Home » General » Blind to Our Own Greed [opinion]

WE have had to endure stories of management in public owned enterprises and local authorities going out to ruthlessly reward itself, and there is little doubt senior management in Government has been swindling the nation unabated for some time, and it is not an understatement that corruption in Zimbabwe has long surpassed cultural levels – reducing the country to a kleptocracy of sorts.

There is this huge erroneous belief emanating from our religious community that says Zimbabweans have been getting closer and closer to God since the post 2008 economic decline era. Economic hardships have created in our people a deep sense of desperation, and we have been made to mistake our greedy search for material needs for a holy hankering for God’s presence and his salvation.

Gone are the days when the headlines for mega-Christian gatherings were the number of people converted to follow Christ, and in comes our day where promises of instant miraculous wealth have become our arbiter of measuring the integrity of our preachers.

We now gather in our thousands to be delivered not from our sins, but from our poverty, and we have just been told that Zimbabwe is poised for some divine transition into economic growth — all emanating from the mouth of one of our prophets, seeing it all from “the spiritual helm,” and we are informed by The Herald that this is coming “in our lifetime,” of course as prophesied by the crowd-pulling charismatic man of God.

Telling 160 000 people comprising all manner of generations and age groups that Zimbabwe is going to have an economic boom “in your lifetime” may be what God told our prophet, but the statement makes no sense once measured by our worldly lenses of logic.

This really does not matter since we must abide by the diktats of numerous Biblical verses that declare worldly foolishness as the wisdom of God, or is it God’s wisdom as the foolishness of this world?

The question we really want answered is whether the search for hope in the wake of our pervasive poverty is synonymous with the search for God. When we elevate the gospel of prosperity to foundational levels of the church itself, are we in doing so seeking God’s salvation, or simply replacing God with money?

We have to establish what induces one man to use false prophecy, another to feign miracles, and yet another to indulge in church fraud. We have to establish what engenders people into awarding themselves hundreds of thousands of dollars per month in an economy where the majority of people are living under a dollar a day, even within organisations where the majority of the workers are going for months unpaid.

In many cases it is not real want or need driving our people into these parsimonious activities, and most of the time the most corrupt in our midst are by no means precarious in their welfare or existence.

One man sitting on more than a dozen corporate boards and accumulating hundreds of thousands of dollars per month in sitting allowances cannot be a matter of want or need, and surely it is not necessitated by a dire shortage of brilliant people in the country.

Those who wonder why a man earning half a million dollars a month would fight to death to earn more money through other means must be reminded that the driving force pushing our corrupt elites day and night is this terrible impatience at seeing their wealth pile up slowly.

There is this terrible longing and love for money that has not spared even our clergy. What once was done for the love of God is now done for the love of money, and what once was done for the love of the country is now done for self-aggrandisement. Our politicians now treacherously create for themselves conditions that can afford them the highest feeling of power, and they even have a very good conscience about it all, some being audacious enough to call it patriotism.

Has money suddenly become the main counterfeit god in our country?

Why do we now have preachers that use God to preach about money instead of using money to preach about God?

So much has been written over the years about the culture of greed, and avarice has for long been eating away our souls, and has no doubt immensely helped in worsening the spread of corruption in our country.

Even in the context of the salary-gate scandal and other corruption exposes in the public domain, not many people believe that change is around the corner.

The main reason for this is that greed and avarice are not easy to see in ourselves.

Nobody will readily admit they are greedy, even when they are exposed as earning $40 000 a month when the rest of the people in their organisation are going for months unpaid.

Once someone goes the route of corruption they get smitten by this blindness that makes them incapable of seeing their own heart. It is not common to come across a person that admits that their greedy lust for money is harming the nation, and it now takes more than a miracle to find a politician that does not subscribe to the doctrine of corruption.

We cannot hope that our politicians are going to tame corruption in the country, unless we want to believe that the devil is our best bet in eradicating sin, or that righteousness comes from the depths of hell.

For as long as our politicians continue to sideline the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission, we must for our own sanity forget about eradicating the scourge of corruption.

No one can eradicate corruption by making impressive vitriolic press statements. People are hardly fooled by this sophistical trickery.

There are ruinous sociological and psychological dynamics that make it virtually impossible for anyone in the grip of greed blind to their own heart. Every one of us lives in a particular socioeconomic bracket, and once one becomes able to afford to live in a particular neighbourhood, to send their children to its private schools, and to play its prestigious sporting games, they find themselves increasingly surrounded by a sizeable number of people who have more money than themselves.

Once gripped in such circumstances, one stops comparing himself to the rest of the world, instead comparing themselves to those in their bracket of wealth.

So our super-paid CEOs running our parastatals have never really compared themselves to the rest of our people in the country, and that is why Happison Muchechetere could say he was not bothered by the deteriorating situation at the ZBC.

In his view his means were convincingly modest when seen in light of more impressive monster salaries like the ones earned by Cuthbert Dube at PSMAS, and the then board chairman at Muchechetere’s ZBC.

Most of our politicians think of themselves as leading very modest lives, and for some reason they are quite convinced that the rest of the people are blissful to their staggering materialistic comfort and luxury.

Politicians that regard luxurious overseas holidays as necessity lead us today, and they expect all of us to raucously approve their decision to shun our institutions of education as they compete unabated in sending their kids to prestigious universities across the world.

Greed deeply hides itself from its victim, and no one thinks they are guilty of it.

I was talking to one of the CEOs for one of the parastatals the other day, and he was absolutely stunned that people are so angry about the exposed monster salaries of his colleagues.

While he felt rather sorry for the “misled people,” he was totally outraged by the media’s role in exposing “the so-called salary-gate.”

He pitifully laughed at me as he reminded me of my own wrath, as expressed in an opinion piece published through this column on December 27, 2013, titled “Revolution Betrayed.”

He pitied me for not knowing “how these things work,” reminding me of the tremendously impressive work performed by the likes of Cuthbert Dube at PSMAS, adding that the organisation owed everything it had to the hard working and committed Dube.

I got lectured on how the media “sensationalises everything,” disregards facts, and “does not understand.”

We have seen the Hurungwe MP giving the media a similar lecture, coaching them on how to ask verification questions, commandeering journalists to pursue particular people and particular stories other than his own affairs.

The MP is evidently blind to his own heart, and that is precisely why he thinks demanding $165 million for clandestine “consultancy” was quite fair and acceptable, sternly declaring that he does “not come cheap.”

Ironically the MP is not at all blind to the corruption of others, and he has been posturing in public fights demanding to know where one minister got $22 million to buy a bank.

Good question deserving a speedy answer, if only asked in the context of where the $165 million demanded by our famed MP for a mere introduction was going to come from, and at whose expense it was going to be paid.

Unless we open our eyes and begin to look at our own hearts, we will be slaves of our own greed, and in this context of affairs we cannot dream of a prosperous country, not in the least when we openly and publicly defend and justify glaring corruption as gigantic acts of heroism.

Zimbabwe we are one and together we will overcome.

It is homeland or death!

The author is a political writer based in SYDNEY, Australia.

Source : The Herald