“Sixty years ago, when the Russians beat us into space, we didn’t deny Sputnik was up there,” admitted President Barack Obama in his 7th and last State Of The Union Statement.
“We didn’t argue about the science, or shrink our research and development budget. We built a space program almost overnight, and twelve years later, we were walking on the moon.”
In three short sentences President Obama summed up what has made America great! And, without saying so, what has held back Zimbabwe.
Whenever America has had any problem; and it has had many problems throughout its history from the fight for independence, the fight to end slavery, the 1930 economic depression, Second World War, etc.; it has not denied the problem but rather acknowledged it and confronted it head-on! In contrast Zimbabwe has sort to deny the problem and what better example of this than the economy.
Other than the first few years after independence, the Zimbabwe economy has been in steady decline for the last 36 years. The root causes of the decline were mismanagement, corruption and lawlessness as exemplified by the violent seizure of the white owned farms to give them to mainly Zanu PF loyalists and the shameless attempt to extend this thievery into private sector with of the indigenisation law in 2008. Instead of addressing these causes the Mugabe regime has even denied the very existences of these problems and blames the economic problems on sanctions, drought and many such feeble excuses and scapegoats.
The denials have only given the problems the time and cover to grow and spread. So after three and half decades of doing nothing to end mismanagement, corruption, etc. these problems have spread to every sector of the economy and overwhelming us all. Today the Zimbabwe economy is in such a mess many companies have closed down, unemployment has soared into the stratosphere of 90% plus, the nation is failing to supply basic needs like clean running water, millions are living in abject poverty.
The Americans were able to send a man on the moon and have chalked a lot more other achievements since and will continued to do so in future because they have the “can do” attitude.
Short changing Zimbabweans has been easy because the great majority of them view themselves as helpless victims who cannot do anything to defend what is rightfully theirs and nowhere is this more graphically illustrated than in politics.
Zimbabwe has been independent now for 36 years, has the benefit of centuries of world history and yet the nation is still failing to define what it needs done for free, fair and credible elections. The need for a Police force who will enforce the rule of law without fear or favour, for example, is not rocket science and yet Zimbabweans have failed to demand this during the GNU when the political leaders were called upon to implement democratic reforms.
Zimbabweans know the Zimbabwe of criminal economic waste of resources and brutal political oppression and vote rigging is not the Zimbabwe they want. They would have voted Mugabe out of office a long time ago but have failed to do so because the tyrant was able to rig elections time and again, the nation has been stuck with the regime for 36 years now. There were many opportunities for the nation to end Mugabe’s dictatorship, the best chance being during the GNU, but none of these chances were seized and made to count because Zimbabweans lacked the “can do” attitude.
“I believe in change because I believe in you, the American people,” concluded President Obama. “And that’s why I stand here, as confident as I have ever been, that the state of our Union is strong!”
Zimbabwe is in serious trouble and unless we, the people, seize this opportunity and embrace change, discard our helpless victim mentality and be masters of our own destiny, this country will continue to sink into poverty and hopeless despair.