Colonial injustice and economic subjugation of the majority, and indigenous inhabitants of African states was fought on the premise of the recreation, rediscovery and restoration of a humanistic, fair and just society (egalitarian). A Postcolonial Zimbabwe was collectively envisioned as a society whose values for equity and equality would collectively be embraced, as a rallying point.
Thus a lot of people were swimming with the tide, aboard the freedom train on the pretext that the postcolonial state will be as much socio-economic and politically inclusive as possible, in fact it was like water and oil with the then prevailing apartheid state, which was a racial predication of extending privileges to the white minority at the expense of the indigenous black people.
The freedom train was more attractive because of the much held collective aspiration that independence will bring with it economic and material rights. The much-ignored view was that the rich would not necessarily surrender all their wealth to the poor in the name of equity and equality. Yet the Paradox was that the independence implied an end to injustice and the enhancement of competition in all spheres of life without bias to race.
The question of this collective material egalitarianism gave birth to socialism, human rights, land rights, anarchism, and the Afrocentric economic rights movement which was predicated on the popular perspective that there is a need to set up a coercive mechanism, to coerce the rich towards a spirit of equity and equality.
Hence the legislation of the coercive redistributive mechanisms with the face of the land and indeginisation laws in Postcolonial Zimbabwe, all directly aimed against beneficiaries of the precolonial establishment and their interests.
And naturally Zimbabwe's Postcolonial history has shown that in particular those people who were granted coercive redistributive powers would often abuse them, thus directly engaging in conflict to the principle of equity and equality that is ironically being presumed to be the broad church. Inequalities in use of political power for selfish ends have become the new conflict born out of the need and/or attempt to address to inequity and inequality in Postcolonial Zimbabwe.
Zimbabwe's case of redistributive coercive mechanisms is a paradox; those purporting to be extremely for material equity and equality are also massively and extremely against political equity and equality. Whilst ignoring that political fairness is Indispensable of material fairness.
What remains after the land reform is a question of whether it is a black or indigenous person who is incapable of farming or successfully running an enterprise wants it has been seized to him or reallocated to him?
Despite the noble and popular coercive redistributive mechanisms, there is a contestation of what really needs to be reallocated or seized from the rich or beneficiaries of the precolonial systems, in order to settle the question of economic rights.
Zimbabwe provides a testimony that a business or a farm is not necessarily successfully because it has been reallocated in its physical or monetary state to the indigenous beneficiary. The inherited farms, some which had state of art equipment and machinery, have been converted into massive idle lands, with the equipment and machinery suffering depreciation, corrosions and obsoleteness.
The question that still remains is that, why the limited success of all the coercive mechanism in Postcolonial states of Africa? South Africans are already in contentious debate on the usefulness and the relevance to speedy resolution of the question of material rights using the mechanisms, of willing buyer and willing seller, which are less coercive.
Debate is also raging in Africa, particularly in SADC about the question of indeginisation and empowerment with many global high-ranking figures publicly accepting that President Mugabe despite ruining the economy of a promising African state, he remains arguable a hero to some distant observers, mostly those not domiciled in Zimbabweans, who have not experienced the real consequences of this lawlessness.
The heroism of President Mugabe is on the challenge he has given on imperial establishment, in particular on the land question; some radical citizens of Africa view his version of indeginisation and empowerment as courageous and relevant to the restoration of these rights, in fact President Mugabe's admirers believe land is a non-negotiable birth right.
There is contestation of the land issue on the economic value it can add and/or has added to the beneficiaries given the current results in a Zimbabwe marred by economic decadence, even excluding the third factor, the battered economy, which negates agricultural production, some critics of the programme feel the farmers could still have done better.
The contradiction that global competition pose to the coercive redistributive mechanisms (e.g. land reform and indeginisation), and its understanding of competition as a driver of economic growth and ultimately equity and equality, continue to put us as nation against the tide.
The global competition perspective is centered on the contestable pretext that with more competition (free market), more jobs will accrue for the poor and more revenue will be raised and possibly rechanneled for the upliftment of the economically disadvantaged, a euphemism for a multiplier effect, and the world will become a better place for all.
This economic philosophy is in direct confrontation to the egalitarian doctrine (fairness), which was used to collectively mobilize the oppressed masses against the white minority establishment. The question, which needs to be further addressed, is how can we then reallocate the other remaining critical success elements in order to complete the said revolution, given that it has been proved beyond doubt that there are other outstanding crucial components for a successful empowerment and indeginisation?
How can we empower the poor to rediscover themselves, as capable people who can be able to withstand global competition? Since it is now a proven reality that the poverty (inequality and inequity) cannot be eliminated exclusive of the global community, and with disproval and contempt for private property rights in the name of empowerment and indeginisation, in fact Zimbabwe has proved that it lacks the strategic capacity to operate without the world.
How can we attract foreign and domestic investments to utilize our trainable and knowledgeable citizens, let alone business ventures when we are in direct confrontation with property rights, and global competition?
Zimbabwe remains isolated from the world of domestic and foreign investments because of the existence of coercive redistibutive mechanisms aimed at seizing, and reallocating all material wealth from the owners of the wealth to the purported indigenous people, and cronies.
Can Zimbabwe afford to go it alone against global competition or is Zimbabwe mistaken on the real drivers of equity and equality?
After chatting with a long time friend on what needs to be done to get Zimbabwe back on track we finally agreed that Zimbabwe requires a political therapy centered on a new political dispensation, headed by a legitimate and legal leader who is capable of articulating the collective vision of people so as to restore national faith and future either wise even domestic reinvestment or economic rediscovery of the indigenous people is also not possible without security and/or whilst people and their investments are under threat from some coercive redistributive mechanisms.
I aver that the insecurity to investments best explains even the reluctance to engage in any meaningful investments whilst opting for speculation,n a tendency rife mostly rife among the new farmers, to the extent that this vicious cycle reinforces itself. The Post crisis era must be defined collectively on a shared vision and destiny on fairness, which resounds in the minds and heart of a united people.
We should be awakened to the fact that, it is impossible to change our collective and shared destiny, if we fail to secure a competitive economy, which is robust and resilient. Enhancing competition should become a priority in order to rediscover us on the international space.
The vision for competitiveness should be anchored, on attaining as much possible, a reduced number of coercive redistibutive mechanisms, as much as it is permissible. People should not fear competition, because it is the vision that inspired China, Malaysia and other developed nations.
To increase productivity and reduce the decimating inflation, we need to open our economy to foreign investors, domestic investments and including the externalized Zimbabwean brains (Diaspora), so that they bring with them technology and knowledge.
A recovery of the economy is pinned on the successful acceptance of Zimbabwe into the international space based on the respect to property rights, investor rights, and the competitive edge remains the quality trainable and educated workforce.
Hillary Kundishora is a Scholar of Strategic management. He can be contacted on email@example.com.
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