What caused our poverty?

EDITOR — Loosely defined poverty is the state of being extremely poor.

The definition of the word though is contestable and several theories and  postulations have been forwarded to shed light on the subject.

Poverty is relative and may be different things to different people.

The poverty I am talking about is the one you and I are familiar with this side of the hemisphere.

It is barely psychological and pertains to material lack of basic necessities like food, clean water, shelter, clothing, transportation, healthcare, sanitation and even entertainment.

The question is; who is responsible for our suffering? Interestingly, answers have already been availed on the subject and they range from political, social, scientific and even religious.

Politicians in Zimbabwe for example gave rather interesting answers to this question, Zanu PF blames “illegal sanctions”, as they are commonly known have brought our economy to its knees. They were given to “us” by racists from the west who do not want to see us thriving and prefer to treat us sa inferior human beings.

The west wanted to see only 1 percent of the white population owning 70 percent of the arable land in the country.

An interesting angle indeed, obviously if you are black this stirs up all sorts of emotions within you.

The MDC however, believe that it is Mugabe and his Zanu PF who plundered the economy after taking over from Ian Smith who left it still intact.

The country back then was the bread basket of Africa but Zanu PF tore it to smithereens through maladministration, corruption and greed.

Interestingly, Zanu PF believes that the sanctions which brought the economy to its knees were solicited for by Morgan Tsvangirai and his MDC.

Mudslinging contests between these two parties have become quite a nuisance.

The question of who is responsible for our suffering when we are in a continent blessed with so many natural resources that can and will continue to sustain nations far and near remains unanswered. The late Chinua Achebe in his paper.

The problem with Nigeria blames African leadership for its greed and avarice as well as myopia.

They are more concerned with bettering themselves and filling their pockets than alleviating poverty. They misuse funds and corrupt the nation’s fabric.

If this is indeed true then, may I ask who elects these leaders into power?

Time and space prohibits me to continue but the question still remains unanswered.

D. Zvemisha,


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