All shoulders to the wheel

Munyaradzi Mlambo
The July 30 election gave birth to the Second Republic under the leadership of President Emmerson Mnangagwa.

The First Republic was born after Independence in 1980.

As Zimbabwe focuses on the future, it is important to reflect on the important historical background that led to our Independence.

Indeed, Zimbabwe will and can never forget the heroic role that Zanu-PF, as a political organisation as well as revolutionary movement with an armed wing, played during the liberation struggle in the 1960s and 1970s.

Through its Zimbabwe National Liberation Army, an arm of Zanu; and Zimbabwe People’s Revolutionary Army, an arm of Zapu; Zanu-PF doggedly prosecuted the war against white colonial settlers who were determined to maintain an exploitative political, social and economic order.

The white colonial settlers were hell-bent on dividing the nation along racial lines and protecting the interest of the white minority by ensuring that the non-white majority would neither vote nor own valuable land.

And it was Zanu-PF — which espoused Marxism-Leninism as a guiding philosophy — that fought to end the evil system that subsisted under colonial rule.

Zanu-PF, therefore, played a critical role in bringing freedom and majority rule to Zimbabwe and in 1980, a new sovereign nation-state was born.

Since then, focus has been on improving people’s lives.

Initially, this was carried out through emphasising the importance of socialism (gutsaruzhinji) in both political and economic programmes.

But the momentum was lost over the years.

It is arguable that had the party continued with its revolutionary fervour, especially in developing the economy, Zimbabwe’s economic fortunes could not have made a calamitous turn.

Why did Zanu-PF allow this to happen?

This is a question Zanu-PF must ask itself in 2018 as the nation enters the Second Republic under the leadership of President Mnangagwa.

What works in ED’s favour is that he is at the helm of a tested revolutionary party capable of guiding the country to prosperity.

The President carries the hopes and aspirations of a nation that is seeking to rebuild its economy from the ashes.

He has repeatedly assured the country that he remains dedicated to delivering on his election promises.

But he definitely cannot do this alone; there is need for a collective national spirit towards nation-building.

Zanu-PF also needs to prove that the July 30 election was not an end in itself, but the beginning of well-meaning efforts towards rebuilding the country.

The July 30 elections simply mean the people took Zanu-PF into their confidence.

It is now up to the new Government to deliver on its election promises.

Quite clearly, Zimbabwe has the potential to achieve middle-income status by 2030, and this has also been supported by experts at the World Bank.

We, however, mustn’t be blind to the fact that the United States of America has since renewed sanctions on Zimbabwe.

But this cannot stand in the way of a determined administration.

What is needed is the indomitable willpower to work to extricate ourselves from the current circumstances.

Growth and development will depend on self-sufficiency and international strategic partnerships and alliances.

Since the new administration took over in November last year, there has been traction, and this should continue.

President Mnangagwa has his work cut out, but his vision and conviction guide him.

We definitely have a starting point; we simply begin by putting those policies and plans that were inexplicably deferred back on an even keel.

Industries that closed need to be resuscitated at all costs.

Encouragingly, this has begun to happen.

It is also important to assess what we have achieved to date as a nation and leverage these achievements to build a better Zimbabwe going forward.

For example, there are inherent positive spin-offs to the economy from the completion of the Kariba South hydro-power project.

Energy security is crucial for industrial development.

Local economic development will largely be driven by performances in mining, agriculture and manufacturing.

Only when these sectors begin to perform can the fiscus be expected to generate even more resources to sustain more growth.

This will naturally boost employment.

What is clear is that investors continue to be interested in Zimbabwe, and authorities should continue re-engaging as this is the only way forward.

After Brexit, the United Kingdom will definitely be looking for new partnerships.

But there is also scope for inter-African trade through leveraging on partnerships with countries such as Rwanda, Kenya, Tanzania and South Africa.

Policy consistency and political stability will be key ingredients to attracting investors.

Agricultural productivity will be crucial, too.

Specialised support through programmes such as “Command Agriculture” is likely to stimulate production and output.

Import substitution should be a key policy that breeds a healthy current account and balance of payment position. Further, more efforts should be put in place to resuscitate the country’s irrigation facilities, while mechanisation of agriculture should be a priority.

But most important of all, there is crucial need to unite the country, for polarisation only engenders a negative energy that works against the aspirations of the people.

Munyaradzi Mlambo is a journalist and accounting science student at Women’s University in Africa. Feedback [email protected] Henry Kapfumvute contributed to this article.

 

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