HomeOpinion & AnalysisColumnistsBe afraid - another economic free fall beckons

Be afraid – another economic free fall beckons

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That Zimbabwe is hurtling, at breakneck speed, towards another economic meltdown is no longer in doubt. Evidence abounds of the second coming of that frightful economic apocalypse and national misery that assailed this country in 2007-8.

Landscape Tangai Chipangura

A glimpse of newspaper headlines of the past few weeks confirms that, save for a miracle happening, Zimbabwe is destined for another very deep and black hole. I talk of a miracle because there is no evidence of any effort to steer the country from the beckoning economic cesspit.

ZimAsset, unless transformed into action, will remain just but an impressive dream which – like others before it – will yield nothing more than affirming Zimbabwe’s reputation as a country of intelligent yet useless blueprints.

What the people of Zimbabwe and the world see are folding companies (Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Union says 300 people are losing their jobs every week), broke banks, a collapsing health delivery system, lurking food crisis – a crumbling nation.

All this is happening while the people that are supposed to lead the country are busy fighting for power – power to rule a bankrupt country.

Preaching ZimAsset will not save this country from economic collapse and the people know that. They are sick and tired of theoretical harangue which they can definitely do without.

As it is, the attention of Zimbabweans is diverted from the crucial issues of survival by the fights in Zanu PF where knives are out for President Robert Mugabe’s throne. But whatever outcome of that dirty combat, restless citizens faced with, joblessness and without food.

What is depressing is that it appears our leaders appear to be looking forward to profiting out of the people’s misery – so they do nothing to avert the disaster.

While those that sit in Cabinet are engrossed in the dog-eat-dog power contest, where the President too will understandably be fighting for the preservation of the Gu–shung–ho dynasty,the rest of our national leaders sitting in Parliament spend the taxpayer’s money dabbling in frivolous and mundane issues such as accusing each other of having once-upon-a-time urinated in food plates.

Honestly Zimbabweans, can our country prosper when our Parliament prides itself of having successfully dealt with an issue where hyenas were terrorising villagers in some district because buses in that area plied the route too early or too late?

The mover of that motion, Honourable Joseph Chinotimba, has been lauded as one of the most effective MPs because he got the timetable of buses plying his constituency changed and convinced the Department of Wildlife to descend on the marauding hyenas.

Granted, Chinotimba’s concerns and the action taken is positive – but the question remains: Are these the type of issues that a Parliament whose country is literally on fire should be seized with? Issues to do with bus timetables, urine and village hyenas! What then becomes the job of village committees (vidcos) or rural councils? Where then will we expect national issues like employment, agriculture, service delivery, energy and industry, education, health and the general state of the economy be discussed?

But then again, what would one expect of a country where the law says a Member of Parliament does not requireto have any academic education. Complex national economic problems cannot be easily understood by legislators that, by their own admission, have not gone beyond Grade Two!

Some of the newspaper headlines heralding the coming of trouble include: Economy: We’re in real trouble (Business Herald November 19), 300 workers retrenched each week – ZCTU (NewsDay November 25), Lack of confidence in govt causing economic crisis: Biti (NewsDay November 20), Harare at risk of waterborne diseases (NewsDay November 20), Zanu PF clueless – MDC-T (NewsDay November 4), Zim pensioners face bleak future (NewsDay November 21), Zim economy in renewed tail-spin (Southern Eye November 21) and Liquidity constraints hit OK (Daily News November 21).

All the stories make reference to a debilitating liquidity crunch and an economy heading for a free fall.

What we expect the leaders of this country to do is to show that they are alive to the obtaining national crisis and to exhibit evidence of trying to do something about it – not wasting time and money in useless talk shows.

Our politicians should know that dabbling in semantics for the sake of political posturing is in itself a dead end. They must understand that people want action and results – not all the literary wet noodles that they have been getting.

Instead of worrying about party factional fighting, our politicians had better realise that the real threat to national stability today is hunger, poverty and perceived insensitive arrogance by those who rule. And also that survival instinct has the last word!

tchipangura@newsday.co.zw

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