Why Zimbabwe is poor

We are not poor, we are a very rich country which has failed to package its knowledge and organise itself to unlock the potential of its assets. If Zimbabwe were a company, a corporate raider would buy us very cheap and make billions by merely applying skills, knowledge and project management capabilities to create value from our assets which include our people and our natural resources.

hungerWe are poor but rich because most of us have abdicated our responsibility as citizens of creating a new Zimbabwe to a political elite that does not necessarily see what we see. And so we have a fundamental disconnect of expectations between us young progressive and educated Zimbabweans worldwide who believe that our country can indeed be 100 times better (if not more) than what it is now and our political leadership who do not necessarily have the same vision for our future as we do. They cannot see what we see.

That is inevitable because ZANU (PF) and especially President Mugabe are  just doing what they know best- struggling against detractors because it has been a life of struggle politics. We must not expect them to have the same vision that some of us have of what Zimbabwe can become. They are naturally limited in what they can imagine by their time and space, especially by their historical experiences which have shaped their mind-set of who they are today and what they think Zimbabwe is. We are different.

The challenge then remains how do we as citizens become effective in creating momentum for a new vision of our country and new reality significantly different from our current reality.

First we have to believe in ourselves as architects of our own destiny. We have to believe in a new vision for our country and its people. We then have to collectively give that vision the power it deserves so that it can cause a fundamental transformational paradigm shift that is not only irresistible but indomitable so that no individual or groups of people especially our elder politicians can circumvent it.

The next challenge is then to have a strategy of how to get where we want to be despite the resistance to change that we are facing. Clearly political contestation, periodic electioneering, factionalism, multiple opposition political brands and the political intrigue and back stabbing which have occupied us since 2000 are not the answer. They are not moving us forwards but backwards as we regress to the past and we now have a country in crisis unable to move ahead and waiting for Mugabe to go. We cannot leave our future to fate.

What we need is a revolution for us by us. We need rapture from the old to the new. We need a revolution driven by the big idea that Zimbabwe has all the resources it needs to be a successful country which has all the freedoms and an economy that can meet the aspirations of all without discrimination. That hunger is not inevitable but is a result of the wrong political choices we have made as a nation in the past which we must change for the better. That the millions of Zimbabweans out there have all the intellect, the skills the knowledge and the necessary experience to create a $100billion, $200 billion or $300 billion economy within the next twenty to thirty years.

A clear example is the armed struggle. The vision of an independent Zimbabwe was so powerful and compelling to the collective that each and every one of us who could do something about it did something even if it meant taking personal responsibility and risk for it. Some did more than others, while others even paid the ultimate price because this vision of an independent Zimbabwe had its own power to drive thousands to risk their lives without any guarantees of seeing the vision realised in their lifetime. This was the first revolution, the first chapter in our quest for freedom.

Now we need a second chapter, a second revolution driven by the big idea of  total freedom characterised by a prosperous and free society unhindered by any man or woman but we must all own that vision, personalise it and do what we must as others did in the past. This vision cannot be owned by particular politicians or any political brand but must be owned and driven by us the citizens of Zimbabwe who believe in a better future.

The Zimbabwean must now wake up to the reality that the future cannot be created for him or her by others, but lies in the hands of millions of us who believe in a better free prosperous society created by our very own efforts as a collective.

We must truly believe that we are the architects of a great Zimbabwe that is to come. Until we get to that place the change we want to see will not come to us on a platter. We must make it happen.

Vince Musewe. You may contact him on [email protected]

 

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