South Africa is where it is today because of apartheid not democracy


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Democracy has, therefore, not improved the standard of living of the majority. But as former Kenyan President Daniel arap Moi once asked: “What use is democracy to a man without shoes?”

The author of Moi’s biography Andrew Morton, who also wrote the biography of Princess Diana of England, says “it is a rare country that has managed industrialisation and democratisation at the same time.

“Britain industrialised when she was ruled by an aristocratic oligarchy, America when she was a slave society, while more recently, the much-lauded ‘tiger economies’ of the Far East are mainly characterised by authoritarian and repressive regimes.”

South Africa itself is where it is today because of apartheid, not because of democracy. It exploited black labour not only from the homelands but also from the region under WENELA.

Most people that visit Zimbabwe for the first time are shocked at the level of development they see after reading about the collapse of the country but this development, especially that of Harare, was through the exploitation of Zambian and Malawian resources during the days of the federation.

Now, developing countries are being fed the recipe of good governance and human rights when those who dictate this became prosperous through violating those very human rights.

In their book: Why Mugabe won, which looks at why Mugabe won the 2013 elections, Stephen Chan and Julia Gallagher, were told by a political activist in Matebeleland South: “The MDC is from the people by the people. It is supported by everybody. It is a democratic party and everybody needs democracy. They need democracy, but first they need food on their table.”

An activist in Bulawayo told them: “I asked a man why did you vote ZANUY-PF? He said: they brought food, community share ownership- this for them is development. The MDC talks devolution.”

The leader of a civil society organisation told them: “ZANU-PF has delivered real change and improvement to people’s lives and that’s true. The MDC dismissed the empowerment and indigenisation programme. The 10 percent delivers schools and clinics and roads. It’s ZANU-PF that is doing that and the MDC is talking about human rights and respect for the law. That’s academic. It doesn’t put bread on the table.”

Another activist in Bulawayo summed it up: “I think both MDCs don’t understand their own voters. If their voters ask for sadza, they bring tea. ZANU knows that people want farms.”

The common thread here is food.

China, now the second largest economy in the world, is a one party state. In the 1960s, China was poorer than most African countries including Zimbabwe, but now it is bailing out the continent. It is so rich that it holds US debt of more than U$1.1 trillion.

In her book:  How China escaped the poverty trap, Yuen Yuen Ang writes: “..During the start-up stage of development (in China), their overriding impetus was to ‘eat’, that is, to satisfy basic material needs.  When the county was no longer starving, however, it became pickier about what it ate”.

With 8 million reportedly food insecure, shouldn’t Zimbabwe be concentrating on growing food for its people first?

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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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