It’s time to stop the rot in our country

BY ANELE NDLOVU

Currently, as it stands, Zimbabwe is in a crisis. A cocktail of challenges face the country and its people.

Zimbabwe was set on a wrong foundation. There are all kinds of human rights abuses whose tentacles stretch beyond the levers of power into the private sector resulting in corruption, nepotism, tribalism, mediocrity, incompetence and downright idiocy at all levels.

Not even the erection of the Mbuya Nehanda statue can turn around the country’s fortunes. In fact, it is indeed a fallacy to believe that a spirit medium can fix the challenges Zimbabwe faces right now. It’s a clear sign of a government and a leader who have completely run out of ideas.

An incompetent government, a perpetual war posture and abuse of democratic institutions is at the root of Zimbabwe’s problems.

An economic paralysis caused by militarised systems makes the situation worse.

Amongst these challenges, is the perennial and consistent economic conditions that have now reached below comatose levels.

This is the point where everything is dysfunctional. The country has no currency of its own.

Inflation rates are skyrocketing beyond 300%.

Prices of goods and services are beyond reach for almost 90% of the population.

Development has been at a standstill since the early 1990s. Basically, there is no development happening.

Roads, rail and air infrastructure is either dilapidated or old for use in the modern world.

People live in abject poverty, and there seems to be no urgency from the country’s leadership to resolve these persistent challenges.

One of the most disturbing challenges is corruption, within government and also in the private sector.

Corruption has in the previous years destroyed the country’s economy and its ability to function.

It has destroyed many lives  and it is continuing, aided and unabated.

This makes it impossible to take the government seriously in their commitment to eradicate corruption and end the suffering of ordinary citizens.

Every documented commitment by the presidency, and treasury, to resuscitate the economy and better people’s lives is gathering dust somewhere in their offices, whilst the masses continue to suffer.

None of those commitments have come to pass, not even the congress resolutions of the ruling party.

The cause of Zimbabwe’s hyperinflation is attributed to numerous economic shocks.

The national government increased money supply in response to the rising national debt and this has caused a significant decline in economic output and exports.

We can safely conclude that government is full of empty promises, which, if not challenged, will continue until the unforeseeable future.

All these challenges point to one critical aspect of government’s failure to function, which is weak leadership.

One can conclude that Zimbabwe indeed has a leadership crisis.

Even in the so-called new dispensation, old things that should have been done away with are still with us.

They include corruption, arbitrary arrests, silencing voices of dissent, state- sanctioned abductions, torture, disappearances and murder of citizens who voice different views from those of the current leader and the ruling party.

The list is endless. But all these problems point towards failed leadership.

Zimbabwe is a well-resourced country and it is endowed with natural wealth, from minerals,  some of them rare, torable land, vast water bodies.

I can safely conclude, without fear of contradiction, that Zimbabwe caries eighth generation wealth, and if well managed, the country can become the powerhouse of the African continent.

If, we as Zimbabweans, residing both locally and abroad, sit  back and watch our country being destroyed every day,  what exactly can we call ourselves? Are we not cowards?

It is time we stood up, from our different corners, and call the government for what it is, failed and corrupt.

We need to unite as citizens, both young and old, to hold the government accountable for their actions, to protest against mediocre leadership and call for the changes we need to see.

It is indeed time, if need be, to elect a new government that will bring positive change, and impact people’s lives positively.

Every Zimbabwean deserves a fair shot at life. We need a government that has empathy, love for Zimbabwe and its people.

We need a government that has respect for citizens, upholds the rule of law, and respects the constitution.

We yearn for effective leadership that seeks to bring relief to the poor, and create an economic environment that automatically enables ordinary citizens to pursue their life choices without hindrance from a failing government.

Zimbabwe deserves better. It has been just over 30 years of torment, corruption, constitutional delinquency, suffering, — we have to bring this to a stop.

Otherwise it will continue into the next generation.

Let us all stand up, and say, enough is enough.

l Anele Ndlovu is the vice-president of the opposition Patriotic Front party

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