The worst is yet to come

HARARE - There has been so much political drama in the country in the last couple of years whose impact has not solely been confined to the political realm but has descended to pulverise Zimbabwe’s economy as well as the standard of living of the majority of the population.

Locating the genesis of this continuing drama in former president Robert Mugabe and his policies alone is defective. Of course, his uninterrupted iron-fisted 37-year rule — which only came to an end following a military intervention in November last year has to take the bulk of the flak. Mugabe failed to anoint a successor, stoking a long, brutal and nasty war over who would eventually take over from him among his top lieutenants.

The battles in the war to succeed Mugabe even included his once-powerful wife — Grace — who at one point looked set to land the country’s coveted job, until the military intervened.

During all this time, no one bothered to address the deteriorating economy of the country. It is no secret that Zimbabweans had been made to endure lives of misery since the dearth of their excitement with the advent of independence in 1980.

During despot Mugabe’s reign, Zimbabwe had become synonymous with a failed nation state. What with the catastrophic fall in the people’s standards of living for a sustained period during which the middle class was systematically eroded as the gap between the rich and the poor widened.

The country’s health delivery services started to fall dramatically ever since the growth registered following the rolling out of the Expanded ProgrammeImmunisation (EPI) in the early years of independence.

On the other hand, corruption was becoming more and more institutionalised while mismanagement of State-owned companies worsened. People lost jobs as hundreds of companies choked in the unfriendly operating environment. Cash shortages were the order of the day, especially during the hyperinflationary years of 2008-9, difficulties that have revisited the country today.

Contested elections have not been unusual in Zimbabwe, in the process producing toxic political terrains. This has led to wealthy nations — who drive processes at multi-lateral lending institutions such as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund — denying the southern African nation budgetary support.

Where elections are contested, governments that emerge rarely get the requisite support of the people. The resultant uncertainty is not something positive for investors who would always want to be careful about where they put their money. Zimbabwe has been a victim of this for years now, something that has led to the continued haemorrhaging of the economy.

In elections that were held on July 30, the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission announced that Zanu PF candidate Emmerson Mnangagwa had won the plebiscite after polling 50,8 percent of the vote while Nelson Chamisa of the MDC Alliance came second with 44,3 percent. Chamisa has since challenged the result at the Constitutional Court, claiming that Zec manipulated the figures to favour Mnangagwa.

Besides this court action by the Chamisa, the post-election period had other key mishaps. The shooting of at least six people after the army was called in to quell post-election protests by alleged members of the MDC Alliance provided an antithesis to an otherwise peaceful election.

Comments (3)

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Chimbamauro - 21 August 2018

Very good analysis by Eddie. We are our own enemies in this country. Too much politics to the expense of improving economy. I don't know when shall we learn to accept the out comes of an election inorder to avoid bad publicity of our beloved country. Some people are even doing bad things to make sure they discredit each other but at the same time costing the whole nation in economical terms. Not even one election was conducted and people shook hands accepting the outcomes. And we all contribute to the down fall of our nation through intolerance and arrogance. It is now becoming an African culture of not accepting defeat in elections and why the western countries don't accept victory which in not in favour of oppositions leaves a lot of questions than answers.

shunguhadziurayi mangarayi - 21 August 2018

I concur Shungu. We shoot ourselves in the feet, habitually at every election and we do nothing to stop the bleeding. Zimbabwe faces a huge dearth of visionary nation building leadership. It took western nations centuries to define and fine tune their democracies and we think Zimbabwean democracy can be defined overnight at the stroke of a pen! Zimbabwe had 23 presidential candidates - our democracy is not yet defined to even allow some of these pretenders to be on a ballot paper. We should have more clearly defined entry qualifications for those vying for office. How do we define leadership in Zimbabwe? Are our leaders accountable for what they say and do? What control measures do we have to keep leaders in check? Zimbabwean / African politics is not maturing. Whatever the outcome of the Con-Court how will the MDC fare against a Zanu PF super parliamentary marjority? Looking at both MDC and Zanu PF election manifestos, their leadership the difference is marginal. Singapore took 35 years to reform from being a third world to a first world nation due to the visionary leadership of Lee Kuan . "The nation reflected the man : efficient, unsentimental, incorrupt, forward-looking, pragmatic

Daniel 5 - 22 August 2018

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