Bad Governance, not Sanctions is the Problem

ROBERT Mugabe has become a liability to the nation and is holding back the cause of freedom.

His responses in an interview with CNN journalist Christiane Amanpour ahead of his speech at the UN General Assembly amply suggest this. His suggestion that sanctions are the cause of Zimbabwe’s ills is, in my opinion, a fundamental error.

It is not sanctions that have hurt Zimbabweans but bad governance. We have to ask ourselves about what preceded the other: bad governance or sanctions? The truth is that the targeted sanctions were a response to bad governance in Zimbabwe.

In other words, we can’t look beyond Mugabe himself for he is wholly responsible for this.

To say the land grab exercise was the best thing to have happened to an African country is an irresponsible statement to say the least. Mugabe purports that the so-called land reform programme was an effort to redress the historical imbalances that existed.

Land reform per se is a noble idea but the exercise that was carried out in Zimbabwe was nothing but a political gimmick by a ruling clique whose political fortunes were waning to consolidate its dominance. The illegal exercise brought with it a multiplicity of problems.

The new farmers embarked on indiscriminate cutting down of trees and burning of grass and this has had serious negative implications on environmental stability. The operation also attracted wide condemnation by the international community and this resulted in subsequent isolation of the country.

In the year 2003 the United Nations estimated the population of Zimbabwe to be 12 891 000 people.

Suggesting that sanctions targeted at about 220 people have affected the whole population of Zimbabwe is being economical with the truth. This view is not only philosophically unsound but is equally practically unthinkable. That’s the only scapegoat at the disposal of the octogenarian leader.

What we want is but one thing –– good governance. It is only good governance that gives us the assurance that all that is noble and valuable will be conserved. The prolonged absence of good governance in Zimbabwe has made our life miserable, dull and meaningless.

In a nutshell I quote Henry Muradzikwa who says: “The next step calls for leaders endowed with the gift of statesmanship to listen to people’s grievances, heal the wounds and pacify the nation”.

Mutsa Murenje,
South Africa.