According to a recent note issued by the African Development Bank, â€œZimbabwe continues to experience a decline in economic growth which is projected at 1.6% in 2016. This is the result of several factors, including lower commodity prices, the El Nino induced drought, and the appreciation of the US dollar, which is the dominant currency in the countryâ€™s multi-currency arrangement. The appreciation of the US dollar has particularly reduced the competiveness of the economy. The decline has led to rising youth unemployment, company closures and a crippling liquidity crunch mainly due to lack of confidence in the economy. In addition, a negative country-risk premium arising from high levels of public debt (about USD7.1 billion) and limited external capital inflows (including remittances) have worsened the situation. The economic situation of Zimbabwe is a major issue of concern for the country, the region and its development partnersâ€
These circumstances described above can only change with a fundamental political and economic reforms. However as I have said many times before, Mugabe at 92 has no incentive to reform a system which fortified his total domination for the last 36 years. In addition, those who have benefitted from such a system and continue to benefit from it also have no incentive for radical change unless forced to do so by circumstances.
The responsibility of our generation is to do all we can to create those circumstances which will force them to change. They will not do so voluntarily through political reforms which may create a free and fair competitive political environment because they know they will lose.
I have had many conversations trying to explain this simple fact to many Zimbabweans who seem not to appreciate this fact. In my opinion it is a pipe dream to think that Mugabe and his coterie can give up political power through elections which the very machinery he dominates and controls. Even the call to register to vote is to me a useless endeavour because how can you register in an illegitimate system that you want to change.
Every system is designed to give you the results that you get and our political system is designed to ensure the dominance and total control of ZANU (PF). Sadly this includes all public institutions such as the police who to me are a now a ZANU (PF) militia using public resources to oppress and supress the very people who are paying their wages. Sadly that includes frustrating the voting process. We are paying through our sweat to be oppressed and abused by this system.
Zimbabweans must wake up, there is absolutely no point participating as willing partners in a elections registration process in an illegitimate system presided over by partisan institutions. We cannot ever afford to assume that any political process, presided over by this evil machinery can stand for national interest. For 36 years we have been hoping for the best, we have been waiting for a better Zimbabwe and if at all it is to come, it will not come through the actions of Mugabe nor will it come through the actions of his ministers or ZANU (PF). It is like expecting mangoes from an apple tree. We must change the game and the narrative and that requires much more than electoral reforms.
We need a total transformation of our country and its institutions. In my opinion only a citizens led National Transitional Authority can deliver the change that we want. In my view it is only such a body that can be non-partisan. It is only such a body that can preside over levelling the political playing field while dealing with the socio economic emergency which ZANU (PF) has failed to deal with simply because they have run out of solutions. Such a body can deal with our debt, corruption and economic meltdown in a comprehensible and sustainable manner which puts Zimbabweans first. I do not trust politicians because theirs is an incomprehensible self-interest based on attaining power and personal ambition without necessarily having the competence to build a new Zimbabwe.
If I had the authority, I would certainly postpone elections and ensure that we Zimbabweans attend to our social and economic crisis first. In my view there is nothing magical about 2018 and sadly we are hanging on false hope that change will come then. We canâ€™t wait till then.
There is nothing more important than creating jobs now and working hard to revive our comatose economy which continues to be raped by a ZANU (PF) predatory cabal. There is nothing more important than ensuring that we put Zimbabwe on a new trajectory of growth and prosperity for all under a non-partisan NTA whose responsibility must go beyond electoral reforms.
Lastly I have talked to our social movements and it is naÃ¯ve to insist on an apolitical agenda while seeking social change because change is in itself a political process. We are where we are now because we assumed that it is the responsibility of our politicians o lead and change Zimbabwe. It is not. Surely it is the responsibility of every citizen who loves our country to rescue it from the clutches of ZANU (PF) because of we do not do that, change will never come.
Another Zimbabwe is possible yes but it will not come by trusting the system or trusting ZANU (PF) or trusting Mugabe. It is like doing the same things over and over again and expecting different results. Thatâ€™s insane.
Let those who have ears hear.
Vince Musewe is an economist and author. He is also the Secretary for Finance for the PDP. You can contact him on [email protected]Post published in: Featured