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Independence: New mindset wanted

Tomorrow is Independence Day, which undoubtedly is an important milestone in the country’s history.

Zimbabwe Independent

The 34th anniversary of the country’s fresh beginning — after almost a century of colonial rule — however, evokes distinct responses from different sections of our society.

The most contradictory ones are the narcissistic celebrations in the top echelons of government and stunning levels of poverty and deprivation in the lower rungs of this society.

Our powerful rulers’ obvious reasons to bask in the glory of the day stem from the discolouring nationalist dogma that they, and they alone, delivered Independence and all the attendant freedoms.

The celebrations this year are coming under the shadow of the state’s own admission that parastatals and other quasi-government institutions under its watch are vestiges of corruption which has been bleeding this economy.

The corruption scourge, embarrassing inefficiencies in government and the economic decline exemplify a stunning paucity of leadership that has over the years extinguished the freedom flame.

President Mugabe’s government has been on a crusade to urge Zimbabweans to accept this independence rhetoric uncritically; that is subscribing to the discredited nationalists before and after mantras.

The approach has been for the country to look admirably at the after-Independence achievements such as founding the nation-state and formulating development plans; both of which have failed them consistently for the past 34 years.

There is a push to celebrate yesteryear gains in health, education and infrastructure development, but these so-called gains have been drowned by a sea of poverty reflected in low scores in all social and development indicators.

The most stunning ones being 95% unemployment, two thirds of the population living below the poverty datum line and a maternal mortality rate of 960 deaths per 100 000.

We still live in a country afflicted by ancient diarrhoeal diseases because potable water is not only scarce, but is heavily polluted.

Power cuts have taken this nation back to the dark ages and infrastructure is crumbling faster than authorities can rehabilitate it.

The setbacks have also manifested themselves in hunger that continues to stalk the nation despite the vainglorious celebrations of the success of the land reform programme.

In short, 34 years after majority rule, Zimbabwe is a very poor country which is badly in need of a new Independence mindset.

The promising road that Zimbabweans embarked on after Independence has led to a dead-end of corruption and decay, spawned by bonehead policy decisions.

While Independence Day is significant, it is high time the ruling elite puts aside political subjugation of the colonisers as the highest political value and loftiest platform for the future.

In this day and age it does not inspire the nation to move forward.

It has only managed to give the nation a wrong focus that presupposes that freedoms wrought by Independence can only be enjoyed at the behest of benevolent national rulers.

This we must reject as a nation. With the right resolve and creativity, Zimbabweans should engage in a redemption struggle to prioritise freedom, poverty and misery as issues that are fundamental for this country to regain human dignity.

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  1. The plain fact, which is studiously ignored by one and all, including your newspaper, is that it is Zimbabweans collectively who have put the country where it is today. It is not ‘the ruling elite’, or Zanu PF – it is the apathy of all those who are both within and without the country.

    • How did we as Zimbabweans get the country to where it is? We are ruled by a mad person who thinks he owns Zimbabwe and we owe him that. No one can even say anything because he is backed by the police and the army!!

  2. What makes some of us angry is this stark comparison:Smith vs Mugabe. Our older people who experienced racism first hand cliam that Ian Smith’s government was doing a far much better job running the economy compared to Mugabe. They point to deterioration at Mpilo Hospital and Harare(Gomo). Smith should be laughing whereever he is: his “never in a thousand year” dream is a reality even as he is in his grave!The question is :what legacy does Mugabe want to leave! “Here lies a man who got a country with the region’s strongest currency amd the second strongest economy yet he left it without a currency. He made his country the laughing stock of the region!!

  3. What It really boils down to is that we the people of Zimbabwe ie 18 million of us, are so poop scared of one man, the mind boggles!!!!!! I bet any amount of money that if the President was a white man under the same conditions we would have booted him out a long time ago ie a people driven revolution including the army and police.
    Just goes to show we vote blindly for colour, no matter what, instead of what is right for Zimbabweans.
    When are we Zimbabweans going to wake up from our slumber and take control of our Zimbabwe. A government is supposed to be answerable to the people and to facilitate the smooth running of the nation and not the other way round as It is now.
    Who cares what political party or President of any tribe or colour is in charge, so long as they uphold the constitution in It’s entirety and make sure that no one, including the No 1, is above the law.

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