Newsday Editorial Comment
BRITAIN, Zimbabwe’s most promising ally in its quest to re-join the Commonwealth and pay arrears to international financial institutions, says it will not be supporting Harare following the brutal crackdown on protesters by security forces and government’s continued disregard for civil liberties.
The British are actually considering placing more sanctions on Zimbabwe and cutting aid to the southern African country.
The re-engangement agenda can effectively be declared dead in the water, all because government refuses to listen to its people.
The people of Zimbabwe are not asking for much or anything out of the ordinary.
All they ask for is to be able to have a shot at living a decent life.
With costs of basics such as bread and soft drinks rising daily, the cost of living is increasingly going beyond the reach of many.
Schools are understaffed, morale in the public service is at its lowest, industry which is without raw materials is on the brink of collapse and hospitals too are also without essentials.
A lot of health institutions have had to suspend what would ordinarily be routine procedures and people are dying as a result.
The country is slowly being taken back decades in history.
As all this happens, government refuses to shoulder responsibility choosing instead to lay the blame on Western countries, the private media and non-governmental organisations.
It is time President Emmerson Mnangagwa and his government admitted that their policies and approach do not bode well with progressive thinking.
Against all logic, government still chooses to retain central control of the economy, dictating how foreign currency is allocated which has resulted in pricing distortions throughout the market.
Again we hear that Ministry of Industry officials are holding meetings with bakers to intervene in the pricing of bread, following a recent price hike which has seen a loaf of bread now retailing for $2,50. Bakers cite rising costs of production as well as inaccessibility of foreign currency. The other time it was National Foods, then the next month it was Delta.
This has become an all too familiar scenario as government attempts piecemeal solutions to manage a crisis with roots that run deep.
The economy is in distress and the base can no longer hold. We desperately require an urgent bailout to jump-start industry which is starved of capital and to address the currency crisis which has paralysed the economy.
We cannot afford any further isolation.
It is high time that government displayed its sincerity in taking the country forward. – NewsDay.