That phrase may sting, but it is the heart-wrenching truth. As Africa Day approaches, there is no better time to reflect on the state of Zimbabwe and the current state of the continent. It is not just the fact that the country has experienced decades of socio-economic and political difficulties, but it is what those difficulties have cost the country and its people. When it comes to the progress of Zimbabwe, the scale is severely tipped in a certain direction: backwards.
The reality for Zimbabwe is that despite being gifted with a wealth of natural resources, our country has never experienced true prosperity, and our people continue to struggle. So many dreams have been broken, and so many opportunities missed. The nation has failed its people for far too long, and this pain echoes across the African continent.
The Zimbabwean people have been subjected to extreme hardships, both emotionally and financially. Over the course of the past two decades, our nation has been ravaged by an economic crisis that has sapped our hopes for a better future. The once-beautiful country is now a shadow of its former self and a shell of what it could have been.
Take a moment to imagine the Zimbabwe of old: a country that was rich in resources, with a thriving agriculture sector, which provided the backbone of the economy. Our people were proud and optimistic. They believed in their leaders and trusted that their country would flourish. Sadly, that was all just a dream.
The nation has lost its way. Corruption, mismanagement, and a culture of impunity are now the norm, fueling a cycle of poverty that has left many with little hope for the future. Zimbabweans are impoverished, and the economy is in shambles.
The great hopes of the liberation struggle that Zimbabwe fought in the 1960s and 1970s have been completely dashed. The national spirit that once burned so brightly is now a mere ember. Political leaders have been too involved with personal power struggles, and little regard has been given to the country’s well-being.
The dire state of the Zimbabwean economy is a direct result of incompetent leadership. The Zimbabwean economy has been in an appalling state for many years now, with high unemployment rates, insufficient foreign investment, and skyrocketing inflation.
The government’s failure to address the economic crisis has plunged the country into a cycle of despair. As inflation rates continue to rise, people are barely able to put food on the table. For many, this has been a harsh reality for many years.
The Zimbabwean economy has never recovered since the hyperinflation era of 2008. It has never truly bounced back, with inflation rates continuing to increase, while economic growth screeches to a halt. Our government has been unable to control price fluctuations, leaving the average Zimbabwean at the mercy of the markets.
Many Zimbabweans have lost everything they once had, with businesses and farms either being forcibly taken or destroyed. The consequences of this have been far-reaching, with jobs being lost, and families left destitute. The country is struggling, and the government seems not to care.
The sad reality is that Zimbabwe has achieved nothing. What was once a country with so much promise and potential now sits in ruin. The nation is a tale of failure, corruption, and the wholesale collapse of hope. Where once the skies were blue, now hang with despair.
It is difficult to imagine that Zimbabwe, amongst all African countries, is a prime example of a nation that has been left to rot. Despite such harrowingly low levels of progress, there is no change to the economy or politics. It is shameful to watch the pride of the continent morph into the embodiment of everything Africa is stereotypically sullied with – corruption, malice, and hopelessness.
Africa Day should be a day of pride, but instead, it is a somber reminder of the continent’s struggle for stability and progress. As Africa Day passes by yet again, Zimbabwe must remember its roots and reflect on how much further its country could have been had a better leadership regime been implemented.
Zimbabwe is capable of achieving so much, but first, it has to get rid of detrimental politics and adopt a positive outlook towards the future. The Zimbabwean government must embrace the need for change and act on it. This change must come from within.
So long as corruption and poor leadership continue to reign, the Zimbabwean people will continue to suffer. It is a sad reality, but one that must be faced head-on. The country must actively shift from the failed leadership that has perpetuated the difficulties it is experiencing and embrace a future where hard work and dedication yield results.
The Zimbabwean people deserve much better than what they have been offered. They are a proud and resolute people who deserve nothing less than stability, peace, and prosperity. Zimbabwe has achieved nothing, but it can achieve so much more. The challenge lies in the hands of the government, and it is time for meaningful change to be implemented.
As Africa Day is celebrated once again, let all Africans’ thoughts and prayers be with our beloved Zimbabwe, a nation in crisis that needs help to rise from its ashes. It is time for a new era to begin, one of hope, progress, and prosperity. Only then will we, Zimbabweans, know true stability, and will Africa, as a whole, fulfil the immense potential it has stalled on for so long.
Kumbirai Thierry Nhamo |
Writer, Blogger, Poet and Researcher
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