Source: Zim @37: Independence deferred – NewsDay Zimbabwe April 18, 2017
ZIMBABWEANS today gather at different venues to commemorate the country’s 37th independence anniversary as they reflect on the selfless sacrifices made by a cross section of the country’s citizens to lay down their lives for the country’s freedom.
Comment: NewsDay Editor
But behind all the Zanu PF stage-managed pomp and fanfare lies the harsh reality that the country and its economy have been thrown into a comatose state by the same people leading today’s festivities.
Even the least politically sophisticated person would agree that President Robert Mugabe has grounded the country.
The easiest point of reference is not only lack of a national currency, but the biting liquidity crunch, which has seen banks run out of even bond notes – introduced late last year as a stop-gap measure for the foreign currency shortage.
Many an individual cannot carry out simple day-to-day transactions, even if they have their funds because these are locked up in banks.
Zimbabweans have to go through excruciating processes to access their money.
Lives have been lost and daily social activities disrupted to no end by a government that has a penchant for resuscitating stone-age polices.
The smokeless chimneys in the country’s industrial sectors lay bare the sorry state of our beloved nation.
The state of the industry on the other hand cannot be compared to the bloated size of Mugabe’s successive Cabinet teams since 1980 and his continued globe-trotting that has brought nothing but misery to our country.
As the economy chokes because of corruption, mismanagement, nepotism and cronyism, the government’s wage bill has been ballooning and now claims at least 92 cents for every dollar raised in revenue.
Once the envy of many in the developing world, our health delivery system has collapsed with many of the state-of-the-art hospitals now white elephants with no doctors, nurses and more importantly no medicines in the dispensaries.
The same situation is obtaining in the education system that has now become a conveyor belt of half-baked students, who are of no use to the entrepreneur or industry.
However, this is half the story. Many parents are failing to send their children to schools as the “socialist” Mugabe government has privatised education and taken it out of the reach of its majority poor, and taking with it the dreams of moving out of vicious cycles of poverty since 1890 when the colonialists first arrived.
Instead, Mugabe’s government wants Zimbabweans to pay school fees using cattle and goats!
The road network and communication infrastructure have collapsed.
While the economy continues to deteriorate, Mugabe and his coterie of hangers on, or to use his own language, his cabal of quislings, seem to have reached a dead end, there is no solution in sight.
Would we be wrong to ask whether Mugabe and his government are not square pegs in round holes?
It is our considered view that the biggest question of our time is leadership renewal.
The “we freed you” rhetoric will not sell in the 21st century.
Indeed, no 93-year-old can find solutions to problems of the 21st century.
The same mentality that created problems cannot be expected to find solutions.
Instead of celebrating, Zimbabweans must mourn an independence deferred.