Time to consolidate freedom gains

Stephen Mpofu Correspondent
Zimbabwe’s political octopuses must have their hard shells slashed yesterday to create space for majority povo to occupy and consummate Uhuru; otherwise the agrarian revolution as a consequence of the armed struggle in which gallant sons and daughters of the soil sacrificed their precious lives for freedom — and with devolution on its mark — will have been in vain.

Of course, the subject in point here is that of “bigwigs” owning multiple farms, while other Zimbabweans till infertile strips of land or scratch the ground, like chickens, searching for something to keep soul and body together.

The land audit is a topic discussed so many times during the previous Government of President Robert Mugabe.

That it has still not been concluded will obviously raise questions among those desperately in need of land about the urgency with which the authorities ought to conclude this critical matter once and for all in order to equalise land ownership among our people who had much of that fertile God-endowed asset seized from them by those without knees during the colonial era.

But of course, our people should exercise some degree of patience in the realisation that the Government, which has promised to repossess  excess land for redistribution to those of our people who need that resource the most, needs to do a thorough and not a haphazard job.

Still, speed is important here in settling that matter so that come devolution, the majority of Zimbabweans who live in rural areas will have something to smile about when recalling the hardships they suffered under successive white racist rule in Rhodesia before Zimbabwe’s independence on April 18, 1980.

It probably also needs to be stated here that plans by the Government of the Second Republic to make Zimbabweans live their hard won freedom are beyond reproach.

What, however, appears to be lacking is how the authorities go about policing the implementation of their decisions to make them bear the desired results and make Zimbabwe a better place for all to live.

For instance, the Government needs to thoroughly investigate why people who receive foreign currency from the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) to import goods or raw materials surreptitiously charge customers in US dollars for their products, but do not pay the wages of their workers in foreign currency.

Is the foreign currency from the sales not being blued or spirited out of the country by the owners of the companies to be kept abroad, as was the practice that the Panama papers exposed whereby some bigwigs externalised forex to be banked abroad for them?

Above all, all culprits must be exposed in addition to having their trading licences revoked as a warning to other mischief-makers that the Government`s eagle eye is watching them day and night.

It is also important that power-and riches-hungry people have no big say in the implementation of devolution lest they use the programme as a cat spoor to satiate their greed.

There will be no harm in them becoming intoxicated with the scent of devolution but their hands and tongues must be kept off it so that the rural people may use deputised central Government power to transcend the underdevelopment in which many wallow even today.

Home -holiday making programmes should be crafted in all the provinces so that rural dwellers are acquainted with tourist attractions that for many have remained near and yet so far away from them along with the money that tourists leave behind and which should be spent on improving schools, health facilities, homesteads, roads and bridges, dip tanks as well as constructing dams for irrigation purposes especially when rain fails as it appears to be doing this season.

There is probably a need for research to be carried out in order to revive traditional festivals that have waned over the years due to industrialisation and urbanisation so that urban dwellers may take a breather visiting the festivities away from the helter-skelter pace of life in urban areas.

If the plans and projects that the Government has are implemented with speed and thoroughness, the Second Republic could well end up as an example of how a nation pulling together as one people and not as a span of oxen and donkeys can make economic, social and political transformation a reality for other countries to emulate.

Viva Zimbabwe!

Aluta continua.

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