“we have no objection in principle to people eating” :: starving is good for you… [but not us]

by Eric Daryl Meyer

I came across an abolutely stunning interview today with an official in the Zimbabwean government. The interview was conducted at the end of July, I’m posting it here not because it’s new, but because any embarrasment for the tyrannical government in Zimbabwe is one step closer to its removal. By God’s mercy, may the next leaders of Zimbabwe be wiser than these.

In the course of this interview, the official actually compares the starvation rampant in Zimbabwe (and attributable to government violence and mismanagement), to Ghandi’s political fasts. He actually says that the government officials are eating well (because of all the important things they have to do) and imposing a fast on the nation for the people’s health.

Interview By John Scott

Interview with one Doc Mtusi who appears to be one of the few people who understands Zimbabwe’s economic policy. He knows whats going on even better than his boss, Finance Minister Samuel Mumbengegwi who announced in Masvingo that there was no need for people to hoard food.

Scott: “But if people don’t hoard food, what will they eat when the shops run empty?”

Mtusi: “Who says they will run empty?” he retorted

Scott: “Shelves are already empty of basic foodstuffs.”

Mtusi: “Then we will order the shopkeepers to fill them. We have already jailed a few who refused to do so. It is simple economics. We will also jail anyone who hoards food because that is what has caused the shelves to be empty.”

Scott: “Sorry to cross swords with you Doc but your government is forcing shopkeepers to sell all their existing stocks for less than they paid for them. How can you expect them to buy in more supplies at the wholesale price if they know that by selling them at the government’s retail rate they’ll make a bigger loss. It’s a quick way to go bankrupt?”

Mtusi: “No one ever said saving Zimbabwe’s economy would be easy. We all have sacrifices to make?”

Scott: “My point is that you can’t blame shoppers for thinking that, unless they quickly buy up whats left, there’ll soon be no food to buy. They are not stupid. They can see that all the shopkeepers will either be bankrupt or in jail?”

Mtusi: “And my point is that it is unpatriotic hoarding of food gives the impression that we have a problem, which clearly we haven’t, except in the South African media’s mind. I’m surprised that [South African President] Mbeki still allows you to write this nonsense. We are relying on comrade Zuma to make you change your tune once he takes over.”

Scott: “But until then, Doc, why have you now even passed a law to stop Zimbabwians importing food from SA. If they can’t hoard food, they have to get it from somewhere. Otherwise they will starve?”

Mtusi: “We don’t call it starving. We call it fasting. Fasting is actually good for you. Lots of famous people fasted for the benefit of their people. Ghandi, for instance, fasted. In our case, the people themselves well be encouraged to fast thereby strengthening themselves against the onslaught of colonial imperialism.”

Scott: “I’m sure they really would prefer to eat, most people do.”

Mtusi: “We have no objection in principle to people eating.” Doc conceded. “Those of us in government all eat, but only because persons in our important positions have to. What we must guard against, though, is the belief that ordinary people have the right to break the law if they are hungry.”

Scott: “Thats how the French Revolution started.”

Mtusi: “Thank goodness we won our revolution 27 glorious years ago. So there is no need to worry.”

Thank goodness indeed. Zimbabwe deserves a better freedom than this.

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