The country is sinking into an economic abssy because of unsettled political differences.
Since President Emmerson Mnangagwa was voted into power in August 2018, the Nelson Chamisa-led MDC-Alliance has refused to recognise his win because of alleged irregularities in the conduct of the election.
It may have a point but this power struggle has had a negative effect on the economy which has plummeted to a new low.
The state of the economy, which is on a freefall, has begun to hurt and will inevitably impose a disproportionate burden on the poor.
Prices of basic commodities continue to rise beyond the reach of many while wages are being eroded by inflation.
Life is now difficult for the majority of people who struggle to fend for their families. The COVID-19 pandemic has not helped the situation. The country has been on lockdown since the beginning of the year and those that survive from hand-to-mouth have been hard hit.
A political solution is needed for economic stability to return.
Zanu PF, a major player in this matrix, appears to be in denial mode. Finance minister Mthuli Ncube is on record saying the economy is not yet in a recession when evidence on the ground shows otherwise. There is a sharp slowdown across all economic sectors. The financial sector is a mess such that investor sentiment and business confidence have sunk to an all-time low.
Those in Zanu PF and some in government, whose bootlicking has reached an alarming level, do not have the audacity to speak the truth to those in power that the country is now in a mess and people are feeling the pinch. Perhaps, this is the result of the “salted sjambok” that Mnangagwa promised some years ago. People have felt its pinch as the economy is in shambles and needs urgent attention before citizens wallow in abject poverty.
It so surprising for a whole government spokesperson Ndavaningi Mangwana to never tire of stating that the fundamentals of the economy are strong and a revival in growth is around the corner. This government looks clueless and has no plan to remove the country from this economic quagmire.
People want genuine dialogue that can bring hope just like during the government of national unity (GNU) from 2009 to 2013.
People had the same hopes when the late former President Robert Mugabe was hounded from office in a military coup on November 17 2017. The coup was supported by the masses with high hopes that it would bring stability to the economy. Many thought Mugabe was the reason behind the tumbling of the economy and the fall of the country from a breadbasket of Africa to a basket case.
Thus, Mnangagwa’s rise was supported, even by those in the opposition rank and file. Everyone wanted Mugabe to go, assuming that Mnangagwa was going to be our proverbial Joshua, who would take us to the Promised Land. Little did people know that, it was only a change of the driver but the route was the same?
Mnangagwa has failed to turnaround the fortunes of the country.
Everyone is convinced that if the two political protagonists agree to pull in the same direction, the economy will be back on the rails. So, genuine talks involving Zanu PF and the MDC Alliance are now long overdue.
It is sad that some within the political parties are dithering to come to the table because of ego and perhaps, greed.
Zanu PF has been accused of shutting the door on the MDC Alliance, which through its vice-president Tendai Biti recently said it was willing to engage the ruling party for talks. On several occasions we have heard people like Patrick Chinamasa and Victor Matemadanda saying Zanu PF will not bow down to the MDC Alliance’s demand for talks outside Polad called for by a neutral convener. This big brother attitude should stop. It’s high time Zanu PF swallowed its pride and engage the MDC Alliance for the sake of progress.