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AMHVoices: Is Zim the sick man of Southern Africa?

*-The Zimbabwean issue is a painful one.The country has all the ingredients of being a success story. Arable land, good climate, a wonderful pool of human resources across the continuum of production, but it is not.

By Sibangani Dube, Our Reader

Sadly, the country is stuck. The leadership and the people on the ground are talking past each other. On the other hand, the leadership — predominantly Zanu PF — speaks in high-sounding language through the state broadcasting radio and television stations, which they have held closely and dearly since independence.

The opposition, which seems clueless, is saying something else as they hold on to their mirage of stepping into State House one day despite their house-keeping issues, which are threatening the very fabric of opposition politics in this country.

Meet any Zimbabwean on the streets, they will tell you tales of how bitter life is. Some have tried to seek refuge in neighbouring countries and overseas, but again this is not a lasting solution. Home is best and surely Covid-19 has proved just that. Literally speaking, no Zimbabwean is safe whether one is in the diaspora or in Zimbabwe.

If you are resident in the country, every day you face shortage of food, poor health care, fuel shortage, currency instability, and the list —-++++++just goes on.

Fast-forward to the future, no Zimbabwean is guaranteed of a pension, like the case in South Africa, Namibia and Botswana where senior citizens are entitled to a pension every month. Insurance policies hold no meaning in this part of the world.

An invisible force seems to be holding the country back, that force is not giving direction nor leadership and everyone knows the source — Zanu PF. The ruling party has all the powers, but it is not leading the nation to prosperity for they too seem stuck. It is only when one leaves Zanu PF that they start to make sense
and one wonders what lifts that cloud immediately.

Even the late Robert Mugabe seemed to make sense when the party overthrew him and he was out in the cold, crying betrayal and disloyalty.

Every Zimbabwean has an answer to how Zimbabwe should move forward, but nothing is happening. Organisation like Sadc and the African Union seem to be Zimbabwe-fatigued.

From villagers to scholars, they all proffer plausible suggestions and answers, but still nothing is happening in Zimbabwe because the leadership does not know anything about consulting the people they lead. In fact, the constitution itself, a product of wide consultation, is about to be changed even before completion of alignment of laws. Zanu PF is in charge and it seems they have tightened their grip on power since the collapse of Mugabe’s rule with the assistance of the coercive state apparatus.

Are Zimbabweans doomed forever because of leadership failure? Will Zimbabweans ever enjoy the proverbial land of milk and honey at some point in time? Will Zimbabweans ever enjoy the quality of life like their counterparts in South Africa and elsewhere in sub-Saharan Africa? If anything, what needs to happen that can bring change?

Perhaps Zanu PF must tell Zimbabweans the truth so that people can stop hoping and dreaming about a future in Zimbabwe. The story of Zimbabwe is a
painful one — it pains emotionally, physically, spiritually and financially.

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