By Noel Tshuma
WEEKS before the festive season Zimbabweans face a dark future and a bleak Christmas as the economic, social and political problems facing the country continue to escalate to unprecedented levels, MDC leader Nelson Chamisa said Wednesday.
In his “Hope of the Nation Address” disrupted by police refusal to grant him permission to deliver it in an open space in central Harare known as Africa Unity Square as well as the brutality with which police dispersed his supporters who had gathered at his party offices, Chamisa painted a painful picture of the situation.
“We face the bleakest and harshest Christmas season we have ever seen. A Christmas in which many will go hungry.
“When things go wrong even nature turns its back, livestock are dying in the country side and only a few people in government seem to be surviving and living thriving on corruption,” Chamisa said.
He said Zimbabwe is at cross-roads with corruption turning into a cancer gnawing at the soul of the nation.
”We are in this situation because of a broken system that has created a habit in which few among us benefit from the national cake. Unfortunately, our country Zimbabwe is no stranger to such times,” he said.
After promising to not only widen the democratic space but also turn the economic fortunes of the country when he took over following the November 2017 coup, President Emmerson Mnangagwa seem to have hit a cul-de-sac with little to show he has the ideas require to take the country out of the rut.
His austerity measures under the Transition Stabilisation Programme have pushed Zimbabweans to the edge amid reports of instability in the security services.
The introduction of the local currency in June that followed the discontinuation of the multi-currency regime that had been in place for the past 10 years has worsened the situation with the Zimbabwe Dollar losing over 500% of its value since the dramatic and shock return.
Mnangagwa’s anti-corruption fight also seems to have stalled and his re-engagement efforts have been hampered by continues use of force against civilians with dozens having died at the hands of the army and police since he assumed power.
Medical doctors have been on strike for almost three months, civil servants are wallowing in poverty while ordinary citizens can hardly raise enough for a meal creating a siege mentality that seem to have pushed Mnangagwa into defensive mode in what looks like a powder keg waiting to explode.