Zimbabwe how they got to where they

Zimbabwe citizens find themselves in an unprecedented position. The peaceful exchange of power was rather unexpected and could not have happened in a more unorthodox manner. Although Zimbabwe such as many other African nations is struggling to find its way on the economic front and failing to finally get out of the cloud of poverty that plagues the nation. The people still haven’t lost hope to see that better day come and hopefully they won’t have to wait too long. But, before they get to the better days lets find out how they got to where they are today Zimbabwe is an ex-British colony only gaining independence in 1980 after a long guerrilla warfare against their oppressors. After the War of Independence was won the people thought it was a time for peace and for Zimbabweans’ to finally decide the future of Zimbabwe. Sadly, it was not going to be so.  The two major parties at the time where ZANU and ZAPU, these two parties decided to merge during the war so that they could throw a threatening enough force at the colonizers. After the war, the ZANU leader, His Excellency Robert Gabriel,  Zimbabwe assumed power over the infant nation. Even though the ZANU party had assumed the reigns they still feared dissension for the opposing ZAPU party. ZANU recruited mainly from the majority Shona people, whereas the ZAPU had its greatest support among the minority Ndebele people group. In early 1983, the North Korean-trained Fifth Brigade began a crackdown on dissidents in Matabeleland North, one of the homelands of the Ndebele. During the course of the following two years, thousands of Ndebele were detained by military forces and either taken to re-education camps or summarily executed. Although there are different estimates, the consensus of the International Association of Genocide Scholars is that more than 20,000 people were killed.  This massacre or ethnic cleansing was dubbed the name Gukurahundi which is derived from the native language of the Shona people and loosely translates to “the early rain which washes away the chaff before the spring rains”. Such a show of inhumanity should have signaled to people that the new President. R.G Mugabe and his government were toxic and no good could come from such. Over the next three and half decades President Mugabe retained power by any means possible. To appease the war veterans the President sanctioned the unlawful raids and seizures of White farms. Consequently, most white farmers fled the nation to neighboring countries and started afresh there. The war veterans who had no real farming experience assumed control of the farms and most not knowing what to do left them baron or underutilized. Zimbabwe once being called the bread-basket of Africa lost this status and started a steep descent to the bottom. In recent years Zimbabwe has found itself having to buy grain from neighboring countries, just to feed its people. Ruling with an iron fist the Mugabe regime squashed anyone who tried to speak out against them, leaving the people voiceless and destitute. While the people are trying by any means to make a reasonable living the government ministers were living lavishly. The first children would often be seen driving flamboyant cars and living an exorbitant lifestyle which is well documented on social media. One of the two boys posted a video, on the video-sharing network – snapchat, of him pouring Champagne on a $60,000 watch with the caption, ” $60,000 on the wrist when your daddy run the whole country ya know”. Ministers would steal whole budgets and misallocate government tenders so that they could build mansions and live the high life as well. Someone had the bill for all this and the Zimbabwean citizens where stuck with the bill with tax rates of up 50%. This type of behavior lasted for years and the Zimbabwean people couldn’t do anything about it because the rest of the world didn’t seem to care. But the end of an era will always come and on the 21 of November, the Mugabe dynasty came to an end by nothing short of a miracle. Just a week before on the 18th of November 2017, the whole nation stopped and stood together demanding the removal of former President of Zimbabwe, Cde Robert. G. Mugabe, in one of the most beautiful moments in Zimbabwean history. Racial barriers didn’t matter and unity was the order of the day, never before has all of Zimbabwe been so united. With a de facto coup  Zimbabwe has a new President, E.D Mnangagwa who seems to be heading in a positive direction with the country. Who would have ever thought a nation can change in two weeks with no violence? Those two weeks were nothing short of the providence of God. Providence which as defined by the Oxford dictionary is , the protective care of God or of nature as a spiritual power, and by the Merriam Webster dictionary as, divine guidance or care. Providence simply defined God remembering His people. Zimbabwe had many problems one of them being former president  Robert Mugabe and his cronies, one of them being the new president who had been beside Mugabe for many decades. Through the course of the next few months, we will see if Mugabe was the true cause of the demise of Zimbabwe. The problems still facing Zimbabwe are that with our current GDP growth rate of 2.8 %, which is one of the lowest, it will take 190 years to just double the standard of living. Where in China the government has been doubling its standard of living every 10years for the past 30 years. Another problem we face is gross corruption as was stated before. The correlation between poverty and corruption is direct, some of the world’s poorest countries are some of the most corrupt and on the other hand, the less corrupt ones have more wealth. Due to mass corruption, Zimbabwe is not able raise enough money for its institutions. Subsequently, they perform on a sub-par level and in most cases they are defunct. Then one would find that even money that is being stolen and the money that legitimate are making is being externalized because of the uncertainty of the market . About $5 billion dollars has been externalized in Zimbabwe, that the new President has said should be returned back into the economy by the end of March 2018 or they perpetrators will suffer the full extent of the law. Due to the billions that have been externalized and stolen through corruption the government has not been able it invest in an adequate health care system, sustainable energy, a working police system and a reliable transport element. Another way of looking at this is that Zimbabwe suffers from clan-based thinking. This type of thinking is toxic to many people. For example, there are 2 jobs available and 4 people apply for this job. The first two know the boss and are somehow related to the boss at the same their applications are weaker than the other two. The first two who have some sort of relationship to the boss get the job because their part of the same “clan” as the boss and it would have been corrupt in the eyes of everyone else if the boss didn’t hire the people from his “clan”. This then causes the country to underutilize the intelligence of the whole population but singling out a people group and ignoring the rest. We also lack the certain systems that allow business to thrive in a country. State regulation is costly to companies, starting or closing a business is slow and costly. The Labour market is highly regulated, hiring a worker is cumbersome and firing a worker is difficult too. It also lacks connectivity within the country and from the rest of the world. If an entrepreneur orders some raw materials from South Africa it would days to come to get to the capital ( Harare), it is also very costly to fly the goods so most small businesses opt for it to come by road. Whereas in China an entrepreneur of the same resources can order raw materials and get them with half the time it takes in Zimbabwe. That completely undercuts the Zimbabwean entrepreneur puts him behind in the race. One of the biggest blessings Zimbabwe has been bestowed with is abundant natural resources. These resources, however, have been working against us just like in many other richly blessed African nations. Economists call natural resources intensifiers: they will help make a country with working institutions richer, and one with bad institutions poorer. This perpetuates the cycle of what is called the resources trap. We can see this evident in the mineral-rich Congo, which has endless natural resources but is one of the poorest. The DRC has most of the world’s Coltan, which is used in every mobile phone, it has massive deposits of uranium, it is said that the uranium that was used in the bombs that hit Hiroshima and Nagasaki was mined in south-east Congo. Zimbabwe finds itself in the same position as Congo minus the violence as Zimbabweans’ are generally a peaceful people. These natural resources give the elite few the ability to take all the wealth without the co-operation of the whole society. If the only way a country could get rich was by building technically advanced products such as; engines, machinery and transport equipment like Sweden you will need the whole country to buy into the vision. But if you just need to extract minerals, you can do that without the agreement of the masses and a small labor force. With a new President and a regime promising economic change, through a drastic change of economic practices, Zimbabweans should remain hopeful. With failing parastatals being privatized and certain measures such as a credible election to entice foreign direct investment (FDI) are being taken, there can only be a brighter day coming for the people of Zimbabwe. Cutting expenses in the 2018 national budget and rumors looming of Zimbabwe picking a stable currency such as the rand the brighter day for Zimbabwe seems closer than anyone could have ever predicted. In the words of Daniel Webster, I wish you this Zimbabwe, “May the sun in his course visit no land more free, more happy, more lovely than this our own country !” 

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