The Sunday News
Richard Runyararo Mahomva
Congratulations for assuming your ballot-brokered entry into the State-House as the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe.
Those who are respectfully inclined to the memory of our liberation struggle — its influence to curating the milestone path to making Zimbabwe a prodigious republic will surely concede that the leadership mandate bestowed upon you is an honour to our enduring national values.
It is certainly a reclamation of the values that inspired the youth of your generation to be part of the armed resistance to decapitate colonialism.
The future you anticipated in the prime stage of the nationalist resistance is now here. Your victory substantiates that the destiny you sought for us and generations to come through the barrel of the gun, self-sacrifice, toil and loss of loved ones.
Your steadfast commitment to ensuring the preservation of this legacy is every reason why your ascendancy to power matters.
It is the victory of the nationalist and pan-Africanist movement. Phrased differently, this is a triumph of the undying spirit of anti-colonial resistance from Cape to Cairo, not to mention the Caribbean Islands and the rest of the Western hemisphere where we were once slaves.
Comrade President, your sterling sobriety of statesmanship remains a template for many inspired by the revolutionary path to be the next generation of leaders.
From the soot of republican mess that brought us to the new dispensation — away from the years of agony and despair you gave an opportunity for the depth of our democracy to be widened. Through your all-embracing and mature statesmanship we witnessed the era of extended electoral reforms and an elastic stretch of the presidential candidature than never before.
For the first time since our coming into being as a nation and an independent people, we had an election which was all peaceful.
The prevailing peace before and during the 2018 plebiscite agitated detractors to destabilise the harmony we had enjoyed since the birth of the new dispensation.
On that ugly day of August — a day so obnoxious to the golden age you prepared for us, lives were lost and the nation was deceased.
Thankfully, you never let “bygones be bygones.” Through your swift hand to deliver peace and tranquillity, a commission of enquiry for the post-election violence has been set. In the same manner, you appointed the National Peace and Reconciliation Commission (NPRC) during the thin tenure of the new dispensation.
This has given us an opportunity to step into a new horizon of national-healing from the excruciating wounds of the past — some of which have been manipulated to stagnate us from building a prosperous future. Now we are ready to put the past to rest.
Your Excellency, we crave a unity of purpose to sing from the same hymn regardless of the linguistic barriers to reading from the same book.
Under your leadership, the ideas that have invented our hate for one another must be buried.
Compatriot and Father of the Second Republic, the burden resting on your shoulders is to unite us to be the human-beings that we are and most importantly the Zimbabweans that we shall forever be regardless of political party divides, wrestling religious persuasions, gender binaries. I am grateful that in your oath you made it clear that you are servant of all. As such, the rational are ready to be served.
The Promises and Demands of the New
Upon its birth in November, 2017, the ‘new dispensation’ offered a desired aptitude for transformation of the economy. In also offered an unequivocal route to a new political culture.
The new dispensation opened the decade-long clouted vein of re-engagement. This new page into a new chapter of a republic that was much awaited is pregnant with more national aspirations to be fulfilled.
First, corruption in the high places must be visibly eradicated. Beyond speeches and resolutions we must work hand to arm to fight the rot in the public and private sector.
This is because the dawn to the Second-Republic was motivated by the need to extricate the monopoly of a few individuals who used their positions of privilege to milk the national coffers and exhaust the nation’s strategic resources.
It took a parliamentary portfolio committee to be established so that an investigation could be undertaken to unravel the truth for the unaccounted revenue from Marange.
There was no proof of the community beneficiation schemes we read about in the press. It was all political grandstanding with no pigment of proof that there was never any mineral concessions in Marange. Why did we need a parliamentary portfolio committee to look into such an error of plunder and looting as if we did not have auditors who were on duty when Marange was being robbed? This must remain in the old.
Our parastatals must be engines for harnessing capital which meaningfully contributes to the fiscal deposits of the nation.
Treasury subsidies must only propel the parastatal in executing administrative duties to smoothen its profit-making potential.
This means that there is need for creative minds with astute business acumen to run parastatals at the same time harnessing their full potential in addressing the economic crisis facing the country.
Industry must be re-tooled. The Government must create a policy environment which naturally capitalises our industry.
This will facilitate the fulfilment of employment creation promise. Captains of industry must also be alive to the need to create opportunities for strategic partnerships with foreign counterparts in their shared and respective areas of specialisation.
Cognisant of that need for the widening the net of mutual business alliances, there is need to liberalise interactional frameworks for our business sector with their external counterparts. We have a comparative advantage because of our natural commodities which drive the global industry.
The world needs us in as much as we need it. We also have our graduates who just need to be fine-tuned to be relevant professional assets for the exigent development that all sectors of our economy require. These graduates deserve a space to contribute to the economic development they desire.
This will certainly guarantee the longevity of both local and foreign direct investment(s). It is not a given that the state is single-handedly mandated to search for investors. Our companies must go an extra mile in soliciting external investment opportunities.
Our companies must build confidence in the export-quality of our products. The Zimbabwean product must be able to face the market competition in any part of the region.
Our strength in that regard will inevitably make our products to be widely cherished beyond the Sadc. That way, we can have a guaranteed source of forex capital which might help relieve the burden of the cash crisis.
At the same time, this will elevate our import potential and thus our interactional market equivalence with other countries who have mastered their craft.
While a policy-friendly environment is key and unavoidable in setting the pace for economic transformation, the retooling of our industry also takes the form investment in relevant intellectual capital. There is need for uninterrupted and dedicated investment in scientific innovations which will effectively grow our industry. Our industrial sector must take the lead in inventions and the university must play a crucial role in ensuring that our engineering departments are not ornamental.
They must play a part in ensuring that we have new industrial machinery being locally produced. Our pharmaceutical sector and food-science terrain must be the bedrock for a rejuvenated health policy framework for the entire nation.
The burden of centralised governance must be eased by the constitutionally prescribed tenets of devolution.
Our urban centres must be decompressed from the pressure of the scramble for social amenities. Health, education and other social services must be accessible to all. The rural men must also have the same benefit of good health like that of the urbanite.
A key effect of devolving power is infrastructural development. There is need to take infrastructural modernisation to the rural areas which have been traditionally marginalised from development since the colonial era.
Our tourism sector is another strategic avenue of rebuilding the nation’s economy and that requires an urgent address of migrating from the elitist confinement of this sector as a preserve for foreigners.
Our resort areas must have facilities which are financially convenient for access by all. By so doing, this sector will have a wider revenue source which will enhance the country’s income earnings.
Being patriotic again
Having addressed the strategic political-economic key result points of focus, it is also incumbent to note with high consideration, the role that every citizen has to play in the development of the country.
Beyond our peripheral points of conflict in interest, we all have a duty to be patriotic and make sure that we are not involved in illicit activities and political vices that derail the progress of the entire nation.
Self-interest and lack of patriotic morality cannot continue holding us at ransom.
Before demanding behavioural transformation of those in power and those racing to be in power, we the citizens must take charge of the social transformation we want and inspire political will.
We have all suffered from the crude effects of corruption and we cannot afford to be the source of its practise; at the same prejudicing the republic the paradigm shift it deserves. We all have a role to play regardless of who was in power or not then and now. This is our country.
It does not belong to politicians. We are all to blame for sitting back when the country’s progress was taken captive by incompetency, corruption, nepotism and plunder.
We had a choice to take a side, but others chose the wrong side while others chose not to take a side and in the process unconsciously took a side — a side of retrogression and complacency.
Those employed in both the public and private sector must commit their energy to being accountable to themselves and institutional goals. Such a collective loyalty to the self in the interest of the nation can turn around the economy and Zimbabwe can be a better place for all who live in it.