By Nyashadzashe Ndoro & Pascal Madiri
Zimbabwe is currently facing economic hardships ranging from power cuts, drought and cash shortages and President Emmerson Mnangagwa has reiterated that the country’s crisis will not end through a quick fix as the country needs major surgery for it to recover from decades of damaging policies and the vice of corruption.
Mnangagwa was speaking at the Zimbabwe National Heroes Day Commemorations held at the Heroes Acre on Monday when he said that a quick solution is not feasible as the country needs solid fundamentals.
“To desire quick-fix manoeuvres neglecting fundamentals, will be grossly dishonest and a betrayal of the future prospects of our children,” he said.
The major problem in Zimbabwe has been the government’s inability to deal with corruption which has even percolated to the household level. In an attempt to tackle the ragging corruption inferno Mnangagwa set up a new team of the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC).
Analysts are very sceptical if the fight against corruption is genuine or its mere ZANU PF factions playing “tiki taka” with people’s minds. However the new commission has arrested former Minister of Tourism Prisca Mupfumira but most anti corruption mascots on social media wait to see if she gets convicted.
Mnangagwa expressed satisfaction on the job done thus far by the new set of teeth which he created as his government focuses now on fighting corruption.
“Our efforts to turn around economy will remain underpinned by a spirited campaign to eradicate the pervasive vice of corruption. As I have repeatedly stated, this campaign will be waged relentlessly and without fear or favour.” “It is commendable that the newly reconstituted Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission has embarked on its assignment with promising clarity and focus,” he added.
With cash shortages slowly strangling the economy, and stretching down to the far ends of rural areas, a solution seems distant. Mnangagwa only promised to address these challenges in future as the government is yet to print paper money since the introduction of the local Zimbabwean dollar and the ban of the multi-currency system a decision arrived at two years after the famous military intervention in 2017.
“We are aware that our people, especially those in rural areas, are facing difficulties in transacting owing to cash shortages. This transient challenge will be addressed more decisively in the very near future,” he said.
Zimbabwe is currently facing serious issues of drought and Mnangagwa has took a long approach as the government is inadequately prepared for natural disasters.
“Going forward, my government will implement comprehensive strategies to mitigate our country’s exposure to the vagaries of the ever changing weather patterns,” he added.
The stakes seem to be huge and Mnangagwa has urged people to remain patient and he commended workers for their understanding and he cited that safety nets are being put in place to protect the vulnerable as a stop-gap measure as government continues on its austerity train.
“My government shall continue to put in place the requisite safety nets to protect vulnerable members of our society. To this end affordable transport services, such as the ZUPCO buses will continue to be rolled out, for both urban and rural areas for convenience and more affordable movement of our people.”
“Let me take this opportunity to thank our workers as a whole, for their patience and understanding of the challenges facing our economy,” he said.
There are no illusions about the depth of the pit in which the country is in and repairing the damage will take a mammoth effort and citizens have to continue tightening their already tight belts as the vice of austerity and decades of plundering continues to bite and the proposed solutions might bear fruit in future.