It never was a success, always short of funds, inefficient and subject to fraud while the black market operated at the expense of consumers. Special efforts which were made to obtain favourable loans and contracts in order to aid the struggling state enterprise were to no avail.
The kilometre long queues grew longer; millions of worker hours were lost with frustration and despondency of the people. It was reported that the fuel supply problems were causing distress, not only to furious motorists but in higher places as well.
In desperation fuel procurement was returned to the private sector, the response was miraculous; fuel became available at competitive prices at all service stations and the fuel queues and black markets disappeared. People began to feel that life was returning to the beleaguered nation.
This remarkable example of free market efficiency and know-how was followed by the equally successful free market exercise which filled the supermarket shelves in record time.
No state funds were needed to make things happen. The taxman was left with the not unpleasant task of raking in duties and taxes.
The stimulus from these two successes was not sufficient to turn the economy around. More of the same medicine needs to be applied elsewhere in the productive sector.
For quick results the Chiadzwa diamonds should be next on the list for the treatment. This great bonanza, if efficiently managed, could come to fruition for all Zimbabweans. There would be no more black market, no filling of privileged pockets and no cost to the ratepayer. What about Zesa?
The Electricity Act of 2002 tasked the power company with the responsibility of supplying the country with adequate power. Eight years on and the power outages are worse than ever. The shares are 100% state-owned but there is provision for dilution. This gives an ideal opportunity to allow free enterprise to step in and the effect it can be claimed, would be electric. Without adequate electricity the economy is hobbled.
The eminent economist, Hernando de Soto has argued that the chief obstacle to development in the third world is the unwillingness of feudal elites and governments to give fully fledged property rights to their tenants and farmers.
The embarrassing state of agriculture adequately confirms these wise words. For a return to profitability and sound land use there is only one way to go; the free market way.
51% shareholding by the state in the most important enterprises, bitterly quarrelling politicians and no rule of law do not encourage investment from any quarter.
It should be abundantly clear that command-structure government has miserably failed to get things right for Zimbabweans.
It does not resonate, nor does it energise their talents, nor does it supply their needs. The millions of citizens who have gone into the Diaspora can confirm this view.