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Zimbabwe deserves better

13 Mar 2020 at 17:31hrs | Views
After decades of sanctions, mismanagement and corruption, Zimbabwe is in economic trouble. Zimbabweans  are poor and hungry and can not make ends meet. In a country that was once among Africa's most industrialised, electricity is a very rare occurrence if it comes it will be for only a few hours a night. Industries , companies factories and bakeries are only but the shadows of their former selves. Water has become a thing of the past life in Zimbabwe is a struggle and indeed the country is on its knees. With all this suffering in the country of plenty some people celebrate the problems of the nation by calling for more sanctions in the country and the country's fragile economy. Industrial Workers arrive after dark, hoping that if they are patient they will be able to switch on their machines or ovens.

Zimbabweans are no longer enjoying the quality of life, their sleeping partner has changed. They have to wake up midnight to find electricity in their homes. Despite the absence of electricity the bill comes very high yet there was no electricity the whole day and half of the night. Every Zimbabwean has been turned to become a night worker people wake up in the middle of the night to cook or iron their shirts or just to charge their phones or other electric gadgets.
Water no longer runs down the water pipes. People have resorted to boreholes for fresh water.

We thank God for smiling over Zimbabwe.  Most of the borehole waters are sixty percent row sewage. The boreholes are sunk in towns the ever blocking sewage always sips in the soil and finds its way in the water tables and finally the raw sewage is found in the kitchens of almost all Urban dwellers. The situation in Zimbabwe is best described as dog's breakfast. I Tendai Biti, an opposition mp and former finance minister, complains that life has gone back to colonial times: "I'm washing in a bucket, my friend, as if it is Southern Rhodesia in 1923." But he forgot to say he is the one who made a trip of shame to America to beg for sanctions against Zimbabwe. Biti has the mentality that of its not him no one can have it. He is like a bully herding cattle. Who sets the cows in someone's field because he has not been given his lunch. Or the boywho runs away with the football because his team has lost. The opposition has played a greater role in the suffering of the ordinary Zimbabweans.

The crisis is Zimbabwe's worst since the bad days of 2008-09, when President Robert Mugabe's money-printing sparked hyperinflation so intense that prices doubled several times an hour. The situation of 2008 only came to normalcy after the country adopted the US dollar. To make things worse for Zimbabwe the country has faced a severe drought and the rains came very late. But the real problem is corruption and the failure to prosecute those suspected of corruption. Illicit money traders on the streets of Harare have substituted the banks. Banking system has collapsed and the mattress bank has taken over.

Zimbabwe's inflation was at 605 percent, indicating the country is still in a precarious economic situation.

Zimbabwe has a wonderful chance of turning its fortunes after Mugabe was removed from power. The euphoria following a regime change blinded the leaders into believing that they can make ZIMBABWE better again. Unfortunately those put in the positions of trust are betraying the nation. We need to know how ZIMBABWE came to this level Of suffering.  My university lecture described confusion as when the police shoot a murderer and the doctors work 24/7 to save his life then the judge sentences him to DEATH.  This is the circle our economy is doing.

No economic populist program is complete without its own inflationary agenda. Mugabe was more than willing to turn the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe into his personal printing press and pursue the most devastating hyperinflationary monetary policy in recent memory. One would think Mthuli had learnt something but we are in a confused state. Zimbabwe reached comic book levels of inflation in 2008, when hyperinflation became well established at a peak of 79.6 billion percent. After completely wiped out the value of the local currency, Zimbabwe effectively "dollarized" and switched to different currencies such as the dollar and the African rand.

To make matters worse, the Zimbabwean government tried to combat inflation in the most futile way possible — by enacting price controls. A policy that has failed from Ancient Rome all the way to contemporary Venezuela, price controls predictably exacerbated already existing shortages and further hastened Zimbabwe's economic debacle.
Zimbabwe's vaunted agricultural sector experienced a notable implosion, as agricultural production nosedived by $12 billion from 2000 to 2009, according to a report from the Commercial Farmers Union.

The road to reform will not be a walk in the park given that Mthuli himself is no saint. Although Zimbabwe has left the realm of hyperinflation, it continues to have structural problems that impede market reforms.

This is often the case in developing countries, where the succeeding government - despite all its promises and vows to break free from the preceding government's corruption - ends up breaking down because of incompetence and corruption in its ranks.

A large portion of high-ranking officials in Zimbabwe have been instructed in these schools of thought at Western universities abroad — where strange ideas are being fully implemented to the detriment of the realistic economic policies. However, many developing countries are fertile soil for destructive policies and this has destroyed our economy. Widespread wealth gaps between the politically connected haves and the disconnected have-nots, general ignorance about the implications of interventionism among the public, and a predatory political class that is shielded from popular backlash makes these countries susceptible to mass intervention. When the West can't implement some of its economically illiterate ideas at home, it finds willing importers in the developing world.

Zimbabwe would completely depart from the Mugabe legacy and replicate Progressive policies.

Suffice to say, nothing short of an economic exorcism is needed in Zimbabwe. Based on what President Mnangagwa has done so far, it does seem that Zimbabwe is actually serious about making tough reforms. But the stubbornness of the minister of finance and the bankruptcy in reasoning has dragged us dipper in the mud.

The country bleeds and both the opposition and ruling party members a busy fattening their pockets. Zimbabwe deserves better it can not remain in the doldrums of poverty for this long. We need a better country better policies better nation.

Vazet2000@yahoo.co.uk

Source - Dr Masimba Mavaza
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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