Growing up in rural Zimbabwe I was always told that there were plans for rural electrification. This excited my minds as a young person who didn’t want freedom from smoke and candles and an end to looking for firewood. In retrospect the idea of rural electrification is ludicrous.
In the name of modernity or progress the government wanted to embark on rural electrification for who and for what purpose?
My area of work is personal finances and so in my eyes why would you take a widowed grandmother with no bills, who farms the land for a living and bring her into a place that she has to pay a bill every month? I mean how is this a poverty alleviating tools and how is this progress?
In Zimbabwe one of the reasons for the First Chimurenga was the disdain by the locals for paying ‘hut tax’. Hut tax made people into slaves because for the first time they needed a job where in times past they were self sufficient and provided for their families. So this monthly electric bill would be another hut tax and for what purpose and to benefit whom?
Well that was one of the strings that was attached to the loan being given by the IMF and World Bank, to create business for their home countries. Needless to say that the whole thing fell apart because Zimbabwe cannot even even provide electricity for its urban areas and limited industry talk less of rural electrification.
Well here is a thought….. what about solar? As one of my friends would say, God loves Africa, why else would HE have given us such perfect weather, particularly those of us in the southern part? Why don’t we invest in solar energy and technology for rural electrification?
So you must be wondering what is the point of my story well it is this, what does a widowed grandmother who lives off the land and is self sufficient need the dollar for?
The dollar is for those who in the name of progress need to pay their hut tax to upkeep their modern conveniences.