YOUR Excellency, President Emmerson Mnangagwa,
I hope to find you well Mr President.
I have not formally written to you before, Your Excellency, and I don’t envisage this to be my last attempt to bring to your attention matters of great concern to us citizens of this great country that you lead.
There is no doubt Zimbabwe is experiencing one of its worst crises since the attainment of independence in 1980.
The country faces cash shortages, hospitals have run out of drugs and the education sector has virtually collapsed under your watch.
Teachers, who declared incapacitation last year, have not been reporting for duty. Those reporting for duty are charging US$10 per pupil per week for private lessons. This is despite a government ban on private lessons.
Your Excellency, our public healthcare system is teetering on the brink of collapse with shortages of essential drugs and equipment and an overburdened and underpaid staff. It is a fact that the COVID-19 pandemic has overstretched our public healthcare system, but some of the problems mirror your poor leadership. It seems Zimbabwe’s crisis does not have an ending.
However, the ending will be the day King Uzziah dies.
For the economy to resurrect from the graveyard, the King Uzziah of Zimbabwe has to die.
The Holy Scriptures in Isaiah 6 vs 1-2 says: “In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord seated on a throne, high and exalted, and the train of his robe filled the temple. Above him were seraphs, each with six wings: With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they were flying.” (New International Version).
King Uzziah represents the strong man, the principality, the territorial powers, mentality, greediness, among others. When Uzziah was still alive, Isaiah could not experience the presence of God. The day Uzziah died, Isaiah experienced the extraordinary presence of God.
Your Excellency, who is the King Uzziah of Zimbabwe, you might ask? I know you might think of economic sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe by the United States and her Western allies. No, they are not.
Your Excellency, do not mistake King Uzziah for MDC Alliance “stooges” whom your party accuses of throwing spanners in your efforts to turn around the fortunes of the economy. No!
King Uzziah is in our midst. S/he is the stumbling block to Zimbabwe’s road to prosperity — he has to die now. If King Uzziah remains alive, Zimbabwe will not reach the promised land of milk and honey. Not, in a thousand years.
King Uzziah is the mentality and attitudes which have been demonstrated by other fellow Zimbabweans, especially in the ruling Zanu PF party, in hindering the progress of our nation.
Your Excellency, as long as we have such people in our midst who only think of looting, corruption, greediness, political violence, money-laundering and State capture, Zimbabweans will not reach the promised land and your economic blueprints will come to naught.
If I may ask, Your Excellency, what happened to the farm mechanisation programme, youth employment programme, land reform and community share ownership schemes? They were looted dry.
After looting US$15 billion diamond revenue, King Uzziah is scot-free. He was at it again, siphoning with impunity billions of dollars from the command agriculture programme and COVID-19 coffers.
Most of these programmes were well-meaning, but because King Uzziah was their chief superintendent, everything went down the drain. Prior to the late former President Robert Mugabe’s dethronement, we thought the old man was the stumbling block to our progress, but the current signs are pointing to our present day King Uzziah — who happens to be your regime.
King Uzziah is a certain group of people who are controlling the economy, who have become the strong men, untouchables and only they have a right to do business in Zimbabwe. They believe it is their time to feast from State coffers.
If King Uzziah is not dealt with, we are going nowhere fast. King Uzziah is so powerful to the extent that s/he can descend on any intruder with hippopotamus force.
Your Excellency, declaring corruption a public enemy number one is one of the many pillars in building confidence, trust and giving the necessary oomph that Zimbabwe requires to deal with the elephant in the room. Let us stop massaging corruption by bigwigs. Your government’s catch and release tendencies have frustrated efforts at curbing the scourge.
Zimbabwe is the enemy to its own progress before we talk of sanctions. Ethics and good corporate governance are strong pillars of leadership, but they are lacking in your new dispensation.
There are State entities which are making life difficult for ordinary citizens. We have some untouchable individuals in our midst who enjoy seeing ordinary citizens suffering for them to fill their pot bellies.
If you are making it difficult for citizens, you are King Uzziah. For failing to deal with policies which stamp out King Uzziah, Zimbabwe will remain in the woods. Every citizen must rise and stamp out King Uzziah in their spaces. Your Excellency, you have a bigger role to play in stamping out King Uzziah.
King Uzziah is not a physical being, but bad attitudes which have negative impacts on ordinary citizens.
Zimbabwe needs to go back to basics. We need to resurrect industries and our farms. Let’s have policies which empower our people to start businesses. I believe with good policies on the ground, our people can revive Zimbabwe. If we don’t deal with all these King Uzziahs, I can bet my last dollar that Zimbabwe will not be an upper middle-class economy by 2030.
I rest my case, Mr President.
Cliff Chiduku is a journalist based in Harare. He can be reached on [email protected] or Twitter: