The fall of Zanu PF since its 2013 electoral victory is perhaps the most significant development in our recent history.
Editor’s Memo with Iden Wetherell
It further seals a transition in the country’s fortunes from a relatively successful middle-income state to the basket case it has become.
Zimbabwe is now struggling to keep afloat while its neighbours — perhaps with the exception of Malawi — enjoy relative prosperity.
In most cases foreign direct investment has played a significant role in stabilising local economies, not chasing investors off!
It is not difficult to spot the potholes, both physical and symbolic. They are glaring statements of our failure as a nation-state.
After the July 2013 general elections Zanu PF was cock-a-hoop over its election victory. They assiduously propagated the view that their success was a restoration of the natural order of things.
The MDC-T’s advances, they argued, were electoral abberations in which the ruling party’s supporters voted with their stomachs.
Sweeping promises were made in all sectors of the economy, most notably in the field of employment where the 2,1 million jobs by 2018 promise was dangled in front of desperate job seekers.
The same could be said of housing.
Zanu PF ordered local authorities to cancel households’ bills on the eve of the election. Voters were naturally appreciative, but many quickly discovered their bounty was illegal.
Zanu PF proved an Indian giver. They also promised the economy would grow by 6% in the first year, up to 9% in the fourth and fifth years to 2018.
More than US$1,84 trillion would be raised from the idle value of empowerment assets, we were told. But many of those assets were idle because they had been mismanaged and no longer performed a useful service to the economy.
Potholes have become a symbol of the regime’s incompetence or negligence as has infrastructural collapse.
The glory of 2013 soon evaporated. Mabvuku/Tafara suffered a complete breakdown in water delivery.
After years of swingeing water shortages, the eastern townships were obliged to put up with bowsers like other victims of the regime’s misrule.
On a different level, motorists ask where their tollgate fees have disappeared to? They don’t seem to have been invested in the road system.
A quick glance at South Africa’s roads shows there is a correlation between tollgate fees and better roads. Why can’t we do that?
Sadly we are a nation in decline. The resources are there for improvement but they are not put to good use. The railways provide an example of this.
Meanwhile the president and his family enjoy their holiday in the Far East as a government audit of ministries reports the loss of millions in public funds through poor book-keeping.
What all this amounts to is a nation struggling for survival.
The victory of 2013 amid rigging claims means nothing now except a false dawn.
The Chinese will of course play a role in any recovery but you can be sure they will take their cut! Charity is not their speciality!
We need to acknowledge our post-2013 failure and focus on getting it right.
Zanu PF must stop telling stories and making false promises.