PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa’s New Year’s eve speech where he spelt out government’s agenda for 2020 did not inspire confidence in the population as it contained nothing new or indications on how his government plans to tackle the problems bedevilling the country.
What was perhaps most depressing about it all is that he simply rehashed the very same things he has been saying since coming to power, which also have not been fully implemented to be impactful.
Productivity in the country remains very low, economic growth has contracted and there are virtually no jobs to talk about, with the majority of graduates being forced to resort to vending.
Ordinary people’s livelihoods are probably now worse off compared to the time Mnangagwa came to power. Back then, at least people could afford to buy basic necessities while services like public transport were very affordable. Now it’s a totally different story.
It is quite strange that despite the market instability created by the bond note, Mnangagwa continues to insist on a mono-currency that is now virtually not worth the paper that it is printed on.
His insistence that he would continue with the policies to protect vulnerable groups in both rural and urban areas with focus on the provision of affordable transport, maize meal and other basic commodities as well as healthcare is nothing short of a hair-brained hope.
It is quite clear that while the re-introduction of the cheaper Zupco buses has come as a relief to many, the fact that people have to start queueing for the buses at around 4am, and perhaps queue again until 10pm for the return trip demonstrates that this approach is not as efficient as the government would have us believe. A 10kg maize meal pack is still in the region of $100 despite an earlier government order for millers to slash its price.
The President continues to lose the respect of the public, with many people now regretting ever taking part in the march that eventually saw the late former President Robert Mugabe succumb to pressure and vacate office in November 2017. In fact, his leadership thus far has been so disastrous that some are even missing the Mugabe era, tough as it was.
Mnangagwa has a tall order if he is ever to regain the confidence of Zimbabweans, who have increasingly been disillusioned by what they feel is his inept leadership.