Brian Chitemba —
TIME magazine photography editor Myles Little held an exhibition in 2015 dubbed “One percent: Privilege in a Time of Global Inequality” which showed real but shocking discrepancies between the haves and the have nots.
Commenting on Little’s photos of the world’s wealthiest one percent, author Hatje Cantz aptly said, “. . . The extravagant pleasures of the wealthiest one percent of the earth’s population represent an extreme contrast to those of the remaining ninety-nine.”
Research has shown that just one percent of the world’s population owns 50 percent of global wealth.
Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim is said to be super rich such that the interests he gets from his money are equivalent to the average annual salaries of 400 000 Mexicans.
The serious wealth discrepancies in society explain why the majority of people who are not part of the one percent endure a five to six-hour drive from Harare to Bulawayo. If they have a bit of money, they can spring about US$200 for a return ticket aboard Air Zimbabwe.
But if you are part of the one percent, one can afford to pay around US$5 000 to fly on a private five-seater plane from the capital to the City of Kings.
Which is what Zanu-PF National Political Commissar Cde Saviour Kasukuwere recently did at a cost of about US$4 800.
It is said Cde Kasukuwere was in the company of Hurungwe West legislator Cde Keith Guzah.
Cde Kasukuwere — who is also Local Government, Public Works and National Housing Minister — was pictured after disembarking from a private plane hired from Halsteds Aviation Corporation.
In the picture, the minister is seen in the company of Zanu-PF Central Committee member and Mpopoma legislator Cde Joseph Tshuma, Zanu-PF Youth League Bulawayo provincial chair Cde Anna Mokgohloa, Women’s League National Executive member Cde Rossy Phiri, Cde Lista Ngwenya (Youth League deputy secretary for legal affairs), Cde Butho Gatsi (main wing secretary for finance), Cde Borniface Muture (national youth political commissar), Cde Maqhawe Sibanda (Youth League secretary for transport) and Cde Dean Hlomani (secretary for production and labour).
Apparently, Cde Kasukuwere had travelled to Bulawayo to meet party youths after 12 Zanu-PF Bulawayo youth affairs executive members had resigned over alleged imposition and co-option of officials against the will of the majority.
Those who resigned included Cdes Davis Muhambi and Munashe Mututsa who were victims of the ruthlessness of under-fire Women’s Affairs deputy secretary Cde Eunice Sandi-Moyo.
Although Cde Kasukuwere flew on a private plane to Bulawayo, the sticking issues remain unresolved.
The minister’s travel on private planes is indeed a show of privilege in a time of global inequality where many in Zimbabwe are struggling to make ends meet as a result of economic challenges caused by recurring droughts in recent years.
Flying on private planes is now trendy, with some prominent figures such as Messrs John Bredenkamp, Andrew Dawnson, Bob Hensen, Billy Rautenbach and Isaac Levy owning helicopters and private jets.
However, all the aforesaid are successful millionaire businessmen who have toiled for many years to achieve what they possess.