The fear continues…

The worries about the Zimbabwean elections that are meant to be held in July 2013 still proceed. I do not think that Zimbabweans and  the other countries that are affected by its problems (importing and exporting countries) will be at rest until the final decision is made. Only then will the minds of Zimbabweans and others be able to accept the result and move on with new initiatives, or should I say plans to help the Zimbabwean economy. As of recent, The African Development Bank (an independent bank) said that, due to some areas of the country having too much rain fall and others the opposite, the newly planted grains have been “written off”. Due to this creating food shortage, it has also lead to the escalation of food prices and more and more Zimbabweans relying on food aid. This would mean that more citizens are starving, meaning that they are too weak to do their jobs (if have) to earn money. This is creating a vicious circle that is depleting the Zimbabwean economy even more. Approximately 242 000 tons of staple food is needed in Zimbabwe to keep the citizens/ customers going before there is new harvest.

It is not just the opposing side of Mugabe that are unhappy, but also the people that fall under him. Simba Makoni, a former finance minister under Robert Mugabe is an example of this. He admitted to himself that “the people of Zimbabwe” (including him) basically live on the edge of their seats, implying that they are all in fear everyday. For someone under Mugabes wing to be in fear is surprising, however those whom are not will be in a worse off position. I agree with Mokoni when he stipulates that this fear that everyone is experiencing should be one of the economies main priority to abandon or at least decrease a great amount. Once this fear has been lifted of citizens shoulders, positivity may fall in place and the country may be more at ease. Another down side that should be changed is the dual presidency between Morgan Tsvangirai and Robert Mugabe. When there are two very opinionated leaders, with different intentions in mind, this is when the tension levels escalate and the economy (politics and economics) gets out of hand. Makoni described this dual presidency as “pathetic” and “dismal”. These are rather harsh descriptions, as they have not completely let the country fall apart. However, there must be a reason as to why he said this, as the country as well as the leadership is not where it should be at this present time? The fact that none of the conditionality’s that will enable the free and fair elections has been put in place almost reflects the “dismal” leadership provided by Mugabe and Tsvangirai. No wonder the citizens of Zimbabwe are living in fear daily. Anything could happen.

Why should people work so hard for themselves for nothing?

It has been known that over the years, Zimbabwe and South Africa have been through a great amount together. South Africa has definitely helped Zimbabwe a great deal, and been there for Mugabe and its people through all the thick and thin, when others were not there. One example of this is with the imports from South Africa to Zimbabwe, such as food, when there was barely anything on the shelves in Zim. Zimbabwe went from there being nothing to many varieties of South African food goods. However, as Malcom Sharara, from News24, states it in the article that Zimbabwe has a love-hate relationship with South Africa. This is because the trade affair is not exactly even.

 

The governor of The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe, Gideon Gono said that 60% of Zimbabwe’s’ imports are from South Africa. It is not a bad thing that the imports are from South Africa (at least Zimbabwe is helping another African country produce, and not an international country). It is the fact that the products that are being imported are finished and completed. Not even half-heartedly done. I completely agree with Gono not being happy with this, and the fact that it is not going to help the Zimbabwe economy grow, because they are spending more on imports than they are selling as exports.  The people of Zimbabwe are slowly getting unemployed or staying unemployed because there are no available jobs for them, due to the fact that all the products are completed in South Africa. I for one know that this is not because the people in Zimbabwe are incapable of producing the same product; it is because there are no resources in Zimbabwe such as the machinery and raw materials. This is what Gono is trying to put across which is extremely delightful to see that someone in Zimbabwe is actually stating the obvious and trying to sort it out. This is on of the basics that Zimbabwe is lacking and so from here onwards it could hopefully only get better.

 

Trade has increased from $4.6bn in 2011 to $5.9bn in 2012. This is not a bad thing that trade has increased, because this is what is actually help keeps the economies going, and some people satisfied. However what needs to be changed is the fact that more foreign currency is leaving Zimbabwe than is coming in, making it poorer. When the people of South Africa want to invest in Zimbabwe, the problem lies with them trusting the economy and making sure that their money is safe. As soon as there is any failure in Zimbabwe, Mugabe is not afraid to take anyone’s assets away from them in order to help the economy. Not even an explanation is needed. Why should people work so hard for themselves for nothing?

The final draft and final day before constitution

Zimbabwe-flag1Tomorrow is finally the day that the voting for Zimbabwe’s new constitution is going to take place. This is going to be a very emotional day for some Zimbabweans, as they have waited a very long time for the constitution to change and be more ‘fair’. However, the draft constitution has taken over three years to be presented, which is no surprise for anything in Zimbabwe to take long and be postponed – and of course some sort of argument would happen with it. It is however pleasing to see that on Wednesday when Douglas Mwonzora, a leader of the parliamentary committee, produced the contract, he enforced that fact that it was non-negotiable. He is thankfully sticking up for the people of Zimbabwe and letting it be a vote for them and no one else. Unlike the police force (Zanu-PF), who try and abolish all human rights activists that are trying to justice for the insecure country. He is also trying to prevent the massive out cry of violence like the 2008 elections, which is a very encouraging point. I personally do not agree with the fact that there is a ban again all same-sex marriages. People should be allowed to marry whom they want to without the consent of others. It is their choice who they want to live and spend the rest of their life with. They have not asked anyone else to put up with their partner.

The only hiccup here with the new constitution and if Mugabe is elected again in July, he has the chance of ruling Zimbabwe for another two five-year terms (10 years). This may be seen as a negative due to Mugabe’s health issues and his age (89 years). Mugabe has also disappointed many people of Zimbabwe in the past, and so what makes them think that he will change his ways now if he hasn’t in the past. He may carry on destroying people lives even more?

Zanu-PF and MDC both have a lot of support behind them, and it is going to be very interesting to see what happens if Mugabe does not win the elections. The MDC promise to try and rebuild the economy of Zimbabwe again, which has altered many people and given them a very positive view towards the MDC, which is why Zanu-PF is facing great challenges and competition, hopefully more than before (2008 elections). In connection with this and the violence that is trying to be prevented, not only rivalry between the two parties but within the MCD party itself. This leads to more confusion for the people of Zimbabwe, because who do we really trust now? How can you have a party governing the country that are assassinating one another within the supposed ‘free’ of violence party?

We can only hope for the best from now, and see what tomorrows’ occasion has to offer Zimbabwe as a country and its humble people. We prey for their sake that all goes smoothly as wished for so that the elections in July will take place.

International Community getting involved?

The most recent news on the agenda in Zimbabwe, which was announced the 9th March 2013, it that the leader of MDC, Morgan Tsvangirai, has pleaded to implement the International Community in order to over look the elections and so that all procedures will hopefully try and run smoothly with minimum or no sign of violence at all. It would be a great pleasure and a massive change for the citizens of Zimbabwe to participate in smooth running elections for one, as “ this is Zimbabwe’s most important election since 1980”. Hopefully by allowing the International Community to over look everything, these elections will really be “free, fair and transparent”.

One would think that the MDC has done this in their favour, as they know the power and strength that Mugabe is capable of. You could say that a ‘leopard never changes its spots’ to clarify this point, and you can not blame the MDC party for being worried that the voting of the referendum as well as elections could go sour, as they have done so in the past. If Tsvangirai and his party had to win, and there was an outcry from Mugabe’s side, the MDC will have enough support to lean back on and prove that the elections were fair.

The constitution has also been an expensive and long process, which does not need to be altered by little implications and let it go to waste, which is what the International Community can prevent. The call that Tsvangirai has made here is an extremely clever and vigilant one, showing true leadership skills, which hopefully he can carry through if the elections go his way.

Due to many of the foolish mistakes that Mugabe has made in the past, which led Zimbabwe into an economic or financial crisis, this problem has crept up on us again. As mentioned above, the cost of the referendum and the election that is taking place in July is outrageous, which means that the country will struggle, stated by the Minister of Finance, Tendai Biti. These mind blowing figures are as follows: US$85 million for the referendum and the elections costing a further US$40 million.  This ultimately means that Zimbabwe is going to also have to ask the United Nations, without hesitance, to assist them through this important time, which may ultimately end Mugabe’s 33 years of power. Biti said that it is vital that Zimbabwe get financial help from the International Community.

This referendum of the new constitution does indeed need to take place this coming weekend, on the 16th March so that the elections in July can happen. It is extremely important and crucial that all runs smoothly with sufficient funds because Zim still has the potential to improve dramatically – definitely in the long run.

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