THE latest round of sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe’s ruling elite by the British government over unresolved 2018 and 2019 extra-judicial killing of civilians by security forces ought to be viewed as a reminder to the regime to implement overdue reforms and respect human rights.
The innocent souls, whose lives were prematurely ended during that dark era of the new dispensation’s formative years, are still longing for a day their killers face justice. As the old adage goes: justice delayed is justice denied.
The fact that it has taken President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s regime this long to bring perpetrators of the needless killings to book is an indictment to his reformist stance.
We believe the onus is on him to spearhead the required reforms to shame his detractors and make the country a destination of choice for international investors once again.
It’s undeniable that Zimbabwe, for over two decades, has been yearning for urgent reforms to transform its economy and attract international investment.
The Zanu PF regime should, therefore, not view the sanctions as a political slap by its former colonial master, but see the measures as a gentle reminder to reform.
The government and its acolytes have for far too long used economic sanctions as a convenient excuse to evade responsibility for economic and social crises, but that argument cannot hold anymore as the regime has to look itself in the mirror and do the right things.
It won’t serve any purpose to hire international public relations firms to do the bidding for us, roll out well-polished economic blueprints or embark on re-engagement trips without confronting the elephant in the room — the crisis of governance and financial stewardship.
Our leaders should hang their heads in shame that Zimbabwe, once a model of economic success and democracy in Africa, has become the laughing stock of all because we have a leadership that is not amenable to reforms.
Life has become difficult for ordinary citizens who have to battle with the high cost of living and many things in short supply — from water to electricity, cash, jobs and food because of bad governance.
We believe the country can easily extricate itself from these challenges by simply adopting a reform culture.
Given the Zanu PF/State conflation, this will obviously not come easily as the majority of political and economic reforms that civilians want will undermine the interests of the military elements in the State and the security sector.
But a responsible leadership will let go some of its luxuries for the benefit of the majority.