Although most Zimbabweans have been crying foul over the meagre salaries that their employers are awarding them and the rate of unemployment is still at a record high, at least we have enjoyed a degree of stability.
The stores were this year packed with all the necessities so much that most people did not find it at all necessary to travel to neighbouring South Africa or Botswana for their holiday shopping as had become the norm in the past few years. And with the United States dollar, one can nicely do the Maths.
When you look back at the conditions that this nation had been subjected to for the past decade, before the government of national unity(GNU) came into play, especially so in 2008, you will realise that indeed we do have something to be thankful for because there really has been some positive changes. It might not be as much as we would like to see or maybe it did not happen at the exact pace that we would otherwise have liked it to but we really just need to give thanks.
I mean honestly, with the environment that prevailed in our country in 2008, did you never imagine us going into a civil war of some sort? I mean it really looked like a possibility back then. Fate however seemed to be on our side and come end of 2010, we all have something to be thankful about, something to smile about.
But come beginning of 2011, there is so much uncertainty as the majority of the Zimbabweans wonder “Now what?”
This feeling comes after the two major principals of the coalition government, President Robert Mugabe and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai announced their intentions to hold elections early 2011, a move that most people view as rushed as they fear it will reverse all the strides that have been realised since the implementation of the GNU.
Talks of yet another elections no doubt triggers people’s memory back to the 2002 and 2008 scenarios where elections were characterised by unprecedented levels of violence with thousands of people reported to have lost their lives while many more were left incapacitated. Considering this, you cannot blame people for wishing the elections would be laid off until later.
It is not that people do not want to choose a leader and a government of their choice because they do, but it is the discomfort and the human suffering that have come to characterise Zimbabwe’s polls that scares people. They would rather enjoy the peace and the little freedom a while longer.
But events in Zimbabwe have been known to be rather unpredictable as they can take turns that you could never have imagined, and that is the main problem! As a result, as we face 2011, the bulk of us have no idea what the year has in store for us.
Are there really going to be elections or not? Will the president really act on his threat to push Western company owners out of the country? If he does, what repercussions will this have on us as a nation?
And what about the Constitution, where is it? When it finally does come out, will it be credible enough to represent the will of the people?
As we celebrate 2011, it would have been good if we knew exactly where we stood and where we are going. As things are, we are clueless and this hinders most people from making any real long-term plans as they do not know whether the environment that will prevail say four months down the line will permit such plans.
As it is, most people, especially the ordinary Zimbabweans, are forced to go through life without the slightest clue as to where they are going, a situation I find highly unfair and rather unacceptable.
It would be good if the powers that be could come together and make consensual decisions and then have the audacity to inform the general public on where we are going so that we constantly know the path that our lives will take.
But as I said, that is just Zimbabwe for you. One thing I know, we will not let politics and all this uncertainty deter us from having a wonderful start to the New Year! And may we never forget to be thankful for the good in our lives.