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Politics will not deliver

Opinion & Analysis
Food security, Zimbabwe has no script for a new act; we have the same old actors implementing the same old ideas.

Food security, Zimbabwe has no script for a new act; we have the same old actors implementing the same old ideas. Guest Column with Vince Musewe

I am hardly excited by the emergence of new political parties in Zimbabwe.

For me, it is not only a waste of energy and resources, but a platform for those who have not attained their personal ambitions elsewhere.

The problem in Zimbabwe is not about the establishment of political parties, it is about democracy.

I have also noted the continuing cry for Morgan Tsvangirai to resign and my argument here is that; the issue is really not about leadership it is more about the existence of democratic space in Zimbabwe.

We have a ruling party that has exclusive access to all organs of the State that are abused at every instance to defend its hold on power and that is not about to change.

We have a business community that is highly apathetic and whose survival is determined by their political neutrality.

We have a vibrant middle class in the Diaspora that thinks that democracy can be achieved through Facebook and Twitter.

We have a highly-disempowered urban community whose focus is on day to day survival and will not risk an iota. We also have a rural community highly disempowered and to large extent dependent on government largesse.

Until these things change, Zimbabwe can never become a modern democracy. Added to this is the fact that Sadc, an organisation that is meant to promote democracy within the region, has not delivered on its mandate on Zimbabwe. We are effectively back to the pre-2008 political environment.

Now, we can theorise and have clever arguments until the cows come home, but my take is that as long as Zimbabwe continues on the current political and economic track that it is, it will most likely not develop into a modern economy or democracy in our lifetime.

That is the sad reality that we must all accept. As long as our political narrative continues to be dominated only by Zanu PF and their ideas of what our reality should be, we will find ourselves going in circles and stuck in the past.

The rate of regression of our society and economy is actually increasing while the rest of Africa works hard to attract investment and develop its people and infrastructure.

Critical economic sectors such as mining, energy and information technology are progressing rapidly all around us and all we seem to do is to shout and blame the British and the Americans. In the meantime, we cannot feed ourselves, we cannot deliver basic needs and we are still being led by the same intellectual capital that was relevant in the 80s.

Yes, I have said these things before; the politics of liberation is redundant if we are to develop our country further.

The shocking truth is that the challenges we are now facing are the same challenges that blacks felt during colonial times.

I watched a Herbert Chitepo video the other day and it was shocking that one could almost think that he was here now addressing what is wrong with Zimbabwe today. Statehouse will not provide. Statehouse will not act to create an environment that is most likely to dismiss Zanu PF in any election.

The army and the police are not about to change how they behave. After all, there is no real pressure for them to do that at the moment.

I have also noted that Gideon Gono is back at the centre of planning our economic future.

That is absolutely horrifying news after the 2008 traumatic experience that all Zimbabweans went through.

In the next five years, if we are unable to see that State institutions are there to serve the interests of all Zimbabweans and not Zanu PF, we shall have dismally failed an we are likely to see Zanu PF continue to dominate us. No amount of political parties will change that. If we are unable to take the personal responsibility to develop, inform and empower our communities so that they think and act differently, we shall once more accept a flawed election in 2018 — mark my words.

Zimbabwe has no script for a new act, in fact Zanu PF has no idea on how to get out of this rut; we have the same old actors implementing the same old ideas and “solutions” that did not work in the past, why should we expect different results?

Vince Musewe is an economist based in Harare. You may contact him on [email protected]