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Zimbabweans will always suffer with a govt perpetually crying over sanctions!

11 Jun 2023 at 10:06hrs | Views
As Zimbabweans continue to suffer through unmitigated poverty, under the ZANU PF regime, for the past two decades - do they honestly see any light at the end of the tunnel?

Surely, every time I listen to President Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa wailing over 'sanctions' supposedly imposed on the country, as well as so-called 'saboteurs' - both blamed for the twenty years of economic ruination - all hopes for a better Zimbabwe under his rule swiftly fade away.

How can we dream of an uplifted prosperous life - out of the perennial struggles we have been facing for years - as long as we are led by people who always seem to have excuses for their own monumental failures on speed dial?

This is a country endowed with vast globally sought-after minerals - which are not under any trade embargo whatsoever - yet, those in power have been shamelessly unsuccessful in improving the livelihoods of ordinary citizens.

In fact, all they have managed to achieve is hogging world news headlines for looting these resources - with statistics showing that Zimbabwe is prejudiced over US$2 billion each year - through smuggling, as well as illicit financial flows.

Yet, year after year those entrusted with running the affairs of our country have no qualms pointing figures at others - namely, supposed sanctions and saboteurs - for the mess that they themselves have created.

Therefore, my question becomes, "With these never-ending excuses, when will they finally manage to take Zimbabwe to a higher level of development"?

To be brutally frank, I never have faith in someone who is fond of giving excuses for his inability to make good on expected deliverables.

It is even worse when these excuses cover a span of over twenty years.

Does this mean that if these 'sanctions and saboteurs' are real, then the ZANU PF administration has not been able to find a way round them for more than two decades?

Surely, if they could not take the nation out of poverty in all this time - with ordinary citizens' livelihoods actually worsening by the day - then, when will they finally get it right?

Can we not say, 'zvaramba, vazvitadza'?

Only a person with something seriously amiss in their mind would believe that someone who has failed to find a solution in over two decades - always proffering excuses - will miraculously somehow finally succeed.

This is especially so when there is nothing to show any real fundamental shift in thinking and behaviour.

We can even go as far as asserting that the lofty vision of an 'upper middle-income economy' will remain a mere pipedream well beyond the targeted year of 2030.

As a matter of fact, as long as Zimbabweans allow this caboodle in power to continue in office, then, in all likelihood, this 'vision' will be moved to 2050 - with the same 'sanctions and saboteurs' being cited as reasons for missing the 2030 goal.

There will definitely be nothing shocking there - as this same ZANU PF government has never been short of economic blueprints and grandiose 'visions', with promises of economic heaven - ever since gaining power in 1980.

Nonetheless, not a single one has ever been accomplished - from ESAP, ZIMPREST, ZIMASSET, Zimbabwe Millennium Recovery Program, the list is endless - as nothing of substance has ever been achieved.

We were assured of 'health and education for all by the year 2000', Vision 2020, and numerous other promises - whilst being urged to 'tighten our belts', as the economic challenges being faced were only temporary.

However, it would appear that, according to ZANU PF logic, 'temporary' means forty years of poverty and suffering - with no discernible reprieve in sight, ever since these economic programs began in the late 1980s.

In fact, we have had the same excuse after excuse - from former Rhodesians, dissidents and apartheid South Africa, to white farmers, the West, and opposition parties 'seeking regime change' - all accused of sabotaging the country.

The only reason we seemed to have enjoyed a relatively good life immediately after independence, up to the 1990s, was primarily because we were still benefiting from the remnants of the developments left behind from the colonial era.

Of course, when one inherits a good thing, it can last for a while - even with minimal maintenance or reinvestment - but, sooner rather than later, this will all crumble.

That is why our economy, companies (including state-owned), roads, bridges, hospitals, schools, towns and cities appeared great during that period - whilst we also had reliable water and electricity supplies.

Nonetheless, that 'honeymoon' was soon to come spectacularly crashing down - because the post-colonial ZANU PF administration merely plundered without ever ploughing anything back into the economy.

That is how parastatals as ZISCOSTEEL, NRZ (National Railways of Zimbabwe), Air Zimbabwe, as well as our power stations, and water supply system were so horribly run into the ground, in a most dramatic fashion.

Zimbabweans are globally renowned for being lovely patient people - nevertheless, are we seriously saying we will continue to tolerate this destructive kleptomaniac regime for decades more - as we wait for the elusive 'better life'?

Please, people of Zimbabwe, let us not be fools!

Those in power have had more than enough time to improve our livelihoods if they had the political will and desire.

Yet, they have always opted to fatten their own bank balances - as they live in obscene opulence - in a sea of poverty and suffering of millions.

It is rather disingenuous listening to Mnangagwa claiming to be on the path of  developing the nation, 'with or without sanctions, as we use our own abundant national resources'.

Is this man for real!

Why then have they been crying over these restrictive measures for the past two decades, if they knew that they could still develop Zimbabwe 'with or without sanctions'?

What has been stopping them from 'using our own natural resources' all this time - since these targeted travel and financial restrictions were only imposed on a handful of individuals and inconsequential entities - and not our minerals?

What has changed now?

Have more people - although of little significance to the broader economy, as those before them - not actually been added to the US ZIDERA (Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Act)?

So, if these 'sanctions' are the real reasons we have been enduring such unimaginable pain and suffering for over twenty years - what is the ZANU PF government doing today, which they could not do all those years back?

Please, stop lying to the people of Zimbabwe.

This looting incompetent cabal has no interest, and even the capacity, to improve the welfare and wellbeing of the ordinary citizenry.

If they did, they would have easily done a long time ago, what they are promising today.

They should not act as if gold, diamonds, chrome, platinum, and nearly 60 other minerals were discovered in Zimbabwe only five years ago!

In fact, such minerals as gold are what attracted European, Asian and Arab traders, concession seekers and colonists to Africa's shores many centuries ago

These are the same minerals that made Rhodesia one of the most economically developed countries on the continent, if not the entire world - which, at independence, was described by the late Tanzanian president Mwalimu Julius Nyerere, as 'the jewel of Africa'.

Yet, today, all we ever hear about this precious mineral is how Gold Mafias - involving the highest echelons of power in Zimbabwe - are plundering it, at maddening and sickening levels, for the benefit of only a small ruling clique.

At the same time, half the population lives in extreme poverty, with now three quarters earning below the poverty datum line (with a small family now requiring a staggering ZW$1,150,000 a month).

What with a rabid exchange rate - today, at an alarming ZW$7,500 to US$1 (on the more used parallel market), and an equally shocking ZW$4,700 to the greenback on the official RBZ (Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe) system.

Nowadays, I am actually wary of writing the exchange rate in my articles - since, by the time they are published, the figure would have substantially increased.

Need I add that, Mnangagwa, again, elects to fault 'sanctions and saboteurs' for his dismally failure in reigning in the local currency - despite repeated promises to do so - which, at one time, he disingenuously boasted was the 'strongest on the continent'.

All I can ask Mnangagwa is, "If, for argument's sake, the 'black market' rate was indeed the work of saboteurs, then who on earth is sabotaging the government's own exchange rate'?

If the parallel market was to magically disappear overnight, we would still wake up to an RBZ rate of ZW$4,700 to US$1 - which, in itself, is already outrageous and unacceptably out of control.

Are we, then, to conclude that the Zimbabwe government is sabotaging the local currency?

Actually, that is not a preposterous as it may sound!

Based on what I have gathered from those operating within the system - the RBZ is, in fact, actively involved in printing large chunks of the local currency - which they then directly feed onto the streets, in order to buy as much US dollars circulating in the country as they can.

That is why, in spite of a crippling shortage of Zimbabwe dollars in the formal economy - there is always an overabundance of crisp new notes on the parallel market.

This is especially so during this election season, as the government desperately seeks hard currency to fund programs for ZANU PF campaigns.

In so doing, this then pushes up the exchange rate - as the cost of buying the scarce greenback skyrockets - in turn, severely depreciation the local currency.

At the same time, cartels linked to the ruling elite are benefiting enormously from the arbitrage opportunities availed by this skewed system - as they make massive profits from buying hard currency on the relatively cheaper RBZ auction floor - thereafter, reselling for a king's ransom on the streets.

So, yes indeed, the Zimbabwe economy is being sabotaged - but certainly not by the West or 'regime change agents' - instead, by the Mnangagwa administration itself.

If anything, the only 'illegal regime change' witnessed in Zimbabwe, since independence, was at the hands of the current regime - which came to power, in November 2017, through a military coup d'état.

Nonetheless, all this is happening as most civil servants are not even getting a quarter of that - whilst elderly pensioners receive an average ZW$40,000 a month - which can only buy four loaves of Proton bread.

In the midst of all the looting by the ruling elite, and suffering of millions - we are given excuses about sanctions and saboteurs!

Why are these supposed 'sanctions and saboteurs' only affecting the ordinary masses, and not those in power - who are freely stashing billions of dollars stolen from our national resources in countries as the UAE?

How come the government can so easily find money for a presidential jet costing US$54 million, procure 32 helicopters for an overpriced US$320 million, or dole out billions more in supposed 'loans' to already well-to-do cabinet ministers, their deputies, and now court judges?

Yet, for some strange reason, is suddenly too broke to provide reliable electricity and water supply to the citizenry, living wages to its workers, essential medication and radiotherapy machines in public health care facilities, or adequate learning material in our schools.

Wake up, Zimbabweans!

If we want to remain poor, then let us keep these looters in power!

They will tell us about sanctions and saboteurs for decades to come - whilst we sink deeper and deeper into misery and poverty.

© Tendai Ruben Mbofana is a social justice advocate and writer. Please feel free to WhatsApp or Call: +263715667700 | +2663782283975, or email:, or visit website:

Source - Tendai Ruben Mbofana
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