We don’t want your money

For anyone thinking of investing in Our Zimbabwe, here’s fair warning – your money is not safe.

You may sign all the papers you want. Fuck, you can get stamped letters and certificates and what-not, but your business can be destroyed on a whim and your property seized in a second.

Never mind the arrogance of telling a multi-national company who they can do business with (cough cough Nestle cough). Never mind the audacity to ignore BIPPAs and allow, nay, sanction the takeover of “protected” investments.

It’s the stupidity of taking over productive farms (usually close to harvest time, strangely) and victimising the entire farming class, usually with violence.

It’s turning a not-insignificant portion of our populace, and a highly productive one at that, into a second-class casteless shambles, denied the services of both the police force and the attorney general.

It’s amazing to see people running around begging for the repeal of “sanctions” and trying to attract investors, when the facts on the ground tell the story of an arbitrary, out-of-control ruling style where what’s “theirs” can be ours in an instant, and “they” are an ill-defined enemy sponsoring regime-change and counter-revolutions and what-not.

I know investment is risk, but investing in this Zimbabwe is plain insanity.

It’s better spent on booze and whores, because either way you’re gonna get screwed.

22 Replies to “We don’t want your money”

  1. Zim is government laid bare without all the fancy frills and shiny ribbons which disguise it. It is not an unfair, corrupt, abnormal, excessive, evil, or other type of government – it is simply government.

    ALL, governments, regimes, aristocracies or whatever name is given to a bunch of people in political control of a state, are doing to their countries, and for the same reasons, exactly what Zany is doing in Zim.
    With sufficient economic activity, governments appear ‘normal’ and generate revenue from taxes, tariffs, duties, charges, levies, commissions, interest, tithes, fees, etc on anyone who sneezes and any object; but Zim has been driven to desperation because the economic activity has declined to such an extent that they cannot generate enough income from these methods.
    The only method left is that in your post.

  2. Mos Native, that has to be the most logical argument i have ever heard you posit. Indeed the shambles of an American government is disguised in 90% tax on financial sector bonus and 50% tax on the generally rich society. Of course the rich don’t complain, they are the most productive in any society after all.

  3. That’s not entirely true and you miss one major point. The first inaccuracy relates to the notion of budget deficits. Most governments in the world operate on one. Bill Clinton is his second term ran a surplus and was the first and last in many years to do that. Bush destroyed the surplus in one year.

    The problem I have with your argument is the you ignore the reason for the budget deficit in Zimbabwe. The various appropriations bills were done on a willy nilly notion of perpetuating the regime, indiscriminate public borrowings; quasi fiscal operations, quantitative easing et aliter. All to ensure that the dear leader and the regime remained in power and looting was facilitated. So our deficit came about because of indiscipline and looting. The looting is manifest in a bloated civil service, too many freebies for the boys, etc. In other countries a deficit has to be justified. In the US they have senate committees on appropriations. Here very little debate is had and the various bill pass. When supplementary funding is needed, more of the same happens.

    The NWO with Hon Tendai Biti is that of kill what we eat, which irks peeps. He ran a balanced budget – spend what you earn with zero borrowings, no BA’s or TB’s were issued. The only promissory notes were Grains Bills for the GMB. He refused to guarantee various looting loans like the fertiliser one organised by RBZ and CBZ.

    So while peeps maybe be against the nature of government we can’t ignore the issues of the zim one. Government by its nature is flawed but it can always improve. Peeps need to learn from the Germans that government’s only role is to provide a conducive environment for business. The more business, the more taxes, more taxes = bigger budget and ability to spend on public programmes.

    I have said it before and have said it again that Bob could have adopted a Chinese approach. Facilitate business — grow the economy, encourage enterprise but still have a command control and be like big brother. He would never have had to share power but then again we all know that Zanu PF does not know business. That’s why Zanu PF (Pvt) Ltd is broke. The true Zanu Businesmen – Kaukonde, Makamba, Mujuru, et al have been pushed to the side.

  4. Compliments of the season/year!

    @ACM – Thnx dude.

    @BD – Im not sure that we disagree.

    Your comment details the reasons for Zim government’s financial failures, which btw Im not contesting, it does not however refute my assertion that governments are self-serving parasites on the nation.

    Im stating that the burglar should not be breaking into people’s houses, and you’re explaining the errors he made which led to him getting caught ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. Oh, snap!

    Teachers are at work but refusing to teach … wonder what will happen now that gov’t has offered them less than half what they want.

    Nurses are crying too, now that gov’t has walked away from wage negotiations.

  6. @ BD

    there is nothing uncharacteristic about Zanu Pf behaviour, unless of course if you want to be drawn to the fine art of knit picking the difference between a scavenger and a vulture or more aptly Berlusconi against Zuma

  7. Mentioned it before that Zanu PF is unlike ANC or SWAPO or Dos Santos’s party (can’t remember an can’t be bothered to google it). Those other parties have sheets. Zanu is broke.

    @Most Native – I think that we disagree because your vision of government and mine are very different. Mine is about puublic works/programmes, regulation and maintenance. Where yours assumes that it will always be a drain. I think that a good/efficient government can be a net positive to a country. hence my example of Germany. Even China with it’s lack of freedoms still has a government that is a net positive.

  8. @JB – what u’re doing. ๐Ÿ™‚

    @BD – Yes, quite right. My vision is what is outlined in my first comment. What you call your vision of government, I refer to as my ideal of a government. It is an ideal which has, IMO, proved elusive, even in those examples you give.

    That a measure of good comes from a system of government, I believe is in the case of Zimbabwe, and putting it generously, inadvertent, and in ‘better’ scenarios, more to do with a combination of abundant resources, accountability and/or a precarious position of power. The good that does come out of these ‘better’ examples, however, should not in any way, detract from the self-serving nature of government.

    History, literature, experience and periods of rational pondering have led me to the conclusion that its highly unlikely that a group of people, which is all government is, will firstly, COMPETE for election, then spend fortunes campaigning, commit acts of violence against other candidates and parties, hold rallies deriding opponents and exalting themselves, receive corporate sponsorships and organisational endorsements – all or any combinations of these factors – all for the selfless role of humbly serving their fellow countrymen.

    And then when in power, POWER, not service, go ahead to commit all manners of financial corruption and scandal, enrichment and political intrigue, abuse of state power and resources. In the interest of their fellow countrymen.

    I contend that when a government is in power, those individuals are primarily in it for their individual gain – singularly financial. They however do realise the benefit of entertaining the expectations of their fellow countrymen. In periods of abundance, both ends are served well; the politician in government gets his reward and the countryman gets his service. In times of scarcity, the politicans self-interest rules and the needs of the countrymen step back. Depending on how precarious the perch of government is and how accountable they are to their countrymen, the government may then be ousted OR if the seat is not precarious and accountability is a fart floating in the wind, they may stick the finger to their countrymen and squeeze the country dry.

    Zimbabwe is in a period of scarcity; Zany’s seat is by no means precarious and they cant spell accountability.

  9. Government’s role in any society is premised on a namby-pamby self importance that seeks to scare away critics with the nefarious argument that without government society is worse off. Yet the opposite is true, with government most people in a society are worse off. (Just add back the tax from your pay check,VAT dividend etc)

    Government revenue is from taxes to provide public goods. The question is who is taxed and who enjoys the public good. The most productive people are taxed whilst the least productive people consume the public good ( e.g council flats). A good example is Germany, where the most productive people in former West Germany are taxed heavily while the former Eastners enjoy the public goods. How then can you motivate that the west are better off with a united Germany. of course if you were originally from the East, government’s robin hood act is laudable.

    As for China, you tickle my feet. Rather than believing that the Chinese miracle has anything to do with its government imagine how much could have been achieved without government interference. Again, if we look at China as a motion picture rather than as a snap shot one is left without doubt where the country is headed- Transpose present day China with Mao’s China.

  10. @ACM China’s current position is all about Government. The Maoist central planning of peasantry, party and people’s republic is very much in play. However, the economic dimension cannot be ignored. There was a deliberate move by the Chinese to create economic zones and to encourage commerce up to a point. The fist still remains but a few fingers are straightened or bent rather than clenched. You cannot ignore that China has surpassed Germany as the world’s largest exporter, you cannot ignore that they have the last reserves of foreign currency in the world. They are the new colonisers from Africa to America. That is all about government. If the government had opened up to full economic forces and I find it ironic that an anti capitalist like you says that “imagine how much could have been achieved without government interference”; then the wouldn’t have achieved this. There has been active suppression of the value of the yuan, tight control of reserves etc. This economic boom was achieved not but for the government but because of it.

    As for taxes. I am suprised at you all. Yes those with more contribute more and those with less consume more – what’s the problem with that?

    As for us all being better of without government, I agree that we would be better of without some governments but I am happy to pay taxes for services.

    What alternative forms do you enlightened ones suggest?

    @Mos I think that there is no such thing altruism. Man by his vary nature is selfish. If you career path is politician yes campaign get into to power and deliver, receive compensation for your services. your example of the violence et aliter is our backward way of things.

  11. lol@ ‘enlightened ones’ ๐Ÿ™‚

    Points made and understood all round. Not to argue that line for arguments sake.

    As to your question. The world will not descend into anarchy from abolition of governments any less than it did from aristocracies and monarchies before them.
    The notion of government being necessary for sanity to prevail is similar to that by organised religion that immorality and anarchy will ensue in the absence of religion – that fallacy obviously serves them well.
    Removal of that abomination we call government in Zimbabwe is the expectorant that will bring sanity to this country. And with it should be the removal of the nonsense which is party politics.

    Critical thinking is a requirement for that to happen of course; to question and hence know, then question that knowledge and on and on … its a process which unfortunately people are conditioned to not do. Like the looks of ridicule one gets for questioning the existence of the party system.
    Indeed most people do not even know that other systems exist and can be devised outside what we have.
    A critical discussion on the political system here in SA for instance is narrowed down to which party to vote for instead of asking why vote, why THIS system, why a system at all?
    Lack of that critical thinking is what enables silly organised institutions to control people and inform them that they only have choices within those existing systems – from which any option within that system leaves them screwed.

  12. 1. You claim “This economic boom was achieved not but for the government but because of it” with reference to China. In the past my satirical comments have been misconstrued, so i will say this in the most polite and dignified way and only for the purpose of enhancing our debate. Please Google GDP and tell me how a government in its many constructs adds to production and ultimately economic growth. From an elementary perspective government is like the FA from which the referee’s in the game of soccer come from. The game of soccer will ultimately rest on the players of the game and not the referee. The referee is needed not as some sort of demagogue or pretension but as a neutral to arbitrage in disputes.
    2: If government does not add to production, it only takes from production for the obama-que inspired hope of looting the rich and giving to the lazy. Since, the argument goes “those with more contribute more and those with less consume more โ€“ whatโ€™s the problem with that?”
    3: China is a marvel, but if one is blind then itโ€™s easier to parrot than be “far-sighted” and see China for one’s self. My argument is that in 1974, immediately after Mao’s death China made the decision to be a market economy. Capitalism is about production and the economic system and less so how the politician rules. They let economic agents produce and gave them enough room by e.g reducing the tax rates, cost of starting business and enforcing the rule of law. However, do not be fooled, it was American and European companies that made the investment and that ultimately produced…not the Chinese government. But the economic success of china does not imply the politician stops being a politician….The point Mos Native was trying to make, China’s political misgivings are masked by the taxes collected from the economic agents. Whereas Zanu killed the goose that lays the golden egg.
    4:as for the irony with my name, there is no irony. i am a full blooded capitalist.

  13. @Mos your argument is theoretical and intellectual. It’s nice to rage against the machine but we have settled on this flawed thing called democracy, much like we have this flawed thing called capitalism.

    In various places we have modified it and panel beaten it to our “best needs” while others have done the same to THEIR “best needs”. Is the system flawed – yes. Do I want to enter into a theoretical debate on what is better – not really. Why is that? Well I don’t think absolute monarchies in any form will work today. I think dictatorships are even worse. So this flawed animal is what we have. I would prefer to engage in discourse that enables us to shape it to the best needs of Zimbabwe. The bath is dirty but let’s not throw out the baby with the bath water.

    @ACM – One of the first points that I raised was that the role of government is to create a conducive environment for business. Government has no role being in business. That should be left to the private sector. Governments role is about public programmes and enabling environments. As for your football analogy. Who creates the laws of the game – sorry football unlike rugby has rules – the FA or Fifa through their statutes. It’s about creating the enabling environment and a set of rules. That’s what laws in a country are about. Government creates laws. Secondly the referee administers the game – so does government, that’s why we have cops and anti competition commissions.

    Here’s a little article for you that’s indicative of Chinese government policies that cause economic growth

    http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/2808826/Far-East-to-be-No1-for-wine.html

  14. Government’s value is in creating a conducive environment, not just for business to thrive, but to provide utility services, rule of law and also to provide a social safety net for the “the lazy”.

    If we abolished all ‘government”, where would we be Mos Native?

  15. @ACM,
    “… Chinaโ€™s political misgivings are masked by the taxes collected from the economic agents. Whereas Zanu killed the goose that lays the golden egg.” – yes, that does sum up my ramblings on that issue ๐Ÿ™‚

    @BD ,
    Zimbabwe is not a democracy, flawed or otherwise. It is, like most post-colonial African governments, a loony despotic caricature of the previous colonial administration.
    It also is this “Im on the ground, Im realistic, Im living the situation” mantra which keeps you mired within a system and endlessly turning over the details of a GNU, who has what position, who is governor of which central bank, who gets the Mazda BT50, who gets the E-class merc, who gets a farm; instead of stepping back and realising that it is not the particulars of the system but the system itself which is flawed. The overly pragmatic stance you take does not allow you to take a while to step out of the situation and look in and see it in its totality.
    The solution to Zimbabwe’s political and socieconomic swamp is from without not from within.

    Mentioning freedom on the plantation was also a ‘theory’ for the average slaves.
    Ideas of the white colonial hegemony being toppled were also ‘theory’ for the average black Rhodesian.
    You are condemning your freedom from that loony caricature of a government to ‘theoretical’

    Zimbabwe has been a military dictatorship masquerading as a democracy since its inception.

    What power does anyone other than Bob and his JOMIC have in the Zimbabwean state?

    @JB – You have the answers already JB. Ask yourself,

    What has this government done for you personally in the past 10 years?

    What could you have done, in the past 10 years, if it wasnt for this government?

  16. LOL, you’re out of your damn mind.

    1) It’s done nothing substantial for me, but I wouldn’t expect it to … I wanted it to make it conducive for me to do shit for myself.

    2) There’s a lot I could have done were it not for this gov’t. But, and here’s the important point … a BETTER gov’t would have helped.

  17. The question is not whether or not we should have a government- this is neither here nor there, since the propensity to dominate over others will always be there.
    The question is if you have agreed that government is a referee then you must agree that:
    a) They must be competent to referee the game. But how is this possible in a democracy when only the most popular is allowed to referee?
    b) We must never make the mistake of believing that the multitude of soccer fans and even more watching the game through the telly pay TO DO SO to watch the referee. Yet turn on CNN or ZBC and see how our referees believe it was them that scored the winning goal!
    c)If indeed we have laws of the game- beforehand, do not make your own laws as the game plays along. if YOU must, at least tell the players at hand. e.g new law to tax 90% of bonus?
    d)When someone chooses to become a soccer player, there is no benevolence in it, they do so to make money! What is benevolent is them continuing to play soccer knowing that 60% of their weekly takings is going to a Zimbabwean asylum seeker in a council flat full on board.
    e) If a team is relegated there is a perfectly logical reason for this…other teams are simply way better. Infact this is better for the game.

  18. Emphasis on D. people choice to become soccer players. Maybe a little cajoling, but never force marched

  19. where did I say Zim was a democracy?

    we have just been focused on the executive part of government. so do we do away with the judiciary and the legislature. what about the popo?

  20. Let’s not pretend the judiciary and the legislature take their lead from the executive … indeed, in Zimbabwe, they are extensions of the executive.

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