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British colonial welfare mentality towards Zimbabwe must stop

By Vince Musewe

I thoroughly detest any insinuation by those that come from the West, that we in Zimbabwe are a helpless society only in continual need of their largess and that they have the “solutions” to our problems.

Vince Musewe
Vince Musewe

That is utter nonsense and we must never accept that narrative because it disempowers us as a society. Looking at their history and how their nations became rich, we see that without violence, plunder, murder and greed, they would never have been able to rob Africa of its greatness. However that is not my subject matter herein.

Zimbabwe has all it needs to be a leading progressive developed democracy in Africa. All we have to do is to continue to work at it until we have ethical leaders who put the country and its people first. ZANU (PF) has failed to do just that and anyone who believes that they can be reformed needs help.

Of course the British have played a decisive part in our history both negative and positive. The most negative one being how they ignored Gukurahundi massacres and actually Knighted Mugabe. The positive being that they created access to education opportunities for many of ours especially during the Ian Smith regime. For the latter, we are grateful.

That having been said, it is clear that the British continue to bungle their approach to Zimbabwe and some of us are concerned about their double dealing at this juncture, especially when Zimbabwe needs a decisive move by the international community to push for political leadership change while supporting opposition democratic forces.

The British approach of appeasing Mugabe’s regime is wrong and unforgivable.

I take note of British Ambassador to Zimbabwe’s statement explaining their position on the unfolding political, social and economic disaster.

However in my view, it appears that there is no firm decision by the British to fight on the right side of history in partnership with the people of Zimbabwe who continue to suffer violence and lack because of Mugabe’s greed and love for power. They think that ZANU (PF) can reform. That is a joke.

Zimbabwe needs a fresh start and can only extricate itself out of this conundrum by purging the old paradigm and bringing a new inclusive and participatory democracy through substantive political and economic reforms. This cannot happen under a dictator or anyone who may replace him from that camp.

Our economy is likely to totally collapse unless we arrest the decline now, bring in fresh long term capital and begin the long road to economic recovery.

Unfortunately those who still believe ZANU (PF) has something to offer are not only delaying the inevitable but are naive. It is clear that this regime has neither capacity nor the probity to manage large sums of money on behalf of the people. Only a new ethical team which puts country first and is accountable can do so.

As progressive Zimbabweans we are calling for the stepping down of Mugabe and his replacement by an inclusive National Transitional Authority (NTA) whose responsibilities have been clearly articulated by us in the PDP in our economic blue print –HOPE – the Holisitic Program for Economic Transformation.

There is an opportunity now for the British to redeem themselves and play a more positive and decisive role in helping to build a new democracy in Zimbabwe other than assisting a regime whose demise is inescapable.

I do hope the new foreign secretary Boris Johnson follows through on his thinking on Zimbabwe.

These are certainly not the times to sit by the side-lines and hope for change nor are they times to claim that stability is better than revolutionary change.

Another Zimbabwe is possible!

Vince Musewe is an economist and author based in Harare. He is Secretary for Finance and Economic Affairs for PDP.