. There is no other available option, there is nowhere to run to. This tax affects the vulnerable, disabled and elderly citizens who, through no fault of their own, can no longer fend for themselves. The unemployed have not been spared either, instead of getting unemployment benefits, they too will be taxed. It is an unjust tax. Any sane dairy farmer knows that one has to feed and maintain their dairy herd before starting to milk them. Sadly, the “stockholders” think otherwise.
In a Country where minerals and other God given natural wealth is considered to be vast, it will only be morally right if the “stockholders had first created a situation whereby the welfare of citizens is first improved by putting to good use whatever little the country generates from selling what mother nature endowed the country with and then introduce these taxes when everyone has had a steady source of income.
Any sane stockholders actually trade carefully with their stock, but for Zimbabwe, the “stockholders” stopped to care on the very day that they obtained the stock: 18 April 1980. Ever since then, they have lost their conscience. It’s survival of the fittest. The Constitution of Zimbabwe clearly states that “Zimbabwe is for all Zimbabweans” Sadly, this remains confined to the pages of that “sacred” document. In reality, a few elite group has a sense of being entitled to Zimbabwe’s wealth and its people. To this group, the mandate to rule does not come from the people of Zimbabwe, it came with the barrel of the gun. This country has its “stockholders”, and everything else is at their mercy.
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