The Sunday Mail
As we reflect on the two weeks that have been and fathom the future, mulling what we need to do for our country and ourselves so that we “hit the ground running”, there are a number of self-rejuvenating options open to us.
First and foremost is attitude.
We don’t need any foreign currency reserves to acquire and dispense attitude. Attitude transcends from a personal perspective to being a national obsession. Attitude is what will drive our country going forward.
As Ex-President Mugabe said in his televised address last Sunday, “Iwe neni tine basa.” These are not hollow words, but words of wisdom.
If we want a better Zimbabwe, it would be ridiculous to expect newly-inaugurated President Emmerson Mnangagwa to carry Zimbabwe on his shoulders without a change of attitude in the citizenry.
And citizenry means “all body” and everybody.
For instance, there has been a lot of ululation by motorists over the absence of traffic police during the past two weeks.
This means there must have been something wrong with the police’s attitude as they executed their duties.
So, there is a general expectation that there will be a major shift in attitude by the police. But this should apply to every Zimbabwean.
Are prepared to walk the talk?
On reflection, we somehow created a demi-god out of Cde Mugabe. We must not do the same with President Mnangagwa.
We should not move from one cult to another; we need a new beginning, a new attitude regarding how we relate with our leadership.
We should do away with divisive slogans just as we must do away with the slogans that create demi-gods.
Part of changing our attitude entails accepting that we are bound to have divergent views on some issues, but that does not mean we are enemies.
Thus our sloganeering should reflect that divergent approach. We should be progressive in our approach and reproach.
Rent-seeking behaviour, though quite evident and commonplace within the police force, was not limited to that section of the citizenry as elsewhere such behaviour had become the norm.
When one needed a mere birth certificate, you either “knew” someone or greased a palm.
Though Zimbabwe’s road to recovery will hinge, to a certain extent, on how we re-engage with the international community, there are a number of things that we can do within ourselves, things that do not need any international intervention.
Last season we harvested more than enough and the Heavens are again promising this year.
We don’t need a foreign investor to get into our fields; we just need to change our attitudes. The land we acquired, a true legacy of our struggle, needs to be exploited.
Owning land but not fully utilising it makes no sense. Land has to be put to productive use. We have the capacity, human resource base and technical know-how.
President Mnangagwa was emphatic on “jobs, jobs and jobs”.
How do we create jobs in a comatose economy? Simple. There are a number of infrastructure projects that need implementing.
As long as tenderpreneurs don’t get their hands on them, we will create two million jobs in no time.
The Beitbridge-Chirundu Highway, for instance, can employ hundreds of people in various capacities. Imagine if we vigorously pursue all other necessary infrastructure projects as well?
The aforementioned better use of agricultural land will also create thousands of jobs.
It is going to be a hectic first 100 days in office, but all indications are that President Mnangagwa knows what lies ahead of him.
He has boldly declared elections will be held as scheduled.
You don’t promise elections if you know you won’t be in a position to deliver. So we remain confident that he has a plan in place to show that this country can work under his leadership.
It is his time to shine. And ours too, with the right attitudes.