The real sad thing about a broke country.

10 May

It is one thing to just mourn about a failed economy and pretend all will be fixed one day. It is another when one considers what that means in real terms. You see, life, to any individual can easily be viewed as, me, my household and my neighbour. When problems visit just those within that view, such are the problems I can perceive. Anything in the papers or in any media is just but remote news. This is why you hear those who say zvangu zvaita betraying that egoistic sense of individual triumph . I don’t care how anyone else is as long as I and that which is mine are ok.

The Zimbabwean economy sits painfully on my mind. I have seen it grow from pre independence changeover , through the hard times of importing even a toothpaste tube from Botswana to the short stable days and to the disaster that it has become. People would go to Botswana and later South Africa just to buy even soap, wrist watches and jeans for resell at home. Even a simple colour TV or the old vcr were things that you would only dream of if someone went down south and bought you and all this with very strictly controlled forex. All would be bought through a holiday allowance.

When I was a student I remember a certain canvas shoe that was called Chinese shoes which one could only buy from Botswana. Even rice, there is a time when such were luxuries open only to those who could import it somehow. My first vcr, I bought it from a pawn shop in Jeppe street in joburg. All these were days presided over by the same, more or less failed politicians presiding over our economy even now. Anywhere enough of the suffering Of the rich and affording.

My real beef with the ailing economy is imagining the extreme of our society. It is easy for the teachers, because when they are not paid, or are paid what they are not happy with they mobilise under their unions and voice out. The same with many other employees of living relatively secure under unionist wings.  My heart though goes out to those who work for non paying companies like nrz. Their works have not been paid for some months and my question is what happens to an employee who dies owed such money. Does the company prioritise and pays out or that just waits the day they will decide to pay?

Realities also take us to the welfare section of the nation. If a country can not pay its employees, even ending up with a minister who unilaterally announces end of bonuses, what more of the blind and lame who live on government grants and welfare allowances? 

I found doctor Tsitsi Choruma’s essay on disabled people very interesting but more so the heading, “the forgotten tribe”. The tribe in this case, the forgotten tribe are the disabled. One unverified claim puts Zimbabwe’s blind people at 100 000. I can not dispute that. Most of these would most certainly be on state benefits. And sadly, most of these are suffering and one wonders what chance they have in a country where priority is the politician in general, but ruling party politicians in particular.

It is left to NGOs and various other donors to do something,yet even they have the same mentality as the politicians. Of the millions donated to an agency, considering the luxury life of NGO directors I would be surprised if more than 30% actually gets through to the disabled or disadvantaged. It does remind one of the biblical Christ quotation, “if they can do such to a green tree, what more can they do to a dry one”.

The problem is that the economy is measured by parameters that consider able bodied and economically active people. It takes into considerations activities of those whose consumption and participation can fit into the GDP, INFLATION,CONSUMER INDEX bla bla bla equations yet the reality of suffering, going without a meal, begging and dying without treatment just don’t have a way into economic equations.


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