HomeOpinion & AnalysisColumnistsWhat was not conceived in 2013 can’t be delivered in 2014

What was not conceived in 2013 can’t be delivered in 2014

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Today is the last Monday of 2013, therefore, the last instalment of this column for this year.

DEVELOP ME
with Tapiwa Gomo

We started the year full of hope. It was hope underpinned by assumptions, expectations and speculations.

The year 2013 started when Julian Assange’s WikiLeaks was still making headlines before he was eclipsed by Edward Snowden.

Of course, reports from WikiLeaks spoke more to our context than Snowden for a number of reasons.
For once we knew who was gossiping who with whom within political circles and government, including those incapable of keeping their bosses’ secrets.

In a normal society, these should have passed as mere jokes of adults playing kids’ games.
But for a nation starved of information, change, hope and vision for the future, these became the basis upon which social, economic and political opinions and expectations were formed.

Prophecies too played a part in how we looked forward to the future of 2013.

Remember Emmanuel Makandiwa’s prophecy of gold raining all over the country and more and more people getting richer?

Remember Prophet Uebert Angel’s miracle cash. With these prophecies and miracles, who would have imagined that by end of 2013, Zimbabwe would be facing a debt of $10 billion, with people getting poorer and hungrier?

Finance deputy minister Samuel Undenge recently lamented that “Zimbabwe’s arrears are stifling sustainable economic growth and also limiting the country’s ability to access new financing, which is critical to the achievement of inclusive growth, poverty reduction and job creation”.

If gold had rained and more cash was “miracled” into our accounts and pockets, surely (Finance minister) Comrade Patrick Chinamasa could have orchestrated sweet melodies of honey and milk during the recent budget presentation.

But alas, our dear comrade delivered a pie in the sky. In all fairness, our national problems are not of prophetic making, but who are we to rule out the relevance of divine intervention?

As you read this article, just two days before the New Year, it may be time for retrospective introspection.

To what extent did WikiLeaks help?

WikiLeaks was ineffectual as the Rome of our politics remains intact.

How far did prophecies change lives?

May be they did, it just does not show on our economic dashboard.

Do elections work? Maybe they do, but maybe only for those in power.

Is it necessary to invest in democracy where numbers determine the outcome of elections?

Maybe it is, if political legitimacy is more important than putting food on the table for the millions of our people.

If these had worked, Zimbabwe would have been a different country by the end of 2013. But alas, it was a year of political, economic and religious fudging.

The year 2014 in number shames us in advance. It will be 123 years since our part of Africa was colonised by the British South African Company, 91 years after that company turned into a country called Southern Rhodesia, granted responsible government by Britain, and became a self-governing colony.

Our President turns 90 years and our Zimbabwe also turns 34. I say they shame us because by the 1960s, Southern Rhodesia had become the second strongest economy in Africa and one of the most competitive in the world.

Yes, in 1963 its economy was bigger than that of Korea at the time.

Two years later, Rhodesia faced international isolation until the early 1970s, during which period its economy continued to grow with some of the spillovers enjoyed by the marginalised black communities.

At independence, we inherited a well architectured, resilient and self-sufficient economy in a world that was open to embrace a newly-born country bubbling with both hope and energy.

The hope and energy were gradually drained, as our story post Zimbabwe became characterised by failure and blame; deceit and vanity; hunger and plunder in an arena of plenty potential and brains.

So what awaits Zimbabwe in 2014?

Is it possible to imagine a Zimbabwe without the same characteristics that have destroyed the hopes of our country?

Can our people pin their hopes on the change of dates without changing policies and attitudes?

Certainly 2014 cannot deliver what was not conceived in 2013.

The 2013 elections gave us a Zanu PF government, largely the same government since independence.

It gave us Chinamasa as the Minister of Finance and a $4,4 billion empty budget, upon which a 6,4% economic growth was projected.

Nothing seems clear so far and the country seems on a cruise mode.

Even our flamboyant prophets are yet to say words of hope.

Goodbye 2013 as we step into what seems to be a desolate 2014.

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