Where did we go wrong?

Military displays at the Babourfields Stadium in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe @42 independence celebrations.

APRIL 18 is Zimbabwe’s biggest day. So big that every joule must be spared and directed to this day because it is a great day for nation Zimbabwe since this was the day the country gained independence after more than 100 years of subjugation.

A century of oppression under the yoke of colonialism when indigenous black people were inhumanly treated is not a joke. Therefore, the people of Zimbabwe should have every reason and desire to look forward to this day.

But alas, Independence Day came and passed yesterday just like any other day with many if not the majority of Zimbabweans going about their usual business. Given the significance of this day, it is strangely odd and a cause for concern to find almost the entire nation so disinterested in celebrating the day of their emancipation.

Many said things were so tough in the country that one could not afford to be seated at home. They would rather be out and about trying to make ends meet.

If events of this year’s Independence Day were not an enough wake-up call for the country’s leaders then we might never see light at the end of the dark economic tunnel. That things are now so economically tough that people can no longer afford to celebrate their freedom should give our leaders sleepless nights. This is an indictment of how those holding the reins of our economy have fared so far.

But where did we go wrong as a nation? Where and how did the wheels of the once very promising and prosperous nation called Zimbabwe fall off?

But move on we must. How, is the question.

It is obvious, however, that the present leadership should change the way it has been doing business. There is absolutely everything wrong when almost the entire nation no longer sees any value in remembering the day this country was born.

The birth of this country did not come easy. Thousands of lives were lost during a protracted war of liberation. And that alone is good enough reason for everyone to take a day off and remember.

But as things stand, even many who survived fighting the guerilla war to liberate this country are now wondering why they even bothered to sacrifice.

Something is definitely not right.

Every year for the past 42 years billions worth of our minerals that include gold, diamonds, platinum and chrome have been dug up and sold abroad. What has been happening to the monies raised? Were all those minerals not worth anything? Why are the majority of Zimbabweans wallowing in abject poverty, yet billions worth of minerals are still being mined and exported to this very day?

These are just a few, among many, sobering questions being posed to our leaders by millions of people out there.

And why is it taking forever to put back on track one of the country’s mainstay, agriculture? The land is there and the manpower is there. Is this sector a priority at all, we wonder because government efforts so far to resuscitate agriculture have been nothing but piecemeal?

And each time government gets serious it curiously allows all the funding, inputs and machinery earmarked to revamp the sector to be highjacked and squandered by the elite few.

It is about time our leadership went back to the drawing board and pressed the reset button. Our country and economy need refreshing.