Zim: A case of misdirected docility

HARARE - Zimbabwe has become a very interesting case.

I recall vividly — though I was young then — that liberation fighters, then widely known as comrades,  would stress that the country was endowed with “milk and honey”.

Rewind to 1980, the whole country was full of hope as it dawned on people that the coloniser had been dislodged and finally the rightful owners of the land would start enjoying the fruits of the struggle.

However, Zimbabwe’s first Cabinet headed by then prime minister Robert Mugabe, went on to champion self-destructive populist policies which were to cost the nation dearly as the years progressed.

The continued deterioration of the state of the economy as well as politics of the country and with that the general living standards of the people.

Nobody did a thing except continue to watch as Zimbabwe slid down the precipice. The leadership were busy stuffing their pockets while they publicly claimed to be championing the cause of the majority, in line with the Marxist-Leninist ideology adopted in 1980.

What is it that has gone wrong? A country that has very fertile soils in abundance and enjoys relatively good rains must not have an economy as bad as Zimbabwe’s.

The current agricultural season has been blessed with above normal rains putting the country in good stead for a fair yield.

When it comes to mineral wealth, the same story of abundance continues. If you dig into the country’s bowels, there is gold, platinum, diamonds among other precious minerals.

Zimbabwe has the second largest known platinum reserves in the world after South Africa and has the capacity to meet 25 percent of the world’s demand for rough diamonds.

With such impressive statistics, and a solid education system that has produced a formidable skills base, Zimbabwe must surely be the wealthiest nation on the African continent especially when one places the population of 12 million in the picture. This is too small a figure as compared to other economies in Africa.

As at 2012, Zimbabwe’s southern neighbour South Africa had a population of 51,19 million, Nigeria stood at 168,8 million while Kenya had 43,18 million people.

If Zimbabwe was at some point the bread basket of the region, should we not ponder to ask what happened along the way? It surely must not have anything to do with the now-too-common sanctions chorus.

Nobody would want this current slide back to 2008. We need to go forward, buoyed by the wealth the country has.

Interestingly, we are the country that is yelling — plate in hand — for donations to help out those of our own who were affected by floods in the Tokwe-Mukorsi basin. These are human beings and on no day will they ever be lesser Zimbabwean. This is not pleasant and does not sound morally right.

Corruption has risen to unprecedented levels and something has to be done and very urgently otherwise we are doomed as a nation. It has eaten to the very heart of the nation’s moral fabric and for some it has become the norm.

The scourge is affecting almost every sector of the economy and has become the life for some from the elites right down to the lowest person in the social strata.

Power outages have become the order of the day while local authorities struggle to supply adequate potable water to their residents day in, day out.

Urban centres are chocking from uncollected garbage, while potholes on the roads grow bigger and bigger.

Lump this with the general malaise over what may happen next in an unpredictable economy, one wonders why Zimbabweans have been so quiet while things trot so fast and surely back towards 2007-8.

Comments (3)

Observation after observation, comment after comment, analysis after analysis, complaint after complaint. MaZimbo pakutaura chete? Number one. Question remains...toita sei vakomana?

Chachaya - 20 March 2014


see - 20 March 2014

After all has been said, it all boils down to the fact that we need to get rid of bad policies and corruption. How does our leader and his large entourage feel when they sit down among other leaders of progressive countries?

Sinikiwe Shumba - 21 March 2014

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