Where Zimbabwe goes from here

via Where Zimbabwe goes from here – Global Public Square – CNN.com Blogs. 10 June 2014  By Morgan Tsvangirai, Special to CNN

Editor’s note: Morgan Tsvangirai is president of the Movement for Democratic Change and former prime minister of the Republic of Zimbabwe. The views expressed are his own.

Zimbabweans were sincere in congratulating Nigeria in becoming Africa’s leading economy earlier this year. We applauded its citizens and its leadership for overseeing the successful restructuring of their economy, and its subsequent ascendance to lead the continent in the global marketplace. But we also looked at Nigeria’s achievements and wondered how we, too, might be able to achieve such heights. After all, we have done it before.

Yet such aspirations also raise serious questions about our ability to meet them, doubts that will only have been stoked by elections last summer. Last July, Zimbabweans calmly lined up for hours at polling booths across the country, united in embracing their democratic right and duty to vote for their country’s future. But the official results did not appear to reflect the nation’s collective will, prompting a weary shrug of the shoulders from the international community.

So, would the rest of the world be justified in losing hope in Zimbabwe’s ability to change after another far from perfect election? The answer can be found in the progress that the country has made, progress that might surprise the casual observer.

Between 2008, which saw the establishment of the historic coalition government that I joined with President Mugabe’s ruling Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front, and last July’s election, Zimbabwe made significant progress. Six years ago, hyperinflation and directionless leadership had devastated our way of life. The country’s store shelves were empty, food was scarce, violence was rampant and the continent’s former bread basket was now widely dismissed as a basket case.

But fast forward to 2012, and through the significant efforts of the MDC and even some of our former opponents, and things had started to look up for Zimbabwe. Food security measures were introduced to ensure that Zimbabweans did not go hungry, such as curbing exports of homegrown staples like maize, while hyperinflation was brought in check through a currency devaluation and swift transition to the U.S. dollar. Meanwhile, a focus on a skills-intensive labor market helped quell unrest by making sure families could afford to put food on the table.

Sadly, progress stalled in the wake of the uncertainty that came with last year’s election. But despite such uncertainty, Zimbabweans still understand that the country must assuage international concerns of instability and a lack of government oversight if it is to continue on the path of reform.

Which areas of the economy are ripe for the kind of global partnerships, integration and growth that Zimbabwe’s economy needs? Mineral procurement, agribusiness and telecommunications are, contrary to what many might think, fields in which Zimbabwe has long excelled, and are areas in which Zimbabwe has the potential and capacity to exceed expectations again.

But achieving the kind of accountable and modern corporate governance that the country needs, rather than the forced indigenization and patronage too often practiced, will mean the country’s politicians abandoning the mudslinging and infighting that has blighted politics here.

Meanwhile, the international community has its own role to play – but it must involve more than charitable donations or the stick of sanctions. We would therefore encourage our partners overseas to work with us during this sensitive period of rehabilitation to help promote and ensure the bolstering of human rights, work with us to eradicate the scourge of institutionalized corruption, and support those looking for free, fair and credible elections. Against this backdrop, we also welcome any assistance that governments can provide in helping us reopen our markets for global trade.

But ultimately, if Zimbabwe wants to achieve sustainable development, this country’s politicians will need to look beyond the petty politics that have continued to hinder this country. After taking a step backward with last year’s election, Zimbabweans must now allow themselves to be inspired by Nigeria’s economic achievements, rather than pigeonholed as a hopeless cause.

Zimbabwe has a bright future – if only its leaders will take the steps to get us there.

Post by:
CNN’s Jason Miks





  • comment-avatar
    moyokumusha 8 years ago

    “Zimbabwe has a bright future – if only its leaders will take the steps to get us there”

    This line concludes another lot of rubbished spewed from Tsvangirai’s mouth. He tries to give these high talking speech’s to make himself look important and concerned but the reality is different.

    He should have concluded this speech with another line after

    ” and I have failed to deliver the change, I have not been the leader the people expected and I hereby offer my resignation. It is time to hand the baton over to someone else”

    Then I would have taken notice.

    • comment-avatar
      Operation Vote Well 8 years ago

      While he pushes for change; what have you done?

  • comment-avatar

    So if what this man happens now as he seems to want to happen who takes the credit. Is he working for Zanu pf or with ZANU PF? Either way he makes no sense to me.Something is fundamentally wrong with the way the MDC T thinks

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    Roving Ambassador 8 years ago

    I cannot believe he wrote this ,.It looks like a CIO plant. The MDC is now ZANU.

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    Wilbert Mukori 8 years ago

    “But the official results did not appear to reflect the nation’s collective will, prompting a weary shrug of the shoulders from the international community,” Tsvangirai says.

    To start with it is not a matter of the election results did not “appear” to reflect the democratic will of the nation; they did not! Mugabe rigged the elections. The former USA Ambassador to Zimbabwe, Chris Dell (2004 to 2007) said in a WikiLeak cable to Washington that Tsvangirai was “a flawed and indecisive character”. True to form; even now he still is dithering, undecided, whether the elections were rigged or not.

    Second, the international community shrugged their shoulders because then had warned Tsvangirai not to go ahead with the elections without implementing the reforms first but he paid no heed! The penny has yet to drop that he was to blame for the rigged elections but it is really doubtful if it will ever drop!

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    ttaps3 8 years ago

    If perchance Tsvangirai wrote and posted this article then the MDC-T should fire his spokesman and the Party’s spokesman. This was an empty article empty in that it offers no policy direction, ingenious in that it looks for external solutions and glorifies a failed resurgence of the economy. The economy was so down that there was no way to go but up. As it went up the coalition failed to control high prices of goods and services, they failed to control corruption, the failed to control the inflated civil service base. To blame any one party is just to shift blame. In all fairness Tsvangirai should come out and accept some of the responsibility. There is plausible thought out there that the economy is self adjusting. The cash crunch is lowering down prices. The much maligned external competition is lowering wages. Everybody is starting to realise that it is unattainable to keep increasing wages and then be competitive on the global market, wages have to come down, production costs have to come down, prices have to come down. The economic resurgence has to be internal, driven by internal resources and not based on foreign borrowing. These are the patriotic topics and policies Tsvangirai should be espousing. We are tired of the endless blame game from both political parties. Being the opposition does not just mean standing on an antihill and shouting NOOOOOOO, it also calls for active leadership– do not tell us of ZANU PF shorts, tell us about your longs and the pragmatic ways to extricate ourselves out of this quagmire. Matakadya kare havaraidze mwana. How can we progress without resorting to borrowing, what can we do in our situation, how can we unlock ourselves from this vice grip are the questions you should answer next time you write an article.

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    Annoyed 8 years ago

    We ourselves as Zimbabwean citizens are unbelievable. Someone steps up to fight for change & you criticize them? Well I’ve got 2 questions for you 1. “WHO should the opposition button be passed to? Name a specific character” 2. “WHY don’t you step up & do something since you feel theyre failing?” (its not like youre tied in Alcatraz) …. What you feel is not being done in Zimbabwe WHY dont you go & do it yourself Mr SmartyPants? nxaaaaa #annoyed

    • comment-avatar
      Roving Ambassador 8 years ago

      Have you head of TZ, its leader Jacob is tied up in Alcatraz right now. Just to answer your to points.

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    Mandevu 8 years ago

    Confirmation that the political process will never resolve issues in Zimbabwe – ZPF have it all buttoned up. What they don’t have, and will never have, is control of civil society. That is the way to end this immoral regime

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    Only a New Rhodesia will bring the much needed investment, and prosperity, with a contented and happy life for all. The Zimbabweans have to realize that they were tricked and deceived into believing the Rhodesians were their enemy. They have to realize and accept that they fought and died in a liberation war for nothing. Pull down the Zimbabwe flags, and fly the Green and White of our New Rhodesia on every flagpole! The Rhodesians will return in their thousands, to re-build the great country, that it was!

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    The Oracle 8 years ago

    Stop living in the past Rhodie Homecoming, The days of Rhodesia are gone and buried. They will NEVER come back. Don’t even joke about that.

    That said, I contend that this article was written for Tsvangirai by someone who lives in the northern hemisphere.In evidence I quote:

    “Yet such aspirations also raise serious questions about our ability to meet them, doubts that will only have been stoked by elections last summer.”

    Our last elections were on 31 July 2013 and unless you are in Europe or the Americas, it was winter in Zimbabwe. I put it to you that this article was written for Tsvangirai by someone overseas.

    Perhaps there is credence to the accusation that the man has western handlers.

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    Guys,to start with.Um showing my face here on this platform because,i believe no one is saint on our political landscape and therefore um not owning to anyone.First,there is Mugabe who once saved us from not stepping on pavements in Salisbury but later made us the loughing stock of the world through his shift of character and ideals.However thou,we need the maverick speaking if we are to discover what is lost from their hands.Secondly,we have Tswangison who amongst all dared the fearful regime,at the cost of his wife (putatively)and many innocent souls of ordinary Zimbabweans along the way.Only to lapse concentration on the pinnacle of the journey by acquiescing to participate on the now regrettable elections that went on with no agreed major reforms.Sorely impaired by transitional brief power.Hence people are now devided on him as having led people through a turbulent and miserable journey for nothing but retrograde.However,we need him to talk thou.Because at times the future needs a mixture of the new and the old,who are on a corrective discourse after acceding and dusting off from their past failures.Thirdly,there is Biti who once stabilised our monetary system from the sewers.To me he is part of the collective leadership of the MDC-T that was cunningly harnessed by Zanu pf to holding elections with no reforms.But we need him,with his views of bifurcating democratic trajectories especially if one man’s lucky has lacked the serendipity of just winning the elections for the past 16years unrivaled by his closest.To any democratic aspirant,wish away or exclude any of these guys as they are at you own peril.Especially Zanu with their support of other close liberation movements.I wish they wont make us end up responding vitriolic and perversive resulting in destabiling Zimbabwe further more and unsuccessful like most Arab springs that we have witnessed so far.

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    saundy 8 years ago

    Really Mr Tsvangirai have you been to Nigeria that you laud as an example of progress? The figures might reflect that it is the largest economy in Africa but it is hardly the example to follow. A country should be judged by the quality of life of the poorest, the elderly & the very young by which they fail miserably.Even little Namibia would have been a better example. We already know that our leaders have failed us otherwise we wouldn’t be in the mess than we are. Regrettably sir you didn’t do a great job when you had the chance. Your party could have shown up ZPF by refusing to live the high life by driving luxury cars or living in mansions. I agree you are only human so if you had apologised to the electorate for your failures I’m sure we would have admired your gesture and even given you another chance. You have let us down big time!!!!

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    To the former Rhodie, u welcome, provided you lets us walk on our pavements, make sure everyone has equal basic education, no segregation and no racial descrimination. But, then again, are you guys not as old as Bob himself?