Mak­ing the seem­ingly im­pos­si­ble pos­si­ble

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Opinion/business - Jo­ram Ny­athi Spec­trum

Hitler also got en­gi­neers to do the im­pos­si­ble. He wanted a ve­hi­cle with an en­gine at the back so it could not be de­stroyed by en­emy gun­fire. He as­sem­bled en­gi­neers to de­sign one.

He was re­peat­edly told such a con­trap­tion was im­pos­si­ble. He told the en­gi­neers such a ve­hi­cle was ur­gently needed, and most likely blocked his ears and went away.

When fi­nally the im­pos­si­ble be­came pos­si­ble, he said the en­gine should not use wa­ter for cool­ing since it would be used in the desert. As they say, the rest is his­tory.

The old Bee­tle is still on our roads with its oil cooled en­gine neatly tacked at the back.

What was thought im­pos­si­ble! thought re­mained only in un­civilised hin­ter­lands of the third world. Now we learn some of the peo­ple who voted for him were in “ru­ral ar­eas” — any place 30 miles out of the city.

To say ru­ral area is to talk of con­ser­vatism and back­ward­ness. They are to blame. Ru­ral Trump con­nect­ing with kin­dred spir­its from Trump Tow­ers in the heart of New York City! It de­fies sci­ence.

Our con­ceited op­po­si­tion has of­ten had to ag­o­nise over the same phe­nom­e­non — the back­ward ru­ral folk mess­ing up things in ev­ery elec­tion.

On a good day we are told they are in­tim­i­dated or forced out­right to vote for the rul­ing party (Sol­diers are not sup­posed to travel to their ru­ral homes around elec­tion time in Zim­babwe.). Other­wise how can a nor­mal per­son (and our nor­mal is the ed­u­cated and most alien­ated fel­low) vote for Zanu-PF? Even when that per­son has been made owner of the soil — a son or daugh­ter of the soil!

On a bad day they are ac­cused of ig­no­rance, what Karl Marx called “id­iocy of ru­ral life”. They don’t know what they are vot­ing for. They don’t know what they want. The clever folk in ur­ban set­tings know best what’s best for ev­ery­one.

They make “in­formed” choices be­cause they are ex­posed to the me­dia. Oh yes, the same Tro­jan horse which led to Hil­lary Clin­ton’s thor­ough hid­ing she might never be­lieve in poll­sters or news­pa­pers or watch tele­vi­sion again.

The sit­u­a­tion is more tragic in our part of the world. Ru­ral folk con­sti­tute about 70 per­cent of the pop­u­la­tion. Our democ­racy is open-ended. The “ig­no­rant” vote is weighted the same as the “en­light­ened” ur­ban vote. When prop­erly mo­bilised, most el­i­gi­ble, reg­is­tered ru­ral vot­ers will go out to cast their bal­lot. The ur­ban voter on the other hand is of­ten a dis­en­chanted fel­low, very cyn­i­cal one who asks too many ques­tions be­fore he can de­cide whether join­ing a vot­ing queue is worth his while.

Given a choice, the ur­ban voter would love to rule over ru­ral ar­eas with­out their vote. Their in­ter­ests are at vari­ance. Yet one must haz­ard that intimidation or no intimidation, Trump’s and Mu­gabe’s ru­ral vot­ers seem to have some­thing in com­mon which the ur­ban voter of­ten doesn’t like.

They are rooted in the soil. They don’t vote to please the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity or for­eign in­vestors. It’s Amer­ica. It’s Zim­babwe.

It’s some­thing else with your ur­ban voter, es­pe­cially in Zim­babwe. Even when the Trumps and Bothas of this world re­mind him re­peat­edly to his face that “blacks are not peo­ple”. Well, prove that you are peo­ple.

Henry Ford and Adolf Hitler proved in their de­ter­mi­na­tion that ne­ces­sity is the mother of in­ven­tion. They gave the world the Ford and the Bee­tle out of the im­pos­si­ble.

For­tu­nately in Zim­babwe’s case the mat­ter at stake is not any­thing like the Wright brothers try­ing the first plane, or some­thing for the Guin­ness Book of Records or a No­bel Prize. What’s mat­ter with the bond notes? Where are our econ­o­mists? All we want is an ed­u­cated and in­for­ma­tive state­ment from them about the fea­si­bil­ity or not of get­ting a new cur­rency for Zim­babwe. Some­thing that’s not po­lit­i­cal. Eco­nomics or fi­nan­cial logic not bur­dened by the dead weight of in­cur­able his­tor­i­cal ex­pe­ri­ence.

Peo­ple solve their own prob­lems, they don’t merely ape oth­ers. The bond is about Zim­bab­weans try­ing to solve their prob­lems. Zim­babwe is not Amer­ica. It is not South Africa.

Ru­ral Zim­babwe might have to do it. At the risk of our en­light­ened econ­o­mists play­ing the Tro­jan horse in the war to build a new Zim­bab­wean econ­omy.

Don­ald Trump

Michelle Obama

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