Biti says if you wake up Mbuya Nehanda today she would think it is still her era because nothing has changed


We are caught in this mindset that we just consume that which is produced by other countries and that is not good enough. This country has got the education and infrastructure that we can actually become an industrial power.

In 1980 when we assumed independence, we were the third most advanced manufacturing country on the African continent. Supersonic in Bulawayo used to make microchips that were imported by NASA in the United States of America. Over the years Mr. Speaker, between 1989 to-date, we have de-industrialised. Our industries have become museums and if you go to Bulawayo, many of those industries are now churches. Industrial factories have now been converted into shells.

I said yesterday that this country is being killed by humanities and I am a member of the humanities fraternity. I love literature. I love William Shakespeare, Ngugi wa Thiong`o, Ngugi wa Mirii, Chinua Achebe, Okot p`Bitek and Petrina Gappa but countries do not move by

Philip Roth or William Shakespeare. Countries move by the lever, by science and technology. So, why are we not ensuring that we become an industrial hub? 

If you look at all the development plans that this country has produced, they are over 17. NDS1 is the seventeenth one. This country has had 17 developmental plans and all those plans speak to industrialisation, alteration of the accumulation model but we have done

nothing about it 44 years into independence. 

If you go to the average school or university, a student is taught to write a letter, ‘Dear Sir, I

hereby apply for a vacancy’. There is no lecture room that will teach a kid to say ‘I am applying for a loan of $200 000 for a start-up’. It really pains me Mr. Speaker.

I was in Lesotho for their elections. When you get into down-town Lesotho, there is a huge vehicle that is parked. There is a dual carriageway and in the middle is a car that is parked there. When I asked why the car was parked there, it was because it was manufactured

in Lesotho but we cannot do that. We even import toothpicks but we have got an entire province full of soft wood called Manicaland. So, we need to industrialise and we need to walk the talk so that we can produce these things.

Mr. Speaker, what about the security of those transformers? They have become a major industry of stealing and selling transformers. But a person who steals a transformer has to be an electrician or someone who works for the corporation because you will be electrocuted. So, why are we allowing the same people who install the transformers to

steal them? It is not good at all. 

Hon. Markham spoke about Dabuka, which was more than 57km of electricity cables but now it is gone. When it was incepted, it cost US$7million and to incept the same line,

you need about US$108million. We are still using trains that now belong to a museum. Other countries like Ethiopia, Addis Ababa have got a 49-stop-tube station or metro station. Kenya just commissioned a tube-station or metro station. Morocco has just commissioned a tube or

metro station yet we have failed to do even Harare/Chitungwiza, which is a 25km stretch but we have been talking about this for 25 years. 

Continued next page


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Charles Rukuni
The Insider is a political and business bulletin about Zimbabwe, edited by Charles Rukuni. Founded in 1990, it was a printed 12-page subscription only newsletter until 2003 when Zimbabwe's hyper-inflation made it impossible to continue printing.


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