SURELY, things have gone wrong with the land redistribution. The results on the ground are not anything one can be proud of.
While we have shown the world that we
are made of sterner stuff, and we brook no nonsense from the white man, I think there are a few important issues that should be tackled at once to get Zimbabwe back on its feet.
Firstly, time is long overdue that as Zimbabweans we swallow our pride, turn around, change our direction and make use of diplomacy. It is time to go round the world and build bridges with the international community, if not to gain donor support, at least to allow normal business with the international world.
Personally, I never trusted donors, and I still don’t, but all the same we need international trust that Zimbabwe is a country one can do business with if we are to move ahead. This is where Zimbabwean diplomatic missions around the world should function.
Look at Libya. Who would imagine that after more than 30 years of Muammar Gaddafi haunting the Western world, Tony Blair would be found in the same bed with him one day? All of a sudden Gaddafi is praised as one of the statesmen of Africa.
It’s time diplomacy is made use of for Zimbabwe to move ahead. I sincerely think that if Zimbabwe would tell the world that we made mistakes on the land question, but given that the issue is now water under the bridge, we should start with a clean sheet, the world would soften its heart on Zimbabwe.
Secondly, there is need to work towards having the sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe removed as soon as yesterday. It is common knowledge that when international sanctions are imposed on an economy as small as ours, a country can use all the tricks in the book but will get nowhere. Sanctions are meant to kill economies.
As such, as long as Zimbabwe’s economy is under sanctions, we should not fool ourselves that we will make meaningful recovery. The Reserve Bank governor can brew and distil the best monetary policies the world has ever seen but with sanctions weighing the economy down, there is no chance that those policies will produce the desired results.
With the sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe, petrol pumps have continuously run dry, deepening the crisis already caused by the famine. The country will continue to reel under deep political and socioeconomic problems underlined by shortages of basic commodities, foreign currency, fuel, electricity, drugs, water treatment chemicals and other critical imports.
The current sanctions are supposedly targeted at the leadership, but it is the ordinary Zimbabweans that are suffering following the withdrawal of aid by donor agencies. The sanctions have missed their intended target and the ordinary man in the street has become the victim.
I believe it is time for whoever advocated the imposition of these sanctions to go back and tell the international community that the experiment has failed to achieve its intended objectives and is killing the innocent man in the street.
To me it does not make sense for anyone out there to continue supporting sanctions for the sake of gaining political mileage at the expense of the suffering Zimbabweans. The strategy has failed and it must be changed for the good of the ordinary Zimbabwean.
We have ourselves to blame for the mess we are in today and we have ourselves and no one else to bring us to prosperity.