When we entered the Government of National Unity (GNU) in 2009, inflation had reached 500 billion percent. By the time the GNU ended in 2013, inflation was just 1.63%. As soon as ZANU-PF was left to run the economy alone, inflation started rising. Annual inflation is now well over 500%, and rising.
In 2012, a teacher was earning US$300. It was not much, but they could afford to send their children to school. Today, that same teacher is earning less than US$100. They cannot afford the bus fare to class, and can no longer send their own children to school.
Before GNU, the economy had shrunk by 16.5% in 2008. Under GNU, the economy grew by 5.4% in 2009, 11.4% in 2010, 9.3% in 2011, and 10.6% in 2012. As soon as GNU ended, the economy grew just 2.4% in 2014. In 2019, the economy fell 7.5%.
These are the facts.
However, Zimbabwe is not beyond redemption.
Under MDC’s Agenda 2020, our programme of action and peaceful resistance, we will this year work to deliver the legitimacy that our country was denied, and the prosperity that our people deserve.
Our party’s activities have been severely curtailed over recent months, including bans on peaceful protests. But we will not betray the people’s vote, nor let their voices be silenced.
In 2020, we will focus our efforts on the people’s fight on five key issues, namely: the fight for a people’s Government and reforms; the fight for a better life; the fight against corruption; the fight for the rule of law; and the fight in defence of the Constitution.
We will, over the coming months, push ever more resolutely for genuine dialogue. This should lead to a National Transitional Authority, under which we would implement far reaching reforms, leading to credible elections. Only then can we move on.
Zimbabwe is again sliding into chaos. Around the country, machete-wielding gangs are overrunning the police in the country’s goldfields. The greedy political figures that birthed these gangs, for self-enrichment, have now lost control. The hunger crisis will drive even more young people to despair, and into desperate action.
A dangerous impatience now engulfs the nation. There is danger of the country being overtaken by forces and processes that are intolerant to the continued status quo. The endless police crackdowns on our people have radicalised many youths against any form of authority.
The Zimbabwean crisis is no longer domestic, but regional.
Every country in the region already faces growing social demands from their own citizens. We are deeply grateful to our neighbours for accommodating Zimbabweans, but, in truth, none of them deserve to take on the added burden of another country’s failure.
Hence our call for our neighbours, South Africa included, to intervene and help us talk and resolve this deep crisis.
The policy of appeasement has failed and can no longer continue. More than two years after November 2017 coup, and more than 18 months after the stolen 2018 election, time is fast running out for Zimbabwe.
It is time to correct Zimbabwe’s tragic failure of leadership, before it’s too late.
By Nelson Chamisa-NewZwire