Zanu continue to repeat the mantra that western ‘sanctions’ are the cause of the economic rot in the country. The coup announcer, SB Moyo, while in London and right before we showed our defiance to him, was regurgitating the same pieties about sanctions at Chatham house. The scarf wearer himself in his dreary speeches continues to blame sanctions for the country’s problems. Even the economically illiterate Zanu war veterans have been given a dictum by their leader to blame sanctions when they deliver their knuckle dragging rhetoric to the masses. They are all at it. But like every explanation Zanu give to the public, it’s all lies! Zimbabwe’s problems are a result of corruption and cruelty and not western sanctions.

Let’s imagine this government cultivates some mythical goodwill in the eyes of the west and are then given US$10bn (no strings attached) to solve the country’s problems.  I know it defies logic, but stay with me on this one. Let’s imagine Mnangagwa and his government are given this huge some of money, how do you think they will use it? Well, I think the money will be spent as follows during the first year:

  1. Government ministers, their deputies, permanent secretaries, their deputies will get salary increases and bonuses, all paid in US dollars (US$2bn)
  • The top brass in the army, police, CIO and the judiciary will also be given the same windfall (US$1bn)
  • A significant amount will be set aside to kick start another Command Agriculture which will be spearheaded by either the scarf wearer or some other military general (US$3bn)
  • War veterans will be given their share of the spoils (US$1bn)
  • Money used to pay companies subcontracted  to ‘sort out’ the problems with electricity and water. These companies will either be owned by or have close ties with the scarf wearer, some generals and/or Zanu top brass (US$1bn)
  • Money set aside to sort out the fuel problems. Companies involved will be those belonging to cronies of the scarf wearer and the generals – the infamous cartels (US$1bn)
  • Equipment for police and army (US$1bn)

After 1 year

  1. Command Agriculture money would have benefited farms owned by military generals and the scarf wearer. More than 75% of the money unaccounted for because of corruption.
  • Water and electricity continue to be in short supply. 50% of the companies subcontracted turn out to be bankrupt, the rest were firewood wholesalers.
  • Fuel problems continue. 75% of money missing.
  • Police and army receive their equipment on time and quickly put it to use by quelling a peaceful demonstration in Harare about the misuse of the US$10bn.

These projections are not too far fetched. In fact, the Zanu government had access to about US$15bn from the diamonds and the country did not benefit  from any of that money. So the idea that lifting ‘sanctions’ is going to improve things in the country is a complete nonsense. First of all there are no sanctions on Zimbabwe. The Zanu government is not getting access to money from the west not because of sanctions, but because they are shirkers who will also steal the money and use some of it for  repression. The only time  Zanu will spend money and ensure they get the things they pay for is when they are buying guns, baton sticks and other instruments of oppression. Zimbabwe’s problems are not because of sanctions, they are a result of corruption and cruelty by this Zanu government and unfortunately for Zimbabweans, the person who made himself president in 2017 is the apotheosis of that corruption and cruelty.  


Terence Rusirevi


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