Stephen Mpofu, Perspective
“Wow, wow, w-o-w!”
The exhilarating feelings exuded by the sentence above no doubt also make many a heart romp, like a calf, at the glorious picture of an upper middle income Zimbabwean society as posited every now and then by press and verbal reports on Vision 2020 about a prospective upper-middle income Zimbabwean society.
But do the Government’s economic development strategies vis-à-vis industrial and agricultural revamps – the latter to revive Zimbabwe’s image as a bread basket of Southern Africa and other countries on the African continent – also paint white the country’s egg yolk to attract extended foreign investor hands to have a part or share in any lucrative economy that our country does boast.
Or are our people fully prepared to partner the Government in transforming our Second Republic economy into a model that will cause watering mouths elsewhere in the global village?
But if the contrary is the case with our leaders folding their arms under the belief that political leaders talk economic self-emancipation to court public applauds in order to remain in power then Zimbabweans risk a rude awakening because development rendered rhetoric by an apartheid population is politically conflictual and our people must already have virtually ruined stability and development in some countries in Africa and elsewhere.
Our people must realise that the onus is on each and every Zimbabwean to emancipate ourselves economically just as we freed ourselves from racist colonial rule to be where we are today struggling to develop our economy into a brave new future for all.
The protection of this country’s environment in so far as it underpins economic development, is the central theme of discourse in these columns today.
As the rainy season comes to an end, heralding a dry season, Zimbabwe ‘s environment would be shivering fearfully, were it a person, at dreadful prospects of veld fires caused by wanton destructive human behaviour.
Before the onset of the next rainy season, skies are often blackened by billowing smoke from fires lit by some people for hunting purposes or by live cigarette stumps cast into the bush by don’t-care smokers.
The fires consume vegetation, namely trees and grass which protect the soil with its fertility with livestock being deprived of pastures.
The smoke containing toxic gases – that trees normally absorb and sink – render the ozone layer which protects earth from the sun’s dangerous wafer thin, resulting in global warming and climate change with its devastating effects of recurrent droughts and food shortages as already experienced in Zimbabwe.
When the rains hit a dilapidated environment, it forms gullies with soil being washed away to silt water bodies with crops being affected so that agricultural production is adversely affected, causing food scarcity in the country with the Government having to spend scarce forex on food imports with economic development suffering as a result.
Did you (yes, you) know that Zimbabwe boasts 10 000 dams, according to the Environmental Management Agency (EMA) Siltation poses death to some or most of the dams so that water for crop irrigation and for domestic use as well as for livestock becomes scarce.
Which suggests, in this writer’s humble opinion that environmental protection should be regarded as a life or death issue with traditional leaders out there in the country as well as leaders of political organisations in power or in opposition becoming instrumental in that regard for the good of our country.
It must be regarded as being unZimbabwean and unpatriotic for the masses to leave the environmental watchdog protection role for EMA alone to play because that agency is neither ubiquitous nor omniscient like God.
To nutshell the exposition above, a country might boast an attractive name, like a beauty queen, but that alone does not feed sunken bellies nor cause people elsewhere in the global village to bruise each other’s heels in efforts to shake the hands of Zimbabweans in unmitigated solidarity, either.
The totality of our country’s political and economic environments concomitant with the salient ingredients of the two values in point here, will make our country the apple of foreign eyes, in the same way that a fresh and not rotten egg causes a hungry mouth to water.
Therefore, long live the freedom and independence of the motherland with each and every one of us sparing no effort to prosper the only country we can proudly call our own.
I put the lid back on my pen.