HARARE – We all know that going backwards, though motion, is never progress and 37 years after independence we, are going in reverse when other nations are making great strides in terms of social and economic development.
While our leaders may represent the few who live in splendour, statistics on a broader scale show that our country is now ranked among the poorest.
According to findings that were released by AfrAsia Bank and New World Wealth on Africa Wealth report, the landlocked African country that has no currency of its own is the poorest in the region.
It remains a sad read indeed, considering that back in 2000, before President Robert Mugabe embarked on the ad hoc land reform programme, Zimbabwe was one of the wealthiest countries in sub-Saharan Africa on a wealth per capita basis, ranked ahead of the likes of Nigeria, Kenya, Angola, Zambia and Ghana.
However, now it is ranked well behind them.
It is sad that we are now a laughing stock of the region with an average of wealth per person being $200 while the highest wealth per person in Mauritania being $25 700.
Basic lessons that Mugabe and his ever-fighting ministers have never learnt through the years of destroying the once-vibrant economy are that — populism is ill for economic progress and disrespect of property rights can only scare aware potential investors.
While some neighbouring countries such as Mozambique are developing at breakneck pace, Zimbabwe is failing to revive its comatose economy and the economic and political superintends are failing to woo investors for companies like ZiscoSteel and Hwange Colliery.
While Zanu PF has always blamed western countries for imposing sanctions on Zimbabwe, we all know that Rhodesia under Ian Smith managed to bust the economic embargoes imposed by the world and managed to steer the country through the crisis.
However, Mugabe, whose Look East policy has proved to be a high-sounding nothing, yielding nothing but memorandums of understanding and lopsided deals that obviously favour the Chinese, has learnt nothing from history, apart from preserving his power never mind the capital costs of his ill-fated policies.
We would like to remind Mugabe and his hangers-on that Zimbabwe is not private property but a country where we are all equal shareholders.
But the bottom line now is that Mugabe is now too old to care and those who should tell him to ship out are busy looting and protecting their ill-gotten wealth.
There is no doubt in our minds that we are in this mess because of Mugabe and Zanu PF’s incompetency and failure to do the basics.