Zimbabwe: 2018 and beyond

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THE story is a familiar one; a nation once again gripped by the election fever and behaving as if there is no life after the polls.
Welcome to Zimbabwe!
This is election year and again the polls narrative is now getting precedence over everything.
The strangest thing about the current situation in Zimbabwe is that everything is being measured against the parameters of the forthcoming harmonised elections.
It is weird that somehow issues to do with the many economic activities taking place are being thrown to the back burner as if they do not exist or matter.
While that is expected of a people who have yet to taste real development in many facets, the most significant thing to do for the country is put its attention on the economy.
It should, under normal circumstances, be a period of celebrating the many good things happening in the country; but then as is always the case with Zimbabwe, each time the word election is uttered, everything becomes abnormal.
We saw this in Buhera last week when rowdy MDC-T youths chose to disrespect their late leader Morgan Tsvangirai by wantonly attacking the party’s leaders, who included vice-president Thokhozani Khupe, with reckless abandon.
They already have their eyes on the elections and nothing can stop their Chamisa from contesting in the July polls.
We saw the same again on Thursday of the same week when the Harare City Council (HCC), against all logic, decided to issue a directive barring kombis from entering the central business district which resulted in the unfortunate and untimely deaths of innocent citizens.
Someone mischievous had thrown into the fray the word ‘election’ and all hell broke loose.
Those are actions by a few misguided elements in the country who are bent on destabilising the peace and tranquillity that the majority are enjoying.
That should, however, not interfere with the trajectory set by President Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa’s new administration.
ED is leading the front, walking the talk as it were.
That is what he offers.
That is what the dispensation is all about; a leadership steering the country out of the economic malaise to a solid and comprehensive base.
Elections must not detract us from the positive path in which the country is on.
It is in light of the above assessment that this writer offers prescriptions of what should guide political parties and the generality of Zimbabweans going forward
This election is for you ZANU PF
A narrative is being developed that this election is an ‘age’ contest.
That narrative is being driven by those who have always portrayed ZANU PF as a party of old people.
That is far from the truth.
The ruling party is everyone’s home.
Focus, as indicated above, must be on the economy and the goodwill that the party and country are enjoying at the moment.
Reports that even the Americans are warming up to the new dispensation make good reading.
They also feed into the widely held belief among Zimbabweans that this election is for ZANU PF.
Let us hear what Uncle Sam is saying;
“White House National Security Council and State Department officials met President Emmerson Mnangagwa last week to affirm Washington’s keenness to work with his Government,” reads a report in The Sunday Mail.
“The delegation — the first of its kind to visit Zimbabwe in years — also said the Trump administration had not imposed fresh sanctions on the country.
Further, American observers could be on the ground during Zimbabwe’s 2018 harmonised elections; again a first in years.
The delegation that came last week comprised Adrian T. Bogart III (National Security Council director of African Affairs), Thomas Hastings (deputy director of the Office of Southern African Affairs at the US State Department), Pamela Ward (regional senior commercial officer) and Mark Billera (USAid deputy director for Southern Africa).
In an interview with The Sunday Mail and Zimpapers Television Network, US Ambassador to Zimbabwe Harry Thomas Jnr was upbeat about GE’s interest.
The firm is the world’s 14th largest company (Global 2000 Rank, 2017) with roughly US$365,2 billion in assets, a market value of US$261,2 billion and US$10 billion annual profits.”
Chamisa who?
Nelson Chamisa strikes you as a breath of fresh air in a Zimbabwe that has suffered from economic stagnation as a result of illegal economic sanctions but when he opens his mouth, it is always provocative public posturing that is replete with shocking lies.
Many will remember his recent trip to the US together with his colleagues in their so-called ‘alliance’, where they came bearing lies that the US had promised to give them US$15 billion.
This week again, a furious US disputed that assertion.
That is not the point.
The issue with Chamisa is that he is woefully devoid of substance and policy — full of hot air.
He harps about personalities without proffering any ideas to the economic issues bedevilling the country.
Experience will prevail over some childish agreements nursing wild dreams like the one the ‘MDC Alliance’ represents.
ZANU PF will steamroll past the out of sorts Chamisa who is having to contend with serious infighting within his embattled party.
The people’s dream coming to pass
There are those who are going to town with lies that President Mnangagwa’s 100-Day Plan has not achieved anything.
That is expected of people who always reside on the negative side of things.
But here are some sobering reminders.
Recently, the country took delivery of locomotives and wagons to revive the National Railways of Zimbabwe as part of a US$400 million investment from Diaspora Zimbabweans.
In November 2017, Zimbabwe and China signed a US$200 million agreement for sprucing up the Robert Mugabe International Airport, among other projects.
In December 2017, the Africa Export-Import Bank (AFREXIMBANK), availed a US$1, 5 billion package to stimulate Zimbabwe’s economy.
Giant steelmaker ZISCO Steel is set to reopen soon.
Hong Kong-based Tian Li, a subsidiary of R and F Properties, will invest US$2 billion and information at hand shows that groundwork has been covered in the reopening of the country’s economic growth catalyst.
On January 14 2018, prominent South African businessman and Guma Group leader Robert Gumede came to the country to invest US$1, 2 billion in various projects across the economy.
On January 26 2018, Russia’s acting Ambassador to Zimbabwe Dmitry Korepanov revealed that the Eastern Europe’s Foreign Affairs Minister Sergei Lavrov will be visiting Harare soon.
Minister Lavrov last visited the country in 2014 for the ground-breaking ceremony of the US$4 billion platinum project in Darwendale.
As the 2018 elections beckon, it is imperative for Zimbabweans to note there is life after the polls and this is the life whose seeds are being planted now by the new dispensation.
Let those with ears listen.

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