The Mugabe regime has announced that it will make another attempt at getting its grubby paws on the money sent by Zimbabweans living abroad to assist loved-ones back home, and even persuade them to invest. The man assigned to oversee this latest attempt is career kleptocrat Obert Mpofu, who now heads the new Ministry of Macro-Economic Planning and Investment Promotion.
Already, Zimbabweans have take to social media to express their views. We have all been here before. Homelink is still very fresh in the memories of many. (Apparently, it is still running). As for investing in Zimbabwe, no matter how fondly we may still view the land of our birth, the country is 125th out of 140 in the Global Competitiveness Index (GCI) compiled by the World Economic Forum. The Zimbabwean expression, "It's a non-starter, guys" comes to mind. Government bureaucracy and corruption still need to be addressed. And, let us not forget that is because this very regime is still in power is the reason there are even Zimbabwean diaspora communities in the first place!
The Mugabe regime know all of this. It has all been said before. And, true to its nature, the regime has made no credible attempt whatsoever to address the bureaucracy, corruption and other issues. So, what makes them think this time Zimbabweans living abroad will be signing up in droves to be fleeced of their money?
Here's what I think: no one in the Mugabe regime is seriously expecting any takers. This is just another attempt at looking like someone is doing something about the continued slide towards the precipice. When I read about the creation of a newly-crafted Policy Document, my first thought was the following passages from Orwell's Animal Farm;
"Somehow it seemed as though the farm had grown richer without making the animals themselves any richer–except, of course, for the pigs and the dogs. Perhaps this was partly because there were so many pigs and so many dogs. It was not that these creatures did not work, after their fashion. There was, as Squealer was never tired of explaining, endless work in the supervision and organisation of the farm. Much of this work was of a kind that the other animals were too ignorant to understand. For example, Squealer told them that the pigs had to expend enormous labours every day upon mysterious things called "files," "reports," "minutes," and "memoranda." These were large sheets of paper which had to be closely covered with writing, and as soon as they were so covered, they were burnt in the furnace. This was of the highest importance for the welfare of the farm, Squealer said. But still, neither pigs nor dogs produced any food by their own labour; and there were very many of them, and their appetites were always good.
As for the others, their life, so far as they knew, was as it had always been. They were generally hungry, they slept on straw, they drank from the pool, they laboured in the fields; in winter they were troubled by the cold, and in summer by the flies. Sometimes the older ones among them racked their dim memories and tried to determine whether in the early days of the Rebellion, when Jones's expulsion was still recent, things had been better or worse than now. They could not remember. There was nothing with which they could compare their present lives: they had nothing to go upon except Squealer's lists of figures, which invariably demonstrated that everything was getting better and better...."
Time will prove me right that this just more whistling in the dark by a regime practically running on fumes.