By Manungo Vongai
The Mugabe rule had nurtured a general hostility directed against both global and domestic capital. Rent-seeking behavior and debilitating kleptocratic practices all collaborated to gut the tendon of a once throbbing national economy.
So-called G40 tilted the Indigenization laws so that they ended up to scare away foreign capital. Internally, malice driven programmes like 'Bacossi' of the central bank destroyed urban and rural traders and disenfranchised communities from national economic activity.
The vacuum was filled up by business scumbags of every ilk and stripe. They preyed upon the foreign exchange earned by leaf tobacco small and medium farmers as well as hard scrabble gold miners. All these were the promising winners in a liberalized post independent economic dispensation.
History made the new Zimbabwe inherit an economy that had a relatively higher exposure to the global capital markets which sponsor development and growth. This was courtesy of a sizable population of Anglo-Saxon stock. Out of sheer patriotic commitment they braved an emotionally challenging post war transition and chose to continue staying in the country of their birth. In the process Zimbabwe became the United Nations poster child model of a post war conflict resolution.
In an interview Cde Christopher Mutsvangwa mentioned that, at independence the once deprived black majority took the task of nation building with the energy, vigour and discipline begot from a valiant war effort.
"This sterling endeavour was best exhibited in the quest for education by the totality of Zimbabwean communities. At independence, the national coffers were depleted by war and other vices of misrule. Yet the guerrillas had promised universal education as the indispensable pathway of modern national development"
"Undaunted, the populace responded to Herculean call by the new government to address and fulfil this historic promise. Demobilized freedom fighters took the lead in organising communities to self-build school infrastructure. The hard pressed government was spared that task. Instead its meagre resources were directed to salaries for teachers", said Cde Mutsvagwa.
A frenetic school-building exercise gripped the nation. The government would be overwhelmed by the out- stripping for teachers.
Thanks to Fidel Castro, former guerrilla training camps of the National Liberation Struggle in Cuba were converted to teacher training colleges. Presto, 6000 newly minted teachers returned home to close the gap to the delight of the community and their built schools.
This was how Zimbabwe garnered the coveted status of UNESCO's Highest Literacy Rate in Africa. A fit well beyond the most generous of perennial budgets by other nations.