WITH all hope of a genuine economic rebound for Zimbabwe under President Emmerson Mnangagwa having been dashed by contrary developments on the ground, isn’t it indeed time to go back to the drawing board, reflect and do things differently?
With the government insisting that the economic embargo slapped on the country by foreign powers was hindering the economic development necessary to turn around the country’s fortunes, it is important to take heed of the advice from the United Kingdom ambassador to Zimbabwe, Melanie Robinson (pictured), who early this week said the sanctions will remain in place as long as government has not implemented meaningful political and economic reforms.
When the late former President Robert Mugabe was still in power, he refused to cave in to the demands of the European Union and the United States concerning the sanctions and one would have been tempted to believe that Mnangagwa, who insists his government has departed from the past, would act differently and fulfil the demands of the Western powers, which will after all immensely benefit the majority of the population and afford his government a real opportunity to grow the economy. Just doing that will bring to an end Zimbabwe’s darkest economic chapter.
Does it bode well for a leader to insist that they are right, and that things are going in the right direction, when everyone can clearly see that is not the case? There must be a place for humility in politics. Zimbabwe’s current situation just needs our leaders to be “human”. That’s all it will take, because when you are human you feel for the people you lead, and go beyond lip service and token reforms, to ensure that people’s lives are genuinely transformed for the better under your leadership.
Government officials cannot keep crying about sanctions when they are not keen to do the things that will have the sanctions lifted. As long as human rights violations continue, and with perpetrators walking free, then surely one cannot expect a change in policy from the UK or any other country that slapped an embargo on Zimbabwe.
The continuous arrest of human rights activists and anti-government protestors surely will keep Zimbabwe in its current economic logjam.
Quite clearly, we need to end this antagonism that has not helped our efforts at economic reforms and the sooner our leaders admit it and do the right thing, the better for our travailing nation.
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It is no use for leaders to continue attending prayer vigils for the country and leading diplomatic offensives in Africa and beyond and dolling out millions in foreign currency to international public relations and pressure groups without simply doing what they should do and have the key relationships restored fully.