Optimistic despite negatives
ENGAGING THE WEST: Emmerson Mnangagwa

Living in Zimbabwe should be added on your CV, it’s a skill!

A colleague from Botswana sent me this joke, which has been circulating on social media and it actually got me thinking that Zimbos really are a resilient lot.

We have been extremely poor millionaires, waking up with no idea where the next meal would come from, not because one had no money but because there was nothing to buy as shops had literally run dry.

Fuel queues stretched for kilometres as suppliers had stopped bringing in fuel to Zimbabwe due to non-availability of money, resulting in most fuel stations closing shop.

Business came to a halt as there was no formal business to talk about even though the government of the day turned a blind eye and pretended all was well.

Anyway, let me not dwell much on our trials and tribulations as a nation during some years of former President Robert Mugabe’s rule as that is already well documented.

Of course the struggle continues but if truth be told, we are currently in a much better space than the dark days which characterized the years 2006 to 2009 when even salt was not available in stores.

How people survived during this era is a mystery but as the joke aptly points out, the skilful Zimbos hustled and pulled through.

Having been through a lot of hard times, we can only hope for the best, especially since Mugabe is no longer in the picture.

There is a lot of skepticism about the current administration, or the junta government as some call it, but the good thing is there are signs we could be heading for better days ahead.

The international community seems to have warmed up to the Emmerson Mnangangwa-led government and relations between Zimbabwe and most Western countries have improved since the change of guard last year.

For the first time in 20 years, British authorities sat down for a dialogue with government officials with assurances that if the forthcoming elections are free and fair, aid will be advanced.

Investors and potential investors who had turned their backs on Zimbabwe are said to be showing interest in doing business in the country.

Of course they are treading with caution and obviously waiting for the outcome of the elections, which we hope will be fair even though there are tell-tale signs that the military will play a much bigger role, as they did in bringing in the new government.

Last week, Vice President, retired general Constantino Chiwenga flexed his military muscles as he fired thousands of nurses who had gone on strike, much to the shock of many who felt he had crossed the line.

Though the nurses have since been re-instated, Chiwenga’s decision left a dent on his political career as he seems to have disregard for the rights of workers and people in general.

One can only hope that it quickly sinks into his brain that he is no longer in the military but in the civilian world where people have rights!

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