It is with a heavy heart and a trampled soul that i write this letter to you Mr President. Our beloved country that you have presided over the last 36 years was once the breadbasket of Africa but has declined to become the laughing stock of the world. People of old have become nostalgic, after our hard-fought independence, that they reflect warmly on the time of Ian Smith yet they cry tears of blood for the younger generations whose potential your misrule has decimated beyond conceivable redemption.
Mr President, the best time to leave a stage is while the audience is still applauding but you choose to be oblivious to this fact. There sure is no one who can take away your remarkable achievements of yesteryear but unfortunately you keep stroking your ego with the monotonous reference to the long-gone successes of your ultra-marathonic rule.
With the multitudes of degrees that make your c.v. anyone would expect better judgement from you but the whole world watches in awe at your incredible ineptitude. What baffles me the most is how and why you fail to accept that you have run your race. So much as you think you are indispensable and indefatigable the passage of time has taken its toll on you. Never the less the sweet taste of power has not deserted your palate.
I know for a fact Mr President, that you have never thought this country can have a better leader than you. But succession is imminent because of your advanced age. You have stifled this natural phenomenon for too long but the vultures are lurking and have since been shrieking all be it in hushed but perilous tones. The resultant cracks in your party have thus become too difficult to disguise. It could well be the boon the rejuvenated CITIZEN voices which threaten to throw your beloved party into oblivion.
Be warned Mr President. Even the indestructible Titanic sank. The Greatest, Mohhamed Ali, could not beat Parkinsons. Mt Everest was conquered by man. The mighty Gadaffi died at the hands of “corkroaches”. But Nelson Mandela left in time to become one of history’s most respected statesman whether you like it or not! Mr President, you have overseen a very noble and highly moral land reform programme but it is punctuated with chaotic confusion and lack of transparency.
The findings of a land audit that you authorised were so damning they never saw the light of day. illegal multiple farm ownership is rampant and your family and your comrades are the most culpable. Your former reserve bank governor, Gideon, promulgated a farm mechanisation programme which saw the looting of heavy agricultural equipment by largely inactive farmers at the cost of the taxpayer. I gather that another hastily arranged mechanisation programme is on its way coupled with an impromptu Command agricultural programme which replicates previous disastrous programmes. The haphazard approach to such a fundamental sector defies logic. This country has lost its breadbasket status. It is disheartening that we find ourselves importing grain from agricultural minnows such as Zambia yet vast tracts of productive land lie fallow under the title of your cronies.
Our health sector has not been spared either. While you and your lot are quick to the plane and out of this country at the slightest sign of infirmity millions endure shambolic hospitals with little or no medicines and derelict equipment. Medical personnel are poorly remunerated and highly demoralised. Sons of the soil with the best medical brains are finding sanctuary all over the world because of the uncertainty of everything that this country is.
Once at the apex of African enlightenment, our educational institutions and general standards have deteriorated drastically. There is no more proof of this than you and your lot sending your kids to learn at foreign institutions. Millions are failing to send their children for basic education. Teachers cannot afford to send their children to the same schools they work at! Young girls and boys are prostituting themselves for survival at universities that are churning out thousands of graduates with no prospects of employment. Unemployment is reeling at above 90%. Alas!
Mr President, corruption has become ubiquitous in this country. This monster thrives in both the public and private sector. It has become institutionalised as exemplified by the unbridled antics of the police force, the Vehicle Inspection Department. Virtually all government departments are under siege by corrupt personnel whom your self-appointed Anti-Corruption Commission do not have an idea that they exist. We even have local Robbin Hoods who are enjoying executive and Party protection from both investigation and prosecution. You have spoken more than you have acted on this cancerous issue Mr President. The wide web and entanglement of corrupt officials seems to be too scary to tackle lest the hunter becomes the hunted.
Mr President, while you and your mammoth retinue were globetrotting for no apparent benefit to the populace, the country was looted of a cumulative figure of US$15 billion worth of diamonds. The world froze when u made this announcement on national television. No one has been held accountable! This sums up how the rest of our natural resources that you brag about so much are managed.
You have goaded everyone close to you to embraced our Eastern friends who ironically have had a hand in the looting of not only diamonds but other resources at their unlimited disposal. These “all weather friends” of ours have found a dumping ground for substandard commodities. They are the culprits in shipping the $USD out of this country and you know it. They have pushed us out of retailing which the law states is a preserve for locals and you know it Mr President. You gloat about this friendship but i know for sure they laugh aside at our affinity for them. Such desperation for friendship! Do they love US as much as WE do Mr President?
Mr President, your unilateral pull-out from the Commonwealth has only yielded negative results. Apart from the obvious loss of international business ordinary Zimbabweans lost opportunities in sport and many other Commonwealth related benefits. Your recent utterances and threats about pulling out of the United Nations are a gargantuan shocker to the nation and the world at large. You do not know what REFORM is yet you want to preach UN Reforms! Your Hypocrisy is bottomless. You even labelled other African leaders as cowards but do you realise that these leaders apply diplomacy more than emotion in international relations. They are not as angry with the West as you, and I see your anger stemming from Western imposed travel restrictions that you eloquently and vehemently call sanctions. Being prevented from Shopping at the Harrods from London cannot be the basis for your pseudo-radicalism and tired anti-west rhetoric.
The topical issue of bond notes has caused worldwide panic Mr President. Being a country without a currency has set us on a path of economic uncertainty. The much need foreign direct investment is in hibernation as investors evaluate the high risks. This, coupled with an opaque Indigenisation policy, has done no good to the prospects of economic recovery.
People are cringing and cowering at the possibility of a return to the vagaries of the last decade. Ordinary people wonder how an elephant can be equated to an ant; ie pegging the highly-compromised bond as an equivalent of the mighty $USD. People fear the flight of commodities from shelves. People fear a return of the legendary hyperinflation of the last decade. People fear the disappearance of the $USD from their bank accounts. People fear the return of a thriving black market. Hard working people fear the loss of their investments. These fears have been buoyed by the pessimism express by our captains of industry and commerce in public fora. And little had been done to allay those fears, Mr President.
Even though age does not necessarily come with wisdom i urge you to reconsider your “nomination” as the sole presidential candidate of your party for the 2018 plebiscite. I implore you to spare this beloved country of ours from further harm by passing on button. Thirty-six years is a lifetime Mr President.
I sincerely hope you will not dismiss my letter as part of a foreign sponsored regime change agenda. I pray that you spare me the threat and reality of a bites from your designer dressed and dark goggled dogs. I dread to go the Dzamara or the Mawarire way but I could not supress the urge to let you know how I and millions of other patriots feel about our predicament
May the Nation’s Health System recover Mr President
Yours Fellow Villager
By Ali Naka
Follow Ali on twitter @ali_naka