Greetings to you Julius. I am sure you will note that this is my second letter to you on the same subject matter.
I understand that you visited my country Zimbabwe recently, and that
you continue to be inspired by how ZANU (PF) has decimated our economy
and its potential. Well, Julius, I dare say that your standards are
obviously not that high and I forgive you for that. You see, this is the
case with most black Africans; all you have to do is look throughout
Africa to realise that the black man, left to his own devices, has
dismally failed to raise his standard of living despite having all the
resources he needs.
Your country, South Africa, is currently
suffering from the same disorder and events in the Limpopo province,
where you come from, certainly do not inspire me. Shouldn't you be
rather spending your energy there to get things right?
are historical reasons for that I think, the main one being that coming
from poverty backgrounds, black Africans do not really demand or expect
much from their leaders. You see Julius; there is just something about
us black people and our standards. They are just so low and your
inspiration from the Zimbabwe situation proves that to me. By the way,
Julius, I forgot to ask you whether you had electricity at the wedding
you attended because on that day, I didn't.
uncollected rubbish dumps, lack of clean running water and a
dilapidating infrastructure inspire you Julius, then I suppose you
should relocate to Harare. I have a perfect spot for you where you can,
once again, get inspired using pit latrines as some of you do now in a
developed South Africa. I understand that this is also the case in
Limpopo, where some infrastructure is in bad shape even after some black
owned companies were paid to do the work to repair it. I am sure you
are aware of that. That hardly inspires me Julius.
I am an
enthusiastic believer in economic transformation and the ownership of
our economies by the majority and not by international monopolies and
oligopolies who are to me, the new colonialists. On that point I fully
agree with you. However, that does mean that I should accept a
substandard life style. I don't know about you Julius, but I note that
you aspire to live in Sandton (the taxman willing) and not in Thembisa
as most of your brothers and sisters do (not that there is anything
wrong with living in Thembisa).
I don't know whether you are
aware that Zimbabwe does not actually control its mineral wealth? These
have been dished out to the Chinese and to ZANU (PF) cronies some of who
are reported to be now building mansions there in Durban. We don't even
know where our diamond revenue is going Julius, can you believe that? I
guess that inspires you Julius.
You no doubt, will also be
inspired by our agricultural revolution (as you would call it), where
now we cannot even feed ourselves and must import maize from Zambia. Yes
Julius we in Zimbabwe now "own" those farms but they are useless and
Julius, in Zimbabwe, we even own closed factories
and shops, we own our own airline which is grounded, we own all our
state enterprises that are facing closure because of mismanagement, we
own steel mills, power stations, railways, mines; hell you name it
Julius and we own it. But all that we own is either underutilised, in a
state of disrepair or being driven to the ground through corruption or
mismanagement. That's inspirational Julius, isn't it?
to you Julius, is to use this "sabbatical" that the ANC has forced upon
you wisely, and study and improve yourself. You do have some good
arguments on how we must begin to ameliorate the condition of black
Africans. You however, need to sharpen your thinking skills.
Africa needs future leaders who are educated, principled, who have
integrity and are sensitive to the dynamics of the environment that they
operate in. If you by any chance aspire to be one of those, good luck,
but I can tell you that will not get that from coming to Harare to
insult our intelligence. You seem to have a unique gift of persistently
Julius, economic freedom in this lifetime is
possible, but only if we insist on high standards of leadership and
delivery. Nationalisation will not achieve that economic freedom, nor
will violence, greed and corruption. Fighting for higher wages is like a
slave, fighting for a daily tea break; it will not fundamentally change
the economic relationships in South Africa.
I shall be in
touch with you again soon, and we may perhaps sit down and inspire each
other on the need to develop both our countries and come up with new
economic models. Let us rather spend our energies on that, don't you
Finally I encourage you to choose your friends wisely
Julius, because the tide is turning and true economic freedom is coming
soon to Zimbabwe. Real economic freedom Julius, which you might want to
be once again inspired by.
Your comrade in the economic struggle to free Africans from dictatorship, incompetence and poverty.
Vince Musewe is an independent economist currently in Harare. You may contact him on firstname.lastname@example.org