The state of the economy is like a deja vu for Zimbabweans. It comes from a long history of fathomless inflation figures, with at least 94% of the population being unemployed.
The most painful and unforgettable chapter in this record is the year 2008 and those who remember it can tell you that the economy was downsizing, people were dying and nearly 5 million Zimbabweans depended on food aid.
Economists termed it a depression, political analysts believe it was a manifestation of the western economic sanctions, and African traditional spirit mediums called it an evil spell. Whatever the case was, I can only say that all sectors of a striving economy were attacked without a single drop of compassion, moderation, and discrimination.
However, political leaders at that time managed to collectively bail the economy out of trouble. A short period of economic recovery was then identified though it suffered a premature death. Despite that, hope was restored that Zimbabwe can still manage to get back to her feet.
It might take longer than we all wish, but I believe that the country can still be the Jewel and breadbasket of Africa again as long as unity is established.The plain reality is that Zimbabwe comes from a long way, but where it is heading towards is just shocking beyond words. Available evidence shows overwhelmingly that the country is reverting to where it came from.
The only difference is that major political figures who led the country in 2008 are no longer the ones holding offices today. Back then, it was former President Robert Mugabe and the late MDC President, Morgan Tsvangirai.
We remember that the two antagosts had to ignore their political rivalry and at least tried to join hands for the good of Zimbabweans. They formed a Government of National Unity (GNU) with a cheerful disregard of the disputed election results and political tensions among their supporters. This proved that the adage is true, “Men of good intentions can unite regardless of party or politics” Today, everything looks like there is a desperate need for another GNU in Zimbabwe.
There are 18-hour daily power cuts, prices of basic goods are astronomically rising through the roof, and hospital patients now depend on miracles amid drug shortages. The nation’s annual GDP is just about 26 US billion dollars per year, which is even less than South African Western Cape province alone that produces at least 28 USD billion per year.
Analysts concluded that at least 25% of the Zimbabwean population has left the country and nearly 100 major companies closed shop in well over the past 2 years.The sad news is that there is no possibility of having available political leaders to work together.
The tension between the two worsened when the election result was allegedly manipulated in favor of the ruling party. On the other hand, prominent opposition leaders were suspected to have advocated and worked hand in glove with members of the U.S Trump Administration for sanctions to be extended on Zimbabwe.
Whether the above allegations are true or false, the only way to bail this nation out of a crisis is through collective efforts. This being said, the main political leaders in the country should find a way to get to the same negotiation table because the challenges afflicting Zimbabwe are not limited by political boundaries. I am convinced that any alternative is just but a downwards gamble.
This article was written by:
LinkedIn Dan-Angelus Zembere