|LETTERS/OPINIONS||Friday 4 , August|
|Invasions will destroy our agriculture-based economy|
8/4/00 11:44:37 AM (GMT +2)
Learnmore Ndlovu, Vainona - Harare
IF ANYBODY ever needed a
reminder of the adverse effects the nation will suffer as a result of the farm
invasions, think about this simple example which affects a large portion of the
In January 1999 paraffin
cost $1,70 a litre. By June 2000 paraffin had risen in price to $6,58 and only
last month paraffin jumped in price to $15,01 more than doubling the price.
What was the cause or justification for the latest increase in the price of paraffin?
The answer is very simple. The shortage of foreign currency, caused primarily by the invasion of farms as these resulted in the loss of exports from the agricultural sector.
The loss of tourism and other foreign currency-earning activities has not helped the situation either.
The cost of financing the war in the Democratic Republic of Congo has only helped to worsen the situation.
One would expect the needs of the majority of the population to be of greater importance than the needs of the minority, namely a small select group of political leaders.
The rest of the population has to queue to buy inadequate supplies of paraffin because of the shortage of foreign currency.
One would, therefore, not expect to be told that the President is happy to spend $140 million on new cars that are not essential.
He should instead import enough paraffin to meet the requirements of the population.
There is a crying need to get the countryâ€™s priorities in the right order.
Hopefully, the new Cabinet and Parliament will reject the idea of buying new cars under our present economic conditions.
One would also not expect to be told that the outgoing incompetent ministers that have helped create the present economic hardships are to be allowed to buy their ministerial cars for 10 percent of their market value.
Anyone who thinks that the land invasions are justified and will solve their economic problems should think again.
If you are unhappy about the price of $15,01 a litre of paraffin now, and you continue to support the disruption of farming, you should not complain when paraffin costs you $30 in the very near future, assuming you are lucky enough to be able to find any in the first place.
Like it or not, the economy is dependent on agriculture.
Even the rural, sorry ruling, party Zanu PF acknowledges that. Without a healthy commercial farming sector, there will be no economy.
The Presidentâ€™s new cars will stand idle for lack of fuel, while we experience a level of poverty never before seen in Zimbabwe. Ask Zambia, Tanzania and Mozambique, they have been there before us.
Sadly, history shows that we do not learn from the past mistakes.