Zimbabwe: It's 2008 all over again

5 Min Read

I always consider myself an optimist and always think things will turn out for the best, no matter how bad the situation is.

But, for the first time in my life, I have found myself thinking, “where the hell is my passport” as my hope that things will turn for the better soon is quickly running out.

For a number of Zimbabweans, 2007-8 was a nadir, the lowest of points, and there’s no way we can ever go back there, but even then, I never fancied leaving Zimbabwe as much as I do now.

For the record, 2007-8 was bad, in fact very bad. Water, money, electricity, fuel, food and basically anything you can think of were in short supply. How we made it through those years remains quite a mystery, but at least we made it.

We are probably going to live through 2015, but three months into the year, it’s proving to be a very difficult year.

Unlike in 2008, food and fuel are no longer in short supply, but now people don’t have money to buy anything.

In 2008, a US$100 was a mini fortune, but now it doesn’t go very much far.

While 2008 was bad, I am certain 2014 saw many people losing their jobs than 2008.

I am not saying 2008 was a better year than this year, but the situation is getting increasingly desperate and comparisons aren’t far off the mark.

We had hope from 2009 that things had taken a turn for the better, but I must say, pessimistically too, this proved to be a false dawn and things are becoming very bad.

Never mind the government spin and propaganda, the truth is unemployment has grown and will continue to grow. The government may say people are now employed in the informal sector and our employment is as high as 95 per cent, the truth is much further than that.

The tax base has shrunk so much that the government is struggling to raise money for its own operations and it will come as no surprise if the the government fails to pay its workers soon.

It’s one thing to thumb suck employment figures, but the reality is the informalisation of the economy means the government cannot raise enough money for itself.

I attended a graduation ceremony last year, a bitter sweet experience for me. While I was obviously elated that students graduated, the truth is most of them have just added to the teeming ranks of the unemployed and they shall soon realise that their fancy certificates are just a piece of paper, and may not count for much.

With the rate companies are closing down, cities are increasingly becoming ghost towns across the country and maybe the turnaround we yearn for might not be as near as we hoped it will be.

What has worried me more is the level of political fanaticism, where instead of looking for solutions, we are hell bent on outdoing each other in praise of our leaders.

We have literally been reduced to a praise singing nation, while more jobs are lost, the economy suffers and general gloom pervades throughout the country.

I want the best for my country, I hope for the best for Zimbabwe, but I wonder if Zimbabwe has the best for me.
Excuse me if I feel an overwhelming sense of déjà vu, but I feel we’ve been here before and things are just about to get worse.

It’s like the more things changed from 2008, the more they remained the same.

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