THE year 2011 finally comes to an end this week, bringing down another 12 months of slow but welcome economic progress that the country has been enjoying for the last three years.
As the new year burst into life, expectations are that whatever the little gains the country recorded will be consolidated for the betterment of the general population.
This is no easy task and Government officials have to up their game to ensure that the country is kept on the rails.
The main focus though is on the anticipated growth of the economy from the diamonds sales after the country was given the green light to sell the gems at Chiadzwa in November.
Admittedly we are becoming a diamond dependent country where everyone seems to feed from the diamond trough.
From the civil servant to the minister, everyone seems to be scratching their hands in anticipation of holding the next dollar from the sale of diamonds.
With such expectations, we hope those bestowed with the honour to keep and allocate resources (Ministry of Finance) to be diligent and ensure that every cent is used for the betterment of the country at large.
Almost every sector of the economy is looking forward to the Finance Ministry for support.
History has shown us that all those countries that pretend to smile at us are not as friendly as we thought because they have continuously refused to advance lines of credit.
What has become clear is that as a country no one, except ourselves will get the country out of these economic problems.
It is with high hopes that the diamonds will finally provide us with a chance to prove to the world that not only can we stand alone, but we can also walk ourselves out of our problems.
However the expected boom in the economy based on diamonds only is not enough. There is need for everyone to pull in the same direction.
The business sector needs to start operating like a responsible arm of the whole system. Most businesses are still operating in a wayward fashion.
They are still clouded in the Zim dollar mentality where profits were driven by price hikes than pushing volumes. This is wrong. For the few years we have used foreign currencies, stable currencies for that matter,
how do we justify the fact that some goods have gone up by more than 200 percent.
That is shear madness, that must be addressed if the local business community wants to be taken seriously.
During this festive holiday, bus fares have gone up by more than 100 percent in some instances. What message are we trying to put across. Are we punishing the same people we expect to contribute to the growth of our businesses?
It just shows the insincerity and greediness that has remained part and parcel of the business community.
Sometimes we wonder whether this sector can really be allowed to operate without being shown the way to. It is sad that the same people if given the chance to self regulate, take advantage and abuse this privilege.
At the same time, the business sector is the loudest crybaby anytime policies are put forward to control their wayward behaviour.
We are not keen to go back to the dark days of price controls but sometimes we wonder whether it is not the right solution to deal with the local business sector.
Really, what is the justification for the 100 percent fare hike when fuel, the major driver of price changes has not changed? In fact in some cases it has gone down because of the ethanol that is used to blend petrol.
As a country, there is need to start operating like we are sensible and educated as we claim to be. Otherwise all this talk of economic improvement will not cascade down to the old man and woman in the remote areas of the country.
It is also a blessing that at the moment, our agriculture seems on the mend. With rains pouring in most parts of the country, it is prudent for farmers to know that they have a huge task to feed the nation.
Many people benefited from the land reform programme and it is high time the country starts enjoying the fruits of our land. Government must toughen its stance on lazy farmers who have kept the land fallow while the population is crying for food.
Our famers have failed to treat this venture as business and yearly, they have looked up to the Government for support.
Time must come when those in agriculture start working towards self sustenance. Some of the farmers benefited from free machinery that they were given by the central bank a few years ago and this is time to prove that they can do it.
The country has potential and is still the best among many African countries but it is upon us to ensure that as we enter into the new year, we work together in a manner that can help our country gain its glory.