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Corrupt incompetents are still in control

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The Pittburgh Post-Gazette suggests that we hold our applause because a group of corrupt incompetents are still firmly in control of Zimbabwe.

I couldn’t agree more.

They suggest that The Deal is costly and creative political theatre . . .

Mr. Mugabe as president, with his 31-member Cabinet in place, and makes opposition leader Morgan Tsvangerai prime minister, with his own Council of Ministers. One aspect of the new accord is that Zimbabwe now has two sets of ministers, each with his own entourage, luxury car and comfortable office. Then the Zimbabweans said, “Oh my goodness, we have fixed everything. Now’s it up to the international community to give us lots of aid.” (The resemblance to the current behavior of certain American financial institutions is purely coincidental.) The appropriate response to this appeal is a flat negative. Zimbabwe will be nowhere near being fixed until Mr. Mugabe is gone — thrown out of office or dead of natural or other causes. The situation of the Zimbabwean people is certainly pathetic, but there is no point in pouring money or other aid into this bottomless pit, particularly in response to creative political theater.

And creative political theatre it certainly is.

Tsvangirai’s immediate call for aid on Monday (Thursday saw the political parties deadlocked – again – over the allocation of ministries) really makes you wonder whether he’s got his head screwed on straight. Countries waiting in the wings with their bail out packages would do best to wait a while longer.

I’ve been reminded of a song from Evita called Rolling on in, Rolling on out. With just a few little adjustments it would seem to fit our situation quite well. Donors might like to bear the lyrics in mind before they reach for their cheque books.

And the money kept rolling in from every side
Bob’s and Morgan’s hands reached out and they reached wide
Now you may feel it should have been a voluntary cause
But that’s not the point my friends
When the money keeps rolling in, you don’t ask how
Think of all the people guaranteed a good time now
They’re using the hungry to open up the doors
Never been a fund like the inclusive government

Rollin’ rollin’ rollin’, rollin’ rollin’ rollin’
Rollin’ rollin’ rollin’, rollin’ rollin’ rollin’

Rollin’ on in, rollin’ on in
Rollin’ on in, rollin’ on in

Would you like to try a college education?
Own your landlord’s house, take the family on vacation?
The inclusive government and their blessed fund can make your dreams come true
Here’s all you have to do my friends
Write your name and your dream on a card or a pad or a ticket
Throw it high in the air and should our big boys pick it
They will change your way of life for a week or even two
Name me anyone who cares as much as the inclusive government

Rollin’ on out, rollin’ on out
Rollin’ on out, rollin’ on out

And the money will keep rolling out in all directions
To the poor, to the weak, to the destitute of all complexions (well maybe not)
Now cynics claim a little of the cash will go astray
But that’s not the point my friends
When the money keeps rolling out you don’t keep books
You can tell you’ve done well by the happy grateful looks
Accountants only slow things down, figures get in the way
Never been anything loved as much as the all inclusive government

Rollin’ on out, rollin’ on out
Rollin’ on out, rollin’ on out

On out

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