Honorable Minister Biti

I write this letter on behalf of the millions of Zimbabwean men that you have publically labelled failures. I write this letter on behalf of my babamninis (uncles), tsanos (acquaintances), sekurus (grandfathers), workmates and colleagues. I write this letter on behalf of the millions of Zimbabwean men who earn below $100 a month and can ONLY afford to buy their wives $1 panties from the flea markets. I write this letter on behalf of those millions of Zimbabweans who DO NOT earn minimum wage. I write this letter on behalf of those Zimbabweans who do not have blogs or access to internet or are too afraid to speak for themselves. I’ve been given a voice and I will use it to speak for them.

I am a concerned citizen who has taken offence at the statements that you made at the budget consultative meeting  in Kwekwe on the 18th of November 2011.(click on link to see full article)

Perhaps it is my mother’s fault that I write this letter. Her fault for instilling values within me that ALL men must be respected irrespective of their background.  Perhaps it’s the fault of the education I received: that taught me to SPEAK my mind. Maybe it’s the 21st century’s fault with its technology, YouTube, blogging, Facebook etc! Either way, I feel your unwarranted statements need to be addressed. The time that our politicians are not put to task for the comments they make has since passed. Not all of us can earn 5 figure salaries and enjoy the finer things in life. One would think that a “man” with your multitude years of experience, various educational qualifications  would understand the folly of generalisations! To call a man a failure who deserves to have his wife taken away from him based upon his ability to purchase underwear is imprudence.

Correct me if I’m wrong but, the role of a finance minister includes and is not limited to

  1. Collect revenue due to Government, in particular through the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (ZIMRA);
  2. Analyse the performance of public enterprises and advise on matters of financial policy;
  3. Carry out macro-economic reviews and recommend policies that promote macro-economic stability necessary for sustainable economic growth and development;
  4. To manage the Consolidated Revenue Fund, the National Development Fund and the public debt portfolio;
  5. Mobilise financial resources to finance Government Programmes;

That being said, is it not partially your duty to make sure that these men have jobs with adequate remuneration, so they do not stoop to the level of $1 panties? There are always 2 sides to a coin and if you think going to get your daughter and bringing her back home  will make the situation better, remember that your daughter is the one who the decision to marry this man you call a failure today..

Hon. Minister, with all due respect, the true failure is you! You have failed to facilitate an environment sustainable for socio-economic growth and development.  So that these failures do not have to shop at flea markets for their wives intimate wears. It is you Hon. Minister who is at the financial helm of this country of ours. With its vast mineral wealth, Zimbabwean men should not be buying these $1 panties. Zimbabwean men should not be struggling to feed their  families. Your failure to create employment and avail suitably paying jobs is what is fostering the prevailing situation you deem unsuitable.

I will assume that your understanding of economics is not only theoretical. I will also assume that the topic of substitute goods, complementary goods, giffen goods and marginal propensity to consume is not a foreign concept to you. Chances are that if you increase the failure’s income, his marginal propensity to consume will be directed towards other areas. Theoretically this should lead this failure of a man to also walk into Edgars and other notable clothing retail stores to buy panties for his wife instead of shuffling though heaps of women under garments along some dusty street corner. Chances are these failures do not want their wives to wear $1 panties but that is what they can afford. I am sure they too want a better life for their families. I know this because some of these failures have worked in mother’s garden, in various houses down the street and some of these failures are my relatives and possibly yours too!!!!

How will we restore Zimbabwe to its former glory (SADC, education, transport, health) when the people in power have no respect for the lesser man? Instead of calling them failures who deserve to have their wives taken away, you should be empowering them so that Zimbabwe gets to a stage where the imports of $1 panties does not exist and there is no demand for them in Zimbabwe.

Hon. Minister, my letter is more of a request. The next time you decide to call a man a failure, take off your Giorgio Armani suitsSalvatore Ferragamo shoes, step away from your Borrowdale Brook home and leave your luxurious cars  and walk a day in his mapatapata akachembera zvokuti akabatanidzwa ne wire (shoes that are so old they are held together by wire). Spend the day standing in the blazing heat or pouring rain by the intersection across the nation selling airtime for 10cent margins or spend a night in his shared 1 room house in the slums of Zimbabwe.

Yours sincerely,

A concerned citizen

Speaking on behalf of those who cannot speak for themselves


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