A season's greetings of a gloomy forecast

HARARE - The year 2012 is coming to an end and 2013 is drawing near.

All indications are that life will not be any better in 2013, for the larger majority of Zimbabweans.

The country faces severe food shortages, which have become chronic.

As in previous years, belatedly and grudgingly, the inclusive government acknowledged the looming food crisis, and made a feeble appeal for international assistance; without announcing their own plans to save lives.

Furthermore, there are no plans to revive agricultural production in the current season, nor in future.
Manufacturing remains depressed, with more operations either scaling down, or ceasing altogether.

As with agriculture, there are no plans to arrest the hemorrhage, let alone to restore growth.

The mining and tourism sectors showed some positive energy. However, within mining, there are sub-sectors which are bleeding.

Formal employment continued to shrink, and almost every open space in the urban areas, has been turned into a market. Even entrances into formal business premises are markets for vegetables, trinkets and other wares.

The country has become one big supermarket for products from other countries.   

Infrastructure continues to deteriorate. There is no light at the end of the power supply tunnel.
Potholes remain the dominant feature of both local and national roads. To see a moving train is now a rarity, and the national flag on tails of airplanes remains firmly anchored on the tarmac.

Services in education and health are a pale shadow of what earned the country accolades in yesteryears.
In spite of statistics showing reductions in new HIV infections, HIV/Aids remains a pandemic.

People living with HIV/Aids, with physical and mental disabilities, old people and orphans are leading precarious lives, on the fringes of society.

What assistance they are getting, is mainly from non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and international development agencies.

Local authorities are failing to provide potable water. In many localities, people are using water contaminated with sewage, exposing them to diseases which had long been eradicated from this country.
Corruption is now endemic in all spheres of life. Throughout the year, leaders of the inclusive government made half-hearted statements condemning corruption. But they unveiled no plans, nor took any actions to deter it.

The inclusive government has failed to institute any meaningful political reforms.

Intolerance, intimidation and victimisation remain hallmarks of our politics and is mostly promoted by leaders.

Genuine national healing, reconciliation and forgiveness have not been initiated.
The public media remains the official mouthpieces of one political party and leaders of national security services continue to perform duties in favour of one political party.

The constitution-making process is deeply mired in political contests, and each stage it reaches is turned into a battle ground for political dominance.

Even in sport, there was no cheer; the only exception being the budding tennis ace who won the Zim Open and the golfer Brendon De Jong; and the recent victory of the Mighty Warriors over the Lady Zebras.

We say to them Makorokoto, Amhlope, Congratulations.

We also mourn the untimely and painful death of hero Adam Ndlovu, and wish Peter a speedy and full recovery.

Throughout 2012, we persevered in our endeavours to work with those in the inclusive government, and others in business, the professions and civil society; in search of solutions to the myriad of problems afflicting people in their daily lives.

We continue our efforts to build Mavambo/Kusile/Dawn (MKD) into the party of service to the people.
We share the concerns of many members, supporters and sympathisers, over the slow pace at which the party building is progressing; our low visibility and audibility.

Constantly, we are asked: “Where are you — we don’t see you, we don’t hear you”?

Whilst acknowledging that the environment we are operating in is hard and harsh, we are spurred on by our commitment to “Get Zimbabwe working again” and are fired up by our conviction that our values and principles are needed to re-build our Great Zimbabwe.

We understand that after two decades of brutalisation and impoverishment, people are cowered and tired.

But, we take comfort and courage in the knowledge that ending our suffering is our collective responsibility.

I am inspired by the good will and encouragement I receive from many Zimbabweans, as well as many friends of Zimbabwe.

In return, I pledge our resolve to maintain our course, towards a society genuinely free of fear, a people genuinely empowered for self-determination and self-reliance, and a nation in harmony within itself, and with regional neighbours and global partners.

It is highly likely that the country will hold general elections in the latter part of 2013.
In this regard, we join others inside and outside the country, in urging the inclusive government, parties to the Global Political Agreement (GPA) and Sadc; to ensure that conditions are created, for free and fair elections.  

To the leaders and activists of MKD, it is our responsibility to prepare the party for victory in these elections.

I wish all Zimbabweans, Christian and non-Christian alike, inside and outside the country, happiness at Christmas and better fortunes in 2013. - Simba Makoni

*Simba Makoni is leader of the Mavambo/Kusile/Dawn party. He contested the 2008 presidential election and got 8,3 percent share of the vote.

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