July 31, 2013 to July 31, 2015: Two years of misery and hopelessness

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TODAY (July 31) marks exactly two years since Robert Mugabe and his beleaguered and faction-ridden Zanu PF, staged the mother of all electoral theft and rigged themselves into power on July 31, 2013.
Two years down the line, the illegitimate Zanu PF regime has totally failed to rescue the national economy from an endless tailspin that has led to an unprecedented number of workers losing their jobs in the formal sector as several companies and industries continue to close down.
Thousands of people have been unleashed onto the streets as desperate vendors struggling to eke out a living. More than 60,000 people have since lost their jobs in just a short period of two years. Following the disappointing Supreme Court judgment that was handed down on July 17, 2015, at least 16,000 more workers have since lost their jobs as broke and struggling companies are jostling to downsize their business operations. Zimbabwe is facing a national socio – economic crisis of unprecedented proportions.
Oblivious of the collapsing economy around him, Robert Mugabe has embarked on endless foreign jamborees that have cost the national treasury no less than US$100 million in only two years. The bloated civil service is struggling to be paid on a regular basis and, in his mid-term fiscal policy review statement that was presented in Parliament on Thursday, July 30, 2015, a thoroughly exasperated and out-of-sorts Minister of Finance, Patrick Chinamasa, announced that the government intends to cut the size of the civil service by at least 40%.
This effectively means that at least 200,000 civil servants will soon be laid off and dumped on the job market. Things have gone horribly wrong in Zimbabwe. The national economy has virtually imploded and central government is now totally bankrupt. Robert Mugabe might have successfully managed to rig the elections on July 31, 2015 but he has certainly and dismally failed to rig the economy. The end game is beckoning.
The MDC calls upon all patriotic Zimbabweans to come together and help save their country from total collapse. The ruinous economic policies that that have been pursued by the bankrupt Zanu PF regime in the past two years have led to massive capital flight. The ill – conceived and uncoordinated so-called indigenisation program has scared off potential investors and led to the severe downsizing and closure of the few remaining businesses that are still operating in the formal sector.Advertisement

We are now faced with the horrifying spectre of a national economy that has been virtually informalised in a very short two years. The revenue base for the tax authority continues to shrink and there is a real likelihood that the Zanu PF regime will very soon be totally unable to pay civil servants their salaries and other benefits. Zimbabwe is presently in an economic and financial hell hole.
The prevailing economic condition is clearly unsustainable. Something has got to give. Robert Mugabe and his broke Zanu PF regime should immediately swallow their pride; bite the bullet and admit that the economic situation needs emergency surgery. As the MDC, we have always advocated for a social democratic socio-economic trajectory that would stimulate job creation and also trigger the sustainable growth of the country’s agricultural, manufacturing and industrial base.
Zimbabwe is an agro-based economy that can only remain vibrant provided that the agricultural sector is given adequate infrastructural and financial support. With the prevailing massive power load-shedding and shortage of dams and irrigation infrastructure, our otherwise very hard-working and committed commercial and communal farmers will never be able to provide enough food for the nation.
Put simply, Zimbabwe will remain a net importer of food. This is a very embarrassing and humiliating state of affairs for a country that, only a few years ago, was the bread-basket of Southern Africa. The country needs to have a grain reserve of about 1,2 million metric tonnes of maize but right now, only 40,000 metric tonnes of maize have been delivered to the Grain Marketing Board. The Zanu PF regime is totally bankrupt and they don’t have the money to import the required maize in order to feed the nation.
The MDC calls for the holding of an emergency national convergence indaba aimed at rescuing the country from the impending disaster. At least 3 million Zimbabweans will be facing starvation by year-end if no emergency remedial action is taken by Zanu PF and other concerned stakeholders. A government that cannot feed its own people is not fit for purpose.
Robert Mugabe should take a long, hard look at himself and proceed to do the honourable thing of resigning in order to save the nation. We trust that good sense and patriotism will prevail and that the clueless Zanu PF regime will see the light and throw in the towel. That is the only decent thing to do in the prevailing -circumstances.