Zim cries for leadership succession

Your Excellency, amid the season's pleasantries, it is a crying shame that your Presidency failed to inspire prosperity. There is nothing evident yet that the country is open for business, destined to be an upper-middle-class society by 2030.

GOOD day, President Emmerson Mnangagwa. Your Excellency, as the fragrance of 2024 abounds in the atmosphere, it is opportune for me to extend to you my sincere complements of the new year. I plead that you be doubly blessed with insight and wisdom, similarly to that which Prophet Elisha pleaded for from his mentor, Prophet Elijah.

Your Excellency, amid the season's pleasantries, it is a crying shame that your Presidency failed to inspire prosperity. There is nothing evident yet that the country is open for business, destined to be an upper-middle-class society by 2030.

As I see it, the stability that is ordinarily conducive for investment is conspicuous by its absence. As the culture of inconclusive harmonised elections continues, so does perpetual socio-economic woes.

Methinks the soaring inflation and the virtually collapsed local currency continue to confine citizenry to poverty.

With the aptly coined anti-poor budget that was recently presented in Parliament, the rough and tough rigours of living are destined to continue burdening citizenry. I reckon it aptly fits the kind of budget which was condemned by the late British Prime Minister Winston Churchill.

"I contend that for a nation to tax itself into prosperity is like a man standing in a bucket and trying to lift himself up by the handle," deplored Churchill. Forsooth, a budget which increases the already exorbitant passport fees and impose taxes on houses that were already taxed during construction or at point of purchase is anti-citizenry.

Your Excellency, it has always been an open secret that disputed harmonised elections were destined to strain Zimbabwe's international relationships. With a plus US$20 billion external debt, it was basic knowledge that credible elections were a prerequisite for engagement with the foreign lenders.

It is imperative for Zimbabwe to be well and truly open for business. Yet, this milestone can only be reached courtesy of conclusive elections. It is from indisputable elections that the winning party derives the legitimacy to govern.

Your Excellency, Zimbabwe is crying for leadership succession. With all the five objectives which constituted your social contract during the 2018 campaign period yet to be fulfilled, it is time you took responsibility for the prevailing hardships.

Billboards were erected all over, proclaiming your promises for guaranteed affordable quality healthcare, promotion of international trade via world-class boarders, creation of jobs, delivering the Zimbabwe citizenry want and uninterrupted electricity supplies.

There has to be a departure from the sense of entitlement that stems from the “we fought the war” mentality. With all due respect, this sort of justification amounts to the corruption of the armed liberation war which owes its success to the material support of citizenry at large.

Contrarily, all public healthcare institutions are in deplorable conditions, crying out for all round attention. There were no job creation ventures serve for those for money changers and vendors. God forbid, the Zimbabwe citizenry want is one in which their votes are sacred.

It is ironic that the State-owned electricity utility, Zesa Holdings is notorious for blackouts. Yet, it has the audacity to claim, as its mission, to bring convenience through the provision of adequate, safe and reliable electricity at competitive prices.

From where I stand, the Africa Development Bank president Akinwumi Adessina deserves a standing ovation. His point of view that Zimbabwe needs to move a gear up on reforms to promote debt resolutions and arrears clearance with foreign lenders, was Stately.

He correctly noted that the history of Zimbabwe was hurting the present and future of the country. He proposed the changing of history so as to make history. Whenever I listen to the wind in meditation, I hear his statesmanlike appeal. Yet, his wisdom is largely unheeded.

Conversely, you cling to the subjugation leadership style you inherited from the deposed late former President Robert Mugabe. It is a disturbing reality, a social annoyance indeed, that you perpetuate history instead of moving a gear up as Adessina recommended.

It is small wonder that Martin Luther King Jr could not keep quite amid misgovernance which was segregatory. His retort: "Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter," was as pertinent for his era as it is about ours under your leadership.

Your Excellency, if Zimbabwe ever desperately needed leadership succession, it is particularly now. The nation is dangerously close to the socio-economic abyss. True to the Albert Einstein sage, we cannot solve our problems with the same thinking which created them.

I reckon that it is a misnomer of grand proportions, given the dyed in the wool modus operandi, to codename your government as the New Dispensation or the Second Republic. Yet, Zimbabwe has a crying need for leadership that understands the verity that the history of disputed harminised elections was hurting the country.

From my perspective, since 1980, the Zanu PF government has never shied away from its mindset that elections are basically an exercise undertaken to comply with the Constitution, but not to allow citizenry the freedom to elect a government of their choice.

It is for this reason that all recommendations for electoral reforms fall on deaf ears, hence the history of disputed harmonised elections. It was in keeping with this culture of glossing over elections that you declared back in July 2022 that you will be in power beyond 2023.

Speaking during the ground-breaking ceremony of the planned Cyber City project in My Hampden, you declared with absolute certainty: "I know that I will be there until the project is finished, overseeing that everything is running smoothly. I will be in charge."

Your Excellency, during my formative years in the early 1970s, I read the book, Cry the beloved country, by Alan Paton. It never dawned on me that it would be compelling for me, later in my adulthood, to cry for my beloved country, Zimbabwe. Yet, here I am now, crying.

Cyprian Muketiwa Ndawana is a public-speaking coach, motivational speaker, speechwriter and newspaper columnist.

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