Looking hard at our failures

HARARE - Most Zimbabweans could be forgiven for being extremely anxious, unsure and nervous about the direction this country is taking since they were charmed into believing social and economic problems would dissipate once conclusive elections were held.

Almost two years now, the electorate cannot see any light at the end of the tunnel, so to speak.

Commerce and industry as well as the general populace battened down their hopes on the election outcomes as contestation of power within the coalition government stumbled efforts to chart a clear path towards solving national socio-economic problems.

Given the policy inconsistencies that have become a pet forte, government appears confused about how to make good the obvious mistakes it has made in the past and seems visionless how best to step back from the edge of the precipice of ill-crafted policies. Zimbabweans virtually endure an era where the majority is daily confronted with seemingly interminable economic and social malaise because politicians look in the crystal ball and ask what Zimbabwe can do for them instead of asking what they can do for their country.

It is rather disappointing that government bureaucrats have occasionally displayed flashes of genius and craft but come awfully short of will power to put ideas they enunciate into practice in case they appear to steal the thunder from the politician.

Indications are that our uptake from this windfall will be miserably low owing to policies fraught with imprecisions in a competitive world.

For instance, politicians harp on indigenisation which is a noble cause but choose to ignore the fact that worldwide, other countries have achieved tremendous progress through prudent approach of how they attract foreign direct investment without ruffling potential investors’ feathers.

Government bureaucrats see the obstacles that confront prospective investors. Yet their hands are fettered by vague and inconsistent policies which deny them the latitude to think independently of vote-seeking politicians so accustomed to vain and empty boasting.

Zimbabwe might be endowed with a potpourri of natural and mineral resources. But as long as minerals remain buried underground and other natural resources remain unexploited for national benefit, leaders cannot crow to High heavens about trapped wealth without the means to dig up the dirt that covers the wealth.

Our country’s major bane all along has been worthless preoccupation with gaining the upper-hand against political opponents at the expense of promoting a national culture that focuses on putting in place prudent policies.

Quite disconcerting are the many examples when our partnering policies with funding organisations have been hobbled by inertia to grab opportunities that could ameliorate our economic circumstances.

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