Zimbabwe does not need aid from the West, its people need to believe in themselves


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I was proud of what they had achieved in the toughest business game in the world – but what a loss to the third world. If we are going to create a more equal world, we have to recognise that you cannot constantly bleed the best out of the developing world for the benefit of the developed world and see change happening. You cannot replace that with money – no matter how much you throw at it.

At the same time, I recognise that we in the developing world have to recognise that we are in competition with everyone else for skills and intelligent capacity. So we should be developing policies that will pay our Civil Servants a decent salary and retain the skills we need to deliver a better life to our people. Here the ideologists in our midst have created a real problem with their emphasis on equality. All those countries that have pursued such policies languish in the back draft of successful countries. I was watching a satellite picture of China at night the other evening and was astonished at the lack of light in North Korea compared to the South or even China itself. The same for Cuba compared to the USA.

Given the way the world has opened up and the competition for skills and experience, we have to match the conditions our best will secure in the developed world. It means we will become more unequal, but that is the nature of the world system today and it’s not pretty.

It brings me back to the continuing need for humanity to seek a higher calling than just pursuing money and safety. We need to return to an era where our motivation for living in a country is based on a sense of nationalism and patriotism. When my son came back from his first visit to the USA he commented to me how patriotic the Americans are – flags flying, standing for the anthem and supporting their sports teams and Government. He commented that we do not see that here and how much we were missing out.

I am an African of European extraction – but my home is here in Zimbabwe and I stand for our anthem and sing along with the others when it is played. Is that important, yes it is in every way. When the people of Israel were called back from exile to rebuild the Temple and re-establish a Jewish State in the Middle East 2000 years ago, it was this sort of fervour that enabled them to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem in 53 days, an amazing achievement in those days. Motivation is everything, take it out of the equation and everything we do is hard labour.

Modern Israel is a 21st Century example of a country that has somehow managed to rebuild a country despite the fact that it is in the desert, has no natural resources and is surrounded by hostile nations. It has been at war for most of its recent history, yet the calling to the Jewish Diaspora was strong, it has attracted the very best and Israel now leads the world in almost every field. That it was based on the determined sacrifice of its leadership cannot be disputed.

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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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