THE declaration by teachers that they are unable to report for duty for the just started second school term is a tip of a really huge iceberg.
Every worker in both the public and private sectors is grieving over the poor salaries and wages they are taking home.
And Members of Parliament have also joined the chorus, mourning that they were the least paid on the African continent.
All this is a damning indictment on President Emmerson Mnangagwa and his government’s failure to effectively address the country’s simple bread and butter issues.
While teachers and all other workers in general are incapacitated to continue reporting for duty, the lawmakers’ incapacitation has also worrying consequences.
“How does and can the legislators hold to account people whose standards of life are much better and are in a position to corrupt them to be silent on certain issues? The current situation makes the legislators weak and sitting ducks that can be easily bought by criminals,” the Norton MP Temba Mliswa pointed out. Is there any question as to why corruption is now so endemic in our economy?
In the same vein, how are teachers expected to develop a pupil into a good citizen when they cannot afford to send their own children to school? How can industry and commerce shore up the economy when workers are disgruntled? All this is happening simply because of poor policies and a government that pays lip service to critical matters of economy
When teachers decide to bite the bullet despite the suspension of more than 50 000 of their colleagues last term over the same issue of incapacitation, then it is time this government wakes up and smell the coffee.
It is abject misery everywhere as inflation gallops away, and driving prices of basic goods and services. The very unfortunate local currency is caught up in the swirling gust raised by the crazed inflation.
Having been bashed valueless by a 500 billion percent hyperinflation in 2008 and taken to the morgue in February 2009, the Zimbabwe dollar was resuscitated in 2018, but like a cursed thing, it has never had a real life of its own. Now its health is surely pointing it straight to the intensive care as its value deteriorates rapidly on the parallel market. Currently the Zimdollar is trading at US$1:$400.
Obviously unschooled by those around him, Mnangagwa has not been able to see the real fundamentals surrounding our economic crisis. He has instead decided to apportion the blame on the business community, accusing them of profiteering.
The President has promised to introduce measures to protect the Zimdollar. What measures, many ask, when everything that is wrong with our economy is sticking out like a sore thumb?
The country has not produced enough to export and build robust foreign currency reserves that can strengthen the local unit, period. And if we have actually produced enough to shore up the economy and the local unit then obviously our economic purse is leaking big time.
No wonder even Mnangagwa’s own people are wondering what exactly is happening.
“We’ve doubled our export earnings in US dollars, yet our currency is weak, where has that ever happened? To fill up a house with kids, but you can’t account for any of them. It’s a financial and economic anomaly that we are earning US dollars, yet we can’t find them in our purse. The more you put money in your purse, the more your purse gets empty of US dollars, something is wrong!” Zanu PF spokesperson Chris Mutsvangwa fumed this week at a Press conference in the capital.
The only sensible option left for Mnangagwa and his government is to eat humble pie and accept the reality by redollarising the economy, while letting economic fundamentals dictate the natural course of things.
The country will not survive on empty promises.