IT is now universally accepted that Zimbabwe is fast approaching the end of the immediate post-colonial ‘Mugabe era’. So, what happens now?
There is obviously going to be momentous change, but what form will that change take and how will it affect different sections of Zimbabwe’s population? Firstly – before getting confused in the myriad cultural, tribal and quasi political conspiracy theories – it is important to understand exactly WHAT Zimbabwe is.
ON THE NEGATIVE SIDE, Zimbabwe is a bankrupt state which cannot feed itself or pay its security forces, civil servants, or government workers. Zimbabwe has no effective industry or agriculture. Zimbabwe’s road, railway, electricity, water and sewage services have collapsed. Zimbabwe has no currency. Zimbabwe’s education and hospital infrastructures are in ruins. As much as one third of Zimbabwe’s brightest minds have fled the disaster brought on by post-colonial incompetence, patronage, nepotism and outright theft.
The ‘Rule of Law’ in Zimbabwe has been abandoned. Personal and property rights are non-existent in Zimbabwe for ALL Zimbabweans; NOBODY can be sure that what he thought was ‘his’ today will still be ‘his’ tomorrow. There is an enormous deficit of ‘cash’ in Zimbabwe’s banks and the situation grows exponentially worse every day, as the government continues to ‘spend’ money that the country has not earned, plugging the ever-growing gap with worthless ‘Treasury Bonds’ and ‘Bond Notes’ that are not worth the paper upon which they are written.
Zimbabwe is also cursed with two generations of youngsters, many of whom have grown up in an environment bereft of the values of responsibility, legality, honesty and ‘Ubuntu’. There have been almost 40 years where the AK-47 and terror have been the only law.
ON THE POSITIVE SIDE, Zimbabwe has huge natural wealth, a wonderful climate, magnificent scenery, wildlife and tourist attractions, and a general (non-politicised) population whose natural ‘decency’ is probably unique in Africa. Zimbabwe’s prospects – if properly governed – are limitless.
So where does that leave us? In the short term, it is NOT about Tribes, Alliances, Secret Deals, ‘Moyo Spin’, N’angas, Witchcraft, or ‘Hondo Credentials’. It is ONLY about MONEY.
The Mugabe dynasty is variously reported to be worth between 2 and 9 billion US$ in hidden assets OUTSIDE Zimbabwe (CIA and MI6 communications). But when Mugabe dies, WHO will have ACCESS to those funds? Because whoever ‘takes over’ in Zimbabwe will desperately need that money, just to survive for the first six months.
Why? Because whoever ‘takes over’ in the intermediary period will have to pay the men who control the AK-47s and that person will NOT be able to pay them in ‘Bond Notes’ or ‘Promises’. They will need REAL money, or the AKs will turn upon THEM.
But who will control that overseas stolen money when Robert Mugabe has gone? Who will have knowledge of the secret fund access numbers or the hidden company structures that protect them? And will those people be ABLE to ACCESS those funds?
Huge quantities of stolen money are actually NOT very ‘valuable’, because there is a never-ending queue of people who want to steal that money from the original thief. (Let us assume for a moment that a mythical ‘Mr Gono’ had all the secret passwords to the huge hidden wealth of Mr Mugabe, when the latter died. How difficult would it be for a seasoned Mossad or ‘Rhodesian’ agent to encourage our mythical ‘Mr Gono’ to disclose that information, and to hand over that ‘wealth’?)
But let us return for a moment to the Mugabe dynasty’s ‘External Hidden Wealth’. Even if it could be converted to REAL value – and assuming that it was worth US$9 billion – how would that stack up against what the CIA and MI6 (with their governments’ backing) could throw against it? Even if Mr Mugabe’s nominee COULD realise the nominal value of those stolen assets, it would still be ‘Chump Change’.
Now it is the time to look at the global situation. Communism has collapsed. Russia is being driven into an isolationist corner and China – espousing capitalism and owed so much by America that she cannot afford to knock down her principal debtor – has her hands tied. Neither Russia nor China can challenge the ‘West’ over Zimbabwe. So, what will happen to Zimbabwe? Hopefully – after the inevitable catastrophic crash – sanity will return.
I am hopeful. Mwari is a Zimbabwean.
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