Sunday, June 12, 2011

Free handouts breed dependency culture

The Standard, Sunday, 12 June 2011 14:01

Who said suffering is not necessary to achieve one’s goals? Most Zimbabweans know how Strive Masiyiwa suffered in order to establish Econet. He was not only vilified but was demonised as if he was doing something to destroy the nation. He was involved in providing a service to the people which has even surpassed its orginal set goals. If Masiyiwa had given up we could not be enjoying the wholesome benefits we do today.

As one travels across the country, they will notice the jobs created by selling airtime cards, which is just amazing. Every corner of the road, every shopping centre, wherever people are, young and old vendors are waiting to sell the much needed airtime. In towns’ every street and in several homes there is someone selling the airtime.

Econet has gone further to offer services to the community that can only come through suffering. Young women and men are on several scholarships and others have crossed continents on such schemes and are movers and shakers wherever they go. We are now proud to associate with such innovations. Indeed we are the richer because someone had to suffer first.

It is equally true that those who got their way easily have folded-up and others will follow suit. They say “easy come easy go.” Zimbabweans should be reminded that whatever you get for nothing is a curse. Who has ever made it in life by getting free handouts?

Many a farmer have been given handouts and a number are crying for more each year that comes by. Those who have worked hard and used the resources they have scratched from their hard earned money have made it in life.

Someone shared with me very sad stories about free handouts. There are so many well-placed people who get most of their farm inputs and even farm machinery for free and some of these are lying idle on farms. Some of the guys sell the inputs and sometimes hire out some implements.

One farmer got a combine harvester and mice and rats have eaten most of the tubing. The harvester was only driven to the farm and that was the end of story.

Zimbabweans have an admirable work ethic that is the envy of most nations. If you want to kill that work ethic then hand out free things.

While the intention of the giver is noble, it is the given who then develop an attitude of “we will be given again”. Indeed we need start-ups but we should pay back so that people become responsible. The more we receive handouts, the bleaker our future.

Rev Dr Levee Kadenge

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