Dr. Alex Magaisa, Political Analyst/Academic
This man, President Mnangagwa reminds me of Unoka in Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart. His son Okonkwo was embarrassed by him.
He was perennially in debt and didn’t care. He was lazy and constantly borrowing from friends and neighbours. He didn’t pay back. He was always looking for favours.
One day a creditor came to collect his debt. Unoka dismissed him.
“Look at that wall,” Unoka said pointing to the wall of his hut. “Look at those lines of chalk”.
Okoye, the creditor saw groups of lines drawn in chalk.
Unoka took some snuff and sneezed dramatically before continuing, “Each group there represents a debt to someone and each stroke is one hundred cowries. You see, I owe that man a thousand cowries. But he has not come to wake me up in the morning for it. I shall pay you, but not today”.
Unoka then delivered the final blow to Okoye, “Our elders say that the sun will shine on those who stand before it shines on those who kneel under them. I shall pay my big debts first.” And that was that.
Okoye left with nothing. Our own Unoka in Emmerson Mnangagwa acknowledges that we already owe China huge amounts of debt that we are failing to pay back. But somehow he thinks China is stupid enough to continue pouring money into Zimbabwe at no cost to us.
He thinks it’s some special love from China. He doesn’t know that there is no such thing as free lunch.
It’s easy for him to say these things so casually because his generation will not be there to carry the cost of reckless borrowing.
The cost will be carried by young Zimbabweans.
In fact, the rampant plunder of natural resources and abuse of citizens is part of the cost and the heavily indebted regime can’t hold the Chinese to account.
Our man may be Unoka but China is not Okoye. It does not leave with nothing. With this kind of disposition, he will leave generations heavily indebted and beholden to the Chinese.
But young people can change this embarrassing Unoka-style course by registering to vote RegisterToVoteZW