THE COVID-19 menace continues to ravage the world with no signs of letting up.
Everywhere, the situation is increasingly becoming dire by the day.
Lives are being claimed in numbers.
The situation is shocking.
There seems to be no respite from the dreadful disease.
Lives continue to be lost.
Hunger is stalking almost every household.
Economies across the globe are on a cliff edge.
Nobody really knows what horrors tomorrow will bring.
It is, on paper, doom and gloom everywhere.
It is difficult to scan what lies beyond that black blanket.
But we must not lose hope.
We must remain hopeful.
We can only summon the might of our faculties to strengthen that hope.
To wait for a new life.
A life which, at the moment, looks like a dream lost.
A dream that has steadily vanished to the four winds.
Many unanswered and unanswerable questions choke us daily.
Where do we go from here?
What does the future hold for us?
Will our lives be the same?
Let us try to unpack this web from a Zimbabwean perspective.
We start with the farmers, in particular tobacco farmers.
If circumstances were normal, we would be in the tobacco-selling season.
Our farmers would be enjoying their hard earned foreign currency.
So too would be the country.
Businesses would be booming.
Everyone would be happy and enjoying the benefits of a programme that is intensely reviled in the Western parts of this world.
Because of COVID-19, that has, sadly, not been the case.
Our farmers are waiting.
They have the product, healthy and ready for an eager market.
They want food and to start preparations for the next farming season.
So how do we untangle this conundrum?
Government says tobacco selling points must be decentralised.
Noble idea, but only viable when COVID-19 preventative measures are in place.
Noble idea, only if our farmers and players in the sector are equipped with adequate knowledge and information on COVID-19.
Noble idea, if enough health personnel are put on those points.
For now, we wait.
We wait until it is safe for everyone to do business.
But hope must not die.
The aftermath of COVID-19 presents opportunities galore.
It will bring with it a new economy.
An economy that will be driven by indigenous knowledge systems.
An economy that Zimbabwe has been priming its people to adopt over the years.
This is an economy that will be driven by local innovations.
An economy that will mainly revolve on massive agricultural productivity.
The world will need to restock.
Zimbabwe will have to produce.
But we should not only be producers of raw products.
We should value-add our products.
We should raise the bar in innovations.
We should be on top of the situation on maximising production.
We should take the lead in feeding the world.
This is a new opening, the opportunity that we have always clamoured for.
But of course sanctions must be removed…!