In the year 2000, President Mugabe began his extraordinary efforts to destroy what he reckoned to be the ‘power base’ of the ‘white’ farming community. He considered them a potential threat to his own position and thus determined to neutralise them. In the process, he destroyed the highly productive agricultural sector (which constituted at least 40% of the nation’s GDP), leaving the nation penniless and requiring regular charitable support from outside in order to feed his people. This continued until 2017, with the country’s finances deteriorating rapidly and the President’s wife, Grace Mugabe juggling in order to set herself up as the next President of the nation. No-one with any sense saw this as a good idea, and after Mugabe had fired both of his important Vice-Presidents, Joice Mujuru and Emmerson Mnangagwa at her behest, the leaders of ZANUpf decided to act.
On 21st November 201 after a sustained coup by the Military, President Mugabe resigned as President. In his place, Emmerson Mnangagwa became the defacto President.
Between November 2017 and 30th July 2018 when the Parliamentary and Presidential elections happened, Mnangagwa worked hard to build relations with the main donor countries and organisations. At the election, which was observed my members of the world community, although not perfect, was considered free and fair. ZANUpf took 179 seats which gave them a two-thirds majority. In the Presidential election, Mnangagwa won with 50.8% of the vote. Despite a later legal challenge, the court has verified the results.
Mnangagwa appears keen to see former farmers compensated for their losses and for the country to move forward. He and his Government have engaged with the Compensation Steering Committee, chaired by John Laurie and they are currently in full negotiations to resolve a final global figure which the Government can then work on.
Silently, on 14th March 2018, the changes to the Zimbabwean Indigenisation Law have been made into law. Only Diamond and Platinum remain restricted, but the President has promised that these too will change soon.
Agriculture, Mining and Industry
Mnangagwa has so far worked hard to re-energise these economic sectors. Already there is a complete change in the attitude of those involved and there are many who are looking to invest heavily in the country. Tourism is likely also to boom in the coming years.
Mnangagwa now has five clear years to turn the nation’s economy around and completely revitalise the nation. He is a practised and capable politician and thus we look forward to seeing extraordinary change in the country as it moves forward.
The country was until recently considered the second poorest country in the world, second only to Congo-Kinshasa, with a per capita GDP of $589.00. This is now likely to change, with support from the large external donors like the EU, IMF, World Bank, China and others. Zimbabwe remains one of the jewels of Africa and they know it.
Zimbabwe still holds the highest literacy rate in Africa at 90%. There will, in the future, be a drop in this figure as a result of the weak economy over the last 10-15 years. This is not yet reflected in these figures.
There are however many educated young Zimbabweans who are just waiting for the opportunity to become a relevant part of a new more professional workforce as the country moves forward into the 21st century and an era of new technology.
Until then, there is work to do.
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