Unbridled greed ruins institutions

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THE trend in African politics has had a uniform pattern with incumbent leaders often preferring to cling to power like leeches, which explains the tragic situations the continent’s nation states find themselves in.

The general trajectory has been towards decadence — economic, political and social — which has made the continent poorer than it should be despite the abundance of wealth in its bowels.

First and foremost, those entrusted with leading us are not selfless, but rather selfish individuals who suddenly display a propensity towards acquisition of personal riches at the expense of the total development of their respective nations.

Zimbabwe is an institution which should ensure the wealth it has is shared equitably among citizens to minimise conflict occasioned by behaving otherwise. We learn from history that the major lures this small nation had for the

British in the 19th century lay in the fertile soils and favourable climatic conditions, over and above the abundant mineral resources.

However, at the turn of the millennium, those in leadership and their cronies accessed large farms following the State sanctioned war veterans-led invasion of white-owned farms, a development that happened not without some of the worst brutalities recorded in our short post-independence history.

Instead of the leadership standing for the masses, they thought about themselves and their families, resulting in land ownership trends easily becoming a major source of future conflicts if it does not get proper urgent redress.

Today, we rue our failure to manage the Chiadzwa diamonds find, whose revenue lined a few private pockets while the whole nation wallowed in poverty. No one needs natural calamities like Cyclone Idai to see the depth of the desperation our people live in. Even then, donations made to assist those unfortunate families in Manicaland and other places pummelled by the wrath of the devastation were looted.

Greed has been the major driver of the corruption we see around us. It has been the major reason for the weakening of institutions. Tribalism, nepotism and other retrogressive traits have taken over because of the politics of patronage that has bred dictatorships.

Until such a time when we learn to strengthen our institutions and focus less on the individual will we be able to pull ourselves out of the current mess. It must never be about Emmerson Mnangagwa, Nelson Chamisa or any other but

Zimbabwe and Zimbabweans in their totality.

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