Stephen Mpofu Correspondent
If technically not even the most powerful person in the land anywhere around the globe is above the law, how can ordinary citizens, and least of all those whose lifestyles are steeped in unorthodox activities, believe that they are exempt from the reach of the long arm of the law?
Now contextualise the matter in point above by bringing Zimbabweans into focus.
Company executives or their representatives as well as other workers waste countless man-hours agonising and even stampeding in long queues at banks waiting to withdraw as little as $50 from their accounts to clear outstanding bills running into hundreds if not thousands of dollars, while madding money deals have turned many city streets in Zimbabwe into black markets.
Meanwhile, entrepreneurs chew at their fingernails, frustrated at inadequate funds available to grow their companies and for tax revenue to the Government to inject more life into an economy already gravely bled by illegal Western financial and economic sanctions imposed as reprisals for Zimbabwe’s land reform programme which has seen Command Agriculture as its booming new instalment that promises sustainable food self-sufficiency and conservation of the taxpayers money which has had to be used to import food at the height of drought in our country.
When schools reopened about a fortnight ago parents reported that their children had been sent home for non-payment of their full school fees due to limited cash withdrawals at banks.
Is it really not a tragic irony that money continues freely to change hands at street black markets and under the nose of those who are mandated to bring about laws against such unorthodox monetary deals and in the process protect our economy?
A remark in Parliament the other day by an honourable Minister to the effect that no law exists in Zimbabwe against street sales of money, received raucous responses from chagrined MP’s genuinely incensed by the rampant, street money dealings while law-abiding citizens barely make ends meet with the meagre cash available at their disposal.
To aggravate the cash shortage in the country, there have been reports of Zimbabweans bluing cash out of the country and into neighbouring states, with reported arrests being made in some cases.
Those illegal exports of the much needed cash by obviously unpatriotic people could — who knows — be just a tip of the iceberg.
In the circumstances, a strong case appears to exist for the Government urgently to bring sanity to the money market in the country with legislative sanctions that make illegal money deals tantamount to a person stripping to dive for a swim in a pool of electrified water.
Another potential danger inherent in the black market is that of street-gangs that might come to exist using violence to protect the street markets from rivals.
But surely no sane Zimbabweans wish their cities become reincarnations of a Chicago with rival armed gangs engaging in eyeball-to-eyeball confrontations to protect their turf.
The violent activities by gold panners at Esigodini, on the outskirts of Bulawayo, demonstrate just how law and order can break down, imperilling the lives of innocent people and ironically, those also of law enforcement agents.
A recent newspaper report to the effect that police officers fled for dear life, leaving behind a person in handcuffs when attacked by an armed gang of suspected gold panners at Esigodini’s Habane Business Centre, demonstrates the urgent need for law enforcers across the country to deal with ruthless elements of society now even found in the house of God.
Reports are galore these days about men of the cloth stealing from church coffers and raping congregants, particularly young girls — these evils demonstrating just how topsy-turvy this world has become of late.
Come to think of it, priests are supposed to conduct themselves as true shepherds working for Jesus Christ, the owner of the Church, by properly looking after the Lord’s flock.
A good government is God’s will and as such, the Government of this country — as other governments elsewhere — should introduce draconian measures that instil the fear of God in the Lord’s shepherds as well as the fear of the law to rein in active and potential criminal elements in society so as to maintain peace and order.
But what do we see happening these days? Some of the shepherds behave as though they, not Jesus, own the flock and so can shear the sheep at will to gratify their canal desires while others are covetous or pregnant with deceit.
The universal Church is God’s kingdom and so those cabinet members that poke their dirty fingers in God’s holy eye, whose outreach is wide and penetrating, must stand warned against the consuming fire of the Creator.