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Zimbabwean Wealth Secrets

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By Munyaradzi Hwengwere

The fascination with wealth and mankind’s general hope to break from the shackles of poverty has been laid bare in the wake of Genius Kadungure, aka, Ginimbi’s passing on. Here was a young man, who on the surface represents material success. He has left a mansion and top of the range vehicles. While there has been a spirited attempt to explain his source of wealth from those close to him, the rest of Zimbabwean society has made a verdict. He simply could not have gotten such wealth without consulting the occult. He is said to have dabbled in black magic and thus found a way to earn himself huge amounts of money.

Most Zimbabweans sincerely believe spirits and wealth are close buddies. The only difference is some believe that such spirits must be from Jesus while for others ancestors and juju are the source of money.

This line of thinking goes opposite to what our educational institutions have been fond of teaching, that is if you have the brains, work hard and find a nice profession, you be will be favoured with a good life.

The high unemployment rate in the country has seen this avenue become more narrower than the road Ginimbi was racing on, the morning of his death.

With teachers, nurses, doctors and most professionals daily preaching of their incapacitation and others turning to gold panning, it is no longer taken for granted that a professional life is a sure pathway to success. Instead it is the likes of Ginimbi and many like him who were not so good in class who seem to be doing well.

In general Zimbabweans have lost faith in the conventional belief of wealth generation. It has not worked for their lot. The common view is that to become successful let alone rich you must be politically connected and fight your way up high echelons of government and somehow dip your fingers in the till. In Zimbabwe the thinking is corruption is found only in Government. Alternatively break the law by engaging in many of the high risk, high rewards opportunities. Robberies and cash heists are becoming all too common with the robbers getting more daring.

With Ginimbi’s death it seems, there is a view that to be super rich, consult the best of traditional healers, especially those from Mozambique as long, of course, you are willing to leave with snakes and perhaps sacrifice your relatives and become a little weird. Somehow this way of becoming rich comes with its own strange rules and behavior. Only the one given such wealth is said to know what it is they must give up or take up. It is not called black magic for no reason. Its dark, scary and operates in the underworld. Our Zimbabwean prophets are also said to draw their powers and wealth from this world of the unknown.

Now can it be a world one would love to leave in? A world where the power to shape one’s destiny has vanished. Could this be reason Cecil John Rhodes found it so easy to conquer us? As we were busy consulting the spirits he opted for man-made machines called guns which he forcefully mastered to subjugate us. Imagine until this day we are wondering why Mbuya Nehanda, Sekuru Kaguvi and Chaminuka could not use their powers to crush this marauding group of imperialists. That’s the thing with black magic, it never rises to the occasion when you need it the most. Even our national teams cannot draw success from its powers. They lose the most critical games when with the assumed powers of black magic, we could easily beat any team in the world. Oh yes Brazil and Spain included.

By now and with the huge number of those that speak on behalf of the underworld, Professor Mthuli Ncube’s headache of balancing the national budget and even our fight on sanctions will be a thing of the past. In fact, we should have every reason to believe that Zimbabwe will have more per capita income than the USA and China combined. All of us will be little ‘Ginimbis’ with Ferraris parked in the streets of Highfield in Harare and Mandava in Zvishavane.

The return of superstition suggests citizens have lost faith in their ability to dream of a future they can influence with their own hands, minds and sweat. If Americans have the so-called American dream, in Zimbabwe our future seems so bleak we can only believe of forces outside ourselves.

The consequences of such a state of mind are scary. It means in time our kids will not find joy in going to school. Many will fall behind their developed world counterparts who increasingly will take up the most lucrative positions in what has become a knowledge society. The idea that skills are critical for development will soon be forgotten by youths who will seek instant wealth without figuring a way of acquiring it.

Unfortunately, it won’t be too long before we discover that despite our fixation with the outer world facts are indeed stubborn. The Rolls Royce we are busy debating about today, and even Honda Fit require brains and technology to build. As we rush to import most of these fancy cars, our own Willowvale Motor Industries which used to assemble many of the cars on our roads and Quest Motors in Mutare which supplied Southern Africa with Peugeot will turn into museums and won’t be able to employ the thousands they used to provide jobs to.

We did not need black magic to assemble those cars. PG Glass in Mutare used to supply window panes to the United States of America. We were the bread basket of Africa. Today Zimplats, Mimosa and Unki produce most of our foreign currency. When their shareholders who are all domiciled outside this country look at the balance sheet, we can be sure they see no black magic.

They ask simple questions. What is the safety record? How many tonnes of ore were produced and milled? How much was spent? They demand to know the life of mine. These are basic questions. To answer them one must have passed through some school and earned a certificate. It is true that when options in life are limited, we seek shortcuts. This, does not change facts.

Do not miss the second part of Zimbabwean Wealth Secrets tomorrow in the wake of businessman Genius ‘ Ginimbi’ Kadungure’s tragic death.