Dreams of Golden Zimbabwe; By Beavan Chiweshe, Harare, Beyond today Publishers, 2020.
ISBN: 978-1-5363-5685-6 (Paperback)
Reviewed by Eddie Zvinonzwa
Today, Zimbabwe stands as a mere shadow of its former self with those who lived during the colonial era actually ruing those as lost days. Yet this should not be the case.
The coming of independence in 1980 must have solved most of our problems as a nation. What we see, however, is disillusionment with that independence as expectations have not been met.
There is however, hope in this desolate state and Beavan Chiweshe seems to suggest the same in his book Dreams of Golden Zimbabwe. “Forty years have gone by since the day Zimbabwe celebrated its independence. Throughout these years, there is a question that has remained unanswered, ‘is this the year Zimbabwe can change’” (P7)
In order to understand and find ways of shaping a country’s future there is need to know its past and how exactly it came to be what it is today.
The enthusiasm that we see in the author to know his history. “From my childhood to my high school years, I discovered that I had an unquenchable thirst for the study of history and with it, politics.” (p7)
There is no question on the fact that Zimbabwe is a country with potential given the wealth it is endowed with. However, because there is no equitable distribution of those very resources, the gap between the rich and the poor is continuously widening.
“Whatever the truth may be, we are all running towards the same goal of bringing Zimbabwe home, of seeing a golden nation moving from a dream to a reality.” (p9)
The writer talks about the crises that the country faces — economic and political but seems to show that the problems are not insurmountable.
They can be solved, especially if the leadership remains focused and are selfless.
Again, Chiweshe sees corruption as the major impediment to growth in the country.
With all its might, Zimbabwe may not be able to address economic collapse if it does not foster diversity and pluralism as pivots of its policy frameworks. “Sadly, a gun failed to maintain the collapsing economy.” (p13)
The suffering Zimbabweans have endured since independence has to come to an end. There are no jobs in the country and industries have closed owing to rising operational costs that have condemned them into the dustbins of history.
Sadly, the citizens of the country rank among the most educated on the continent and it is Zimbabwean skills that are oiling economies of other countries like South Africa, the United Kingdom, Australia among many others in the world. And yet, their motherland is crying out for them but unfortunately because of the nature of the country’s economy, they may never come back. It is this poverty and deprivation that pushed them out in the first place.
“We grew up exposed to a different side of Zimbabwe where anyone who sought a political post did so to acquire wealth and not serve the community.
“Their main goal would be to feed themselves. It is this selfish train of thought that has given rise to corruption. Only those in power are privileged enough to sleep on a full belly.” (p15)
The hope that the author has in the country’s potential is not different from that which we see in the citizens.
“I know that Zimbabwe will change for the better. A sleeping giant will wake up again. Our shame will soon vanish as if it was never there. I can foresee us Zimbabweans starting on a new page, a new and clean chapter. The glorious Zimbabwe coming into existence.” (p52)
Chiweshe goes back into history to talk about the Chimurenga war, obviously to remind Zimbabweans about what shaped the geographical polity called Zimbabwe. “Our life as a nation is in the land. Our revival is in the land.
“It is the same land again that has the golden ticket to our economic freedom. … Zimbabwe can’t rise again without involving what the land is gifted with” (p75)
Dreams of Golden Zimbabwe is a book people must read. Despite technical shortcomings in the printing and editing, the book is an important manuscript towards understanding Zimbabwe.