Zimbabwe celebrates 43 years of independence from colonial rule on Tuesday.
This year’s celebrations are set for Mount Darwin in Mashonaland Central under the theme, Zim@43: Nyika Inovakwa Nevene Vayo /Ilizwe Lakhiwa Ngabanikazi Balo.
It is a time to reflect on the struggle for majority rule and the one-man one vote that had been suppressed by the colonial regime to further its interests.
It is a time to reflect on the hits and misses in the country’s journey.
It is a day of celebrations, one where there is unity across the political divide. In previous editions, we have seen opposition politicians attending the event, a sign of maturity among the political players.
The celebrations will be muted with the economy being the biggest headache.
The rise in the prices of basic good and services has left the majority with little disposable economy despite Treasury insistence that zvakarongeka (it’s in order).
Millions of Zimbabweans are struggling to put food on the table. According to the World Food Programme over 5m people are facing food insecurity in Zimbabwe.
Aid groups are assisting about a fifth of that, leaving the bulk on the brink.
The Covid-19 pandemic threw thousands into the streets. For a family that is struggling to put a proper meal on the table, Independence Day becomes just another day.
The struggle for such a family will be to put food on the table.
The redollarisation of the economy has given a headache to thousands of Zimbabweans who earn salaries in local currency. They are in a fix. The economy has seen the emergence of the working poor, those that toil every day but go home with little to show for that.
Their dream has been deferred. Promises of a better tomorrow have remained that, promises.
In contrast, there is the emergence of the new haves, the Mbinga, known for flaunting their wealth.
For the new class, they are immune from the vagaries facing the economy.
They are creaming off the government through inflating prices. A good number of them have been blacklisted from supplying the government after being caught in the dragnet against usurious pricing by suppliers.
The new Mbinga can be arrested today and released tomorrow after oiling the system, a euphemism for the powers behind the scene.
But not all hope is lost. Zimbabwe is heading for a good harvest. The environment is peaceful with elections some months away. President Emmerson Mnangagwa has promised to deliver a free and fair election.
For millions of Zimbabweans that are facing food insecurity, Independence Day gives them time to ponder on what could have gone wrong in the past 42 years. Is this the best Zimbabwe could have delivered to its citizens? Certainly not. Happy Independence Day Zimbabwe!