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Time to focus on growth, development

The elections have come and gone, albeit contentiously so.

Sunday Opinion with Perry Munzwembiri

Yet, what still unites us as a nation is our common desire to see this nation advance for the good of all Zimbabweans.

As the nation waits to see if Zanu PF will deliver on its electoral promises, the question of what it will take to get this country working again still remains.

Thirty-three years after the liberation struggle, we still find ourselves suffering from a liberation war hangover. It goes without saying, that the war of Independence was key and indeed necessary to unshackle the country from our oppressors at the time.

However, when we as a nation, cannot move on to focus on issues that are vital to our development, the essence of the liberation struggle comes to naught.

When do we as a nation take a long hard look at ourselves and not blame our past for where we are? If not, we run the risk of being a people who excel at majoring in the minors. Yes, the importance of the war and our history cannot be downplayed.

Decades later however, our development or lack thereof as a country, cannot be blamed on our past, regardless of the supposed justification. Yet it appears that as a country, that is what we have consistently done every time we faced a challenge.

There has to be a paradigm shift of the mindset to focus on critical issues that pertain to our development as a nation. Even biblically, David’s generation was that of liberators who brought independence, freedom and security to the Israelites.

Nevertheless, it was a later generation; that of his son Solomon that took on the agenda of rebuilding and developing the nation. Parallels can be drawn from this illustration, that the powers that be now, have to focus on essential concerns of development and growth instead of going on and on about the war 33 years later.

Now is the time to make resolute and definitive actions towards shaping the Zimbabwe we all want. With the new cabinet having been formally announced, attention should now be shifted towards getting the country working again.

The Zimbabwean economy has had to endure a plethora of ills since the turn of the new millennium. Runaway inflation, unemployment and corruption at the highest levels have contributed to the underdevelopment of the country at a time when other countries in sub-Saharan Africa have made notable strides in advancing their economies.

It can be argued that the country’s policy framework has been the major drawback in getting the country to take off. At Independence, the country inherited a structurally sound economy which was way ahead of the curve when compared with her regional peers. Today however, Zimbabwe has been reduced to being a reference point of how not to run an economy.

This needs to change forthwith. Now is not the time for partisanship, but instead those with the reins of power must realise that Zimbabwe is for all and not just a select few. As such, all should be given a voice in charting the destiny of the country.

Collectively, we owe the future generations a country where one can apply for a job and get it without necessarily knowing anyone in that organisation. We owe them a country where malaria and cholera do not kill thousands.

A country in which our children’s children do not feel they have to cross the borders into foreign territory in order to realise their dreams and ambitions. A nation where Harare is not the pseudo Zimbabwe, wherein everyone in the country migrates to in order to get a shot at success.

This nation’s greatest strength is its resilient people who have over the years displayed determination and grit in the face of immense difficulties. Indeed, we all hold the key to the turnaround of our country. This is a task in which we should all be a part of.

Government has to come on board and get its hands dirty in getting the country working again. Incompetence shall not and cannot be tolerated!

The country cannot afford to be held out ransom by a few individuals focussed only on advancing their political interests at the expense of all Zimbabweans.

As government gets on with the business of running the country post elections, they should know that we are and we will continue holding them accountable for this nation’s fate.

We do not have another country to call home except this land between the Zambezi and the Limpopo and as such, we need this country running again.

The potential for Zimbabwe’s growth and development is there, and it is now up to all of us ultimately to work together and get the nation on a firm footing again.

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