Public Ledger of the One Percenters
What shall we do? We should identify the oppressor by name and surname. Even though we are being oppressed by a system, it is good for the brain to visualize the oppressor as a set of human beings.
We are oppressed by a system. The individuals presiding over that system can be shuffled around and we remain under oppression. Mugabe gets replaced by Mnangagwa, nothing changes for the majority, same oppression every day. What we need to get rid of is the entire system of oppression. Yet still, we need to put human faces to the system. We need to attach faces to the oppressive system. We must identify the faces that are presiding over the oppressive system.
Identifying the oppressor is a necessary step of the revolution. The people must know who their real enemy is. They must be able to point him or her out when they see him in the street. This step is crucial in ensuring that the revolution is actualized. The revolution is not abstract, it is real. The oppressive system is not abstract, it is real. Real people are being oppressed by real people who preside over the evil system.
This is a follow-up to the idea of a decentralized intelligence organization. Since a decentralized intelligence organization is a fairly difficult proposition, the people of Zimbabwe need to undertake the less difficult task of putting together a public ledger of the One Percenters. This is merely an example of a practical implementation of the decentralized intelligence organization.
Who are the One Percenters?
This refers to the tiny part of the population that is oppressing the majority. In Zimbabwe, those who are oppressing us are not many. It is a very small group. It is just under 1% of the population. This tiny minority is oppressing 99% of the people.
The population of Zimbabwe is roughly 15 million people. The number of people that are oppressing us is just under 150,000 people.
It is both sad and funny. How can such a small group control and oppress such a large group? How did it come to this?
These are the several elements that make up the 1%:
- Zimbabwe Defence Forces (ZNA and airforce, no navy). Estimated +/- 30,000.
- Zimbabwe Police Force (ZRP) Estimated +/- 45,000.
- Central Intelligence Officers (CIO). Guess +/- 2,000
- Zanu PF militia (Chipangano etc). Estimated +/- 10,000.
- Ministry Officials, Embassy Staff et cetera. Estimated +/- 15,000.
- Others. Balancing figure of +/- 48,000
It is indeed a tiny minority that is oppressing the majority.
The question is why the majority allow themselves to be oppressed by such a small minority. The answer lies in systems. The tiny minority has built systems that are hard to escape. They have hoarded both wealth and power. The 99% (i.e., 14.85 million people) do not have power or wealth to free themselves from the vulturistic 1%.
The 99% vs 1% pie chart, because it is visualized, suggests that the majority must be surely naive to be controlled by the minority. It sort of justifies the statement that we deserve what we have. If 14.85 million people cannot get rid of the 150,000 people that are oppressing them, then surely those 14.85 million people deserve whatever treatment they get from the 150,000.
The list above can be expanded, by breaking down the “Other” section into several other groupings such as makorokoza, rogue businesspersons, mbinga’s, employees looting parastatals et cetera. However, the underlying reality that a tiny One percenter group is oppressing the 99% remains a reality regardless.
Everybody happens to know a member of the One Percent that's oppressing us. These people are doing okay or very well financially. Some of them (foot soldiers and street police) are not doing well financially, but they perceive themselves to be doing better than others who are not employed by either the police or the army. Because their perception is that they are better off than others, or better off than they would otherwise be without being policemen or soldiers, we can consider them as doing well financially. This is what ties them to the oppressive system. The financial umbilical cord is what makes us from the revolutionary side consider them to be the oppressors.
What about the thousands of Zanu PF supporters? Are they not our oppressors too? Truly speaking most of the Zanu PF supporters are not really the oppressors. They are just common people, brainwashed, force-fed propaganda, and some forced to support Zanu PF.
These people are victims of the oppressive system. They are ideological victims and there are also victims of physical violence. The average Zanu PF supporter does not belong anywhere near the 150,000 that are oppressing us. The average Zanu PF supporter is as poor as any other Zimbabwean. Zanu PF youths and Zanu PF women are simply desperate people lingering around politics just to try to make ends meet, just in case, they might be able to benefit from the party.
The Zanu PF supporter, outside of the One Percenters, is not actively involved in oppressing us. Of course, he or she oppresses us indirectly by supporting a system that oppresses us. However, they are not the first line of response that the state falls to whenever we try to take back our rights. The Zanu PF militias (zvipangano) are, however, part of the group that oppresses us because that is the first line of violence that the oppressor uses in oppressing Zimbabweans across the rural areas and in shanty turban areas such as Mbare.
If the fact that just 1% (150,000 persons) of the population is oppressing us shocks you, the reading material below will shock you beyond repair.
The Elites and the Unhappy 148k
Not everyone within the one-percenters has the direct ability to control us. The power is not evenly distributed. It is a hierarchical pyramid structure. Although power and wealth are hoarded by the One Percenters, the distribution within the One Percenters is shockingly skewed in favor of the top 1% of the group. In other words, 99% of the power and authority is vested within 1% of the group.
Of these 150,000 people that make the One percenters, only 1,500 elites are decision-makers. These are the real oppressors. The remaining 148,500 persons are merely lackeys, toadies, minions, yes-man, underlings, etc. Most of those within the 148,500 benefits somewhat financially, but they are not millionaires. Most of them are just survivors.
The average soldier, the average policeman, the average government worker who is not positioned in a post with huge bribery and corruption opportunities is just a lackey trying hard to survive, in whichever way they can. This average soldier resents the system that he works for but does not or cannot come out in the open to oppose it.
These 148,500 men and women who are so close to power are the potential weakness of the system. They see all the capture of state resources, the looting, the corruption, and the embezzlement happening, and they keep quiet because they are part of the system. They see the elites (the 1,500) getting very rich whilst they just manage to scrape by. The potential for these 148,500 men and women to flip is huge.
Some of them do all they can to rise within the system but the system rewards patronage along lineage lines rather than just loyalty to the system. This is the soldier who has never been promoted even though he deserved it but is being front run by another soldier who is related to the commander-general. The 148,500 are stabilizing the system. They see resources meant for them (e.g., beef meant for the barracks) being converted for personal use (e.g., delivered to a butchery run by the commander-general).
The 148,500 stabilizing the system, protecting the system from collapse, are aware of how rotten the system is. They are cognizant of the reality that upward mobility within the system has shrunk over the years. The street CIO in 2001 earned twice as much as the CIO in 2021in adjusted purchasing power terms. That same CIO knows that upward mobility within the organization was destroyed when merit was destroyed.
In short, those within the 148,500 inside the One Percenters are aware that most of the gains derived from maintaining and sustaining the oppressive system are being harvested by a few (i.e., 1,500) persons at the top. The 148,500 do all the work and the 1,500 grabs all the rewards. The 148k people are not so happy.
The 1,500 can be regarded as the elite. Mbinga. Cadres. Comrades. The big boys in the club. In terms of wealth, they are millionaires. They live in expensive houses. They drive expensive cars. Vehicles that are so out of touch with our economic realities and the realities of the roads they drive on. They have amassed wealth. These men and women loot big time. Some ran down entire companies such as ZUPCO for them to take home millions of dollars. Some continually empty public coffers with very little scrutiny from the public. Some are granted licenses to operate without any competition in their industry of choice ( i.e., a blank cheque to monopoly profits). Some run unprofitable enterprises which are then bailed out using state resources. Some just go to the government's private banker (i.e., CBZ) and ask for a loan that they will never repay. Some are beneficiaries of agriculture input schemes and many other machinations of looting public funds.
The names of the 1,500 usually feature in one or more schemes and scandals. They are rarely involved in only one. This contrasts with the 148,500 who are usually involved in only one deal (street lingo “zhet”) or are merely relying on the salary from the employer.
Whilst those in the 148,500 own assets ranging from one thousand to a few hundred thousand, most of them are not liquid enough to meet an emergency of USD1,000. They have assets, and opportunities to “get-rich-quick” that pop up as and when presented by the system, but they don't have the perpetual access to resources that the 1,500 have.
Just in case you are wondering who these 1,500 men and women are, they include the following:
- Police Commissioners
- Commanders, Brigadiers, and Generals
- Director-Generals in various government departments and offices
- CIO directors
- Permanent Secretaries and Senior Ministry Staff
- Businesspeople with close Zanu ties
- Some senior members of the judiciary
- Heads of parastatals and state-owned enterprises
- Members of the Politburo and the Central Committee
If any of these men and women are kicked out of the Elite, the wealth dissipates very fast, as every illiquid asset is disposed of in a fire-sale, in search of liquidity to fund the luxurious lifestyle. This is what is meant by the statement that when one is removed from being a Zanu PF elite, that person will wither like a leaf that has been detached from a plant.
These 1,500 men and women are the Elites. They are the real oppressors. These are the people that either directly make decisions that oppress us or have considerable influence on the decisions that author or contribute to our oppression.
These 1,500 people are corrupt and evil. They deploy the common soldier to battle against the common man whenever the common man tries to stand up for his rights. They make that call. They create artificial shortages everywhere to profiteer from bribery and corruption. These are the fellas making a killing by eating the resources that are meant for passport production. They have cornered the country’s resources. They have the best farms and are not afraid to kick out any of the 148,500 from his or her farm if that farm looks better than his. They grab the best-performing gold claims. They are barons. They collect patronage royalties. Bribery monies collected from traffic police across the country end up in their pockets one way or the other.
These 1,500 persons direct the activities of the 148,500 stooges. We can point to the soldiers as our oppressors. That cannot be denied. However, those that control the soldiers and those that control the controllers of the soldiers are the real oppressors.
Most of the celebrated “mbingas” in Harare are merely “blessed” members of the Elite, who author and preside over the evil systems without directly holding political power in the form of holding a political office.
The people of Zimbabwe must be able to name their oppressors. They should be able to identify the oppressors. Making available a public ledger of these oppressors makes it unambiguous for the people. Instead of referring to those that are eating away our country as the big people in government, they will be able to conceptualize them as names, surnames, and nicknames.
Furthermore, a public ledger with transactions detailing how the oppressor is oppressing us or financially stealing from us would go a step further in emancipating the unemancipated people of Zimbabwe.
The Top Fifteen
Even though there are 1,500 Elites, only a handful make the most important decisions. These are the top 15. This is 1% of the Elites meaning it is 1% of the 1% of the 1% of the population.
The top fifteen include the Presidium and the generals. If anyone thinks of the oppressor as a handful of people, this is the handful of people that oppress us.
They are not millionaires. They are billionaires. They have looted for several decades and continue to loot. They score big, way too big. Documenting the identities of these oppressors is not really a big deal, because the people already know them. However, documenting their transactions is great, just for the record. The records will be accessed and used by Zimbabweans now and in the future.
The Public Ledger
This needs to be compiled for all to see. The revolution must identify the enemy. Those in favor of the revolution should do what needs to be done in publicizing the identities of the one-percenters.
When the revolution is ripe and underway, those that defiantly took the side of the oppressor would be correctly identified as enemies of the revolution. The population must be demarcated into two groups; those who are for the revolution and those who are against the revolution. The same must be secretly done for the one-percenters until such a time that it must be open.
Within the unhappy 148,500 of the one-percenters, there will be a fair share of persons in support of the revolution. Their support of the revolution should not be publicized, lest they be victimized before the climactic event of the revolution commences.
The public ledger is meant to document the transgressions of the one-percenters. The pro-revolutionary one-percenters who do not actively transgress against the public except for following the mandatory orders will not be judged harshly when the time comes, for they are expected to rally behind what is right when the revolution climaxes.
For the ledger to be robust, several personas and entities have a role to play. For example:
- The guys at TechZim can assemble smart tech guys to decentralize the storage of the ledger. It should be resistant to DDOS attacks.
- The guys at Team Pachedu can assemble the full list of the One Percenters and publish it onto the ledger.
- Dr. Alex Magaisa can focus on explaining the roles played by the Unhappy 148k (enablers), the Elite, the Top 15 so that the people of Zimbabwe can understand. Magaisa's writings need to be further digested for the street person to understand.
- Hopewell Chin’ono can laser focus on uncovering the corrupt transactions conducted by the Elite and publish each transaction against the respective names on the public ledger.
- Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) can focus on the human rights violations engineered and perpetuated by the One Percenters and attaching these records against the public records of the individuals concerned.
All these personas and entities should be able to contribute to the ledger anonymously, such that they cannot be persecuted by the regime in their personal capacities with defamation lawsuits and the likes.
Such a collective initiative has not happened and will not happen soon because the various elements in Zimbabwe are still in denial regarding the status of their oppression and what needs to be done. Many are still fantasizing about change without a revolution (the stuff of the wet dreams). Many do not take the task of liberating the country seriously. Many, many more do not know what do to. They are not thinkers. They are not strategists. The ones that think and strategize are good at criticizing actions taken by others and not suggesting alternative courses of action, making an observer doubt the “thinkers” pedigree bestowed upon such.
Having a public record, verified or unverified, against the One Percenters is a first step in bringing them to account. They should know that whatever crimes and wrongs they commit are being noticed and recorded against their names. They should know that they can get away with it in the captured judiciary system, but the people know.
Having an immutable public record of the names, surnames, nicknames, movements, transactions, actions, exchanges, et cetera of the oppressive One Percenters will appear like a waste of time in the initial stages of the revolution (it’s just stuff published on the internet not admissible in any court of law, “kungohukura”). However, as the revolutionary train gathers steam, these details will matter. Post-revolution, these details will matter the most.
Once the One Percenters are identified, the transient goal of the revolution will be to revolt against them. The people will have to put resistance against any form of domination by the one-percenters. Civil disobedience and activism will be on the table, as the revolutionary zeitgeist takes over. The 99% should refuse to undertake any form of commercial transaction with a One Percenter. Each person within the 99% should refuse to be equally yoked with a One Percenter.
Such radicalism is required to get rid of the oppressive system. The 99% should be able to socially, morally, and to an extent economically ostracize the One Percenters. That is how the revolution should proceed.
This ostracization ties into what I mentioned when I covered how the people should Isolate the oppressor.
The 99% (14.85 million people) should surely be able to isolate the One Percenters (150,000). Currently, the situation is the other way round. The One Percenters have economically, financially, and socially ostracized 14.85 million Zimbabweans.