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A toast for 2021, but......

01 Jan 2021 at 07:51hrs | Views
We bid 2020 goodbye, the year many would want to quickly forget contrary to views, at least if one wears Zimbabwe's political lenses. T

he past nine months have been notorious given the COVID-19, the March 30 Supreme Court judgement of the MDC-T leadership wrangles, poor service delivery by local authorities, alleged human rights abuses through kidnappings, abductions and abuse of political opponents by State apparatuses, worsening of the economy, shrinking of democratic space and a step closer to one-party system in Zimbabwe. Whether, this bode well for democracy is another thing.

But, if there is one thing Zimbabweans and the whole wide world agree on, it is that we badly need a New Year.

Welcome 2021, but, there's no guarantee that the new year will be "brightish." We are hoping that COVID-19 vaccine will help save lives.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa this week waxed lyrical about achievements of his government in 2020. He was addressing the Zanu-PF central committee.

His utterances could not be further from the truth as the year was the apt description of annus horriblis.

Health and education sectors suffered the most during the year.

The failure by the government to improve the poor working conditions of nurses and to provide them with personal protective equipment resulted in a strike by health workers which lasted more than three months.

The declaration by Vice-President Constantino Chiwenga that the country would not allow citizens to seek health care outside Zimbabwe due to the loss of the much needed foreign currency but for him to fly out to China for treatment was not only shameful but an indication of the government's lack of trust in the country's health system which it has destroyed through a combination of incompetence and neglect.

The picture, which went viral, of stillbirths at the Sally Mugabe Hospital (formerly Harare Central Hospital) due to the shambolic running of the health services sector will forever remain etched in the minds of citizens as the clearest sign of government's failure to provide adequate critical healthcare in 2020.

It was no different in the education sector where teachers downed tools over poor working conditions disrupting lessons and shortchanged schoolchildren.

Mnangagwa's utterances are tragic, to say the least. For it was in July this year that inflation skyrocketed to more than 800%. Although it has since come down to just over 400%, it remains the second highest in the world only behind strife torn Venezuela.

In 2020, the government was forced to climb down from the ridiculous Statutory Instrument 142 which banned the multi-currency regime and made the local currency the sole legal tender after the Zimbabwe dollar massively lost value resulting in inflation which has eroded wages and incomes denominated in the Zimbabwe dollar.

The government then reintroduced the multi-currency regime under the disguise of ameliorating the impact of COVID-19. That, plus the clampdown on pro-democracy protests, arrests and their abductions, his declaration that 2020 was a year of achievement is not only laughable but also delusional.

Thus, we hope citizens will take advantage of the good rains expected in the country and grow their staple, to cushion themselves from the vagaries of poverty knocking on their doors.

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Source - newsday
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