Underdevelopment and the dependence theory are the mainstays of the state of affairs in Zimbabwe, #41YearsLater.
Today, Zimbabwe celebrates 41 years of independence since gaining its ‘freedom’ in 1980.
In academia, dependency theory is explained as a situation in which the economy of a certain country is conditioned by the development and expansion of another country to which the former is subjected.
This is true to say, during the colonial period Britain benefited largely from its dominance of Zimbabwe and exploring its resources for their benefit.
The simplest explanation is that the more Zimbabwe exchanges with foreign countries, be it the East or regionally, other countries get richer while Zimbabwe gets poorer because of value transfer.
As a country, it would benefit us more to be using our resources, local labour and local companies to produce products that help us grow as a country.
Yes, developed countries persistently seek satellite relationships with the rest of the world and yes with independence Zimbabwe sought to reverse such a relationship with the West and sadly pass the silver platter to the East.
We have lost huge amounts of natural resources, especially minerals to foreign countries. Heavily on the Look East policy which was adopted by the late Robert Mugabe and continues to be fostered by the current President.
We have been receiving donations from around the globe and the President has been singing praises about it, but what are we constantly giving in return?
The dependency theory is not only limited to natural resources but touches every other aspect such as brain drain. Our health system is in taters as professionals are attracted to better destinations such as the United Kingdom.
To the UK this is cheap labour, but for professionals in Zimbabwe, it is paying way better than working in Zimbabwe.
Zimbabweans have been running a hashtag on microblogging site Twitter named #41years later. Some of the sentiments include:
#41YearsLater most of the state infrastructure is what smith built.
#41YearsLater moving out of Zimbabwe is considered an achievement.
#41YearsLater and we are all destitute in other people’s countries when all we want to do is to be back home building a thriving hub of commerce.
#41YearsLater they changed street names, nothing else.
#41YearsLater and our hospitals aren’t equipped to provide adequate healthcare
#41YearsLater the Chinese own our land and mineral resources
This is but a desperate call by Zimbabweans for the government to attend to their grievances. There are no better feedback platforms than social media in this age and the government must use this as a reflective mirror of what Zimbabwe is like.
The time is nigh, government must beef up its effort to debunk dependency. This must start with the proper steps of bringing back trust and unity amongst the citizens.
Happy Independence Day Zimbabwe!