Only time will tell

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Zimbabwe is no doubt a very beautiful country endowed with a wide variety of natural resources that can better the lives of its people.

Saturday Dialogue with Ropafadzo Mapimhidze

It is a country that boasts of fertile soils that once grew adequate food for both local consumption and export market.

Zimbabwe is also a country where foreigners on diplomatic mission wish to retire and stay because it is fairly peaceful and also has beautiful weather throughout the year.

The natural resources and tourism alone are a major attraction that can draw millions of visitors each year to the various game parks and other tourist resorts.

But it is the rampant corruption that has marred development of this nation whose economy is grinding to a halt.

Because Zimbabwe has never really dealt with corruption head-on, it is the reason why this country is on a fast economic meltdown.

Culprits remain scot-free and they boast no one can touch them.

Zimbabwe has failed its future generation that is presently either out of school or is constantly absent because of lack of school fees.

University graduates roam the streets doing nothing because the industrial base has literally been driven to a halt closing job opportunities.

I remember Harare’s industrial areas driving this economy 24 hours a day. Today, these sites are deserted and it’s so scary to venture into these areas during day time.

The engines that drove this economy ceased to function many years ago and the long queues of people that meandered from the gates looking for jobs disappeared.

The industrial sites employed millions of people from the many high density areas in Harare and any youth leaving high school had a chance to find work and eke a living.

Today, children who have long past legal age of majority are still living with their parents because they are no jobs available for them.

Some of these parents have also lost their jobs due to the harsh economic climate that has pushed them into destitution.

Politicians have been preaching about economic blueprints that may save the economy from collapse. But show us just one that has been successful.

These politicians also talk about land resettlement of its people but how can they realize meaningful yield with no capital injection from banks or other monetary institutions. And just how many ordinary people benefitted from this programme.

The once green and beautiful crops that covered the landscape along Mazowe Road, Harare Bulawayo Highway, Masvingo-Beitridge Highway and Mutare Highway are a thing of the past.

These landscapes have been replaced by long grass where once upon a time, crops ranging from potatoes, cabbages and fruits like oranges, apples, and many others adorned the roadsides.

I used to enjoy just driving down the Mazoe-Bindura Highway to just see the dam and the vast orange fields. It was such a spectacle . . . where have the oranges gone to?

And what happened to the beautiful Kintyre Estates along the Harare Bulawayo Road? Don’t you miss the green and beautiful landscape that gave us a sense of pride?

All these have been destroyed leaving thousands if not millions of workers with no source of income.

These breadwinners are helplessly watching their children, who should be in some form of employment, resort to uncouth strategies to survive. Agriculture is the backbone of this nation, a former breadbasket of Africa, but it has been reduced to a beggar.

Our educated people are now bettering economies of other countries as Zimbabwe struggles to get back on its feet once again,
Look at what has happened to Zvishavane a once vibrant mining town . . . This has since become the hub for prostitution as mothers fail to cope with needs for their families.

Waking up every morning is an arduous task as we find no water and power in our homes…

And yet we are forced to pay city authorities for a service that is so erratic and in some instances nonexistent through estimated bills.

This week on Thursday, I woke up to no power after having gone to bed the previous night after taking a cool drink and a bun.

When I got to work the following day, I was so hungry because I still had no power at home to enable me cook breakfast.

As you walk or drive the streets of Harare, you will find absent-minded people who are sometimes talking to themselves. The roads have become a danger zone as kombis reign supreme disregarding all traffic rules…Some pedestrians are hit by fast moving cars because they are in constant deep thoughts.

Their faces tell a story of a troubled people, desperately looking for a solution to their economic problems.

Stress is afflicting many people and some psychologists have said that Zimbabwe has an alarming number of depressed people.

But the sad reality is that some people-the fat cats-are getting richer and richer . . . as evidenced by what allegedly happened at Chingwizi Camp in Masvingo, where food for the destitute was allegedly pilfered by some big fat cats.

It is survival of the fittest where those in power flex their muscles to outdo the weak majority.

It is so annoying to hear these fat cats blaming sanctions for this demise and yet corruption is facing directly into their faces.

Shifting blame onto other people is an old song. These fat cats have to pen new melodies with a different sound for us to sing along in one accord.

This business of labelling dissenting voices as unpatriotic is not fair because we can all see how the country has been run down and it does not require a rocket scientist to prove that.

Meanwhile, we all remain optimistic, hoping against hope while the fat cats get fatter and fatter.

Only time will tell.