South Africa takes note of Hopewell Chin’ono’s letter from prison. Importantly, it’s a dire warning about long term corruption and its painful effects. Importantly, it took Zimbabwe almost 40 years before ZANU-PF policy completely destroyed the economy. Notably, South Africa now sits about halfway there thanks to corruption. Noreen Welch, another courageous journalist from Zimbabwe, published Hopewell’s letter on Facebook.
Hopewell Chin’ono spells out where corruption leads
Hopewell Chin’ono sits in jail. Last week, he and Jacob Ngarivhume (Transform Zimbabwe Party) got arrested. Their crime? Trying to organise a peaceful protest on July 31st. Subsequently, Chin’ono outlines why protest requires some urgency in his letter from prison. ZANU-PF coined a phrase that translates to “Stay Positive”. Chin’ono says outright, he thinks nothing exits that people could view as positive about the place. “…there is nothing to be positive about … this country [is] the absolute Sh..t Hole it is today!”
Continuing, he likens the country to a battered wife, bullied, beaten, and broken. Importantly, he lists the problems faced by normal citizens on a daily basis. Zimbabweans have no access to clean running water. Or, electricity, fuel, health care, jobs, or money. Importantly, he correctly lays this at the feet of corruption by the upper echelons of ZANU-PF. Similar accusations arise in South Africa about such corruption
Nepotism and mismanagement of state institutions
Now, Chin’ono calls out their “nepotism and mismanagement of state institutions…continue[d], looting of State and national resources…unabated, and fraud.” He lays this all at the feet of the political elites. He also wrote, and “yet you expect Hopewell Chin’ono and the country to be positive?” Continuing, he lists the differences between the average Zimbabwean’s harsh existence and the luxurious lives lived by the ZANU-PF elite.
Then, he notes the offer of a chair on the board of a parastatal in an effort to stop his criticism. In fact, he refused. Seemingly, refusing to climb on the looting bandwagon in Zimbabwe is a dangerous choice.
Chin’ono says, he will not join in the “feeding trough”. More commonly these days, South Africa critics start saying the same sort of thing. Additionally, he states “I turned down the offer to sit on a parastatal board when it was made last year.” He added, “what I am after is a better life for all.” Importantly, Hopewell Chin’ono now sits in prison, the only alternative to defiance of the corrupt system.
No ambulances for the sick like in South Africa
Chin’ono pulls no punches, citing, amongst other lacks, the absence of ambulances versus luxury vehicles for Traditional Chiefs. Next, he lists the forex corruption, the fuel cartels, and the selfish lack of compassion for the man on the street. Importantly, Hopewell speaks out for every Zimbabwean. However, his voice could be silenced soon. Fortunately, others step up.
Perhaps more people in South Africa should look at the corruption north of their country. The jailing of investigating journalists seems a sure sign that the state won’t accept any criticism of the government. Do South Africans want that for themselves?
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