Corruption nation

I live in a nation of thieving whores, a festering pit of lies and decay run by a coterie of charismatic charlatans spreading their tentacles through the moral and economic fabric of an entire people.

I live in a nation of unrepentant liars, and I see them canonised and celebrated as sacred beings, testaments to the Hardiness and Patriotism and Enterpreneurship that only Super Patriots and True Sons of the Soil can possess.

I live in a nation of idiots, buying imported goods at four times their US dollar value because they think now they have a few greenbacks in their pockets and can afford an Amstel, they’ve Arrived.

I live in a place where nice guys finish last, and is so pervesely corrupt that there appears to be no way a decent, hard-working and law-abiding citizen can survive without breaking a law (discounting the fact that almost all genuine enterprise is either regulated or criminalised).

I live in the nation of fools and the wannabes. Looking at the fools’ ongoing reverence for the politico-business elite, I notice that the modern Zimbabwean fool, above all else, reveres and desperately wants to be close to the “unprincipled winner”; those who engage in bad acts,  ones which everyone knows are bad, and get away with it through flagrant indifference to the law and the rules.

Savviness. Deep down, that’s what fools want to believe in and actually do believe in – their own savviness and the savviness of others. In business, they believe, it’s better to be savvy than it is to be honest. It’s better to be savvy than it is to be just, good, fair, decent, strictly lawful, civilised, sincere or humane.*

Savviness is what fools admire in others. Savvy is what they themselves dearly wish to be. That quality of being shrewd, practical, ruthless, well-informed, perceptive, “with it” and unsentimental in all things economic and political is, in a sense, their professional religion.

Fools make a cult of it. And it’s this cult that the “dharas” understand and exploit for financial (and sometimes political) gain. What is the truest mark of savviness? Winning, of course! The Phidzas are winners. The “boys dzengoda” are winners. The Range Rover Elite and the Pentecostal Pastor Class are winners.

And only a fool can admire an unprincipled winner.

It’s hard to overstate the extent to which I see people (some my friends) identify with, socialise with, and revere the very opportunists whose purpose is to manipulate and deceive them.

When did we stop celebrating Good? When did we start caring who bought a Range or Q7? When did Corruption become a way of life?

Where have all the good guys gone?

* Paraphrasing NYU Journalism Professor Jay Rosen

16 Replies to “Corruption nation”

  1. Hmm – too many ales at the Keg I fear. Should not have left you on Friday night. You had that hungry look in your eyes.

    I agree with 75% of what you say. We have always gone on about the biggest resource in Zimbabwe is its capital base. I fear that that has been seriously eroded and the korokozas of today have no concept of the notion of a hard days work.

    There is nothing like having a boss who answers to the directors who in turn answer to the shareholders. The level of accountability is immense.

    I look forward to the day that many peeps get their come uppance. The guys are there it’s just that to survive they are wearing the black hats too. In the large part you can tell them by the cars they drive and lifestyles they live i.e. not over flambo, flambo.

    Good post maybe you need to talk to your friends and possibly arrange an intervention

  2. Lol, I actually walked out the Keg straight after you bra.

    You say you agree with 75% of what I said, I’m curious aboout the 25. Anyway, yeah. Imagine if the day these korokozas have to get a real job, answering to some pissy middle manager? Laughs.

    My friends know what they’re doing – I’ll observe.

  3. 25% is that not all of us are fools and realise that this shit cannot last forever. My advice to peeps is bricks and mortar – traditional business models and property are the way forward in Zim.

    I think that for you to truly succeed in business you need some of the attributes that you seem to look down at – “shrewd, practical, ruthless, well-informed, perceptive, “with it” and unsentimental in all things economic and politica”

  4. Oh but I didn’t say that ALL of us are fools. In fact, I tried very hard not to indict the Borrowdale Class in there, simply because I know not all of you are fools and villains.

    Yes, the same attributes that make a successful legitimate businessman can also be the makings of a successful korokoza. It’s how you use them.

    What I’m saying is, not all of us possess them, and those who don’t hang onto the coattails of those who do.

    I suppose that’s called employment. LOL.

  5. But this shit will last forever. The political and economic climate might change but the “thieving whores” and their fans will remain. Don’t matter if people follow traditional business models. These legitimate businesses will still be run by opportunists who will manipulate and deceive the consumers. As long as the success for the business is measured strictly in financial terms, principles will take a back seat in favour of exploitation. And the “fools” will just shift their admiration to these new winners.

    Just look at the global financial crisis. It is a result of financial experts, creating artificial financial wealth and getting away with it because only they had the know-how. And for a while the world admired and rewarded their “innovation”. Turns out they was just a bunch of opportunist who manipulated and deceived financial consumers worldwide.

    But maybe the real fool is one who expects people to be just, good, fair, decent, strictly lawful, civilised, sincere or humane in any modern capitalist society.

  6. Conversely, it may be foolish to expect good of others. But the day we stop demanding good is the day we fail as a nation, as a people and as the human race.

    We have always demanded right-thinking, positive behaviour from society, enforced through rules and laws.

    Our problem in Zimbabwe is that there are different sets of laws, and for a certain class of citizen it seems regulatory oversight is nigh-on unenforceable. Or just politically inconvenient.

    Saying stuff like T.I.A. or “mabhoyi akatora” is rubbish I think, because we’re lowering the bar for Africans, like we’re inherently corrupt, inherently genocidal, inherently … inferior.

    We should never fail to adhere to a higher standard of behaviour, for ourselves and our peers.

  7. Hello everyone!!!!!! am back in CT this bundu work is tiring!! Joseph stiff angry as ever I see, or just jealous hmmm? God I hev lots to catch up.

  8. Hey you, how is the bush-work? Glad you haven’t been mauled by any … squirrels or whatever. Chenjera kutsikwa nemotokari shamwari, LOL.

    And no I’m not jealousy … I’m indignant.

  9. The notion of every business man being dishonest an unscrupulous is a fallacy. Not only a fallacy but in many areas when the fidelity of your storekeeper, supplier are essential would be suicide for a business man. One of the reasons why we used and still try to buy from the shop as opposed to the man on the street is that we believe that fundamentally he is honest, number 2 he will be there tomorrow and finally he wants your return business.

    If it was all feja-feja and a serious lotto the very notion of business and commerce would collapse. I can’t help but feel the undertones of socialism being advocated in these pages.

    Business by its very nature is about the bottom line, however, there is a large number of peeps who are starting to feel the boycott bite as they continue to screw their customers.

  10. Now you’ve got it all wrong. I didn’t say that all businesspeople are feja-fejas. Not at all.

    Is it socialism to demand that people be held accountable for their actions? Is it socialism to expect some sort of regulation or oversight of businesses and their dealings?

    Is it socialism to demand that the law take its natural course when said people are found on the wrong side? If so, call me a socialist then.

    Although I view myself as generally liberal, I’m pretty conservative when it comes to the application of the law. Break it, you pay. Simple.

    “I can’t help but feel the undertones of socialism being advocated in these pages” … so what’s wrong with socialism, anyway? You say it like it’s a dirty word.

    I’m neither socialist nor capitalist, but I don’t look down on either kind. I’m no Christian or Muslim, but I gots no hate for either kind.

    Buffdaddy – is “socialism” a dirty word for you?

  11. I also see the little duels are still going on. Wheres my girl aefro in all this talk?

    Bush was fine I suppose on my way to Durbs on Sea now to see my momma.

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