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'Expect steady economic recovery by December 2019' - nonsense, none as long as we remain a pariah state

28 Nov 2019 at 10:52hrs | Views
"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

So reads the USA Constitution, First Amendment.

Freedom of speech and free media have become such a key pillar of any healthy and functioning democracy that in America, it is now accepted as the fourth pillar, on par with the executive, legislature and judiciary, without which democracy cannot stand.

It was U.S. president Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865) who defined democracy as: 'Government of the people, by the people, for the people.'

If the people are going to elect the most competent and effective government and to hold the elected representative to democratic account at all times they must be well informed and this is where freedom of expression and free media come in.

The Greeks, the first to embrace democracy as a system of government, 2 500 years ago, understood the importance of freedom expression in the education of the people and named their ships Freedom of Expression.

Zimbabwe have never had freedom of expression and a free media and it is no surprise that the people have no clue what is going on. Our political leaders have taken full advantage of the populous's ignorance to propagate a completely false narrative of important nation events and it is surprise how often they have got away with it!

"We now know that the mess the Mugabe era left us in was much worse than any of us appreciated at the time," wrote former MDC MP Eddie Cross, the party's propaganda High Priest.

"When Morgan Tsvangirai was faced with the choice of going into the Government of National Unity (GNU) in 2009 or staying out, I said to him when we were reviewing the economic plight of the country 'do you really want to take responsibility for this mess?'

"Fortunately for all of us his decision was 'yes, for the sake of the people.' It opened up 4 years of relative stability and recovery. We need to remind everyone that over those 4 years the average annual recovery in State income and expenditure was 70 per cent, in hard currency."

If Zimbabwe had a vibrant free media and an informed no-nonsense electorate would have taken Eddie Cross and his MDC friends to task; shamed into silence and voted them out of office a lot time ago!

The principal purpose of the GNU was not to fix the economic mess but to dismantle Zimbabwe's de facto one-party dictatorship by implementing the raft of democratic reforms. Mugabe bribe Morgan Tsvangirai and his MDC friends with the trappings of high office, ministerial limos, generous salaries and allowances, a US$ 4 million mansion for Tsvangirai, etc. And with their snouts in the feeding trough MDC leaders forgot about implementing the reforms.

Yes of course, the GNU was expected to attend to economic matters during the GNU but it is a lie to even imply that MDC leaders were so engrossed in the economic challenges they had no time for the political reforms.

Indeed, the economic reforms were limited precisely because there was little or no progress on the political front. Without political reforms nothing was done to stamp out corruption, mismanagement, vote rigging and all the other obnoxious Zanu PF dictatorial excess.

So even during the GNU, Zimbabwe still remain a pariah state in all but name. This is why there was very little investment, revival of the country's commerce and industry, mining and agricultural sectors, etc. The shops filled with imported goods. There were no new jobs created other than to do with importing goods and selling them.

"Our problem was that the moment Mr Mugabe took over the reins of power in 2013, he immediately reverted to the policies and programmes that had brought Zimbabwe to its knees in 2008," admitted Mr Cross.

Exactly! Mugabe was able to blatantly rig the 2013 elections because no democratic reforms were implemented to stop him rigging the elections - the very thing the GNU was supposed to make sure will never ever happen ever again.

Mr Cross is one of the MDC leaders who has this idiotic fixation that Zimbabwe can still have a prosperous economy even if the country remains a pariah state ruled by corrupt, incompetent and murderous tyrants. This is a foolish argument designed to down play the seriousness of MDC's failure to implement the reforms during the GNU and, worse still, justify MDC's continued participation in these flawed and illegal elections that have left the nation stuck for 39 years and counting with Zanu PF.

The people of Zimbabwe have risked life (over 500 died during the 2008 wanton violence alone) and limb to elect Eddie Cross and his MDC friends in power on the understanding they will bring about democratic changes, as the party name implied. Sadly, they have failed to bring about even one meaningful democratic change in 20 years. Not one! Worse still, by participating in flawed and illegal elections MDC are giving Zanu PF regimes some modicum of credibility.

"I am hoping that by December 2019 Zimbabweans will be able to see the start of a slow, but steady recovery. Next year inflation will come back to low levels by the end of the year, exchange rates will strengthen and start restoring value to earnings and capital," concluded Mr Cross.

"2020 will not be easy, but after what we have been through it will be like the morning after the rain. To really succeed we have to work together and have faith in who we are as a nation. If we do those few simple things, the future will look after itself."

I despair! I blame the country's lack of freedom of expression and free media for the reason why people like Cross are still able to spread their falsehoods and never cross examined. Ours is a chicken and egg conundrum; we cannot have freedom of expression without democracy and cannot have democracy without freedom of expression, free media and informed electorate.

The truth is there will be no meaningful economic recovery as long as Zimbabwe remains a pariah state ruled by corrupt, incompetent and murderous thugs who rig elections to stay in power. Zanu PF rigged last year's elections, the regime is illegitimate and pretending the country can still prosper regardless is insane.

Zimbabwe's economic meltdown has reached alarming levels and so has the tragic the human suffering and deaths. We need to cure ourselves of this curse of rigged elections and bad governance. Zanu PF must step down so we can finally dismantle the dysfunctional autocracy and replace it with a healthy democratic system of government!

It is most infuriating that one has not only to fight Zanu PF thugs to end the de facto one-party dictatorship but must fight corrupt and incompetent opposition leaders like Eddie Cross as well - masquerading as democrats! No wonder the country is in a real mess.

The first reforms to be implemented in Zimbabwe will be to ensure freedom of expression and guarantee free and independent media.

All articles and letters published on Bulawayo24 have been independently written by members of Bulawayo24's community. The views of users published on Bulawayo24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Bulawayo24. Bulawayo24 editors also reserve the right to edit or delete any and all comments received.

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