Bleak year ahead — Makoni

HARARE - Three decades of repression and poverty have left Zimbabweans in a state of fear and the situation is unlikely to change in the near future, opposition politician Simba Makoni has said.

In a New Year message released yesterday, Makoni said indications are that 2013 will bring more hardships to ordinary Zimbabweans who, unlike the politically-connected, are still living in near destitution.

 Makoni, a former Zanu PF politburo member, leads the Mavambo/Kusile/Dawn (MKD) party born out of frustration with President Robert Mugabe’s refusal to hand over power to a younger generation.

 “Zimbabweans are impoverished, have been brutalised and are now cowered and tired,” said the former Finance minister who at one time was widely tipped as Mugabe’s successor.  

“The country faces severe food shortages, which have become chronic and the Government of National Unity (GNU) has grudgingly made a feeble appeal for international assistance; without announcing its own plans to save lives.

 “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 restore growth,” said Makoni, who got eight percent of the presidential vote in 2008.

He said the future looks anything but bleak.

“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.

“In spite of statistics showing reductions in new infections, people living with HIV/Aids, the disabled and those with mental disabilities, old people and orphans, are leading precarious lives, on the fringes of affluence the political elite are enjoying,” said Makoni, whose movement has struggled with internal power divisions in its short four-year life.

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