A couple of weeks ago we had the unedifying sight of a British diplomat breaking down in tears as she ‘apologised’ to the Maori people for an episode in which Captain Cook allegedly killed a few of their distant ancestors.
How much more appropriate would it be if anyone associated with government in this country would apologise to the people of Zimbabwe for knowingly – and I use that word advisedly – consigning them to the rule of successive despots and ultimate misery and starvation.
Robert Gabriel Mugabe was an evil man who in his time was feted and lauded by the British establishment. His successor Emerson Mnangagwa is if anything worse. I heard his rule described yesterday by a Zimbabwean still living in the country as ‘silent genocide by design.’
The situation in my country is now beyond desperate. Health care is non-existent, mainly due to the corruption practised by a cartel-controlled government run by a handful of political thugs. They have no idea of empathy – and I am quoting directly from my Zimbabwean contact’s letter – and no sense of responsibility; neither are they accountable to any laws except their own corrupt and criminal rulings that have turned Zimbabwe into a veritable looters’ paradise.
Think on it. The one thing that Zimbabweans dare not do nowadays is fall sick. Yet it does not help that prevailing conditions in all spheres of life are a recipe for illness. Zimbabweans live in a highly stressful environment wherein unemployment runs at ninety-five percent while the price of fuel and transport rockets by the day. Basic foodstuffs are unaffordable for the ordinary citizen, while a lack of electricity and dirty, untreated water are between them making people highly susceptible to cholera outbreaks.
There are no medicines in hospitals, no rubber gloves, no bandages; nurses and doctors are ill-quipped and grossly underpaid. They can’t do their work and with the ever escalating cost of living, struggle merely to survive and keep their families from starving. They have tried striking in protest but Mnangagwa and his thugs ordered them back to work, even if they have to work for nothing.
The general populace is being mercilessly squeezed daily; the cost of basic food and accommodation is now out of reach for the majority of people; the rate of inflation is being conservatively pegged at three hundred percent but realistically it is inching closer to six hundred percent. People are disenfranchised, hopeless and desperate, so much that the suicide rates have increased to alarming levels, but the government could not care less. Emmerson Mnangagwa is busy globetrotting around the world in private jets like an A list celebrity or a British prince who shall be nameless, speaking at health seminars while he is grossly neglecting the little that is left of Zimbabwe healthcare.
Why on earth do the great and the good even listen to the man? They must surely realise what is happening.
What is really sad is that it is not lack of resources plaguing Zimbabwe; it is greed and the untamed corruption which is ravaging the country. There are enough in the way of natural resources to keep the still small population going. The trouble is that those resources are being stolen and grossly mismanaged by the people in power. Since Emmerson Mnangagwa, Perenc Shiri and their cronies came into power, they have misappropriated literally billions of dollars which should have been used towards services and infrastructure in the country.
People are dying in their homes because they cannot afford to eat, they cannot afford treatment when they are sick and they have no clean water to drink. Neither can they afford transportation to wherever they may need to go. Foodstuffs in supermarkets are there merely for display since no one can afford to buy them. If this does not spell a silent genocide then what is it? Can the world afford to adopt the wait and see approach and hide its collective head in the sand for much longer? They have done it for decades because they are afraid of being called ‘racist,’ but surely the time has come for action.
People do matter even if they are poor folk on the other side of the world. Oh I know that various aid agencies are pouring money into the place, but most of it is stolen by high placed officialdom while the ordinary people teeter ever closer to the abyss.
I am often told that the fault lies with the people of Zimbabwe themselves and to an extent it does – but only to an extent. Zimbabweans are gentle people and despite a cruel war, have always been so. I was working in the tribal lands during the very first election in 1980 and cannot blame the ordinary folk for voting Mugabe into power. They were cowed and fearful of reprisals if they voted any other way. The British monitors led by Lord Soames knew this but did nothing to assist. I believe that was probably because again, they were afraid of being branded racists.
But now the situation is totally out of control and it is time for Britain as the former colonial power to actually do something. They have to oust the present government and put somebody reasonable into power or govern the place from outside. I know that neither option would be deemed politically correct in this pathetic day and age but Zimbabweans are dying en masse and they are still the responsibility of the people who put Mugabe and then Mnangagwa into power.
There is always a great deal of bleating in this country about the necessity for ‘human rights.’ Okay, but what about the human rights of Zimbabweans, few of whom can afford to leave the country of their birth and the place they have always known as home.
Come on Mr Johnson and all you prattling world leaders. Do something or you will be responsible for yet another genocide, this one committed purely for greed.