Building Zimbabwe brick by brick

Source: Building Zimbabwe brick by brick | Sunday Mail (Opinion)

Victoria Ruzvidzo

Nyika inovakwa nevene vayo.’’

Translated loosely this means a country is built by its citizenry. This is the message that President Mnangagwa has been emphasising as a key strategy that could transform Zimbabwe in its endeavour to achieve an upper middle income economy by 2030.

Indeed the plight of the country is in our hands. None but ourselves will alter our destiny and the earlier we realise that the better.

Zimbabweans need to take a keen interest in our country’s development and do all we can in our sphere to ensure that we take it forward. We will enjoy the fruits of our hard work.

Do we need a better operating environment, do we need a seven-course meal every day, and is it about getting a better health system or must we revamp our education system?

Is it about us having better roads, more foreign currency, and an overall better quality life? God has surely blessed us as Zimbabweans with the resources we need to make all this happen. But we cannot sit and wait for the Government or donors to do it all for us. We must instead, join in and do our bit.

No stranger will come from Mars to do it for us. The onus is on us to create the Zimbabwe we want.

True, re-engagement is a noble thrust, particularly in a world that is increasingly becoming a global village. But we cannot be entirely dependent on foreign elements, some of whom come with stringent conditions.

It is in this vain that the clarion call by the President encouraging all Zimbos to work for their country is not only laudable but strategic.

And our work is cut out in our various spheres.

All hands need to be on deck.

Leadership sets the tempo and defines strategic direction. This is what the President is doing. We must, therefore complement his efforts by doing what we must to make a difference.

The fate of any economy is not defined by mere isolated individuals but by the various constituent elements of its population. None but ourselves. Institutions such as the central bank, treasury and other economic enablers are there to put systems in place so that countrymen can work effectively.

The President has been at pains emphasising a transcendent work ethic, coupled with integrity to derive maximum benefits. This is quite logical and not so difficult to understand.

But we find some sections of the populace engaging in ill-thought, unethical and unsustainable short-termism. The reasons are obvious. Not only is easy-come-easy go, but often times such practices are in blatant violation of the law, which should not be promoted.

While a number of hustles and “kiya-kiya” projects have sustained families and the economy at large through challenging phases, some have worked in reverse, bringing short-lived aggrandisement and more harm than good to our country.

For instance, making millions of dollars from selling crystal meth or other illegal drugs is a harmful enterprise that is affecting youths today and compromising their future. The dangers of depriving the country of tomorrow’s leaders, academics, entrepreneurs and much more are real as a result.

Furthermore, smuggling goods into the country, evading taxes and breaking the law in the process, deprives Government of revenue required to develop this very country in terms of infrastructure and other critical requirements.

Diverting foreign currency acquired from the foreign currency auction market destroys a country.

It fuels the street market, causes unjustified price increases, and deprives genuine cases needing foreign currency for productive purposes.

In other instances, oiling of hands to secure a tender in private business or in Government prejudices beneficiaries. A project becomes more expensive if poorly done. It may have to be redone and this comes at a high cost.

Failure to adhere to proper operational systems in terms of budgets and performance management as highlighted yearly by the auditor-general, negatively impacts Government programmes, hence compromising service delivery.

This country is replete of examples of shady deals that compromise progress hence the country ends up yave kudyiwa nevene vayo (being destroyed by its own) instead of kuvakwa nevene vayo.

This is what the President hopes will change.

Zimbabweans are generally known to be hard workers, with the wherewithal to achieve whatever they set their minds to.

There is so much that we can do to turn our aspirations and desires into reality.

Entrepreneurs must put on their innovative hats and come up with new products and services which address our present realities.

Farmers must continue the upward trajectory and adopt more value addition mechanisms and interventions. The success of the Pfumvudza concept is a classic example of the results of a determined people.

A significant chunk of the 2,7 million tonnes of maize achieved this year came from Pfumvudza. All stakeholders were clear on the results they intended to achieve and they put in the hours. Agriculture is expected to grow by 34 percent this year from an initial projection of 11,3 percent.

Gold is also yielding higher production figures that before. The benefits are immense.

As we seek to build this country we must also escalate capacity utilisation in our factories so that we feed the domestic market adequately while growing exports. While noting the considerable progress made in this regard, there is more we can do to achieve better results.

Furthermore, our tertiary institutions must perpetually engage industry so that the education system becomes more responsive to its needs.

Beyond that, universities should be centres of innovation as is becoming the case now under Education 5.0. They have the capacity to find solutions to some of the present day challenges.

A critical aspect in our endeavours as good custodians of this country is the need to ensure our import bill continues on a downward spiral, not because of Covid-19 restrictions but as a deliberate strategic thrust which will reduce pressure on foreign currency.

Youths should lead the efforts to build our country. Many have already demonstrated their ability. The social media is awash with stories of youths that are making it big in agriculture and innovations promoting better efficiency levels.

A few are involved in electric cars manufacturing and also breaking new ground in engineering and others sectors of the economy.

Above all, we can effectively rebuild our country through engaging in a big public relations campaign to ensure we disabuse the world of the lies that have been peddled for decades. Falsified impressions of a Zimbabwe in mayhem should have no place in this country.

The social media is a very progressive if not productive tool but its abuse has detrimental effects. The onus is on us as Zimbabweans to make the most of it by telling the truth and exposing to the world the natural and man-made endowments this country boast of.

We should have pride of place.

We should be proud to be called Zimbabweans. This happens only if we all participate it’s its growth and development.

Indeed nyika inovakwa nevene vayo.

In God I Trust!


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