Sunday, 26 October 2008


Morgan Tsvangirai has a lot in common with US Presidential candidate Senator John McCain than he has with the other candidate, Senator Barack Obama.

When the financial crisis hit the West, the biggest challenge to test the grit of each US Presidential candidate; the two responded differently. Senator McCain was all over the place. He proposed calling off the planned presidential debate but attended it anywhere. He supported the measures the Bush Administration proposed but did not have any comprehensive proposals of his own. There was certainly some panic and confusion in the McCain camp.

Senator Barack Obama too supported the measures proposed by the Bush Administration but had a raft of proposal of his own. He did not see what purpose calling off the planned presidential debate would save and said he would be there. Obama was cool, calm and collected, the complete opposite of what McCain had wanted the American people to believe.

Senator McCain had rammed the message “I have experience of holding high office and Obama has none!” down the American throats. What good is all your years in high office if you panic at the first real challenge. Americans, like any other nation, we sleep better knowing they have a competent leader at the helm.

Tsvangirai has too shown the same Senator McCain scatter-brain response under even the lightest bit of pressure. Take for example this Tsvangirai passport debacle. The Tsvangirai camp went to great lengths to explain why the failure to issue him a passport made it impossible for him to attend the meeting in Swaziland. If he did not boycott the meeting because he did not have a passport then why did he refuse to go when a private jet was laid out for him?

The meeting has since been moved to Harare and MDC has since confirm that Tsvangirai would attend even if he did not have his new passport. So what was that all about!?

Following all the violence and lawlessness during the presidential run-off many countries refused to recognise Mugabe as the Zimbabwe’s head of State. Mugabe was on the hook. But by signing the power sharing deal MDC let Mugabe off the hook. Mugabe has rewarded Tsvangirai by refusing to honour the word on spirit of the deal. It is the people of Zimbabwe who have paid the heaviest price for this blunder with their very lives. One would be hard pushed to find many comparable blunders in human history.

Come 4 th November 2008 the American people will decide who is to be the next President of the United States of America; either Senate John McCain or Senator Barack Obama. Some will vote on racial lines; there are racial begets on both sides of the divide. But many will vote for the man they believe would be the best for America.

When it comes to the crunch America’s democratic system will test the candidates sorting out the best from the rest. And the majority of the American electorate will have the coolness to rise above petty bigotry and make an informed choice.

Whoever wins, the Americans will work together for the good of America.

In Zimbabwe we have a long way to go to achieve that America has done. Mugabe can not be compared to any of the American presidential candidates. No American candidate for any office has ever dared hold the gun to the electorate and murder thousands of voters. Not ever the notorious American Mafia has ever done that.

In Africa we have a tendency to put our leaders on a pedestal where they can do no wrong. That is why Tsvangirai’s supporters keep showering him praise and will not see the many costly blunders he has made. For years the people of Zimbabwe have held Robert Mugabe in the same reverence awe.

In Africa it is infinitely easier to be a ruthless dictator than to be a competent democrat. In a democratic country like US it is near impossible to have a totally incompetent President – the vigorous selection system makes it very difficult for such a candidate to go on to win the presidency. As for a dictator, few have tried but fell flat on their faces before they got very far!

Good luck to both Senator John McCain and Senator Barack Obama; may the best man win!


I hold Nobel laureate Archbishop Desmond Tutu in very high regard. I would be very disappointed if he should not vote next year supposedly in protest against Zuma and others for betraying ANC's core democratic values. Because turning ones back on this key pillar of democracy will be self-defeating and will only be playing into hands of those he is accusing of undermining SA’s democratic values!

The vote is the greatest weapon the democrats have in the fight to stop dictators and anarchists taking over. The anarchists know and understand only too well the importance of a free and democratic vote. So they have devised a simple scheme to count it; do everything to undermine the value of a free and democratic vote and thus force the democrats to abandon it as total ineffective. That is exactly what Mugabe did in Zimbabwe.

Voter apathy is the one thing that made rigging Zimbabwe’s elections easy. When you are losing public support then discourage the discontented section from voting. In 2000 and even more 2008 the Zimbabwe public had change of heart. This time they were determined to vote; Zimbabweans travelled from as far afield as South Africa , Botswana and even the UK and USA so that they can cast their vote. If it was not for the chaotic way Zanu PF contacted the voter registration and the voting itself – the 29 March 2008 poll would have had an even higher voter turn out than was recorded!

It took has taken Zimbabwe nearly thirty years and total economic melt down to realise that giving up our democratic vote was a big mistake. On the 29 March 2008 the people of Zimbabwe went back and voted in droves and proved once again that it is a very effective weapon.

One hopes that South Africans will not make the same mistake we did. And if they should do, God forbid, it would be tragic if eminent people like as Archbishop Tutu were to lead the nation down this dead-end path!

Saturday, 25 October 2008


Zimbabwe’s Civic Organisations met on 23 October in Masvingo and they decided, in their collective wisdom, that the best way out Zimbabwe’s present economic and political crisis is for MDC to continue the power sharing negotiations. Whilst the grouping accepted that Mugabe and Zanu PF were negotiating in bad faith, they still argued MDC to continue the talks.

Civic Societies are supposed to stand up for the common good and for those who can not, for whatever reason, stand up for themselves in the fight for justice, freedom and human dignity. And to offer the down trodden a helping hand. It is in the nature of Civic Societies work that they very often find themselves asking those in power and authority the awkward question and demand action.

Zimbabwe is facing a truly tragic humanitarian crisis in which millions of lives could well be lost to hunger and or disease. The crisis is almost wholly man-made and made even worse by the continued political interference in the organisation’s operation. One would expect the country’s Civic Organisations therefore to have condemned the power sharing deal’s failure to produce tangible results to alleviate the suffering of the most vulnerable in society - poor, the sick, the very young and the old.

The somewhat muted statement from the country’s Civic Organisation, at such a critical time was therefore disappointing, but wholly expected. Most of our Civic Organisations are renowned for saying and doing exactly what the Mugabe would want them to.

“There is no such thing as NGO (None Governmental Organisation) in Zimbabwe,” one very senior Civil Servant boosted to me once. “What we have is GONGO (Government Organised None Governmental Organisation).”

The Mugabe regime has been relentless in its determination to control the country’s Civic Society and, admitted, has largely succeeded. This sector, since it is largely funded from outside the country is the only one still paying a living wage making a bad situation even worse because many of the people employed there for the money and not for their commitment to justice, etc. The few who still have a calling are fearful of doing anything to upset the Zanu PF regime and make it close the organisation at a time when it would be near impossible to get another job.

So it was GONGO speaking in Masvingo arguing MDC to continue with the talks even though the delegates accepted Mugabe is negotiating in bad faith and the talks have achieving nothing. They had to say that, it was expected of them to say that; and they did not dare challenge the Mugabe regime!

What many Zimbabweans, especially the millions at the coal-face of this humanitarian tragedy, will not accept is GONGO insulting our intelligence. “It is my view that if the opposition pulls out of the talks the suffering of the people will continue to worsen”, said Gladys Hlatshwayo from Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition. As if they cared about the suffering Zimbabweans!

Fortunately for Zimbabwe there are other NGOs like WOZA (Woman Of Zimbabwe Arise) how passionately care about what is happening in the country and the suffering and misery it is causing to the most vulnerable and helpless. And are prepared to do something about it!

Wednesday, 22 October 2008

India is reaching for the Moon: Africa can not even cross the street

Today India launched an unmanned rocket to the Moon. It is a very significant technological milestone for India. India has been off first base, second base, third base and this is the home running. The sky is the limit- do not mean that literally this time.

There are millions living in abject poverty in India that is true. So could India afford to spend the US$ 79 million to send a rocket to the Moon when millions of her people live in grinding poverty and death? The debate on that will rage on for many moons. But what is not beyond dispute is that India has come a long, long way in a very short time.

In 1947 as a newly independent nation, India took its stand to chart the course the nation was to follow. We all want peace, freedom, liberty, economic prosperity – that is simple enough. The real challenge is how to get all these things without being side tracked as so many other nations have done. It is like playing a game of base-ball; every one wants a home run but only a few actually score one and the majority never even get off the start block.

Starting block: create a social and political system capable of making optimum use of the nation’s resources, both material and human, for the good of all. The temptation is to create a self serving system and damn everyone else. Democracy has its weakness, still it is the only system devised by mankind to date capable keeping the egotistic tendencies in check, particularly those in leadership positions, and the nation efforts firmly focused on the common good.

India’s democratic system has had its up and downs. The democratic train was nearly knocked off track, for example, when some leaders have assumed greater power than was allowed in a true democracy or when some individuals used the gun to achieve their own selfish ends. Then country’s democratic institutions were rocked to their foundations. The institutions and democracy survived; they were rock solid. Thanks to India’s founding fathers, Mahatma Ghandi, Nehru and others, India was founded on strong democratic institutions and the country was off to a flying start to first base.

In the next 60 years India has built on its good start to go on to second and third base; building on country’s economic and technological success so it can invest more on its people to give them better health, education, etc. A better educated and healthier populous then built an even stronger and better economy; thus turning an economic success into an economic boom with the technological prowess and managerial finesse to take on the challenge of building and successfully launching a rocket to the moon.

Julius Nyerere, the first President of Tanzania, once mourned of how Africa was puzzling about crossing the road when the Americans had successfully sent a man to the Moon and see him safely back to Earth. That was in the 1970s and today Africa is still scratching its bold head about crossing the road.

Africa has had the great the great misfortune of having people like Robert Mugabe, brutal and ruthless dictators, who saw independence as an opportunity to enrich themselves and did not care about the common good. So we never got off the starting block.

One would think the second generation of leaders would have realised the folly of dictatorial rule and would now want embrace and implement democratic rule. Instead we Tsvangirai and his lot hell bend on rehabilitating the dictator, Mugabe, and the whole dictatorship in so mad-hare power sharing scheme! Ironically, he was elected on a democratic change ticket.

We all celebrate India’s milestone achievement in the successful building and launching of the lunar rocket. India can now hold its head high and stand as an equal to any other nation. As for Africa, it will be many, many moons yet before we can ever hope to accomplish such a fit of building and launching a space rocket. Meanwhile we will continue to scratch our bolding head about crossing the street!

Friday, 17 October 2008


I was sold on blaming the Banks and Financial Institution for causing the financial crisis comparable to the 1930 economic crash. These institutions had granted mortgages to buy houses and loans to buy goods to people who could not afford to pay back the money. The lenders made breath-taking profits whilst the going was good and that is why they are now being accused of greed.

And greedy they were, make no mistake about that, but it was not entirely they fault. Western governments aided and abetted them in this.

It was the US government policy that Wall Street, US Financial hub, grant mortgages to people with no steady jobs, poor financial history and who, if the normal Capitalist system rules were applied, would not get such mortgages.

The US Federal Bank kept the interest rates artificially low in its drive to keep inflation within a certain band. This made borrowing cheap allowing individuals to accumulate huge debts. Again, market forces of a health Capitalist system would not have allowed this distortion to last.

Other Western Government implemented similar policies of their own. And even where a particular country did not have such reckless policies, that did not stop their financial institution joining in the bonanza in the US. Past experience had taught Capitalist Institution that they should spread the risk so the Banks were selling these dodgy portfolios to other Banks within their own country and to other Western countries.

As long as everyone pretended investments were sound, everything was fine. But, as usual, there is always the smart Alec who will point out that the Emperor is in fact naked and the whole thing collapses like a house of cards. Everyone then tries to off load the dodgy portfolios, account holders will want to withdraw all their money from a Bank with the dodgy portfolios, etc.

The question then was the financial crisis signifies the death of Capitalism and free market economy? The answer is no. It was government interference in the normal functioning of Capitalism and free market that cause the crisis.

Is the partial nationalising of the West’s financial institution spell the end of free market and capitalism in these institutions? Again the answer is no; all Western Democracy have underlined that this was only a temporary measure.

If the Western Governments had not stepped in and instead allowed free market forces to operate; many Banks and other financial institutions would have certainly gone under. Since these institution play such a pivotal role in the running of all the other sectors in a capitalist system it is clear that many other institutions in the private and public sector would too have gone under, That would well have been the death knell of Capitalism.

It is interesting to note that it was the interference by Western democracies with the normal operation of the free market system that caused the financial crisis and threatened Capitalism, Free market, Democracy and all that the West stand for. It is right that the West should interfere again to save Capitalism.

People will theorise on the causes of the recent financial crisis, argue on measures used to solve the crisis, debate on what worked and what did not work and so forth for generations to come. But the one thing they will agree on, however, is that Capitalism, Free Market, and Democracy have all emerged out of this crisis leaner, meaner, stronger and wiser. They always do!

Capitalism, like the political system that spawned it, Democracy, has built into its very DNA the ability to learn from past mistakes. Capitalism can evolve and adapt, that is why it will never die.

On the other hand, Command Economy, like the myriad of political systems that spawned it- Socialism, Communism, Fascism, etc.-, would go to ridiculous lengths to hide its failings rather than admit them. It can not evolve and adapt; in that lays its self-distract gene!
In every country where the Command Economy has been tried it has hardly survived for more than one or two generations. And in almost all these countries millions of human beings had to be sacrificed in terms of economic hardships their had to face and some cases people paid with their lives to appease the Marxist Demons!

Wednesday, 15 October 2008


Sharing ministries between Zanu PF and MDC is the ease bit compared to the difficult task of agreeing on policies and then implementing them. If Tsvangirai and Mugabe can not agree on the ease bit, how the devil will they agree on the difficult parts?

Worse still there will be absolutely nothing Tsvangirai can do to force Mugabe on the more difficult stages. There was some past discussion on ministries etc.; there were no such discussions on policies, etc.

Tsvangirai will, at best, have some of the key ministries but he will never ever exercise any real power. Mugabe and the Joint Operation Command will have and exercise all the real power. Tsvangirai and his fellow MDC friend will be reduced to nothing more than the baby in the cartoon, The Simpson, hooting and steering on her imitation steering wheel!

The people of Zimbabwe were not informed much less consulted on this power sharing deal. We therefore do not have to accept it; particularly now when it evident that it is addressing our needs.

The root cause of Zimbabwe's economic and political crisis is that the politicians have usurped the people's power to hold them to account. If anything we are beholden to the politicians as Mugabe demonstrated again so graphically recently. In Zimbabwe it is the tail that wags the dog!

What Mugabe is doing right now is flexing his muscle with MDC just to remind them, again and graphically too, he is boss!
MDC campaigned on a platform of “Change!” The real change Zimbabwe needs above all else is change that will end the pathetic situation in which a few individual can hold the whole nation to ransom. And switch the power play so that it is the people who hold the politicians to account. What Tsvangirai has done in signing the power sharing deal is seek to share power with Mugabe whilst Mugabe continues to hold and exercise his dictatorial powers!

Many people acknowledge the power sharing deal was ill conceived, ill advised and poorly implemented and yet they still hope against hope that it works. As a people, we have to stop deluding ourselves that we can still turn a corrupt and repressive dictatorship into a competent and accountable government. Particularly when the said dictator continues to wield the whip over us!

Some civic leaders, like the leaders of Women Of Zimbabwe Arise (WOZA) have called for mass public demonstrations. A show of public discontent is called for, yes; but there is a crying need for a more focused mass action.

There have been calls for public action to end the current practice of fixed daily bank withdrawals, for example. Mass action against the country’s run-away hype inflation would be even better. Mass action in support of MDC’s call for a more meaningful implementation of the power sharing deal, too would be good. It would be even better to end the dictatorship and have a democratic and accountable government!

Thursday, 9 October 2008


For the last thirty years Zimbabwe has had a generation of “untouchable and infallible” leaders; which, of course, is why we are in this mess. In our fight to get out of it; are we, inadvertently, creating a new generation of untouchables?

I am, like most other Zimbabweans, a regular listener to S W Radio Africa and reader of the Zimbabwe Times and the few others internet publications covering the tragic goings on in Zimbabwe. On Tuesday 7 October The Zimbabwe Times reported “The Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) on Tuesday admitted that the party made “a big mistake” by signing a power-sharing deal with President Robert Mugabe, without having agreed on the make-up of a unity government.” (MDC has since retracted the statement, claiming they were quoted out of context.)

After three weeks of bickering over which party would get which ministry, MDC was stating the obvious; one would have thought. Tendai Biti’s reply in a follow up interview on S W Radio Africa was disappointing and alarming.

According to Tendai Biti, MDC Tsvangirai Secretary General, MDC had expected Mugabe to simply accept that MDC would have control of all the finance and economic ministries. The country was in the present mess because Zanu PF “had failed”, he argued. This is true enough!

“Equally the MDC would have deferred to ZANU PF on the question of security ministries because they are still controlling,” continued Mr Biti. “That is elementary.” Well, it is not that simply; is it?

Zimbabwe is in the economic mess because mismanagement and down right incompetence on the part of Mugabe and his Zanu PF ruling party. A new team of competent people will address this, yes. But that would not be enough here.

Zimbabwe’s economy is in a mess too because there was rampant corruption. The kind of corruption that has left our Hospitals without even something as basic and vital as a drip-kit when millions of US$ are spent of a fleet of new Mercedes Benz for the ruling elite. The kind of corruption that has left the nation starving because the farms used to grow the food was seized and given to a few. And the kind of corruption that allows those few to hang on to their ill got loot.

The rampant corruption is happening in every ministry and at every level in society – it is what the very life-blood of the dictatorship. It is not enough that MDC should control a few ministries and let this criminal waste of human and material resource continue unabated!

Of course the nation would have done something to end the mismanagement, incompetence and corruption it Mugabe was not holding a gun to our collective head! He had openly brandished it, threatened and, just to prove he meant business, has frequently fired it with devastating results. 20 000 to 30 000 killed in the 1980s for the sole purpose of eliminating Zapu from the political scene.

In the three months following the 29 March 2008 election Mugabe unleashed his thugs and henchmen. Half a million people were forced to leave their homes and up to 2 000 were murdered in cold blood! Many of the State Security Agents, such as the Police, the CIO and Army were coerced to join in mayhem by doing nothing to stop the madness or worse still by committing the heinous crimes themselves.

One would think MDC would remember these recent events. Was it not for the widespread intimidation, rape and murders that forced Morgan Tsvangirai to withdraw from the presidential run-off! Indeed, he and others within the MDC leadership, including Mr Tendai Biti himself, were in forced exile for weeks because “they feared for their lives” we were told! How can MDC then want to continue to control the security ministries?!

How can anyone in his or her right mind want Mugabe to continue to hold the gun?

It has taken over three weeks already to complete the simply task of dividing up the ministries between the GNU parties- because Mugabe is flexing his political muscle; as usual.

The very idea of sharing power with a dictator is self contradiction. The dictator would at best simply “swallow up” the junior partner as happened to J Nkomo’s PF Zapu. It was outright stupid to think a dictator like Mugabe could be trusted to keep his word. That MDC signed a blank piece of paper with everything to be agreed later is more than just “a big mistake”. It was sheer madness! Mugabe got what he wanted out of the deal- a tacit acceptance of him as President of Zimbabwe and open ended deal for him to complete as he pleased!

The 27 June one-horse presidential run-off race was widely dismissed as a sham even by Mugabe’s sanctioned African election observers. The world at large refused to accept as the legitimately “elected” President of Zimbabwe. But when MDC signed the deal in which Mugabe was accepted as the country’s sworn President, it impossible for anybody else to say otherwise.

MDC has since found it frustrating that Mugabe should be dragging his feet over the implementation of the deal. MDC has turned to Thembo Mbeki, the former SA President and SADC mediator, to help resolve the current allocation of ministries impasse. Zanu PF has public said that was NOT necessary, and Mbeki has stayed out of it.

What exactly does MDC want Mbeki to do, any where? Will MDC call Mbeki back again if Mugabe should dictate policies, implementation, etc. – which you can bet, Mugabe will!

In despair, MDC has now turned to anyone, anyone at all, who would care to listen. And in typical Zanu PF arrogant style, Patrick Chinemasa, the Zanu PF negotiator, has dismissed MDC for negotiating “in public”. In reply Nelson Chamisa said MDC had nothing “to hide” and that the party was turning to the Zimbabwe public because they are the party’s “compass”. Compass my foot!

For the last eight years now MDC has had involved in “Talks” with Zanu PF and the power sharing deal was a result of the last lot of “Talks”. MDC in cahoots with Zanu PF has consistently kept the Zimbabwe public in the dark as to what the two were talking about let alone consulted them for direction. Some compass!

The power sharing deal is silent as to the exact term of the GNU. It was a deliberate omission on the part of Mugabe. He wanted the GNU to last five years and he will pull every trick in the book to ensure that happens. The nation is serious trouble, millions are hungry and many, many innocent lives are at risk. And three weeks after signing the deal still there is no effective government! There prospect of five years of dithering is mind boggling! Thanks to MDC for getting Mugabe off the hook!

“We do not regret anything,” answered Tendai Biti regarding the deal. “Absolutely nothing! We have saved Zimbabwe to the best of our ability!” Well, if selling Zimbabwe to the dictator for a few empty promises is MDC’s best, then God help us!

“We have paid the price (for serving Zimbabwe),” continued Biti. “Some of us are facing treason charges that may result in death.” He was referring to the numerous times when he and the likes of Morgan Tsvangirai have been assaulted by the Police and thrown in jail. Tendai still has the treason charge hanging over him for declaring the 29 March 2008 election results ahead of the official body, ZEC tasked to do so.

It is something we all deeply regret that anyone, anyone all should be subjected to an ill treatment or worse for exercising their basic and fundamental rights such as freedom of expression in independent Zimbabwe. What I failed to understand, however, was why Tendai Biti felt it necessary to bring that up! I had visions of the past flash before my eyes!

At the heart of Zimbabwe’s political and economic nightmare are people like Robert Mugabe who believe they can say or do no wrong. They are liberation war heroes and whatever they do or have ever done before or after independence, even now nearly three decades after independence, must only be viewed through the prism of their heroic sacrifices.

In our fight to end Mugabe’s dictatorship, many people have been targeted by the dictatorship and many have suffered and many great sacrifices. But in so doing, have we now created a new generation of untouchable and infallible leaders who will in turn admit no mistake?

Robert Mugabe has committed many heinous crimes against the people of Zimbabwe but the greatest crime above all else was the falsehood that because of his heroic past he is somehow incapable of any base act. Enough of these mean, ruthless and brutal dictators masquerading as national heroes per excellence!

History will pass the final say on MDC was wisdom or otherwise to sign the deal with Mugabe – I would say, enough has happened already to say which way the penny will fall. Meanwhile we must nip in the bud any autocratic tendencies of those who should consider themselves, for whatever reason, to be infallible and therefore beyond reproach.

(Tendai Biti’s S W Radio Africa interview is available on Tuesday 7 September Newsreel)

Thursday, 2 October 2008


2008 has been the most stressful year of my whole life, by a long mile! I have had some stressful times in my life; exams, waiting for results, time when I was unemployed, times when family member was sick. But 2008 has topped all these other times.

What have made 2008 such a stressful year for me are all the worrying and the hardships. The economic hardships of whether or not one can afford something as basic as loaf of bread and then the energy supping hunt for it. Then there was the worrying brought about by the tight-rope act the whole nation was forced to perform.

Zimbabwe elections have always been a tense and highly charged affair; in which the public, particularly the rural people, are treated like sheep at a show; driven hither and thither. This year the whip, whistle and the sheep dog were there as in the past but so too were the electric shock sticks and guns with life ammunitions.

All my past stress problem were like the 3 to 5 minutes songs; the 2008 problems have been like one of those Bakumba (traditional beer garden) songs that will go on and on and on all day and all night. The economic hardships and political problems were there beginning of the year and there still there now only worse; a lot worse.

The problems themselves are the worst anyone has ever dealt with; inflation of 11 million percent, a monthly salary that is not enough to buy one loaf of bread, etc. The sheer enormity of the problem is depressing. The length of time one has had to deal with these problems; it now eight years since Zimbabwe’s economic melt down started following the commercial farm invasions. And to crown it all; the sheer hopelessness of the whole situation.

What exactly is this Mugabe – Tsvangirai deal supposed to achieve? Why are we entrusting the nation’s future to ruthless and brutal dictator who brought the nation to ruin in the first place? The deal was to appease Mugabe, something the nation has done for three decades and has paid a heavy price for it. But it seems, some people never learn! After all the country has gone through; was it too much to ask for leaders who have some common sense! Really was that too much to ask?

Is it any wander that life expectancy in Zimbabwe is one of the lowest in the world; the stress is killing our people!

Wednesday, 1 October 2008


The International Finance Sector, particularly the Banks and mortgage lenders, is facing its worst crisis ever. Basically the sector has been lending money to people who simply could not afford to pay back the loan(s). More like Robert Gabriel Mugabe borrowing right, left and centre and spending as if there is no tomorrow when the money will be repaid with interest.

The “Spending Mugabes” were from most nations in the West but mainly from the USA. But because most of the financial institutions dealing in these dodgy big spenders sold some of these portfolio to other financial institutions all over the West- the whole sector in the West has been affected.

Whilst the “going” was the Banks, Mortgage Lenders, etc. made a killing. But when some of the borrowers started to default, the whole shooting match collapsed like a house of cards. Many of the institutions were able to absorb the dab loans out of the large past profits. There were others, however, who could not because the bad debt constituted a significant part of their business. There is always the sucker left holding the bag!

When word gets round that a particular Bank or Building Society is one such sucker: the shareholder and account holders flock to sell their shares or withdraw their money. Naturally they do not want to be the ones left holding the bag. A “run” on a Bank would force it out of business in no time. The “run” could easily to other Banks and soon the whole financial system would collapse.

Day to day life in this modern age can not function without the financial sectors; it is a critical component of our industrialised world. Western governments have stepped in with taxpayers’ money to bail out the financial sector. The bailout provided ready cash for account holders who wished to withdraw their money and to assure those who do not withdraw their money the guarantee that the government itself will repay the money if the Bank was to become bankrupt.

The American government is proposing a bail of US$ 700 billion for its financial institutions. The rest of Western countries are proposing a similar package for their financial institutions. To put it into some perspective; Zimbabwe will need US$ 1 billion, according to some experts, over a five year period to put back its economy back on track! So the Western governments’ bailouts are not small fries!

The American government has been debating the bailout all week. The two American presidential candidates have had to cut short their campaigning to go back to Washington to take part in the debate. In contrast Zimbabwe has had no effective government now since February and the economy is in total melt down and yet both Mugabe and Tsvangirai have been globe-trotting at every opportunity.

“There will be a time to punish those who set this fire, but now is the moment for us to come together and put the fire out” said Barack Obama.

In Zimbabwe we all know exactly who set the country on fire- he has done so publicly and continues to brandish the smouldering log and threaten to burn down the little that is left. To appease him, we give him all the power and authority in the vain hope he will put out the fire!

The financial bailouts the West is paying out will make them even less generous than ever. Right now Zimbabwe will need millions in aid to buy food. The whole world knows the barbaric farm invasions of the last eight years is the root cause of Zimbabwe’s food shortages. And 35 new farms were seized since the signing of the deal to form a GNU; yet none of the leaders have said a thing.

It is hard to see how the world can be expected to take Zimbabwe’s teething problems seriously when we are not serious about anything ourselves!