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$152 000

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I was watching CNN’s Hala Gorani on her show International Desk. I like that show. I have to be honest though that I have struggled with some of the fancy camera angles that the International Desk team throw at me… but aside from that I am cool with it. Thanks, Hala. Good work.

So anyway, where was I? Oh yes, watching International Desk last week on Wednesday night. MJ’s doctor, Dr Murray (I think) appears on the show with the tagline: I told the truth! The man is trying to clear his name amidst accusations that he had something to do with MJ’s death, blah, blah etc, etc. But what caught my attention and that of my father’s as we watched this news story was the fact that this doctor was going to be paid US$150 000 a month! For what, you ask? For the duration of MJ’s rehearsals and UK concert tour. I repeat US$150 000 a month!!!! So should the whole process have taken 5 months…yes, that’s it- he would have been paid $750 000! This is coming from ONE patient PER MONTH … I’ll let that settle in your mind for a bit before I continue…

Earlier on that same Wednesday, I’d learned that our MDC Harare mayor Mr Muchadeyi Masunda was given a new car that cost US$152 000, and an inauguration party. My reaction to Masunda’s car was that of disgust and disappointment rather than “Dang!” (“Dang!” is what I uttered when I learned that MJ’s doc was going to earn a year’s worth of college fees for a month’s work).

You see even if my reaction to Doc’s earnings would have been that of disgust, I could still argue that it’s America and they are crazy over there. Nothing they do makes sense, yet we love them anyway. I could argue that though the ole U.S of A is going thru an ‘economic downturn,’ at least the country’s not falling apart at the seams which is why they can afford to pay private physicians obscene amounts of money.

With Masunda? I got nothing! No justification, no support, no argument that would make a US$152 000 price tag on a car ok. I got nothing!

Instead, I find myself disgusted, angry and betrayed. …and then I feel stupid. See, when I voted I was convinced that members of the MDC were different. Not just different, but BETTER. What Obama was to Bush, I felt MDC-M was to ZANU-PF. MRT and his MDC were my Barack Obama…yet here I am disappointed and ashamed.

Doctors are striking, teachers are threatening to strike, corruption continues on its merry way throughout the country, while the people I voted for in the name of ‘hope’are getting new cars and feeding their stomachs. Can you not see that this is a slap in the faces of so many suffering Zimbabweans?

Remember 2 or 3 years ago when Uncle Gideon bought the Mercedes Brabus for US$365 000? Remember that? He kept cooking up new currency at our expense but he was (still is) living like a king?!? Remember that, Mr Masunda? When will you stop the madness? When will you care?

See with you it’s worse because you led so many of us to believe in you. We believed that we’d turned a corner and left the old ways behind and we were moving on. Moving onto healing, moving onto justice, moving into the future with a leadership that cares about its people rather than itself. Moving forward in hope.

You see, you can probably dismiss this and say, “Relax, it’s just a car.” But it’s much more than that. You’ve made a statement by accepting that car. You’ve shown your true colours and you’ve compromised the trust of those who put you in that position.

I’m sad. This can’t be the MDC that MRT fought for and almost lost his life for on countless occasions.

2 comments to “$152 000”

  1. Comment by Jonathan Jonso (M):

    This is a clear case of extravagant spending. There is no justification what so ever, when everyone else is suffering. Right now I have sleepless nights on $1,130 for a Lower 6 and Form 3 kids fees. This bill includes arrears that has been hovering over my head for 3 months.

    They want to live like kings when we wallop in abject poverty. tomorrow they count on our votes. That’s what all politicians are like.


  2. Comment by Claire:

    You see this is the problem I’m having with the new Mayor. How can you be getting defensive over a car yet nothing major has been done to fix the situation in Harare. No street lights, no good roads, no water, no power!!!! This is complete and utter rubbish!

    You demand exhorbitant tariffs from the public, where the hell do you expect the money to come from? Then we do pay up, and next thing you have an inauguration party with 10 slaughtered beasts and the Mercedes to boot.

    Politicians are all the bloody same!