Zimbabweans need a break from crises

HARARE - One of our main stories in yesterday’s edition spoke about price hikes and shortages that have returned to haunt crisis-weary Zimbabweans.

The latest shortages as well as price increases come as sad reminders of the trying 2007-8 period that was characterised by record hyperinflation through which resilient Zimbabweans endured.

The country’s citizens have suffered long enough. After surviving the tumultuous years of 2008-9, people were hoping that the just-ended harmonised elections would usher in an administration that would be acceptable to the rest of the world. The rampant printing of cash in 2008 led to inflation hitting 500 billion percent, wiping out ordinary citizens’ savings and pensions.

However, this was not to be as controversy erupted over the results. At least six people were killed in post-election violence on August 1, as opposition supporters flooded the streets of Harare, voicing their concern over the delay in announcing presidential election results and perceived bias by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec).

As things stand, the election controversy is still on and the country’s woes are getting worse. Just like the much-loathed Robert Mugabe era, the powers that be are failing to come up with a lasting solution to the problems of cash shortages and price hikes obviously speaking to certain economic fundamentals not being addressed. 

Bank queues have continued across the country, despite the fact that crisp-new notes of the surrogate bond notes litter street corners that have virtually been colonised by illegal money-changers.

Whoever emerges as Zimbabwe’s leader after the pending court challenge by the MDC Alliance has a tough task ahead. First will be assembling a Cabinet team that will craft policies that will take Zimbabwe out of the current crisis.

Mugabe’s ruinous policies and his inept Cabinet team that was inherited by President-elect Emmerson Mnangagwa were largely to blame for shepherding us into the current crises.

The banking sector itself needs to reclaim the confidence that was beginning to manifest following the stabilising years of the Government of National Unity between 2009-13.

When Zanu PF reclaimed victory in the 2013 elections, that confidence dissipated wholly.

Zimbabwe can not continue on this trajectory — rampant cash shortages, price increases, infrastructural destruction, institutionalised corruption, a health delivery system that is almost on its knees and several other ills that have become synonymous with the southern African nation.

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