Home » Governance » Someone Should Take the Blame [editorial]

We are all getting frightened, except, perhaps, for the politicians. We are afraid, very afraid. There is dejection. All hope is getting lost.

How did we get to this?

The opposition parties and other critics blame economic mismanagement. The ruling party argues that it is the sanctions – those measures targeted at President Robert Mugabe and the elites in his inner circle.

There is a dispute. Nobody owns up and the situation is getting worse.

In Harare, there is an ominous sense of doom. The industrial sector, long ravaged by a collapse in the agricultural sector, is dead.

Banks continue to fall – at least three collapsed last year, and there is rumour one is on the verge of a terrible fate.

There were over 30 banking institutions when the market was liberalised in the early 1990s. Only a few are left.

What has not been affected? The dearth of industry and its companion sector – health care. More people are getting sick, and those in the health care industry are thriving. The only exception, we are told, are the medical aid societies because claims are skyrocketing. The Premier Service Medical Aid Society, famously known by its acronym PSMAS, is tottering on the brink of collapse, except government will do everything it can to avoid the embarrassment of letting it collapse.

Those who thrive on death – casket makers and grave diggers – are flourishing. Yes, we are all scared of death, but more and more, we are preparing for it by taking funeral policies in droves.

The Harare City Council announced last week it would retrench over 100 workers. Workers in Gweru are on strike. Local authorities are institutions we always thought to be fortified against economic pressure: they charge for land they don’t own, water they don’t supply and everything that happens in their territories.

Yet they are now beginning to shake. They may not collapse, but they now feel the pain as much as the ratepayers they disrespect.

But still, there is no sense of urgency among the politicians to address the situation the blame game continues.

This is frightening! What makes our politicians appear unaffected by the melancholy in the economy? What makes them continue as if things are normal? Isn’t it clear we are headed for something worse?

Everyone has turned to vending to eke out an honest living. It’s not out of choice.

Still, there is no one to take the blame.

Source : Financial Gazette