President Mnangagwa has already come under sharp censure by some hind-sighted holier-than-thou Zimbabweans for both his unflinching determination and intrepidity in re-engineering Zimbabwe’s limping economy, just months after he ascended to power, courtesy of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces’ engineered Operation Restore Legacy in November last year.
It is probably fitting at the outset of this discourse to fill the ears of the President’s critics with the following advice from a communicologist in the person of Mr Felix Moyo, Director of Communication and Marketing at the National University of Science and Technology (Nust): “A hawk or eagle that perches ad infitum on a tree, however tall this might be, instead of hunting for food, is bound to die of hunger.”
But Zimbabwe’s new Head of State is neither a hawk nor eagle and will therefore not be cowed by anyone be it at home or abroad, and stop re-engaging countries from which the country has been isolated for years to facilitate technology transfers and foreign investment so that our economy may regain its buoyancy.
That reconnection is not possible through telephone calls or emails from an air-conditioned office.
Re-engagement demands that those involved in the exercise should go out there to the rest of the world and study on the spot how other nations have overcome obstacles that stand as immovable pillars in the way of Zimbabwe’s economic and social transformation.
Most vocal critics of the President’s programme to re-activate economic and technological advancement happen to be Zimbabweans squatting in foreign countries and who, because of the forward movement in the country claim that there continues to be political and economic deterioration in Zimbabwe.
But, of course, even one in possession of a magic wand could not have removed overnight economic and political obstacles that grew, like gum trees, over a period exceeding three decades.
Zimbabweans must rally to the support of the new government under Cde Mnangagwa because, only in that way can we weather the bad weather that developed under the previous regime which saw companies and individuals blueing millions of dollars out of the country, thereby seriously bleeding Zimbabwe economically.
In fact it is no exaggeration to suggest that had the military not intervened to restore the legacy of the revolution that recovered the motherland from a foreign ruling culture, we would now have been talking of Zimbabwe’s independence and freedom in the past tense.
Thus, it is becoming evident from each day that passes that our country serves to benefit from a surge of interests shown by investors from the continent and as well as from both the progressive East and from Western countries which imposed economic sanctions on Zimbabwe to try to effect regime change and in that way kill the agrarian revolution that saw land being repossessed from some white farmers for re-distribution to landless blacks who needed that asset the most for their food security.
However, food security in Zimbabwe as well as in many other African countries remains tenuous on account of global warming with its recurrent droughts and floods both of which are a danger to food production.
What is more, rampaging armyworms continue to dash any hopes of a permanent solution to food security on the African continent with current reports about Malawi, which is closer to home under-siege by armyworms to the extent that the United States of America had to send experts to combat the pest.
Thus, with hopes of a permanent solution to food security receding all the time Zimbabweans who speak of a desire to now promote commercial farming throughout the country should tread carefully on this matter in view of the droughts, floods and the pests that remain rampant on the African continent.
Should small-holder farmers or peasants abandon drought resistant “traditional” crops such as pearl millet and sorghum in favour of maize or other crops that fetch a lot of money on the market, while being highly vulnerable to droughts, the country stands to suffer food-wise should climate change and its effects remain out of control.
Because of the precarious weather conditions, it therefore becomes imperative for the government and farming community at large to keep their ears wide open to advice from weather experts in order to take necessary, precautionary measures as and when these become imperative to avert widespread food shortages and hunger.
To this extent, the government should be applauded for its programmes on dam constructions in various parts of the country under Command Agriculture so that people do not needlessly suffer food shortages when droughts occur as irrigation will help avert famine.
Of course, agricultural experts should spare no efforts in encouraging Zimbabweans to follow proper land tillage to preserve soil from erosion and loss of fertility during heavy rainfall and flooding.