guest column Thabani Mnyama
Reflections on past actions and how they resulted in our current predicament are always necessary, as this helps us plan better for our future. Zimbabwe has gone through so much over the past decades; political blunders have been made, which have affected almost every space.
Economically mind-boggling decisions have been made, which resulted in the value of our currency plummeting resulting in us ending up with no actual currency of our own.
Nomatter what line of work you may be in, the political and economic decisions made affect us all. In this piece, I will touch on a few aspects pertaining to the current situation our nation is in, to see what lessons we can learn from past decisions.
The success of any nation is heavily dependent on the unity of the populace. This unity is the type which transcends political, racial, tribal and gender barriers. Zimbabweans have shown that as much as they call for change, they may not be ready for the change they talk about. We have a binary approach in how we deal with our political decisions and this is evident in how most citizens say you must be either pro-Zanu PF or pro-MDC-Alliance, anything that’s not either of the two is usually shunned and looked down upon.
Our voting errors
The nation has been destroyed because of rampant corruption, nepotism and incompetence among the people entrusted to lead the nation. Partisan politics has resulted in us voting for parties and personalities, as opposed to voting for merit, which at this point is fundamental in our leadership if we are to get out of the mess we are in.
Independent candidates were disqualified by the people because they did not belong to any party, the result of this was that we voted for party symbols, and now most of us are in regret as we have not heard from the Member of Parliament we elected, whether Zanu PF or MDC-Alliance. Not much has been done to benefit the people at large. We have been subjected to promises which are being broken; those being lived up to are hardly implemented properly.
The result is that we are in a worse spot than we were before, and we have no one to blame, but ourselves. Voting is investing into the future. We should entrust those qualified to get us there regardless of what party they belong to. A diverse government would also benefit us more than a one-party State.
The curse of opposition parties
Every other year after the general elections, opposition parties in Zimbabwe usually sink back into oblivion only to erupt just right before elections to campaign again. This cycle has been repetitive so much such that we as the people do not bother about it.
There is a saying: “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” Unless our opposition parties (collectively) re-strategise in how they handle post-election defeat or rigging, they will remain opposition parties for a long period.
Overlooking the issues that have been troubling the MDC-Alliance after the election results were announced, the court battles with Thokozani Khupe and other issues, the Nelson Chamisa-led party has done well in dismissing doubts as to its organization by successfully hosting its congress in an effort to rebuild party structures and possibly begin the process of preparing for the next elections in 2023.
The move to also be inclusive within the MDC-Alliance leadership by including a more gender and tribal-balanced team is progressive, especially given how our politics tends to marginalise certain groups in Zimbabwe.
Other political parties have been participating in the Political Actors Dialogue, which has almost rendered them more useless than they were before as this good initiative has only resulted in nothing, but a photo-ops where nothing productive for the nation has been achieved.
Of the parties which are not in the dialogue, many are quiet, their structures almost non-existent. This begs the question: How many of the opposition parties we have are serious about contesting and winning elections? Is it not better to start building political structures than to try to beat the Zanu PF well-oiled machinery within a few months before voting?
It is almost hilarious when one looks at the newly-formed political party (LEAD) by Linda Masarira because it already has structures and documents pertaining to the information of the members leading the party, while some which were formed before hers have nothing to show for their time in politics.
The decisions relating to our economy by our leaders have been defying most known economic principles, and we have been finding ourselves suffering more and more, with the Real Time Gross Settlement (RTGS) dollar losing value on almost a daily basis.
This has resulted in prices of almost everything going up, forcing businesses to price their products in United States dollars. The downside to this is that the majority are not earning their salaries in United States dollars, but in the now useless RTGS dollar. This, as some experts have concluded, is an inevitable result of the United States dollars and bond note pegging of 1:1 being removed.
Finance minister Mthuli Ncube likened the economy to a boiling pot with its lid off. Initially, he led us to believe that the situation in Zimbabwe could be fixed quickly. Now, however now he has been agreeing with the notion by the ruling party that it will take time and lots of work.
Government is poor when it comes to effective communication with the people and updating them as things happen so that they prepare adequately. It doesn’t get any better when the media sector, meant to deliver unbiased information, then churns out misleading information falsifying the actual state of the nation.
There’s hardly a day that goes by without us being told about one mega deal or the other made by the President and how it’s going to create jobs and develop the nation. He has also been on record boasting about how he has been creating jobs. The reality, however, does not agree with this, as we notice that unemployment is still high, development is stagnant, and we have not actually felt the benefits of most of the mega deals we hear and read about.
Our state of the nation is not positive; it is disheartening and only a few are still benefiting while the masses suffer.
The rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer. Until the leadership we have becomes decisive in sorting out the mess we have and not paying lip service to the situation, we might get to 2023 without much having changed. Zimbabwe requires all hands-on deck and honest men and women leading from the front. Until then, we remain in this dark hole.