The rag tag unemployed youth that were ululating and dancing on ZANU(PF)’s election “victory” are nowhere to be seen. Now all you see are young girls fetching water in the early mornings in urban Harare some wearing yellow ZANU(PF) t-shirts that say “indigenise, empower, employ develop”. What a joke!
Around 10 in the morning, you can see the same youths playing pool or gambling to while away time. Some recently died from drinking “Zed” a lethal cane spirit imported from Mozambique that costs only a dollar. There is erratic power so bathing is not a priority for them. All this, as Mugabe flew to New York with a plane load of 80 cohorts not only to shop, but to insult the Americans and the British. The new ministers will no doubt be getting their flashy Mercs soon to maneuver in Harare’s potholed roads.
The masses are a truly sorry lot!
Listening to Julius Malema campaign sent some chills down my spine and I sincerely hope that I am not alone. The habit of creating exaggerated anticipations amongst the poor masses during electioneering continues to work. Here in Zimbabwe those rural folk who were allocated peri-urban land before the elections are now being evicted. They have delivered the vote.
Progressive black South Africans must be very worried. The masses are ignorant and have no inkling of what it takes to run a successful economy. All they want is better salaries, better houses, social grants and jobs today but these come through intelligent economic management and not through the outright repossession of land and companies by politicians and their cronies.
Ownership alone has been overplayed here in Zimbabwe. Some of our chefs and their cronies own multiple farms and yet we can’t feed ourselves. An estimated 2 million people face starvation in Zimbabwe this year. Most state enterprises are sitting idle or are being run to the ground as those politically appointed to run them earn obscene salaries and perks.
As Malema demands economic freedom through repossession of assets, South Africans who want a future must fight this buffoonery with all they have. The fight is not on twitter or facebook but must be on the ground in the townships and rural areas. The poor masses will sell themselves short as they always do, so they must be educated and informed of what Malema falsely is promising them. Here in Zimbabwe, air time vouchers goats and exaggerated promises of jobs and indigenization at political rallies are nowhere to be seen and the masses have returned to their poverty.
The black middle class poses a serious danger through their lack of participation in politics. Most just wait for voting day and yet, if Africa is to develop we must all be activists everyday. We must educate the short sighted poor masses of how year after year they deliver their vote to political parties who cannot deliver to them.
Malema will not deliver economic freedom through his rantings at rallies simply because he seeks to use the same methods that decimated our economy here in Zimbabwe. There is no depth in what he is promising and I question his appreciation of economics.
Politicians in Africa have failed to deliver sustainable development mainly because they focus on self interest and taking what others have sweated for under the guise of economic justice. That will not create new jobs or the economic prosperity they continue to promise.
I urge all progressive black middle class South Africans to fight these lies; the lie that taking over assets owned by whites creates wealth; the lie that we are entitled to reap where we have not sown. This does not work; it actually destroys wealth and investments as we have seen here in Zimbabwe. Nothing can replace hard work and patience.
The emerging picture in South Africa is pretty worrying to us progressive Africans who know that Africa will never develop by taking from others but by building new economies and wealth while educating the masses so that they may make better life decisions.
We must all work to reject that narrative that we are victims and some one out there owes us. We must reject being continually duped by clever politicians who continue to re-frame how imperialism is our enemy. Yes it may be, but our number one enemies are blacks who are hiding under empowering of the masses and yet all they do is to accumulate personal wealth without sweating. Our enemies are those who take advantage of the ignorance and poverty of the masses and make promises that they can’t meet.
Malema is doing just that and must be stopped!
Vince Musewe is an economist based in Harare. You may contact him on email@example.com