Zimbabwe’s main opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai, who is currently in South Africa for medical checkups, says the country has begun the new year mired in deep economic problems from which it needs “urgent extrication”.
In a new year’s message released on Monday, the MDC-T leader pointed out a number of economic challenges bedeviling the country, saying they remain a cancer in the body politic.
“The cash crisis, price increases, the liquidity crunch, the huge budget deficit and the lack of faith and trust in the sincerity of government and all its institutions remain a somewhat permanent cancer in our body politic.”
Tsvangirai said the onus is on the new administration to inspire hope and confidence in the nation.
“True, there appears to have been some effort in tackling corruption but one hopes that the fight against graft and avarice truly becomes wholesome and ceases to be part of a retributive agenda against the ousted faction in Zanu-PF,” said Tsvangirai.
To date, only ministers aligned to former president Robert Mugabe have been arrested and taken to court on corruption charges.
Tsvangirai however acknowledged that Zimbabwe faces what could be an exciting year.
“Fellow Zimbabweans, we are on the verge of what could be an exciting year especially as we reflect on the great potential we have as a country and as a people.”
Going forward, Tsvangirai said the country requires transformation of both governance culture and the way business is done.
Back to work to make Zim prosper
“Our war cry therefore for the upcoming elections is simple: ‘Everyone to work.’ Whether you are an investor, a commercial farmer, an industrialist, a teacher, a banker a worker or a peasant farmer, lets all go back to work in order to prosper.”
He said Zimbabwe needs to produce in order to grow its economy and create new jobs.
“For that to happen, we need both domestic and international investment capital which must be guaranteed by a safe, predictable, secure and corruption-free environment underpinned by the rule of law, constitutionalism, respect for property and human rights and freedoms.”
He said the starting point for this envisaged take-off is a return to legitimacy through a free, fair, credible, internationally supervised and monitored election whose outcome is not contested.
“Anything short of this will spell doom for our great nation,” said Tsvangirai.
He called upon the interim leaders of the country not to miss this opportunity by wishing away the country’s challenges and by not implementing the reforms required before elections.