Urban and rural redevelopment points (I)

As the Zimbabwean government sets out on a new path, taking tentative steps towards fulfillment of what they proposed, partly because they are unsure of the elections outcome and partly because they are cash strapped, few points need to be made so as to nudge them in the right direction. I say this, to say this; since president Mnangagwa proclaimed that the efforts to turn the country around are ours as a whole nation, we ought to certainly get off our backs and put some energy towards not only looking out for ourselves. This means that we can spare a few moments of our time to think and to implement ideas which have a national benefit. I am not sure how open is Mnangagwa’s government as well as how willing are they to adopt some brilliant ideas that would be brought to them. One of the reasons is that they are old men man. Old people tend to resist change (there has been a study to prove this). This is historic, but not new. Some governments that have practiced open government include Hacker’s administration in ‘Yes Prime Minister’, an 80s series that followed the life of an British prime minister at work as he interacted with government bureaucrats. Well that and ——— .

I have a few propositions here that I have take to the office of the president, and they stemmed from the interactions I have had with friends and acquaintances on whatApp as well as aspirations that I have long since harbored. The first point is to propagate a spirit of change in the entire country. We know how we have our attention captured by social media today. Everyone has a channel or presence of some sort and we get our news incessantly. That can be a factor that government can use, especially looking at the success of Johnathan Moyo’s Indigenisation drive that year where everyone’s lips were coated with¬†Chave Chimurenga¬†lipstick. Our tongues easily said those words anytime we looked for something to say and the program was a big hit, if I may venture to suggest. Now given the gullibility of a nation, especially given the ease of message transmission, it is therefore quite easy to build on that an improved campaign that might help even those in the diaspora to come back in droves and participate in revamping the face of Zimbabwe. The world presently knows a Zimbabwe that took land away from whites and then fell into destitution as if the entire economy was based on agriculture and that white farmers were the gods of the country. I am not condoning anything, nor am I backing anybody but pointing things out from a neutral standpoint. Today, news about South Africa’s agreement to reallocate land is always attacked by opponents and one of the reasons they give as to this being a woeful thought is the Zimbabwean case. Well, we will have to make the world gab again, since it loves to do so when we attempt things that so not work and that is life, a perpetual trial and error, I presume. Well as a quick digression, Zimbabwe did not entirely fail and not on its own. The western world was quick to hammer us with sanctions knowing full well that they hurt ordinary people who had nothing to do with politics. The sanctions route is really a tired way of solving things, maybe we could discover how to implement effective punishments in the new Zimbabwe and sanction them back as well. It is funny that the smaller countries never sanction anyone but are always getting threats and actual sanctions.

To implement an effective turnaround is not a one year endeavor, let that be made clear. We might not live to see it in this generation. It is possible if the wheels are set in motion. China did it and took a significant chunk of their population out of rural existence into cities in a period of two decades. We do not need to do that because not all of us are made for hectic city living. Instead, if roads are built that link the entire country and are built well, commerce will successfully be conducted. Goods can move from sources to markets with great ease. Transport companies will pay their tolls as well as individuals using smooth roads will be paying for their maintenance. Apart from that, people living in remote areas will be able to access medical facilities faster among other things.

Liberal Arts need to be pursued and made a staple of the nation. Everything stems from them. A Ghanaian chap who worked for Microsoft returned home to establish the first institution of that nature in modern Ghana, at least. We should at the same time be able to look into our past and take from what they ancestors did have and refine that and make it relevant to modern living. There is this abhorrence for anything ancient and African among many of us as we are quick to quote Aristotle and them not knowing that they learnt all those things from Africans. Our ancestors were amazingly brilliant.

Another way of implementing a turnaround for Zimbabwe is to create effective and functional government-private partnerships in technology. This government and others after it should be tech-driven, or at least pro-technology. The world is evolving and we can’t be left behind. There has to be money availed for technology projects on a major scale and this can benefit the country in a major way. We could implement things like the smart electric grid system which will help conserve power, which we haven’y got much of anyway.