Damming the energy

A meeting took place in Harare this week, hosted by the Konrad Adenauer Foundation, to assess the achievements of the Inclusive Government a year after it started work.

The agenda listed the economy, the media, the rule of law, education, health and reconciliation and the organisers invited all parties to give their views. Yet the party that actually influences policy in the IC was either absent altogether or thinly represented.

Perhaps they knew that the dominant energy at the meeting would be one of severe criticism which indeed happened. But it does leave the impression that Zanu (PF) is unable, in an open forum, to defend its actions. It prefers simply to ignore such meetings and allow those who wish to talk to let off steam while they continue on their way oblivious.

Zanu (PF) is, however, making a mistake. The detailed arguments and their logic together with the energy and good will of the people present an open field for reconciliation. Minister after minister, together with experts in law, economics and the other fields all outlined the progress they have made in this one year when the window of opportunity was just a tiny bit open.

What if were wide open? What if it took nine hours rather than 90 days, as we were told, to open a new company? Unemployment must rank as the single most urgent issue in Zimbabwe today but where are our factories and businesses, farms and mines and railways? At one point we were told that employment is now at 1970 levels, yet this does not appear to worry those who have the power to open the floodgates of initiative that are building up.

I sat through the entire meeting – wanting to get a cumulative sense of what was the common message coming from these 15 speakers, all experts and passionate in their field. How could they be so energised when they could achieve so little? How did they keep up hope as their days were filled with frustration? How would it be if you were journeying to the moon and ground control spent its time bickering? The courage of these ministers and these experts is simply amazing. I cannot imagine a situation like we have now anywhere else in the world.

I left the meeting thinking that all this energy cannot be dammed up for ever. The waters of Kariba have to be let through sooner or later. We may be not far from that day.

Post published in: Opinions

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