Zimbabweans of varying political affiliations are united in their wish for a change. The public infrastructure has collapsed to the point where installation of new traffic lights now makes the front page news. Outside of private hospitals, healthcare is non-existent. With unemployment surpassing 80%, jobs are as rare as hen’s teeth. The government’s revenue base has severely atrophied, with weekly companies closures transforming our once vibrant industries into graveyards. Only those with the political connections to enrich themselves prefer to see the prevailing conditions remain.
Zimbabwe’s growing wish for change is not only reflected in the emergence of new post-independence political parties but also in the electorate’s fixation with elections, even with the next polls four years away.
Zimbabweans desperate for change put their full weight behind the Movement for Democratic Change, formed in 1999. Some were beaten and maimed, while others paid with their lives. Zanu (PF) was defeated outright in the violent 2008 election. But despite that loss, Robert Mugabe walked away from the negotiating table with the lion’s share of power in a truce engineered by SA president Thabo Mbeki. Under a coalition government little green shoots began to appear in an economy that had been destined for the compost heap.