“It Is Impossible Not To Laugh”
4 November 2021
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By Wilbert Mukori- It is great to be a dictator; you can say whatever you like, make all manner of promises knowing fully well you will never ever be held to democratic account for it!

“Zimbabwe has set an ambitious objective of reducing carbon emissions by 40% per capita by 2030. The removal of illegal sanctions which have been imposed on my country will go a long way in helping to enable the achievement of this target,” announced President Emmerson Mnangagwa in his speech to the on-going UN conference on Climate Change in Glasgow, UK. 

Just as well, President Mnangagwa was addressing empty chairs because he would have struggled to be heard above the hum of suppressed laughter! He announced very bold and ambitious carbon emission reduction targets indeed, not that anyone believed him. Still, they wanted to hear how Zimbabwe would meet those targets. 

Instead of hearing the explanation of how Zimbabwe will reduce its green house gas emission by 40% in nine years time; the President went on to give an excuse, not just an excuse but a feeble excuse, why will not deliver on its emission promise – sanctions! 

It is impossible not to laugh! 

2030 is a big year for Zimbabwe, Zanu PF’s Zimbabwe to be exact; the party has promised the nation will attain “upper middle income” status that year; vision 2030. The President, Minister of Finance Professor Mthuli Ncube and the rest of the Zanu PF leaders insist the nation is on course to attain this goal. 

All the economic indicators for meaningful economic recovery increased investment, better infrastructure, increased trade, strengthening local currency, increasing employment opportunity and better wages, etc. are not there. 

Indeed, the economic recovery that Mnangagwa promised with his much heralded “Zimbabwe is open for business!” mantra when he toke over following the 2017 military coup has not materialised. The mantra was dead in the water even as the regime was going around on the no expense spare to promote it. 

“Zimbabwe is open for business!” was premised on the idea that the November 2017 military coup had transformed Zimbabwe from the Banana Republic, a pariah state, ruling by corrupt, incompetent and vote rigging thugs into a “democratic new dispensation, a Second Republic,” as Mnangagwa went to great pain to point out. 

The truth there for all to see; Zimbabwe was still a pariah state; the military coup was just a meaningless musical chairs booting out some thugs to promote others. The failure to hold free, fair and credible elections in July 2018, confirmed nothing had changed. 

As long as Zimbabwe remains a pariah state, there will be no meaningful economic recovery, vision 2030 will remain a mirage. President Mnangagwa’s promise to reduce Zimbabwe’s greenhouse gases in just another mirage. 

If anything, Zimbabwe’s economic meltdown, a result of 41 years and counting of gross mismanagement and rampant corruption under Zanu PF rule, has accelerated the cutting down of trees for firewood and land degradation. The country’s worsening economic situation will only mean the greenhouse gases emissions and land degradation will get worse! 

This Zanu PF regime had the detailed plans for Batoka Gorge Hydro when the country gained her independence in 1980 and has done nothing about it to this day. How many trees would have been spared the axe if this second Kariba Dam had been built, to say nothing of the other economic benefits! 

It is hoped that many developed nation will honour their pledge to give US$100 billion to help developing nations cope with the challenges brought by global climate changes. It is almost certain Zimbabwe will not get its fair share of the assistance because of the country’s reputation of being corrupt and wasteful. 

A Zimbabwe government audit report showed that 90% of the aid the country received following the Ida Cyclone two years ago was either wasted or looted. 90%!

It is interesting to note that last week, when President Mnangagwa was polishing up his Glasgow speech, the UN Special rapporteur, Ms Alena Douhan, told him Zimbabwe address its underlying problems and stop using sanctions as an excuse for its failures.

“Time is ripe for the sanctioning states and key national stakeholders to engage in a meaningful structured dialogue on political reform, human rights and the rule of law and abandon rhetoric on sanctions as an advocacy tool,” said Ms Douhan. 

“Zimbabwe will reduce greenhouse gases by 40% by 2030!” From a regime that has failed to deliver free election in 41 years!