via Zimbabwe, a jewel destroyed – DailyNews Live 13 July 2014
HARARE – At Independence in 1980, the then Tanzanian President, Mwalimu Julius Nyerere advised the new Zanu government that: “You have inherited the jewel of Africa, don’t destroy it.”
Indeed, Zimbabwe was the jewel of Africa but due to years of economic mismanagement and bad policies, our country has been reduced to being a laughing stock of the rest of the world.
All we are left with are policy makers and leaders, who concentrate more on rhetoric and name calling instead of spending their energies on development and improvement of lives for the poor majority.
And predictably, when MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai made the observation that life for blacks in minority-ruled and racist Rhodesia was way better economically than it is now in a free Zimbabwe, he was savaged.
The only reason that Tsvangirai is being savaged this violently by the usual culprits is because his observations cut too close to the truth.
But that does not mean that the racist regime should have stayed. NO. But people wanted an improvement to their well-being after independence.
Indeed, our independence in 1980 was supposed to mark the beginning of happier and more prosperous days in our nation than in Rhodesia where the brutal Smith regime trampled upon black’s rights.
Alas, those aspirations remain but a distant mirage.
And no matter how much this may rankle with our touchy political leaders, the incontrovertible truth is that our “freedom” has lost its meaning completely, which is causing many Zimbabweans to ask what it is, indeed, that those gallant sons and daughters of this proud nation died and sacrificed their lives for, as they battled against white minority rule.
And politicians who have presided over this mess do not care a hoot about the dire state of affairs as their own undeserved, super-luxurious lifestyles are sustained by the misery of the majority.
Just consider the following revealing titbits to get a clearer picture of both the scale of incompetence and the disdain with which our self-serving rulers hold fellow Zimbabweans.
When President Robert Mugabe and Zanu PF assumed power in 1980, Zimbabwe was, staggeringly, ahead of South Africa on most socio-economic indicators, and we had a higher GDP per capita than China!
Not only that, our now buried currency, inherited from sanctions-ravaged Rhodesia — and we mean real, not slap-on-the-wrist targeted sanctions — was worth twice the value of the much vaunted US dollar!
Today, our GDP per capita is one of the lowest in the world, with at least 90 percent of our people unemployed and living in abject poverty.
The Zimbabwe dollar, embarrassingly, is dead.
Surely, meaningful independence must entail the right to vote, act, speak, or think as one wants.
It, crucially, must also include freedom from economic misery and dependency, as is now widespread in a free Zimbabwe, as well as freedom from the insanity of the Gukurahundis and Murambatsvinas of a “free” Zimbabwe!