Where is the leadership?

HARARE - As Zimbabwe teeters on the brink of slipping into social upheaval as a result of the deteriorating economic situation, President Robert Mugabe and his administration must provide leadership.

Zimbabwe is in the throes of an economic tsunami which has brought fears that the situation could degenerate into the chaos of 2008 which was characterised by empty supermarket shelves and hyperinflation which decimated the Zimbabwe dollar.

Friday’s demonstrations which temporarily led to the closure of the Beitbridge border — for six hours — and the subsequent riots which paralysed the small town are indicative of a nation edging towards upheaval.

There is frustrating everywhere and things are falling apart with no solution in sight yet there is a government which is supposed to step up and show why it was elected to lead the nation.

Friday’s riots are symptomatic of a country on the edge of a cliff.

It is clear that people are fed up with Mugabe’s government which they believe is the author of their troubles.

The country is experiencing severe cash shortages while restive civil servants, who have not been paid their last month salaries, have warned of going on strike Tuesday.

Capacity utilisation has fallen to dangerous levels, leading to firm closures and job losses.

Yet in these circumstances, inexplicably, Mugabe’s government chooses to score an own goal by banning people from importing basic commodities from  neighbouring South Africa.

This is as bad as it gets for Mugabe and his colleagues in Zanu PF.

Surely, there is no need to impose bans on imports when the local industry is in a comatose state.

The wide practice in the region and elsewhere is that if you want to promote your economy you impose tariffs not to resort to knee-jerk tactics such as using command policies.

Authorities should have considered that the country’s economy is now largely informal with the majority of citizens reduced to either cross-border traders or vendors.

Government’s reluctance to reverse its import regulations will result in people smuggling in goods from neighbouring countries and selling them on the black market. Crucially, it deprives Zimra income which it desperately needs to improve its revenue which has taken a hit as a result of the shrinking economy.

Decisions such as introducing import bans leave the populace with no choice but to realise that there is no future with the current crop of leadership we have at the moment.

Comments (1)

The president and his cronies do not exhibit the slightest of leadership qualities. A leader by definition is one who is able to motivate and gain followers towards a common vision but alas the president and his cronies have their own vision divorced from the vision of the people. They are very much bankrupt of ideas and to think any turnaround strategy can come from them is very much tantamount to expecting diesel to ooze out from a rock.

ndozvo - 4 July 2016

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