2013: Zimbabwe’s year of change
The inauguration of the so-called Government of National Unity following the signing of the Global Political Agreement resulted, inter alia, in the stabilisation of our national economy, reduction in political polarisation, and the fostering of efforts aimed at resolving the national crisis that had afflicted this country since the formation of the MDC in September 1999.
The dollarization of the economy, following the trashing of the Zimbabwe dollar, resulted in the dramatic erosion of the hyperinflationary situation that had devastated virtually all sectors.
Most damaged was the agricultural sector, which had virtually collapsed as a result of the ill-conceived Fast Track Land Reform Programme that started in March 2000 and is still to be concluded. This damage to the agricultural sector had serious consequences for the down-stream industries as well as the national food security situation. The country is still a net importer of both maize and wheat. There is, however, a real possibility that this unhealthy situation might change for the better during this landmark year, 2013, regardless of the wishes of some people.
What sort of change are we expecting as a nation this year? First, we expect to adopt a new constitution before the next elections later this year. There would be no reasonable point in going to the polls under the dubious and much amended Lancaster House Constitution. Reports indicate that only a few issues remain to be agreed upon in relation to the content of the Copac draft.
Secondly, the next elections are expected to put an end to the First Republic and usher in Zimbabwe’s Second Republic. This change has long been anticipated by the majority of the people of this country. It is my firm belief that the time has now come for this change to be realised. There will obviously be some resistance from those who hold the view that they alone have the right to govern this country. That resistance will be overwhelmed by the sheer force of the people’s choice in the next election. A new and democratic government will be inaugurated soon after the announcement of the election results, and a new era will begin.
The installation of a democratic government will have far-reaching and positive implications for the economy. Many of the irrational economic policies of the Mugabe era will have to be trashed and new and rational policies will be promulgated as indicated in the MDC-T’s JUICE document. This will positively impact on all sectors as well as on the desperate need to create employment. A democratic government will take appropriate measures to attract foreign direct investment and put an end to the scare that is termed empowerment or indigenisation.
Service delivery is also expected to improve significantly in terms of health, education and the fight against poverty. There will also be numerous changes in relation to the media as the new, democratic government will endeavour to ensure that that the monopoly currently held by ZBC in relation to the electronic media is broken and independent players are allowed to participate in the provision of both radio and television services.
These changes are expected to be realised during 2013, and the forces opposed to them will have to be tackled head-on by all progressive forces for the benefit of our nation. We have suffered too much and for too long under the Mugabe regime. – email@example.com