Washington – Outspoken pro-democracy and political activist Partson Dzamara delivered an epic, touching, heartfelt yet explosive letter to the World Bank Headquaters in Washington USA today.
A copy of the letter is below.
Dr. Patson Dzamara
11740 Glen View 7
Dr. Jim Yong Kim
1818 H Street, NW
Washington, DC 20433
Dear Dr. Kim,
RE: Petition to Deny Government of Zimbabwe Line of Credit
It is with growing concern and dismay that the citizens of Zimbabwe are observing our government’s ‘re-engagement’ with the international community, more specifically institutions such as your own. For over a decade, despite cosmetic changes and several elections of questionable validity, this same government in its various incarnations has presided over the catastrophic decline of the economy.
The effects of this economic mismanagement are well-recorded. Standards of living in Zimbabwe have declined to subsistence level, the education and health systems have largely collapsed. Calling the result ‘misery’ for the majority of the population that have remained in Zimbabwe is no understatement.
Despite these challenges and hardships, Zimbabweans have in many instances persevered in tirelessly trying to implement solutions to alleviate the national plight and steer towards solutions. In many cases the government has not only failed to assist those efforts, but been an actual impediment.
With the above in mind, we now become aware of reports thatthere is an effort to clear Zimbabwe’s arrears, a debt the government has accrued on the backs of our children’s futures, with irresponsible disregard. Looking at its past track record, it is inconceivable that their performance will in any way improve, no matter what assurances are given. Incompetence is the least of the charges that can be laid at their doorstep.
The organization I represent, founded by my brother ItaiDzamara in 2014, has for the past two years tirelessly registered our dissatisfaction and disappointment at the gross negligence of our government, and we are joined by many others. In fact, my position representative of large sections of Zimbabweans both at home and in exile. The on-going unrest in Zimbabwe is a result of patient and consistent attempt to be heard by our own government. They have ignored our plight, and in their intransigence, cracked down on their own citizens, leading to many often horrific human rights violations. For example, an infant died as a result of police tear-gassing in Bulawayo – one instance of many in which the State not merely disregarded, but actively destroyed its own citizens’ life and dignity.
For an international institution such as the World Bank to now even consider extending financial help to such a government is more than disappointing, it is a betrayal. Let me be clear. Any such financial aid would NOT be extended to Zimbabweans, and would NOT benefit people on the ground. Quite the contrary, it would extend the life-span of a crumbling regime that is harmful to the future of the people and nation of Zimbabwe. It is actually likely that such financial support would directly fund the very mechanisms, physical and otherwise, that cause such harm to a long-suffering population.
It is therefore, with confidence in the justness of our cause, and trust that your institution would not commit such an irresponsible mistake, that I ask on behalf of my organization, our friends and partners, and Zimbabwe as a whole, that you would not extend or be in any way complicit in extending a financial lifeline to an administration culpable of such crimes against its own citizens.
Dr Patson Dzamara
Occupy Africa Unity Square (OAUS)
Makhtar Diop, Vice President, Africa
Matt McGuire, Executive Director
Melanie Robinson, Executive Director