With the economic challenges facing the ordinary citizen multiplying by the day, some people are yearning for the “good old days” under former President Robert Mugabe.
Not that it was really good, but things have become worse since his ouster in November 2017. There is no fuel, no water, no electricity, no cash, no medicines in hospitals, no jobs.
Speaking to the Daily News on Sunday, a Chitungwiza resident recalled the day he and his colleges marched in a bid to force Mugabe to resign. He said:
On the day I marched, the price of bread was still 90 cents, bus fare was less than a dollar and cooking oil was $4 but now that has all changed, I cannot afford bus fare to town anymore.
Day-to-day living has no doubt become a grind in the past two years since the nonagenarian bowed out. Galloping inflation has rendered people’s earnings and savings useless. For instance, in 2017 a loaf of bread cost $1 and it now ranges between $6 and $9.
However, economic analyst Eddie Cross has blamed Mugabe for the current economic crisis. He said:
When Mugabe was removed from office, he was running a fiscal deficit of more than 40 per cent and this created a mountain of debts.
When the new government came to power, they had to deal with the debt and at the same time, they had to live within their means. Right now, there are no more fiscal deficits.
Meanwhile, prominent political science lecturer at the University of Zimbabwe, Eldred Masunungure argues that the system that sustained Mugabe remains intact. He said:
There is clearly nostalgia among Zimbabweans but I don’t share those sentiments. The situation under Mugabe was bad and it could have been worse by now maybe even worse than the current situation.
I don’t want to compare the two because we are comparing the bad with the bad.
What I want to say is we are still under the same regime, the system remains the same. It is unfortunate that we over-celebrated, rather thunderously, the collapse of a leader and not the system.
ED can go but as long as the regime remains intact, we will continue to have this situation of comparing bad with bad. For now, it will certainly get worse before it gets better.