Why have elections if we have no money?


Finance Minister Tendai Biti has been playing yoyo with Zimbabweans throughout this week. First he said that the country only had $217 in its account last week. Then he backtracked and said the country was not broke. Some$30 million had flowed into treasury coffers.

But what Biti was simply trying to say was that the country has no money for elections. The international community should bail Zimbabwe out? The question he did not answer, which the international community is probably asking, is: why?

After four years as finance minister one would have thought that Biti has learnt by now that no one cares a hoot about what happens to Zimbabwe as long as it continues to hobble on.

Britain told Movement for Democratic Change leader Morgan Tsvangirai frankly during the negotiations for a transitional government in 2008 that it would never help Zimbabwe as long as President Robert Mugabe was part of the government.

The new constitution that Biti is seeking funding for sets a 10-yearlimit for a president but is not retroactive which means Mugabe can, and will most probably, stand.

When he assumed office Biti was named the best finance minister in Africa but his appeal for funds to rebuild the country was met with a huge NO.

The West would not even trust him to handle their humanitarian aid money, yet he was supposed to be the best finance minister in Africa.

Biti himself has often stated that we must eat what we sow. So, why is he seeking aid for such a crucial national event as a referendum and elections?

The constitution making process itself was fraught with irregularities because the country depended on donors. An exercise that was supposed to take 18 months has now exceeded 36 months.

To make matters worse the three principal political leaders had to step in to salvage the situation.

Why des Biti continue to knock his head against the wall, and embarrass the nation by disclosing what is in his coffers. The$217 story spread across the world like a veld fire and not was it only written, Biti himself was heard vocally saying so.

The question still remains. Why should the country hold elections if it has no money to finance them? There is no reason at all. People can yell that this is a constitutional requirement. Yes it is, but the country working on a new constitution meant to iron out all its problems. So what’s the hurry?

For four years the country has been run by an inclusive government. Yes, some can argue that it has been on auto pilot because there was really no government. Others argue that it was run by the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front as they still refer to ZANU-PF as the ruling party when it is a minority in parliament.

In short, the country is currently being run through a political agreement reached by the three major political parties- ZANU-PF and the two factions of the MDC.

That agreement still stands. So why not let it continue while we sort things out and get our own money to hold our own referendum and our own elections.

The problem is that the people we want to give us money, don’t like that. They don’t want us to do our own things for ourselves. They promise us a lot of things but there are always strings attached to make sure we are not really free to do what we want. No one gives you money to do what you want. Simple.

South African President Thabo Mbeki was lambasted left, right and centre, for years for his “quiet diplomacy” and how it would never work. But his patience paid of. His message, was that: “talk among yourselves as Zimbabweans- wechitatu muzvinhaguhwa”.

It worked. But it looks we did not listen to Mbeki’s message. Zimbabwe is currently running on auto pilot because our politicians are refusing to put the country first. They are putting their parties first. In fact, vari kupingana ndare, instead of uniting to build a nation.

This reminds me of a YouTube video entitled Inside secrets of a white man. It goes:

“Hi! My name is Stan and I have been watching the black power community for the last 100 years. I just notice that you guys have been having some problems figuring out what to do about me. You see. I am a cracker, yeah, the white man, the guy that has been running the whole world for the last 2 000 year.

“Well, the reason that I stopped by to speak with you today is to help. I have been watching you guys fight over gaining real black power and thought I would give you a few pointers. Since we white guys have been running things since we invaded Africa I figured I would lay out the blue print to help you achieve your objectives.

“Might as well use the plan that works! Right! Besides it beats the backward, no progress, mistake repeating methods you people have been trying for the last 400 years. So I knew all of you needed some help especially after Barack Obama got into office. He is a great guy but a black man in a white man’s house ain’t really saying much considering all the hell you people have been through.

“Don’t get me wrong. In many ways I know you were happy to get at least one black into office. This is good when you want to run politics but ruling the world is what we white folks specialise in. Have you ever heard of the illuminati? Well, that is the kind of coordination you are going to need to begin taking over the world.

“OK. Let’s get started. Today I am going to give you three things that we did to take over the world. You can use these two and begin to gain real black power. Number One. The first step to taking over the world is unity. I know you have heard of this before but Black people seem to really struggle with this one. You just don’t seem to get it. You would rather fight against each other instead of your enemies. This is bad business and you will never get true freedom doing things this way.

“Instead do what we did to gain power. We divided and conquered entire countries based on their differences while holding true to our similarities. I am white there is no changing that. My God born tendency is to preserve my own. Nothing is racist about that. It is just common sense.

“You people are the stupid ones, going around trying to love everybody but yourselves. We kicked your asses here in America for over 400 years. And you still go around talking about Jesus loves everyone.   While you have been doing all the praying and jumping around we have been buying up the world and making laws that you have to abide by. No offence. But everyone else has unity but you. I mean look at the business in your neighbourhoods. The people that control it don’t even look like you. In fact everyone who comes to this country sets up a business in the black community, the Koreans, the Indians, the Chinese, the list goes on and on. Aren’t you tired of letting these other people supply all your food, nails…?”


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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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