Building Zimbabwe’s agricultural economy


IN the previous episode, we saw that human factor failure is at the heart of many of our development challenges.
In Zimbabwe, we used to give the excuse that we could not act because we were under colonial domination.
With a 92 percent literacy rate can we now cite lack of educated personnel for our failure?
And 35 years later why are we still acting like the coloniser is still with us?
Some will argue, correctly I think, that yes, colonisers are still with us.
It is our colonised mindset now dictating that we continue to follow the whiteman’s ways.
It can be argued again that colonial mindsets are the manifestation of African human factor decay from an Afrocentric perspective.
Our elitist education system, even today, says those who fail ‘Ordinary Level’ English are not good enough to continue with schooling!
They cannot go to University, technical college or for a teacher training course.
The proverbial requirement of Five ‘O’ Levels including English in literally all sectors of our formal economy has relegated many Zimbabweans, young and old, to the academic and professional dustbins.
This in turn has significantly reduced the amount of brainpower and talent available to deploy in the various economic sectors.
This is a clear case of grossly misplaced priorities under an erroneous belief that we are maintaining standards.
It is again a manifestation of human factor failure and a measure of the deep impact of colonial education on our collective Zimbabwean psyche.
The spirits of Mbuya Nehanda, Sekuru Kaguvi, Sekuru Chaminuka and the Great Murenga Sororenzou inspired us to fight the white invaders to liberate ourselves.
The human factor was highly charged and very strong during the liberation struggle.
We had full-time political commissars pumping the povo as well as the fighting cadres full of our African ideology of unhu/ubuntu and inspiring them with courage, vision and determination.
After the war, there must have been a process of human factor decay where we Zimbabweans ceased to believe in ourselves.
Despite having charted our own destiny and fought through thick and thin, despite having developed our own philosophy of education with production, we threw all that away and returned as it were to our vomit (marutsi), the colonial menu of degrading, anti-African, confidence-sapping, Eurocentric culture and ideology!
I argue again that this return to colonial ways and embracing colonial education systems represents human factor decay on our part as Zimbabweans.
In Shona we say: “Chakabaya chikatyokera,” meaning that certain habits and practices literally have settled in our very marrow and veins.
We simply became incapable of change.
We are struggling to create new institutions that are consistent with our culture and traditions and serve us as Africans.
We cannot be anybody, but ourselves.
But right now it is hard to identify ourselves as Africans because we imitate anything and everything that comes from outside, especially from our erstwhile colonisers!
Culturally we almost seem to stand for ‘nothing’.
We are unable to defend our culture and traditions.
We mistake entertainment fads for culture!
Dispensing colonial education throughout our schools system has meant that all the young became colonised clones, replicas of the colonised mind that looks up to Europe, that believes that the best of life comes out of Europe and that the whiteman’s brains and culture are superior to those of blacks.
What nonsense!
But that is the nonsense that we are only now beginning to recognise for what is!
And most of our younger generation are not with us even at this time!
And some say we should dispense with our unhu/ubuntu, remove all stops so that tourists can come in and walk naked, with our children joining in the fun to create a great Sodom and Gomorrah!
All for the love of money!
That trend, where we deliberately throw out all our norms and values for so-called festivals, for 30 pieces of silver (tourist money) is another manifestation of human factor decay, no, rotting!
I am arguing that the human factor failures by us Zimbabweans to have the will and courage to better our situation is a direct result of the colonial education and foreign culture that even our radio and television have continued to drum into our thick skulls.
The young and vulnerable have been particularly damaged because they have no experience of an alternative social order.
During the war people were constantly reminded of their identity, of their destiny as Africans.
Today the message is: Go West young man/woman; go West, to America of course!
The political commissars during the liberation struggle were decommissioned at the end of the war.
Witness the terms used from 1980 on: ‘war veterans’ (the liberation war was over), ‘ex-combatants’ (combat was over, there was nothing more to fight for and ‘ex-guerillas’ (Chimurenga was over).
Those struggles will never be over!
For example, while we sang liberation war songs and swore by our living God Musikavanhu during the war and invoked Mwari and our ancestors to help us fight the enemy, on return home, we went back to ‘Fata murungu, mufundisi’ immediately.
We started singing Christian songs at the funerals of our dear departed comrades.
Their spirits must have wondered if we were the same comrades they had shared the trenches with, singing “Mbuya Nehanda kufa vachitaura.”
There is nothing wrong with going to Christian churches per se.
It is the rejection of our reality as Africans, the reality that has taken us through thick-and-thin, that is sadly tragic.
We are like lost people.
Again that situation represents human factor failure, a failure to stand up for who we are.
All these reversions to the colonial mind-set are clinical examples of the human factor decay that beset Zimbabweans as soon as the war ended and has persisted, fuelled by the education system and the cultural imperialism through our own media.
The argument is that despite clear indications on what we need to do, despite all the science we have learnt, we are still failing to act purposefully to better our own circumstances.
The human factor is geared in the wrong direction.
It is not the sciences; it is the human beings who need re-orientation!
It is as if we have lost our zeal and our vision to reach our Canaan.
What is our shared vision as Zimbabweans?
To make money?
Individual success or national success?
Do we have a collective or shared dream of where Zimbabwe’s economy should be in the future; a shared dream like that of our liberation icons which materialised with our independence!
If we do not, then that will explain the human factor challenges currently besetting us.


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