AS the clock ticks towards the 2023 harmonised elections, which some have described as “crunch” (interestingly all polls since 2008 have been dubbed such!), Zimbabweans should brace for more shocks as the country’s detractors turn the screws to “make the economy scream” and trigger regime change.
Zimbabweans are waking up to new prices of basic commodities everyday as forces bent on removing the ruling Zanu PF party from power are burning the midnight oil to destabilise the economy to cause disaffection towards the government.
As punishment for expropriating land from their kith and kin in 2000, Western countries resolved to remove Zanu PF and install a malleable government which would reverse the agrarian reforms and protect their other vested interests in the country.
The Western countries resolved that they would not remove the revolutionary party militarily, like what they did in countries like Libya and Iraq, but would use the economic levers to hurt the citizens so that they revolt against the government.
Resultantly, the Western countries imposed economic sanctions which have crippled the economy and caused untold suffering among the people for more than two decades, creating a fertile ground for the opposition to sprout and prosper.
The sanctions have seen most sectors of the economy crumbling, as they have frustrated all efforts of the government to develop the country and improve the livelihoods of the people, to the extent of leaving a whole generation of youths facing the grim prospect of not finding formal employment their entire lives.
It is most unfortunate that while all this is happening, it is innocent people who are suffering, as fathers and mothers cannot find employment and, as a result, they cannot put food on the table, pay school fees, afford decent accommodation and pay medical bills.
Out of frustration, many youths are resorting to drugs and crime while some women and girls are engaging in prostitution and early marriages for survival.
Many Zimbabweans have since fled the economic meltdown to neighbouring countries and abroad, where some of them are subjected to slave like working conditions and endure various forms of ill treatment and discrimination.
The Western countries have gone into overdrive funding Non-Governmental Organisations to foment civil unrest through promoting hatred and intolerance towards divergent political inclinations among citizens.
Some unscrupulous locals have latched onto the plot and are milking the gullible and desperate Western countries through engaging in dubious projects under the guise of aiding the regime change agenda.
So greedy and unashamed have some citizens become that they go to great lengths to trash their country in order to be paid the dirty monies and live lavish lives, while their fellow compatriots are languishing in abject poverty.
Many leaders of opposition parties, churches, civic organisations, labour unions, the media, traditional leaders and prominent persons have been corrupted to speak ill about their government and its policies in order to influence their countrymen to vote against it.
Every day the media is awash with stories denigrating government policies and programs, including those that are clearly benefiting the people and are poised to take the country out of the doldrums.
The financial system is being used to crush the Zimbabwe dollar, while the opposition is being paid to de-campaign it so that citizens do not embrace it, and choose instead to be one of the few countries in the world together with Ecuador, East Timor, El Salvador, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Palau, Turks and Caicos Islands, and the British Virgin Islands which do not have their own currencies.
Pressure is mounting on the government to abandon the local unit, which it re-introduced in 2019 after it had been abandoned 10 years back, with civil servants, particularly teachers and nurses, acting as hired guns in the grand scheme to make the country ungovernable and effect regime change.
Many retailers are now charging their products exclusively in United States dollars blaming it on the weak local unit, despite accessing cheap foreign currency through the weekly auction system.
While prices of basic goods and services are escalating beyond the reach of the majority, money changers are laughing all the way to the bank and living lavish lives while their countrymen are wallowing in extreme poverty.
Political temperatures are also rising every day as campaigning intensifies, to the point where some opposition parties are claiming every person who dies to be their supporter, and using their funerals to stir up violence.
As the “crunch” polls beckon, the situation in the country will “reach another level” where the electorate will have to choose between two devils, one which is from Earth and the other which is an extraterrestrial being, also known as an Alien.
— New Ziana