The world doesn't owe us a living

ZIMBABWE has accumulated a gigantic debt which is creeping towards US$20 billion but with very little to show for it.
A huge portion of that debt went into consumptive spending, with meagre amounts supporting infrastructure development and the productive sector.

A significant component of the domestic debt (US$9,5 billion) was incurred not so long ago through Treasury Bills that were dished by the ministry of Finance like confetti at a wedding to fund Command Agriculture and the ruling party’s election preparations.
Whenever our leaders embark on foreign trips, their mission has always been to accumulate more debt never mind the flowery catchphrases used — facility, credit line, re-engagement etc.
They even plead with those whom we owe to advance more credit to be repaid using borrowed funds.

But once their request is granted, they never bother to repay which is why Zimbabwe now has a national debt and poor credit worthiness.
No serious lender wants to deal with us anymore and yet not so long ago our leaders were the darlings of multilateral lenders and donors, some of whom pity us for their role during colonialism.

What our leaders seem to forget is that those whom they look up to for bailouts have an immediate obligation to their citizens who do not countenance serial loan defaulters with atrocious governance issues in their backyards. Hardly do our leaders — who should be ashamed of gallivanting with a begging bowl; cap in hand — ask themselves the following pertinent questions: What other options are there besides begging? What are we borrowing for? Does it help us to produce more in future? Are we effectively and efficiently using our own internally-generated resources?

Even in their personal capacities, our bureaucrats do not honour their debts, including electricity and water bills. Because of their enormous influence on home soil, they are not even ashamed to ride roughshod over Parliament or the central bank to compel the State to assume their debts.

It’s usually after they have left office that utilities and banks are able to close in on them.  Zimbabwe needs a new crop of bureaucrats who disavow handouts and who appreciate the fact that the moment the role of donors goes beyond mitigating catastrophes such as earthquakes it demonstrates leadership failure.

A mind-set change is therefore required in reclaiming our dignity.
We cannot delegate our destiny to citizens of other countries who should not pay the price for our mistakes.
If we don’t take responsibility for our actions, who then will? No one owes us a living.