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It is sad that the relevance of Heroes’ Day has been obliterated by the new levels of suffering going on in Zimbabwe.
It seems incomprehensible that any other matter can overshadow the levels of suffering currently being experienced by the masses.
Zimbabwean problems represent some kind of abyss; there is simply no limit to the anguish.
Everyday has its own unprecedented levels of toil.
Zimbabwe, as a country, continues to hit new lows; lows that would have been unimaginable even in the wildest of waves of economic crises experienced since independence.
Former President Robert Mugabe, who will go down in history as the man who presided over the collapse of a once-vibrant nation and had to be embarrassingly toppled from power in November 2017, had his own chronicles of failure, but today Zimbabwe finds herself in the jaws of a new kind of economic logjam.
The bulk of Zimbabweans had grown weary of Mugabe’s rule characterised by his increasing show of incapacity and economic stagnation. Zimbabweans hoped and prayed for a new day.
On his part, Mugabe had clearly abdicated his mandate as he let his non-appointed wife to interfere with official State business, leading to economic haemorrhaging that made it critically urgent for something to give.
Ultimately, the army had to move in and depose the unsuspecting Mugabe, who has remained bitter even in his sickness to date. Zimbabweans today find themselves in an incredulous situation; they had not envisaged anything being worse than the unparalleled level of suffering and suppression that characterised Mugabe’s rule, but the sobering truth is that Zimbabwe continues to hit new lows.
Firstly, even during Mugabe’s much-loathed era, it was something of an anathema to have the country running out of motor vehicle registration plates.
Imagine a country that fails in its mandate to provide car purchasers with something as basic as a car number plate.
That the Central Vehicle Registry (CVR) has dismally failed to give the yellow plates is merely a symptom of a massive disease engulfing the nation.
Mugabe’s administration must be having a field day watching today’s fiasco from the terraces. As is commonly said, poor governance naturally foments vice.
The government, were it for a functional economy, could easily be sued and held accomplice to putting the lives of its citizens at risk.
The surge in the number of unmarked cars on Zimbabwean roads is a security risk factor for citizens.
Robbery orgies have quite become common and even anyone willing to commit crime can simply hide behind the pretext of the unavailability of number plates.
Secondly, it is unfathomable to someone hearing things happening in Zimbabwe that a country can somehow operate on diesel-powered generators owing to the absence of electricity.
It is rhetoric yet worth asking: Can a country run on generators? This is Zimbabwe’s sad truth.
The load-shedding of electricity in this country is unbelievable. Businesses have had to rely on generators.
Something that is supposed to be revered as the central business district of a capital city now reverberates with the dreary sound of generators.
How much is that for destroying the confidence of potential investors?
Who in their right frame of mind would risk their capital in such a State? Electricity is basic; in fact, it is a basic of basics for a properly functioning country. The impact, on production, resulting from the long hours in darkness for businesses, is unquantifiable.
Thirdly, Zimbabwe officially has failed to provide water for the citizenry. Zimbabwe’s failure as a State casts a dark shadow on the health of its citizens. The Constitution reckons that health is a basic right for citizens for which the State is supposed to provide within the resources available to it.
Today, the country, on the progression index has clearly regressed to archaic systems.
A well is hardly a source of water for urban populations. There is no basis for the existence of a well on 200-square metre houses that make the bulk of houses in towns.
Nonetheless, it has become the norm; the State can’t provide water and men, women and children have to go rural by digging wells synonymous with folklore right in the heart of the city. Natural logic would deny the safety of urban underground water given the levels of industrialisation in cities.
Again, it is the health of citizens on the line. Moreover, sensitive institutions such as hospitals now officially operate the bucket system.
Hospitals are working with no running water. Such a state of affairs would naturally have called for the shutting down of an institution, but here the absurd has become the normal. Even worse, is the question of the suitability of the water for human consumption?
Truly, Zimbabwe’s current state of affairs is the greatest betrayal on the ideals of those who lost their lives for the liberation of this country.
Surely, it would have been meaningless to take up arms against a wicked regime such as that of Ian Smith only to bring down a country to its knees as we see today. Surely, something must give; the deaths of our war heroes cannot be in vain.