Our government has created a path to destruction because they continue to deny the reality that they have failed to deliver on the objectives of the liberation struggle – which sought to create unlimited personal and economic freedoms for the majority.
Today our country is characterised by widespread poverty, hopelessness and unnecessary political intrigue and bickering by those who seek to stay in power beyond the Mugabe era.
From businessmen who are struggling to make any profits or to pay employees, to vendors who are tired of working hard for nothing, to those that have suddenly been told that they will only get three monthsâ€™ pay after a lifetime of working, to doctors, nurses, teachers who are tired of working for peanuts and to kombi drivers who suffer extortion daily by the police – we all want change now.
That is the true state of the nation where everyone is sick and tired of the arrogance and incompetence of this government.
The failure of President Mugabe to address these issues head-on in his state of the nation speech has added salt to the wounds. He keeps promising that things will get better, and soon it will be 2018 where I understand he intends to run again.Â That is surely a preposterous proposition. He is buying time.Â Even those within Zanu (PF) know that unless something drastic is done, chaos is coming.
There is absolutely no way we can expect any significant investment until we repeal the indigenisation laws and replace them with a well-considered empowerment policy. We also need to deal with private property issues, especially with regard to land assets, in order to revive agriculture, insist on the rule of law and begin to demonstrateÂ that itâ€™s not okay to steal or to be corrupt.
In his speech Mugabe ignored these issues but chose to talk about how China is going to invest billions in the economy. That is not about to happen until China is assured of some political stability and leadership change. In addition, Chinaâ€™s investments have not created any jobs nor have they supported local industry.
I am therefore in full support of Bishop Bakareâ€™s initiative in creating a national convergence platform where all Zimbabweans can come together, regardless of their political affiliation, to chart the way forward.
This has to be a non-partisan approach that appreciates that we really all want the same things. This platform can then come up with a collective approach to the political, social and economic quagmire we find ourselves in.
In the event that Zanu (PF) continues to ignore our calls for urgent change, the only way we can get the change we want now is to bring things to a complete halt and demand that an inclusive transitional management body be established to undertake recovery policies. Zimbabweans must for once step up and do the necessary to save their country. If this is not done, we are going to see a massive economic meltdown and widespread poverty worse than 2008.
What continues to surprise me is that our opposition politicians are not getting together now in order to deal with this situation urgently. Itâ€™s as if everyone is waiting and hoping while doing nothing to deal with the situation.
This is what we our politicians should do. All political parties must call for a unity conference and agreement must be reached on establishing a coalition movement. This movement must call for fresh elections. These elections cannot be run by ZEC but by a new independent representative body.
We cannot wait
My point here is that we cannot wait for 2018 or expect Zanu (PF) to change its management style. We have to create the conditions for change to happen – with or without them. Mugabe will never step down voluntarily so we must create conditions for change ourselves. The international community is also waiting for direction from us Zimbabweans – as we cannot expect them to lead the change we want to see.
I understand that a severe drought is likely in the 2015/16 season and this will surely be devastating to what already is an economy under siege. Serious food shortages are looming while unemployment numbers will balloon leaving millions of Zimbabweans vulnerable from all sides.
I pray that we all now gather the courage to confront this regime once and for all because we have much to benefit and everything to lose. This is no time for apathy or academic analyses. The issue is clear, Zany (PF) has destroyed this country and things have fallen apart. – Vince Musewe is an economist and author based in Harare. You may contact him on [email protected]