By Marshall Bwanya
President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s cabinet on Thursday resorted to renaming several roads in Harare, Bulawayo and several other cities instead of announcing avant-garde policies to remedy the current worsening economic and political crisis in the country.
Critics say yesterday’s cabinet briefing exposed how the cabinet’s policy scope is divergent from the actual issues at hand affecting citizens.
Zimbabwe’s annual inflation rate which in August 2019 was projected to be at 300 percent by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has since risen to 440.1 percent in October 2019.
Economist Professor Steve Hanke argued that Zimbabwe’s economy would “remain in the grips of monetary madness” if it continued to print its own money without a functional industry.
“While Zimbabwe isn’t experiencing hyperinflation currently, Zimbabwe’s annual inflation rate is 574%/yr. As long as Zimbabwe continues to print its own money, it will remain in the grips of monetary madness. It must dollarize to crush inflation and ensure growth,” he said.
The health sector continues to deteriorate with doctors now on strike for more than 77 days, hospitals are not fully operational, and unemployment continues to reach unprecedented levels.
The nation is also still facing acute fuel and electricity shortages.
Citizens expressed their displeasure with cabinet’s press briefing that lacked solutions to deal with the deteriorating economy, toxic politics and the prolonged government and doctors’ impasse.
Political analyst Dr Pedzisai Ruhanya mocked the government for not announcing measures to revamp the badly dilapidated roads instead of giving them new names.
“Thought the roads need an urgent cabinet meeting to revamp them, fund reconstruction and modernize them than giving names of quack revolutionaries,” he said.
Stephen Chaungwa bemoaned that the government had misplaced priorities that were not people oriented.
“It’s saddening that some top government officials are more concerned with immortalising their names on the sands of history rather improving the livelihoods of citizens that are suffering under unbearable economic conditions,” he said.
Acting Information Minister Mangaliso Ndlovu defended government’s position on renaming the roads saying: “Through the process of naming every community or society defines its identity and culture, tells its history, and espouses its values, beliefs, norms and worldview.
Cabinet renamed the following streets Enterprise now ED Mnangagwa, Kirkman to Solo Mujuru Drive, Livingstone to OR Tambo Ave, Charter to Fidel Castro, Cameroon to Joseph Msika, Selous to John Nkomo and Fife Avenue to Leonid Brezhnev Avenue.
Some of the Government buildings whose names have been changed include;
New Government Composite Office Building in Harare now called Mgandane Dlodlo Building;
Harare Central Hospital is now Sally Mugabe Central Hospital;
Immigration Building in Harare has been named to Chingaira Makoni Building;
Defence House to Hashim Mbita House;
CID Headquarters Building to Ethan Dube Building
Central Registry Building to Muchecheterwa Chiwashira Building. Nehanda Radio