Be careful what you wish for! (Pt:II)

HARARE - In the main, Zimbabwe’s economic challenges are rooted in the lack of confidence on the part of locals and foreigners alike, which confidence evaporated because of the country’s toxic politics.

Our Tsikamutanda brand of primitive politics premised on feja-feja and witch-hunting in Zanu PF and other opposition political parties has shut the country’s doors on particularly foreign investors and has made it difficult for locals to attract capital with a long horizon.

This is the toxic business environment under which some unthankful citizens want Mangudya to perform miracles. He has already performed miracles by keeping us afloat.

There is also short-termism that now holds sway in the minds of our people whereby very few of us want to raise their sweat through production in industry hence our capacity utilisation remains static.

This is why even after adopting the multi-currency regime in 2009, currency dealers still held out hope at Roadport and the so-called “World Bank” in Bulawayo instead of dirtying their hands on the farms and industry to produce for export.

This is also why our farmers prefer selling the seed, fertilisers and chemicals they get from government on the black market than sweating it out in the fields to produce.

Under these and other circumstances, Mangudya cannot be expected to possess the magic of Houdini nor the charm of Angel Gabriel when even the politicians in the opposition cannot even work together for purposes of confronting President Robert Mugabe and his Zanu PF party which has presided over the calamitous collapse of our economy.

Politicians, especially those in opposition trenches, have been the most vocal in their demands for Mangudya to vacate his office along Samora Machel Avenue in Harare. While I do not hold a brief to defend Mangudya, I am just wondering if any one of our politicians — who think they are blameless — can throw the first stone on Mangudya?

In the holy book, there is the story about Jesus when he was teaching in the temple when the scribes and Pharisees brought to Him a woman who had been caught in the act of adultery, and they asked Him if she should be stoned as required by the Law of Moses.

It was, however, that her accusers cared nothing about this woman; they were using her to trap Jesus.

Jesus did not answer immediately but stooped and wrote something on the ground, and they kept pressing Him. Finally, the Lord said, in essence, “Go ahead and stone her because that is what the Law requires. But the Law also requires that the first stone be thrown by a person who is sinless in connection with this charge” (John 8:6–7).

In calls for Mangudya to leave the RBZ, it doesn’t appear that his accusers are unaware that the RBZ governor is not the problem. This, they know very well.

But my question is, why expend a lot of energy on Mangudya when they is a much bigger fish to fry?

It doesn’t help to target what we may perceive as weak targets in order to empty our anger or feel good when there is an elephant in the room that we must all focus on, which is Zanu PF and its ruinous economic policies that have bred corruption and other malpractices.

I could not agree more with an observation that I came across on social media to the effect that whoever is appointed to that hot seat is bound to fail because they have very little sway over the centre of power which has very little respect for economic rationale. Mangudya does not supervise government ministers as some writers would like us to believe. If anything, he is much, much down the pecking order.

Getting rid of Mangudya is therefore equivalent to curing the symptom to a problem without dealing with its root causes, which in the main is leadership failure in both the ruling party and the country’s opposition which are failing to exercise their oversight role.

If at all Mangudya is to go, he must go after the main characters that are behind Zimbabwe’s multifaceted economic challenges have packed their bags to give Zimbabweans a break. Mangudya is in fact helping us. He is not part of the problem but part of the solution to Zimbabwe’s challenges. His clarion call for the country to enhance production, productivity and exports is the solution to Zimbabwe’s sustainable economic development.

Even his call for the implementation of structural economic reforms, including enhancing investors’ trust and confidence, transformation of State-owned enterprises, enhancing the ease of doing business and fiscal consolidation, is quite critical to increase investors’ confidence within the economy.

These calls are going by the wind, from both the opposition and the ruling party because there is too much concentration on politics of personalities at the expense of strengthening national institutions for the common good.

In his inaugural address as United States president on January 20, 1961, John Kennedy had this to say: “And so, my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you — ask what you can do for your country. My fellow citizens of

the world: ask not what America will do for you, but what together we can do for the freedom of man.”

That clarion call by Kennedy should push every Zimbabwean to ask not what Mangudya can do for this country but what we can all do for our country to get it out of the woods.

    Post a comment

    Readers are kindly requested to refrain from using abusive, vulgar, racist, tribalistic, sexist, discriminatory and hurtful language when posting their comments on the Daily News website.
    Those who transgress this civilised etiquette will be barred from contributing to our online discussions.
    - Editor

    Your email address will not be shared.