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Zimbabwe: When Empire Confesses, Omits

Zimbabwe: When Empire Confesses, Omits
American and European sanctions have cost Zimbabwe and estimated 42 billion dollars

AFRICANGLOBE – The report by London-based Chatham House, “Zimbabwe International Re-engagement: the Long Haul to Recovery” that the country’s economy is “not a total disaster” is superfluous. Most sane Zimbabweans are aware of that because they live that reality.

Though the report conveniently omits the ruinous sanctions manifest in ZTDERA that sees OFAC continue intercepting the revenue of Zimbabwean companies it, however, makes an important acknowledgement on the country’s economic recovery blueprint, Zim-Asset, that the document was produced in consultation with key stakeholders, including business. There is a misperception by some Zimbabweans, itself a product of our badly polarized politics because of the forces opposed to ZANU-PF’s land reform and Black economic empowerment programmes, that Zim-Asset is a partisan project and that supporting it is the equivalent of endorsing ZANU-PF policies — regardless of their merit.

This has resulted in opposition parties and their cohorts in civic society standing akimbo and sneering about “tongai tione”. The Chatham report points out clearly that ZANU-PF remains the dominant force in Zimbabwean politics at the moment and that it will remain so for a long time. It urges the opposition and civic society to “reform and adapt” or render themselves irrelevant going into the future.

And already, reports emerging from Workers’ Day celebrations held on Thursday, show the myopia which has become the hallmark of local opposition political parties and so-called workers’ representative bodies, particularly the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions.

While most serious-minded Zimbabweans are putting their heads together to deal with the issue of deflation caused by a pervasive liquidity crunch across all sectors of the economy, embattled MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai and the ZCTU are calling for demonstrations against the ZANU-PF government.

Rather than thinking in terms of economic recovery, painful though this is likely to be, Tsvangirai wants to deliver a coup de grace on what remains of it and make sure Zimbabweans have no jobs, no food and the country grinds to a halt.

Typical of the man of no ideas, it’s always either he is calling for personal inclusion in the Government or he is contemplating some plot to undermine it.

Never does he have a positive contribution to say: “If we did this, we believe the economy could do better.” It’s no coincidence that senior members in his own party have turned against him.

He has nothing useful for Zimbabwe.

The Chatham report notes key problems afflicting the region, not just Zimbabwe, and says these must be addressed urgently to stem potential widespread social unrest in the near future. It cites growing social inequality and poverty, food insecurity and youth unemployment.

Were it not for resource constraints, Zimbabwe should be beating its own chest. All these issues dovetail neatly into the Government’s land reform policies which have benefited thousands of rural people, whether women or youth, witness what is happening at the tobacco sales floors.

Issues of food security and youth employment find concrete expression under Zim-Asset’s Food security, nutrition and poverty eradication clusters. Moreover, Government has consistently supported the SME sector in urban areas as part of its empowerment programmes.

These are the shoots of the new economy sinking its roots in the corpse of the rotting racist Rhodesian economy. Thus in terms of human development on a broader scale, Zimbabwe is already a step ahead.

What is needed is to mobilize resources to fund these programmes. That calls for a convergence of effort by all Zimbabweans, knowing that we have a shared destiny despite our political affiliations.


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