HARARE – The desperate situation Zimbabwe finds itself in today is not new. Zimbabweans are all-too familiar with shortages and sky-rocketing basic commodity prices.
The issue is perhaps why people have allowed this curse to continue befalling them. Besides, things did not suddenly get bad overnight. It took years to reach current levels.
What is startling is what the leadership has been doing while things were deteriorating. All along, they have conveniently used sanctions to explain away almost anything over the years from former president Robert Mugabe’s reign to this day.
President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s henchmen have continued to tell the world about sanctions as the major cause of the country’s problems. Mugabeism has become endemic in the present administration in terms of both style and tact.
Zanu PF has always been economic with the truth and lies have been a part of the party’s modus operandi.
But today, nothing can be hidden any more, the crises are there for all to see and what people need are solutions and not promises of solutions. What is particularly hurting is the realisation that we are walking down that road again. There is nothing unusual because Zimbabweans have walked this bumpy road before and they know it leads nowhere.
Pretending things are well when in fact they are getting worse with each passing day will not work.
The genesis of the worsening of the situation is in government’s pretension that the exchange rate between the bond note and the US dollar was 1:1.
Some of the supporters of the same surrogate currency when it was introduced are still within the system today but now seem to suggest they have now realised the two cannot trade at par. Really!
Demonstrations were staged by the opposition and civil society against the bond note but no one listened.
It appears as long as ideas are coming from the opposition, no matter how brilliant, they must be condemned. A lot was written then on the bond note and again no one bothered to listen.
The biggest handicap of the politics of patronage is that you tend to support anything no matter how weird and unreasonable simply because the leader — in this case Mugabe — said it was working. Mnangagwa went on to propagate the same narrative.
Sadly, it is Zimbabweans who will suffer the most. For that reason, corrective action has to be taken, and urgently too.