Where Is Zimbabwe Headed?
Last Updated on 2023-03-28 by Guy Taylor
Howdy folks, I trust all are well. To my returning visitors I must apologize for my absence. I am aware that I need to be more proactive on my blogging, but the strange thing is I do think of new content to write, especially when it comes to the primary niche of this blog, which is agricultural but sitting down and writing what I have intended blogging about and have researched I’m for some reason not very good at it, despite the fact that I am a writer and have several books in the pipeline, but I am sure I will get there. The strange thing is I have been known to pump out two blogs in a day, one after the other and then no more for a while. But again, I am sure I will get there.
A few years ago I had a blog that was not very niche, it was pretty scattered on various topics but despite how varied it was it did very well in terms of traffic. I covered topics from dog walking to military matters to do with the British Army and political issues, to how to get golden visas and buy another nationality and what the best countries were for that (which was inspired by an article by Business Insider originally published in 2018) but I mostly blogged about my political interests. I remember on that particular website I had back then I wrote my best performing blog ever which had over 27,000 views worldwide in just under a week and in a month over 100k, I am hoping that I can reach the same with this blog as it is important.
It was the day that Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa became president of Zimbabwe after “unseating” Robert Mugabe in a supposed coup d’état that people have often joked that it was a coup, that wasn’t a coup, that was a coup, that wasn’t and it actually turns out that it wasn’t really. Someone very cleverly and deceitfully fooled the world, only we didn’t realize it at the time and I was temporarily made to believe that my deeply and long time held analysis that I’d had for many years was wrong but, it quickly turned out to be right. Emmerson Mnangagwa, with the help of the ZNA (Zimbabwe National Army), under the command of General Constantino Chiwenga took over from Mugabe who had essentially ruled the country for thirty-seven years (as Prime Minister from 1980 until 1987 and then as President from 1987 to 2017). It is important to note though that world leaders such as the then Theresa May, Donald Trump and Angela Merkel were not fooled and shunned Mnangagwa at every turn.
Even sitting in a cafe drinking a hot coffee on that cold, gray, wet English Fall morning on November 24, 2017, although as misguided as that hope was it felt, (again misguided) as though the stranglehold of ZANU PF that had gripped Zimbabwe for so long was loosening, and for some reason many Zimbabweans, regardless of race, creed and religion, myself included, although already severely removed from feeling any bit Zimbabwean, hoped and believed that Zimbabwe was about to turn a new corner, and that freedom and prosperity for all Zimbabweans would once again come to meet us all. And that, the country would once again rejoin the global stage. But that hope was not a hope for myself, it was a hope for Zimbabweans that had already suffered greatly, economically and politically at the hands of a ruling party that refused to relinquish power and held onto it by whatever means.
It was an incredible feeling to even be able to hold onto a little bit of hope, as misguided as it was then. Fast forward to 2023, nothing much has changed. The $ZWL (formerly the $ZWD) is now virtually non-existent, where once upon a time, even within my lifetime, it was one of the most powerful economies and currencies in the world. Being even more powerful than both the US Dollar and the British Sterling at one stage. Zimbabwe was open for business to everyone from all across the globe. From east to west, north to south Zimbabwe was vibrant and welcoming to all. Regardless of the sector, whether commercial industrial, agricultural, mining and tourism. Zimbabwe flourished.
The UK-Zimbabwe Partnership was stronger than ever, I even did a hotel and catering management course through the British Council in Harare, although I was not very good at it I excelled at the Business English module, that course although through the British Council was done through INTEC college in South Africa, so a long distance course.
The Zimbabwean passport held much power with Zimbabweans able to travel to countries without visas, two of those countries being the United Kingdom and Canada.
And then one day that excellence just came to a halt. The once powerful Zimbabwe Dollar crashed in 1997 on a November Friday afternoon, which popularly came to be known as Black Friday and was the start of Zimbabwe’s impending political and economic collapse, and not the rebirth that ZANU PF would have the world believe. And in the early 2000s that is when the true troubles began. The once free to travel everywhere on a Zimbabwean passport became harder than it had ever been in its existence, the unemployment rate shot through the roof and Zimbabweans began to experience on a level that they never had. The lack of true law and order which was once world class ended with the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) which I once served with pride (albeit not as a regular police officer) became corrupt and became a quasi-bodyguard agency for the ruling party. ZANU PF started snatching up commercial farms and killing several white farmers and even some of their labour.
The country became a true living nightmare, with even several global companies pulling out, one of them being the global banking giant, Barclays, as well as mining giant Rio Tinto later in 2015 and others between Barclays and Rio Tinto pulling out.
ZANU PF’s stranglehold on Zimbabweans and their crimes against humanity and infringements upon freedom loving Zimbabweans awarded the country global sanctions which exist to date, imposed by the EU, UK, the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, enforced by the UN. New Zealand, quite rightly even pushed for and got Zimbabwe expelled from the Commonwealth of which was once an integral part of. ZANU PF then blamed the country’s economic downfall on supposed “illegal” western sanctions, completely disregarding their own crimes against humanity. And, so clever is the communist element of propaganda that the ZANU PF strategy worked and they managed to convince Zimbabweans that the sanctions were illegal.
I often sit here and wonder how it is that Zimbabwe has not entered another civil war, or “chimurenga”. Of course it is not what Zimbabweans want. It has, as a country since the late 1800s had its fair share of war and so culturally Zimbabweans do not, on a whole want another but I do still sit here and think of how unique, utterly tenacious and determined Zimbabweans actually are to maintain that peace, regardless of what happens. Regardless of how many times a peaceful protest is broken up by sheer aggression by the security forces of Zimbabwe, often leaving dozens of Zimbabweans that just want their lives back dead and yet, Zimbabweans persist in keeping that peace and instead of making protests violent they insist on keeping them peaceful. It is in a sense very admirable. Which brings something an old man once said to me while in Headlands, Zimbabwe. He was the chief of a village just up from a farm that I was farm sitting for an Australian expat in 2002. And we were sitting there, having a cup of tea and bread (tea ne chingwa) while my horse was tethered outside his hut and we were speaking about the status quo in the country and I can’t remember what I said to him but I have never forgotten his reply, two simple words yet so powerful, “hatidi hondo” (we don’t want war) and that just sums up exactly why there is no civil war. Yes, there have been rumours from time to time that there is an impending war coming but those rumours were just rumours. The Zimbabwean rumour mill has always shone very bright, regardless of how true or untrue something was.
And so today, while I write this, I sit here and I am concerned. Not for me but for the family that I still have in Zimbabwe, the friends I still have there and the direction, or now misdirection that Zimbabwe has headed down.
In life though I truly and fundamentally believe that in anything that we do we cannot give up on faith, we cannot give up on hope, we cannot give up on belief because in all those lies the possibility of a better tomorrow.
This year is Zimbabwe’s general elections, we all have an inkling of which way they won’t go, because of past experiences but we have to have hope, faith and belief that finally after so long ZANU PF will do the right thing, for all Zimbabweans and concede defeat, for the sake of a better tomorrow for all who want to be involved. For the sake of future generations of Zimbabweans, regardless of race, creed and religion. Forget the idea of black Zimbabwean and white Zimbabwean, just like they did in Rwanda – forget the idea of Hutu and Tutsi, they are all Rwandan just the same as Zimbabwe, they are all Zimbabwean.
I can only sit here and pray that the elections go the right way so that Zimbabwe’s economy can be worked towards restoring it to its full potential, which now, since the discovery of massive gold and diamond deposits and more recently Lithium and other precious and semi precious and minerals and other resources is greater than ever.
So as a world I ask you to please pray that this year is Zimbabwe’s big break and that it has the break that all Zimbabweans deserve.
So in signing off, a message to all Zimbabweans, in Shona, tiri pamwe chete!
Cheers for now.
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