Victoria Ruzvidzo In Focus
That the new Government headed by President Emmerson Mnangagwa will deliver better living standards for Zimbabweans is without doubt. The signs are there for all to see. This team means business and the man at the top is not taking any excuses for non-performance.
He is aware that so much is expected of him and his team. Zimbabweans are hungry and thirsty for a decent livelihood where something as basic as having clean water becomes the norm not the exception for an ordinary family.
But before we begin to explore what has been achieved by the Government so far and what lies ahead, we need to do a bit of soul-searching. What are we as individuals and institutions doing to bring about the change we want.
Are we merely auditing the President and his team over what they have done and promise to do or in our own spheres we are aiding the process? What have we stopped doing that was costly to the country? What have we started doing to complement Government’s efforts? Are we just sitting on the terraces shouting to the coach and players while we fold our hands.
Over the past few weeks I have witnessed a lot of stocktaking, particularly via social media, which can really be a brutal platform as many criticise this or that manoeuvre by the President and his team, with the majority of course, giving a thumbs up. Well and dandy, but what are we doing in our respective spheres to make our situation better.
It has to dawn upon us as Zimbabweans that we need to complement Government efforts and present a formidable force to confront challenges that we face today. We need foreign currency, better roads, dams, energy, correctly priced products, jobs, health services, more schools to rescue children that have to endure 20km to and from school on a daily basis. Who doesn’t want a cleaner city, consistent power supply and all the goodies? But are we willing to pay the price of hard work?
This means that we change attitudes and stop such bad things as corruption, dereliction of duty and other such. Where we previously were productive for an hour or two a day we change course and apply our all. We need to speak positively about our country and dispel cheap talk, instead of exaggerating our situation to suit particular audiences. This does not help our situation at all.
Products and services need to be priced correctly while efforts should also be applied to eradicate the foreign currency parallel market that continues to wreck havoc in the economy.
Municipal police need to restore order by designating vendors to their rightful place while at the same time the vendors themselves should feel obliged to respect city-by laws. We do commiserate with them because at the end of the day, they are trying to eke a living. But there is more to gain if this is done in a legal and permissible manner.
The menacing mushika-shikas and wayward commuter omnibus crews should also be responsible enough to know that operating chaotically brings problems to a city yearning for investment. Lives have also been lost through their actions while their behaviour is destructive to roads and other infrastructure. Harare CBD has become an eyesore and difficult to navigate resultantly.
On their part, Government employees themselves should know that the days of leaving a jacket on the chair to signify one’s presence at work are long gone. They should become more productive and respond to the clarion call to perform. It will reflect in their outcomes.
The days of demanding kickbacks and bribes everywhere and for the most basic of services should be right behind us as this attitude has created complexities and compromised development.
Most people are paid salaries for the work they do. This should be an incentive enough without expecting or demanding much more from those requiring critical services and products such as passports, import licences, investment project approvals or other such where people have been made to oil some hands before work is done.
A complete shift of the mindset will bring results sooner rather than later. It is about time that everyone plays their role to develop the country and create an environment in which we all prosper. Sustainable development in this country can only come about if we are all determined to do that which we can within our own spheres of influence to aid socio-economic development.
The fiscal and monetary policies may make pronouncements to keep hyper-inflation and liquidity challenges at bay, but it takes firms and individuals to do their part through right-pricing and the use of efficient production methods to ensure prices remain stable.
Zimbabweans need to embrace the plastic money concept so that productive hours are not spent in queues as people look for cash. Of course depositors are entitled to their money, but pressure can be reduced significantly if use of plastic money is engendered into everyone.
Home-grown solutions are critical for this economy and the responsibility does not lie with Government alone. It is very legal and a human right to hold the Government to account because the Government is by the people for the people. But that is not to say that we must fold our hands and watch. We all have a responsibility to extricate ourselves from the many challenges that confront this country.
Some may justify that challenges in the economy have given rise to selfish and myopic practices such as corruption, but these often bring short-term gains. The effects of corruption also come back to haunt the very perpetrators, hence, the need to quickly depart from such and seek that which builds the country for ourselves and for posterity.
It becomes obvious that there is more to gain if all stakeholders work with one accord to bring desired results.
We need to prosper our neighbour and hence the country. We need to make decisions that impact positively on the next person, the results for this will reflect in the entire economy.
We have it in us to carry the economy forward and augment Government’s efforts.
Of course we are spoiling to see what results will come out of the 100-day plans that have been set out in Government ministries and other departments. They have all been summoned to depart from their casual way of doing things and to apply their minds and might to transform this country and deliver on the promises made.
There will be the gnashing of teeth for those that don’t perform and champagne popping for those that will have achieved or exceeded expectations when the time comes.
Indeed we are experiencing a breath of fresh air in this new dispensation. The President is hands-on and very up to speed with issues. His team of ministers will have done him a great disservice if they don’t follow suit. But they are bound to perform because they have timers on their necks. When the clock strikes zero they will have to produce what they will have done, giving a minute by minute account.
Efforts so far have endeared Zimbabwe to the international community and many have pledged to assist. Already ratings are improving and institutions are almost tripping over each other to give this country and its leadership accolades.
I can imagine where this country will be when we do midterm economic reviews. Indeed the terrain will have changed significantly, but let’s remember that we have work to do to achieve the desired outcomes!
In God I Trust!