Home » General » Independence Provides Opportunities to Zim [opinion]

TODAY Zimbabwe is celebrating 34 years as an independent country. It is a young country that has gone through trying times, but has managed to be resilient while promising a bright future. Many Zimbabweans will want to reflect on the gains of the past years, but it is equally important to look forward and determine where we want to go as a country and what we want to achieve.

The citizens should dream big and strive to achieve enormous success similar to that of our friends in China and Malaysia. It is one thing to dream, but another to fulfil those dreams. In order for us Zimbabweans to achieve our dreams, we need to align our dreams and efforts. Any slight misalignment of these two will result in diminished returns. Success is not an autopilot phenomenon, but is driven purposefully by citizens and government institutions. Each needs to play their role in a positive manner.

These goals seem to be obvious and self-evident truths, but many times people give them less or no attention resulting in failure. Just to give an example: it is common knowledge that corruption in an organisation can undermine viability, but people nevertheless commit it! The same corrupt people aspire to be successful through ill-gotten gains. That is not the type of success that our liberation struggle ideals espouse!

As we celebrate 34 years of independence, we need to accept that we have not been the best that we can be. It is from this premise that we can challenge ourselves to become better than what we are now. We have achieved several feats in the past years such as high literacy rates in education, built excellent healthcare infrastructure, developed a Black workforce that was non-existent before independence. That workforce managed to take over the running of the country and improved it, by extending opportunities to the previously marginalised Black majority.

These are all wonderful things that we have done, but Zimbabwe faces challenges associated with a maturing country such as improving infrastructure and providing higher standards of social services. Such challenges and more restrict us from reaching our potential, for instance, to be the biggest economy and most prosperous nation in Africa. It is within our grasp to achieve that feat. The independence we celebrate today is one of the key levers that allow us to achieve that feat. We need to see April 18, not as a day to reflect back on past achievements but a springboard to future success. It’s a day that allows us to face the challenges and use the liberation struggle ideals to propel us forward to success.

However, we cannot progress if we continue with the amount of corruption such as that which has been exposed by the media. Corruption in its various forms will prevent us from exploiting all the opportunities that independence brings.

Lack of respect for public resources and the public administration system will undermine our dreams. We need to make ethical and sound decisions that will allow us to invest our resources and efforts into productive outcomes for the greater good of all citizens. Those that are stewards of public resources need to understand their stewardship role, and therefore, ensure that public resources work for the benefit of all citizens. That is what our gallant liberation heroes went to the liberation struggle for.

Over the past 34 years, we have set ourselves up as a country to succeed. As a result of independence, we have addressed the land ownership imbalance through the land reform program and we are currently in the early stages of implementing a legislative framework for indigenising our economy. In 2013, a super majority of Zimbabweans supported a new home-made Constitution that reflects our aspirations. These are fundamental elements that provide our country with levers to make transformational change to our economy going forward.

These elements allow us, for instance, to control the natural resources such as gold, land diamonds, etc., and to access and spread around opportunities such as education, employment, social security, etc. However, this will only be possible if we make ethical and sound decisions about the use of, and stewardship of public resources. It is possible if we align our dreams with our efforts and if we let ourselves be guided by the liberation struggle ideals!

Let our independence inspire us! Let us set ourselves lofty, but achievable goals by Zimbabwe’s 40th anniversary. It is possible to succeed if we dream and work hard, while making ethical and sound decisions along the way. It is within our grasp! We have the mineral wealth and human resources to carry forward the transformational change agenda. The independence that our liberation heroes brought will allow us to reach that destination.

Source : The Herald