Sound policies can win it for MDC Alliance

The MDC Alliance is showing dangerous traits of continuously proposing a welfare State and doing so without the consideration that the double entry of a welfare society is the taxpayers’ burden. There is too much of “free” interventions being proposed.

By Brian Sedze

The hope is that this is nothing, but the usual season of campaign lies and deceptions that won’t live a day after the party becomes the new government. A welfare state is yet to be viable for our economy for want of decades of private and public savings.

I have no doubt the MDC Alliance has a realistic chance of winning the 2018 polls and it can do so without dabbling in this discredited socialism mantra. The solution is creating jobs and enterprises while avoiding a welfare estate. It will be enough to provide sound policy alternatives in investments and job creation.

Zimbabweans spend more money on tax than on food and clothing combined and a potential new government must stop craving other people’s money to sponsor a welfare state without consideration of either equity or equality.

It reminds us how futile it seems to expect elected officials to control government (much less shrink it). They make it seem like the government can create miracle money to sponsor often irresponsible and unnecessary welfare programmes. The government does not create money, neither does it have significant money of its own, but it is funded by taxpayers through the Consolidated Revenue Fund.

We have to be so afraid. We should believe without question that it is an intolerable situation to have government and welfare recipients, agreeing through votes over assumption of tax burdens funded by a third party, the taxpayer.

So it is with the MDC people with transient positions, who have no ownership or exposure to the decisions they make (other than getting voted out) negotiating with welfare recipients to spend taxpayer money and which often result them to a mountain of debt.

At one point it led us to international money lenders and subsequently the catastrophe of the Economic Structural Adjustment Programme.

The proposals are two of your neighbours arguing over how much of your stuff they are going to take from you and there’s not a damn thing you can do about it. Damn it.
I know I have railed against what many call the piggy bank state (the permanent bureaucracy that has a mind of its own), but the majority of our elected officials have become the piggy banks best temps.

They may be transient part-time freelancers, but decades of spending deals with only cosmetic cuts proves they are all in.


There is such a feeling of helplessness in Zimbabwe when it comes to dealing with a piggy bank state. People have come to believe that nothing can be done about bad government, so they just accept it and just factor that in their daily lives. This is different from the old “boiling frog” analogy because in that scenario, the frog doesn’t realise he is getting poached. Zimbabwean do realise what is happening to them, they just don’t believe they can do anything about it, so a great percentage just vote a candidate from either party and hope to get their little slice of the pie.

Wasteful programmes that don’t work – that’s just the way government works, right? Spend. Tax. Repeat.

There is no need or justification for the ill-thought and adulterated version of Obamacare that promises free medical care for those below the age of five and lot of able bodied and able minded people.

Able-bodied and minded people should be responsible for every aspect of their welfare.

The medical care for those below the age of five should be the responsibility of parents. The MDC Alliance should instil in the voters that no one has a “right” to a spouse, a partner or children, but having those is a choice. Society and government have no responsibility to support them children and spouses so that those who make the financially impudent choices can live a life as comfortable as those who make the right choices.

The government should use taxpayers’ funds for worthy causes like the vulnerable of the society like old age, disabled, orphans, the retrenched, adverse health conditions, widows/widowers and many such groups instead of its people who make choices without due consideration.

The same applies to free education for primary education. Free education even up to tertiary level should be afforded to the vulnerable of the society instead of an all-encompassing and expensive welfare programmes.

Children of peasant farmers and fringe factory workers over decades have become engineers, economists, entrepreneurs, medical doctors and accountants, all from funding from the hard work and ingenuity of their parents not from government benevolence.

Put that in the context of a system built by corrupt people to protect their corruption and it does seem insurmountable.

The system is resistant to incremental change – it laughs it off. But that is how it has come to be designed – the piggy bank state is impervious to attack from the few elected officials, who understand how much of a farce having two people fight over how much each can have of someone else’s pie truly is.

Thinking that the very few elected officials opposed to the piggy bank state will be successful is like believing that putting a Band-Aid on a sucking chest wound will heal the patient.

Makes a guy want to cuss.

Brian Sedze is the president of Free Enterprise Initiative, an advocacy in less government, free enterprise, fiscal and public policy. He can be contacted on brian.sedze@gmail.com

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1 Comment

  1. Thanks Brian. Food for thought. I’m also grateful to Newsday for Magaisa’s articles on the structure and functioning of government. Perhaps if this was availed in the vernacular we would have more voters who think with their brains rather than stomachs and less pliable to political manipulation and exploitation. It is always an advantage long-term to have questioning voters rather than blindly complicit ones.

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