With the fall of Robert Mugabe from power, Zimbabweans had every right to expect better things--or at least for the situation not to get worse. But it seems the country is once again on a downward spiral as strikes and shortages cause unending misery for the population.
If any country on this earth needs a break from economic suffering, it is Zimbabwe. But there is no hope on the horizon, at least not from the set of circumstances now engulfing the country.
Since 2001 when Robin Cook, the then British Foreign Secretary, arrogantly told President Robert Mugabe's then Foreign Minister Stan Mudenge that if Zimbabwe did not get rid of Mugabe, what would hit the country would make the citizens stone Mugabe and his ministers in the streets, it has been one long economic nightmare induced partly by foreign sanctions and partly by unenforced self-destruction by the elite in power.
Mugabe's loss of power on 15 November 2017 was partly political and partly economic. His government appeared to have no solution to the economic problems preceding his ouster, especially the shortage (some say 'disappearance') of cash in the banks, forcing people to queue for hours inside and outside the banks to get as little as $50 per week.
By the time the political issues led to his overthrow in 'the coup that was not a coup', Mugabe's longsuffering citizens had had enough of him and the economic problems, hence the outpouring of joy in the streets the world saw. Robin Cook's ghost must have allowed himself a knowing smile wherever he is.
Enter President Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa (popularly called ED after his initials). Having worked closely with Mugabe for 54 years before the 'coup', ED was not exactly a new man on the block. But he had massive goodwill from the public when he succeeded Mugabe on 24 November 2017.
Maybe this was because Zimbabweans are a fickle people, prone to shifting allegiances as the chameleon changes its colours. For example, in the immediate aftermath of the military intervention that led to Mugabe's ouster, soldiers could do no wrong in Zimbabwean eyes. Military boots were in fact polished in the streets by adoring citizens to show their appreciation for the military 'heroes'.
For leading the intervention, the head of the armed forces, General Constantine Chiwenga, was cheered everywhere he went. But just two months on, when it appeared the military had become too dominant in the post-Mugabe government, the public swiftly turned against...