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Mugabe was better

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DEAR President Emmerson Mnangagwa.

Your Excellency, sitting around waiting for electricity that had been switched off for over 18 hours can make one start entertaining unsavoury thoughts.

Here I am, with all my work gadgets in front of me, but cannot do anything since they are all electrically-operated.

I had no option but to wonder where the country was headed.

Under such desperate circumstances, disturbing thoughts are hardly far away.

Indeed, it is never too difficult, as the propensity to do so is high.

Your Excellency, as I count milestones I could have achieved had there been electricity, despondency creeps in, given that we also have not had running water for four months.

So, here I am in a place that does not have water unless the rains fall and I harvest some water, who can blame me for being engrossed in thoughts of how best to approach my ever-harassed neighbour, who has a borehole and how to deal with fast-eroding hope of accessing electricity to work or charge battery-powered devices, and of course cooking and lighting.

The over-burdened mind sinks deeper into depression, imagining how, even if I had done some work, the comatose economy, which is in the intensive care unit, and its last breath sustained only by some invisible life-support system, would have afforded my family a decent and dignified livelihood.

Your Excellency, the useless local currency that is perpetually on freefall — losing value by the day — and likely destined for a similar fate as the early 2000s Zimbabwe dollar, does not ameliorate the situation. A currency whose only worth is securing a place in the Leeds City Museum’s hall of shame, in the United Kingdom.

I try to reminisce, so as to remember when last I found myself in this unenviable position.

Indeed, the early 2000s were a time one would like to forget as a period with a month-on-month inflation rate of 79,6 billion percent, and 89,7 sextillion percent year-on-year in mid-November 2008.

Nonetheless, the formation of a Government of National Unity between the ruling Zanu-PF party and opposition MDC parties in 2009 — after a cold-blooded reign of terror was unleashed by then President Robert Gabriel Mugabe on suspected opposition supporters following his disgraceful routing at the hands of Morgan Richard Tsvangirai, saw the situation greatly improving and stabilising.

Your Excellency, for the next eight years, Zimbabwe saw the introduction of a multi-currency system and the long-overdue discarding of the fit-for-the-museum Zimbabwe dollar which brought with it phenomenal economic recovery and stability.

For eight years, between 2009 and 2017, prices of goods remained unchanged and their availability was assured while electricity and water supply was reliable. Ordinary Zimbabweans could afford luxuries, what a relief.

It was certainly far from being heaven on earth, but it was comfortable.

That was before Zanu-PF, with the assistance of the military, staged a coup d’etat in November 2017.

Granted, Mugabe was an unrepentant and unpardonable vile monster and, his departure from office was long-overdue and desperately awaited, however, being replaced by a clueless bunch of his former henchmen, was clearly not the best option.

Your Excellency, life regressed to untold poverty, unimaginable suffering and ruthless barbarity (that made a brutal blood-thirsty Mugabe look like a mere toddler) compared to a regime whose leadership could not tell whether they were coming or going.

Incessant power outages returned, water shortages that had been forgotten in most urban areas made an unwelcome comeback, and basic commodities became unaffordable again, thanks to the mind-boggling reintroduction of the disdained local currency.

As difficult as it is to admit, Mugabe’s last years in power were much better than the madness and confusion we are witnessing today under the so-called new dispensation led by his former protégé President Emmerson Mnangagwa.

Nothing appears to be working!

Your Excellency, if there are still any doubters out there, can anyone think of a better explanation as to why civil servants are demanding that their salaries revert to what they were earning prior to October 2018 — before the new dispensation, in its weird thinking, decided that the country needed a currency backed by air?

The scariest thought one can have is imagining what it means for our country — if we are actually worse off than we were under the ruinous, kleptomaniac and incompetent Mugabe regime that destroyed the once jewel of Africa and turned it into a basket case of the world.

This needs the Almighty’s intervention. Help us dear God, we beseech you.

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