Stephen Mpofu Correspondent
Zimbabwe’s new beginning — call it new dispensation after the fall of former president Robert Mugabe’s government last November — continues to posit a brighter future so that uninterrupted peace and stability are a must for the consummation of the exciting new prospects for our motherland.
The recent reopening of Eureka Gold Mine in Guruve, Mashonaland Central Province, and before that the resumption of work at Masvingo’s Cold Storage Commission along with news that asbestos mines at Shabanie and Mashava will soon be reopened should make job-seekers in particular execute a Sinjonjo dance as a brighter future beckons for their families.
The closure of the two mines as well as shutdowns of factories and companies in other towns and cities, particularly in Bulawayo, once upon a time Zimbabwe’s industrial hub, brought about by illegal western financial and economic sanctions to protest land reform, saw thousands of jobless Zimbabweans trooping out to neighbouring countries and elsewhere further abroad where they remain holed up — with some of them treated like slaves and unable to return home to exercise their right to vote in next month’s harmonised elections.
President Mnangagwa’s campaign for Zimbabwe’s re-engagement with the rest of the world is yielding handsome dividends with prospective investors making beelines to the country to join Zimbabweans in revamping the economy with benefits accruing to both themselves as well as to the host country.
It is therefore incumbent upon our people, as the President has said, to give the foreign direct investors such a warm reception as will make others climb down from their fences and join us as partners in the economic and social development of our countries.
Zimbabwe is rich in different kinds of minerals with gold, diamonds and platinum among the most popular ones with foreign investors.
Now the Government has announced that it will roll out Command Mining in order for our people to benefit from their natural resources instead of doing spade work for foreign companies exploiting Zimbabwe’s mineral endowments for the enrichment of their native countries.
Not only will Command Mining directly benefit our people; it is also bound to bring sanity to gold panning along rivers in various parts of the country where the use of chemicals such as cyanide poses a threat to water bodies while mounds of earth dug up along riverbeds pause the risk of silting the water bodies, not to mention violent clashes, some fatal, which have repeatedly occurred in various areas where the makorokoza do their thing.
Command Mining will obviously ensure that no minerals are blued out of the country for sale with the money not being remitted to benefit the source, Zimbabwe, as is believed by many to have been the case where foreigners are in total control of the exploitation of some of Zimbabwe’s precious minerals.
It would be interesting to know, for instance, what happened to emeralds which made Mberengwa District popular during the war of liberation.
Were they all taken out and sold outside the country since villagers in areas where the emeralds are, still wallow in poverty to this very day.
Or do the minerals remain buried underground to be exploited for the benefit of our national economy?
This writer knows of some politicians and teachers who acquired the emeralds from freedom fighters for a song and probably sit pretty even after retiring from politics and from Government service.
Command Agriculture, it has been said by those in power, has the potential even in times of drought to restore Zimbabwe’s breadbasket status as enjoyed in the early years of independence, thanks to the indefatigable work of peasants.
The constructions of more dams in various parts of the country will ensure that when rainy seasons are lean, irrigation will guarantee uninterrupted food production for the country.
Add Command livestock to uninterrupted food production and this country’s economy will remain buoyant.
Burgeoning appetites for Zimbabwean beef have been reported in Britain and elsewhere in the European Union and so, like Command livestock if pursued with vigour, especially in cattle rearing areas in Matabeleland, will help firmly anchor our economy.
Finally , because the economy and future of this country rest in our hands, Zimbabweans should regard the above discourse as a clarion call on everyone to know more (repeat know more) of corruption and nepotism and instead fiercely love themselves and their country and walk tall in unity as an example to others in the global village.