Former Finance Minister and leader of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) Tendai Biti’s remarks on Zimbabwe’s 37th Independence anniversary
Zimbabwe marks year 37 of Independence; the first quarter of 2017 has proved to be the worst for Zimbabweans, there is no hope for a solution from the state.
Zimbabwe is arrested by an amalgamation of crises with linear dimensions which are jeopardising any potential to recover and an end to the unpalatable suffering of our people.
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The failure to respond by those in office has robbed our people the right to enjoy the benefits of sacrifice done by the liberators.
Zimbabwe is subject to internal, sovereign dimensions of intra-state activities including corruption, the rule of law, toxicity, hatred, contested elections resulting in state failure and fragility.
While Zimbabwe is arrested in these dimensions, the citizen continues to wallow in poverty, toiling without gain, unable to get decent jobs, feed their families, access quality health and education.
Millions of our people have found their way out of the borders in all directions comparatively many people have escaped independence than they escaped the war period.
A majority of formal income earners now spend much of their time queuing for a paltry 50 bond at banks. The government continues to punish the working people including the appetite to introduce new taxes on them.
It took us close to four decades of independence to go back to Stone Age economics of butter trade courtesy of the madness of Lazarus Dokora.
The African policy maker cannot afford to sit on their hands, watch families sliding into poverty, veterans sleep in the street and major cities drowning into villagisation. After 37 years of self-rule Zanu PF created generations of people who have not had the privilege to be in decent work, earning a salary at the end the month.
Most of our people are living on less than a dollar a day while those who claim to be their liberators are using millions to purchase diamond rings for their wives.
As we speak hundreds of families are homeless exposed to the unrelenting rains after being ruthlessly evicted from their places in Mazoe by the first lady from hell. Such illegality must have no place in an independent Zimbabwe.
In an age of global competition, 37 years of Zanu PF mediocrity has made sure we are now bystanders in the global economy. Failure to deal with the internal dimension also means with are now way disadvantaged when we try to deal with issues that affects us outside the Zimbabwean boundary.
As a matter of fact, the government of an Independent Zimbabwe is doing its best to isolate our nation and further our slide backwards. As at today SADC countries have decided to build a highway bypassing Zimbabwe which will amount to further revenue and job losses.
The government’s failure to transform the colonial idea of economic activity which is inextricably linked to the metropol specifically designed to extract raw commodities and agriculture produce is now causing serious challenges. It is just but a manifestation of 37 years of leadership with no vision.
Even after four decades of governing ourselves, we are still linked to the umbilical cord of extractive economics determined by what happens on the global commodity circuits, lack of leadership has us walking in circles.
As a result many of our people are migrating to the major cities with no proper infrastructure to support the population.
Millions are in Harare supported by infrastructure designed for 480,000 people, resultantly there are electricity blackouts, water rationing with some suburbs not receiving any water in years.
Typhoid out breaks and cholera have claimed lives of Zimbabweans in a country which is ironically commemorating 37 years of independence, let alone the idea that these are diseases of stone age centuries.
Our message is on this day is clear, Zimbabweans must unite against the dictatorship depose of them and begin a process of transformation.
Zimbabwe must start a process of economic recovery; we need to gradually move into creating sufficient fiscal buffers to protect ourselves from future economic challenges as well as graduate from the traditional entry of capital which is the sale of raw commodities by creating a new model of value addition and beneficiation.
As we have stated before we also need to construct ourselves out of this crisis, create decent jobs and lift the masses out of poverty. An independent Zimbabwe must deal with the ghost of inequality as well as uneven development which dominated the 37 years of independence.
With Zanu PF in power the efforts of the struggle will go down the drain, we need to rise and RECLAIM ZIMBABWE, pursue the unfinished business of the liberation struggle.
Together Another Zimbabwe is Possible
Tendai Biti – People’s Democratic Party President