It’s up to ED to turn around Zim

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YESTERDAY, Zimbabwe held a subdued 40th commemoration of its National Heroes Day – to salute and celebrate the heroes and heroines who took up arms to emancipate the country from colonial rule.

The country attained independence after a bloody war and when the Union Jack was brought down on April 18, 1980 at Rufaro Stadium and the new Zimbabwe flag hoisted, citizens were elated and full of hope for prosperity.

Alas, 40 years down the line, the country has become a basket case and Zimbabweans are wallowing in poverty as a result of outright mismanagement and tragic lack of leadership between the first two decades of Uhuru.

As a result of the gangster-type of leadership, at the turn of the century the United States and Europe slapped sanctions on Zimbabwe, styled as targeted at individuals and institutions allegedly propping up the later former President Robert Mugabe’s regime. In reality, the sanctions didn’t affect Mugabe and his hangers-on, but hunted ordinary people into penury.

An inclusive government between Mugabe and the opposition MDC led by Morgan Tsvangirai between 2009 and 2013 stabilised the political and economic situation, but seven years later we are back to our wayward settings.
President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s administration has, so far, failed to inspire economic and political confidence.

The country is at a crossroads. We are slowly, but surely gravitating towards civil strife because the people are suffering and government opponents are itching for a fight.

The level of corruption has reached disproportionate proportions and our political environment is a poisoned chalice. Surely those who took up arms to unshackle us from the yoke of colonialism must be turning in their graves wherever they were interred – some in shallow graves around the country, Mozambique, Zambia and others at the National Heroes Acre in Harare.

Their aspirations for a free democratic country, flowing with honey and milk are still a mirage. Their dreams have remained deferred by political gladiators whose sole ambitions are to loot the nation’s resources for self-aggrandisement.

Looting cartels in both the public and private sectors have become untouchables, having accumulated so much wealth that they could be probably richer than the country. It is incumbent upon Mnangagwa and his new dispensation to turn this around and appease our departed heroes and heroines who paid with their blood for Zimbabwe’s independence.

Zimbabwe simply needs good leadership, not rulers, for heroes and heroines like Joshua Nkomo, Mugabe, Ruth Chinamano and Victoria Chitepo, among others, to rest in eternal peace having bequeathed to us a country endowed by great wealth.

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