Instead of addressing critical issues such as the grinding poverty that is afflicting at least 75% of the Zimbabwean population in both rural and urban areas, rampant unemployment particularly amongst the youth and the financial disaster that has been caused by the unwise and cruel decision to introduce bond notes into the financial market, Mugabeâ€™s SONA was bereft of details on concrete and sustainable measures and policies to resuscitate the comatose economy. Itâ€™s apparent that Mugabe is living in dreamland because, according to his SONA, he had the audacity to talk about an economy that is in resurgence mode whilst the stark reality on the ground points to an economy that is now dead; with at least 96 % of the people being engaged in the informal sector.
Mugabe proudly made reference to the purported economic revival that was sparked by the promulgation of Statutory Instrument 64 of 2016. In actual fact, capacity utilisation both in the manufacturing and industrial sectors remains woefully depressing. Put simply, SI 64 of 2016 has completely and utterly failed to spur economic resurgence by stimulating domestic manufacturing and industrial growth. Indeed, as long as Stalinist and fascist economic policies such as the Zanu PF indigenisation template remain in our statute books, we should simply forget about the occurrence of an economic resurgence any time soon.
As the MDC and as the government â€“ in â€“ waiting, we reiterate what we have always been saying all along : Mugabe is the problem and not part of the solution. His advanced age and apparently frail health distinctly single him out as one of Zimbabweâ€™s biggest if not the biggest national security threat. The old man should so the nation a huge favour by announcing his immediate retirement from office. With Mugabe continuing at the helm, Zimbabwe is now like a jumbo jet that is on high altitude but on auto pilot and quickly running out of fuel. The only inevitable result is a horrendous crash with fatal consequences.
Mugabeâ€™s SONA was completely silent on electoral reforms. Zimbabwe is in the present socio â€“economic crisis primarily because of bad politics. The Zanu PF regime has been rigging elections since 1995 and because the country has never held free and fair elections for more thanÂ twenty years, a political crisis has also developed over the years ; in the process debranding Zimbabwe as a nation and also driving away both domestic and foreign direct investment (FDI).
Without addressing the need to adopt electoral reforms that will guarantee the holding of free and fair elections, Mugabeâ€™s SONA completely missed the point and dwelt on petty and peripheral issues that do not positively impact on the reconstruction of the national political and socio â€“ economic discourse.
Every indication is that 2017 will be a very difficult year for the majority of the people of Zimbabwe. Most, if not all, financial institutions have virtually run out of hard currency and no meaningful deposits are being made at the banks. Itâ€™s just a matter of time before the national financial system grinds to a complete halt.
What Zimbabweans are now asking President Mugabe to do is to urgently present a State of Resignation Address (SORA). Once Mugabe gets out of the scene, the people are able, willing and ready to pick up the pieces and rebuild our mighty motherland.
MDC: Equal Opportunities For All
ObertÂ Chaurura Gutu
MDC National Spokesperson