Perched on top a mountain in the leafy suburb of Harare is a range of imposing villas that to the outsider must appear to be out of sync with the sprawling squatter camps like Porta Farm, Caledonia Farm and the mushrooming squatter camp near to Borrowdale.
These shanty towns act as footnotes to the mansions dotted across the skyline. Yet this is the reality in Zimbabwe. This is a two faced country, emphasising with an ever widening gap between the rich and poor, for in Zimbabwe it is patently obvious that the rich get richer and the poor get poorer.
The upper classes today consist mainly of politicians, army bosses and other business owners and farming magnates.
We all know where they got their massive assets from and at whose expense. What amazes me is someone like Obert Mpofu, who has bought up scores of properties in Zimbabwe and recently funded the Zimbabwe Allied Banking Group (ZABG) to the tune of US$22,8 million through his company Trebor Khays.
(Trebor being an anagram of Obert). He claims he is just a " shrewd businessman", does he really think we are so stupid? "Finance Minister Tendai Biti recently said he found it difficult to relate the wealth accumulated by cabinet colleagues to their monthly government salaries of just US$800."
Another of Mpofu's businesses is Kahanondo Safaris, who offer the best of upmarket tourism, and whose fleet of vehicles for hire make the poor locals drool with envy as they are forced to travel in dangerous 'chovvas' and can only dream about leather interiors and sleek mercs.
Harare is like the Mercedes Benz capital of the world, as they are now so common, and around the city it is no longer surprising to see top of the range Hummers, Lamborghinis and other fancy cars racing around.
These nouveau riche prefer not to shop in Zimbabwe, and rather fly to foreign countries and grab whatever they can lay their hands on, while the rest of us poor souls languish in Zimbabwe, living in squalid conditions. Our politicians think nothing of a jaunt off to Rio, gobbling up US$7 million, at of all things a Sustainable Development Conference.
The cost to the tax payer for these jaunts was reported in SW Radio, In his 2012 Budget Review the Finance Minister had warned about the extravagant travel costs of senior officials, saying $45.5 million had been blown on foreign trips last year.
This averages out to about $4 million per month being spent on travel by government officials. Then of course there are Mugabe's regular trips to the Far East, his health care costs would build new hospitals in this country.
It is a sad tale of two realities in Zimbabwe - a country with so much promise, yet only for the few with political connections and who have relatives in influential positions. The promise, "houses for all by 2000" has came to naught and so have most other government sponsored initiatives.
Millions of Zimbabweans live in hardship and only a fraction in opulence. The poor live in squatter camps, their children do not go to school as there are not employed, while the rich drive latest vehicles send their children to the most expensive schools and have practically everything at their beck and call.
This is Zimbabwe, a country where the dreams of the nation have been deferred, not because people are not ready to live modestly (like what I read about in Greece) but simply because those in power make it impossible for the sons and daughters of this great nation to realise their dreams.
This entry was posted by Simon Moyo on Saturday, July 28th, 2012 at 2:53 pm. You can follow any comments on this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a comment, or track back from your own site.