HARARE – For some time now, Zimbabweans have been hobnobbing with political elites without telling them the truth about the trajectory they prescribed for the country.
Nobody dares say a word about the direction Zanu PF has been dragging the country towards since 1980.
If anything, this has been an epic journey towards nowhere.
At some point when the United States and the majority of nations in the European Union imposed targeted sanctions on specific individuals and companies in Zimbabwe, the Zanu PF leadership gleefully accepted the scapegoat. The sanctions mantra took over in explaining their obvious failures.
Unending fights have become characteristic of the Zanu PF operational manual.
Everyone in or near the cockpit is fighting with real and imagined enemies while the country’s economy goes through perpetual haemorrhage. There is hardly any time given to cleaning the real mess affecting the nation.
Like everywhere else in Africa, Zimbabweans are aware of the actual causes of the problems we find ourselves in today.
However, we have been overly content with chasing after naivety while the real issues remain within our gaze.
Zimbabweans seem too prepared to blame everyone else but themselves for any woes that have been routinely blighting the country.
We never seem to ever think about future generations and the state we want to leave Zimbabwe in.
Famous African writer — Ngugi wa Thiongo — likens the African leader to “. . . that absurd man in the proverb who leaves his house burning to pursue a rat fleeing from the flames . . .”
It is high time we confront the real source of our problems and this is the only way we can proffer lasting solutions to the myriad of challenges Zimbabwe is faced with.
Today, Zimbabwe stands out prominently as the case of a country which, despite its massive potential, has rapidly fallen from being the bread basket to the basket case of the continent.
Now lumped together with the continent’s poorest nations like Liberia, Burundi, Sierra Leone and Somalia among others, Zimbabwe shows little trace of the glitter inherited at independence.
The bustling industry, the communications with a vibrant railway network moving raw materials and finished goods across the entire nation and beyond was the envy of many.
Currently, a combination of poor policies, graft and skewed priorities, has killed the once-vibrant manufacturing sector, forcing the country to slide into being a net importer of most of its domestic requirements, including food.
Agriculture, which previously buoyed the economy, was systematically destroyed through a land reform that went awfully wrong as farms were parcelled out to people with not an iota of farming knowledge over and above the lack of strong capital bases to resource the activities on the land.
Some of the land is evidently under-utilised and government has not taken action on multiple farm ownership.
There has been very little, if any, attempt in the last 36 years to invest in irrigation infrastructure to capacitate farmers in arid regions of the country.
Besides, over-reliance on rain-fed agriculture has proved misguided, as droughts have continued to stalk Zimbabwe.
Corruption has become the norm and has not only eroded the country’s potential but also leaves indelible marks of moral bankruptcy.
No investor will inject money in an economy busy seizing foreign-owned firms.
The health and education sectors are in states leading to perennial decay.
It is time we start righting our wrongs. It is time we face the cause of our tragic and unacceptably deplorable poverty levels, which have worsened over the years.