Was 2013 your annus horribilis?


I AM relieved that this annus horribilis has come to an end. Honestly speaking, who wouldn’t? Everything that you thought could not possibly happen did!

To steal from Queen Elizabeth II’s speech to the Guildhall on November 24 1992, marking the 40th anniversary of her accession, 2013 is not a year on which I shall look back with undiluted pleasure.

The most prominent event that stands well above all and had an earth-shattering effect was the July 31 elections. For one, we were barely prepared for them. The elections were railroaded and rammed down our throats all for political expediency. It was a big set-up.

For some reason we all thought it was not possible that they would be held.

That was judging by the fact that the government had no money after having staged the constitutional referendum in March.

Secondly, most of us had been lulled into a false sense of comfort that was the so-called inclusive government.

There are a lot of positive things that the compromise arrangement had brought to our stricken country. Chief among them was a semblance of sanity in the economy. Once comatose, the economy rose from the dead while business confidence returned.

Regrettably, while most of us were beginning to revel in the new positive atmosphere, others were plotting. I will not go into the lurid details of what I will call The Great Deception because while it is now in the public domain, the jury is still out.

The Nikuv saga will forever remain in the minds of many who had hoped that a warped system would produce a different result.

The shock is still palpable while those that have been accused of grand electoral theft go about as if nothing untoward happened. Only God, it seems, will be the ultimate judge.

Former Finance minister Tendai Biti was on point when he said that people were walking around like zombies after the election results were announced. When I met him outside the MDC-T headquarters along Nelson Mandela Avenue in Harare he woefully confirmed to me: “Lenox, we live in a tough country.”

The result has been an economy that has clearly been zombified.

Confidence in the banking system has hit an all-time low.

Factories continue to shut down and to make it worse, we seem to have a new government that is groping in the dark for solutions.
Admittedly there has been some “positive” things that have happened pre and post-election. By far the most significant development has been the new Constitution.

No matter which way you look at it, the document embodies a clear shift from the past. What remains is the sincerity with which it would be activated.

I know I might be the last to say this, but the rapprochement that has been led by Information and Broadcasting services minister Prof Jonathan Moyo is significant. The minister has been clinical in the way he has done things so far and we can’t help but anticipate seismic changes in the media sector.

However, I, among others, know that we should never let our guard down.

It’s futile, according to political analyst William Muchayi, to dance with a porcupine.

The minister has been described in certain media circles as “born-again”.

It would not be out of place for some to question his current charm offensive, given his cataclysmic tenure that resulted in scores losing their livelihoods in the State media merely for their assumed political affiliations.

An all-encompassing media enquiry panel has been assembled to probe the information and media industry.

This has long been overdue. The sincerity of such moves by the minister and indeed the exclusive government is yet to be seen.

There is the dire need for the rest of the government and indeed the ruling party to walk the talk. Like I have said before in this column, belligerence never won any friends.

We pray that perhaps for once things have really changed for the better.

As we enter the New Year, we look at the one that has gone with a number of lessons. Chief among them is the fact that there are things that we can change and those that we cannot.

Let us focus on those things that we can do to transform our situation particularly at an individual level.

They say that resolutions are made to be broken, but at least you should be able to map your way forward.

I mentioned in the past that we should not allow the environment outside to dictate the way in which you think and behave. Look at the bigger picture and then take the necessary small steps towards your dream.

My dream is to make a positive impact on society using the gifts and talents that God gave me. I wish you a happy and prosperous 2014.
Forget about 2013, because the past is a foreign country.

 Twitter: @lenoxmhlanga