By Hopewell Chin’ono
So this is at our biggest international airport in Zimbabwe this Saturday afternoon in Harare, only ONE plane in sight when I got there, Ethiopian Airlines.
Those fortunate enough to have been to the same airport 30 years ago know that on a Saturday afternoon like today, the place would have been packed with commercial airline planes.
Many of us used to go to the airport on weekends to have a drink at the airport balcony just to watch planes land and takeoff, there were just too many planes to create a buzz on any given day.
Today these planes are not here anymore because of a multitude of tragic problems created by mismanagement if the country by ZANUPF. Amongst them is a terribly run and collapsed economy, lack of Rule of Law, fear due to outbreaks of medieval diseases like cholera and typhoid, political risk due to regular reportage of political abductions and murders that have come to define the last 20 years of ZANUPF rule and more. In the second strata is a terrible road infrastructure, a lack of a market based foreign exchange system, continued load shedding of electricity, and now a dysfunctional system of Government where elected officials are being illegally recalled!
Try and drive between Bulawayo and Victoria Falls, please don’t do it at night, it is like you are driving on a 1920s road! We have learned nothing from other similar African stories and mistakes. This was all caused by the destruction of a post colonial polity built on the blood on sweat of fallen liberation fighters, many who didn’t make it back home.
Foreign airlines can’t come to a country where the exchange rate is fixed, many of these airlines are owed millions from this disastrous practice from the past. So coming doesn’t make business sense, nothing personal. The Government doesn’t need to spend money to change this reality, it simply needs to follow its own constitution and respect the Rule of Law.
But how do you do this when your very own existence is rooted in an illegality and a questionable and sham election? That is the root cause of the problem, I am glad to report that the youths are leaving, they were there joking about my call for them to temporarily park their lives outside the country in order not to waste away their lives! Zimbabwe has so much potential, it once was the second most sophisticated economy in Africa, only second to South Africa.
Today it has the highest inflation in the world, it is the riskiest place to invest according to Oxford Economics! It also costs more for tourists to get travel insurance, all this can change if the Zimbabwean Government wanted it to change! But it will mean drastically reducing public and state corruption, following the constitution and accepting election defeats where they happen.
Is ZANUPF ready for such a Zimbabwe? When tourists think of coming to Africa, they have a choice of 54 countries which are distinctly defined by their internal politics and economic climates. Where does Zimbabwe fit when it had the highest inflation in the world and the riskiest investment profile? Is ZANUPF ready to engage with these facts genuinely and in earnest?
I don’t think so!