via Economic collapse looms | The Zimbabwean by Vince Musewe 02.10.13
A nation with reducing disposable incomes is only headed for one thing; economic collapse.
If Zimbabwe continues on its current political and economic track, it will not develop into a modern economy in our lifetime. That is the sad reality. The question is; what can we do about that?
Ours is the only country that I know of that continues to rely on the same political leadership since independence – despite having a highly talented and educated middle class. This has resulted in our country being retarded in all senses of the word.
As I write, 2, 2 million people must be fed through food hand-outs imported from Zambia, a country that we used to feed in the early 1980’s.
The rate of regression of our economy is actually increasing while the rest of Africa works hard to attract investment and develop its infrastructure. Critical economic sectors such as mining, energy and information technology are progressing rapidly all around us – but all we seem to do is shout at the British and their allies.
As this happens, we remain “victims” who continue to blame the British and Americans for our problems. This narrative is a 33-year-old story that is now tired has actually becoming boring.
There is nothing much happening here. Cash is tight as usual and ordinary citizens are surviving from day to day, hoping for the best. I have never seen a people so despondent but prepared to do nothing about it except complain. Everyone wants to go to heaven but nobody wants to die.
Our economy will continue to be constrained simply because we do not have the caliber of politicians with a grand vision for the country. We do not have leadership to take us out of this rut, created by years of negative conditioning of the masses by Zanu (PF)’s defeatist propaganda.
I was shocked recently, to hear some new minister of Harare provincial affairs saying that all MDC councilors must implement the Zanu (PF) economic programmes. What a cheek! I guess she has to be seen to say something to earn her new salary. If that is the type of talent we are relying to take us into the next century, we are indeed doomed.
I always say that Zanu (PF)’s brand of liberation politics will not deliver our economic emancipation. Zimbabwe can only change and put itself on a new growth path if we change political leadership. It appears that Zanu (PF) is continuing to entrench itself in power and yet they have failed to deliver.
Zimbabwe will only change when those in the Diaspora, in partnerships with local progressive forces, begin to actively participate in programmes of change at home. Facebook and twitter will not help us at all. We need a new brand of politics that is based on community awareness of responsibility to develop our homeland and not wait for the politicians. We need NGO’s to become more active to fund communities directly so that they can liberate themselves from being dependent on politicians – who do not deliver anyway.
We do not need more political parties – this platform continues to fail as a change agent. Elections are not useful to us at all – especially when the ruling party continues to bully its way into power while using national resources to maintain its advantage. Even worse is that the rest of Africa accepts this as fair.
If we continue to sit by the sideline and express our frustrations through social media but do nothing on the ground, we might as well accept that Zimbabwe will never be a developed state.
You are all aware out there of the economic challenges we face. Most people are unable to be productive simply because of lack of capital. The political arrogance we are seeing is more a defense mechanism against the reality that any country whose fundamental principles and values are based on lies will never prevail.
I am therefore encouraging those in the Diaspora who really care about their country to get together and establish a platform for a socio-economic revolution for the people by the people, that is the only way out.
If we do not do that now mark my words, the Chinese will own Zimbabwe as they continue to pour in their technology and people at the expense of local development and incomes. The sad reality is that our politicians are urging them on.
Any expectations of a modern Zimbabwe you and me imagined at Independence 34 years ago can never be met without risk. Let us now begin to create “our Zimbabwe” and not “their Zimbabwe”. This is because “their Zimbabwe” excludes the majority and creates poverty; none of us want that..
Vince Musewe is an economist based in Harare. You may contact him on firstname.lastname@example.org