[vc_row][vc_column][vc_custom_heading text=”Cyclone Idai in comparison to Cyclone Endemic Corruption” google_fonts=”font_family:Roboto%3A100%2C100italic%2C300%2C300italic%2Cregular%2Citalic%2C500%2C500italic%2C700%2C700italic%2C900%2C900italic|font_style:700%20bold%20regular%3A700%3Anormal”][vc_column_text]Manicaland Province and in particular Chimanimani, Beira and other places have been devastated by cyclone Idai. Some people have been displaced, whilst others were hurt or killed; hence the nation and indeed the whole region is mourning the loss of her people.
Cyclones and Tsunamis are very destructive by their very nature; however, their impact can be greatly reduced in developed and organised communities largely for two reasons;
- Effective Weather forecasting and evacuation of people
- Rapid and effective rescue operations
The responsibility for both points above is first to the state and government of any community. The sovereignty or independence of any state is a function of its ability to look after its citizens especially the weak and vulnerable. Any dependency on charity help or the donor community in such times is an indictment to its independence and sovereignty.
As grim, dark and devastating the effects of cyclone Idai are to Chinanimani and the region; effects which can be seen and quantified for the most part; these are nothing compared to the subtle effects of the man-made cyclone of endemic corruption and mis-governance
In this region the poor, weak and vulnerable are neglected. The public healthcare system is broken and most poor patients come to the hospital just to die. People living with HIV have survived courtesy of the international donor community. The Blind and disabled are also neglected and must survive on handouts as destitute beggars. This despite the purported large Christian community in this region.
The quality of education in the public schools is so poor across the country. If you mix disgruntled teachers who are earning pathetic merger wages without adequate teaching materials with children who are struggling to find school fees and most of whom come to school on an empty stomach because of poverty; you get a broken education system. Such is the story especially in the country side where child marriages are rampant.
For those who are able to go through High School and College education, their chance of getting formal employment is less than four percent. Most of these young people end up being idle without any means and capacity to start their own families. Most young people especially those between 30 to 40 years are just like a lost generation born to a broken and retrogressive social order.
The road carnage on our main roads due to potholes etc is scandalous; xenophobia had a mark on Zimbabweans and other Africans in South Africa; Sex slavery on Zimbabwean women in the middle east; broken marriages and families due to economic hardship and the resulting emigration to every imaginable destination on the globe in search of economic survival and prosperity.
How do we explain the paradox of a land endowed with so much natural resources and yet inhabited by a people in perpetual retrogression and chronic poverty? The answer to this question is largely endemic corruption and mis-governance.
Generation 60s/70s and above who lost their pensions through hyperinflation etc are now mostly dependent on generation 40s/50s for their upkeep. The generation 40s/50s however have a double challenge in that without a stable currency as it is in Zimbabwe; they will also have no pensions but worse their children generation 20s/30s who are mostly jobless, will not be able to look after them.
At the epicentre of this tsumani or cyclone is mis governance and endemic corruption. Sanctions against Zimbabwe are not good and should be removed, but this cyclone will not be resolved by removal of sanctions, injection of Foreign Direct Investment or readmission into the International Community. This is purely a domestic cultural identity crisis
We are a sick society whose priority has been only power contestation and self-interest. The treatment of this cancerous disease through a properly constituted inclusive dialogue and reconciliation process should be our first and urgent priority. To build a functional stable State and Nation; we need a shared vision, values and a shared political and governance system.
This is what is missing in most African countries and accounts for the chronic poverty and retrogression across the entire sub-region. This man-made cyclone must end now; because when we end it, those who put sanctions against us will have no reason to keep them; when we put in place good governance and stewardship, we will get our priorities right and broker peace, justice and sustainable development to this region.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]