The Herald (Harare)

Zimbabwe: Ushering in a New Zimbabwe

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When fast-track land reforms started, some predicted that half the country would die of hunger. They said agriculture in Zimbabwe had been sent to hell in a hand basket.

And now we have eminent scholars telling us that Zimbabwe's much-maligned "peasant" farmers are producing in remarkable quantities. Not that we need anyone to tell us how our revolution is progressing, but it's just nice to know that other people around the world can see what is happening on the ground. Indigenisation and economic empowerment has been met with the same unquestioning derision of the fear merchants. But not one foreign company has declared that it has pulled out of Zimbabwe because it is not happy with owning "only" 49 percent of the business.

People all over Zimbabwe are in their own ways contributing to this revolution.

The woman who grows tomatoes and sells them at Mbare Musika, instead of waiting for produce from a foreign farm to take the market through a supermarket, is putting her own nail into the coffin of the old, dying Rhodesian enclave economy.

The young man who is innovating in Internet-based solutions for the services sector rather than being a mere user of what the techies in Silicon Valley throw our way is digging the grave of that old economy.

And the indigenous executive who has thrown away his title of commercial director of a large multinational miner and has opened his own gold mine somewhere in Midlands province is planting the seed of the new Zimbabwe.

It is a Zimbabwe that can boldly face the world on its own terms, a Zimbabwe that knows that it is no less a nation than any other just because it is small and is in the heart of Southern Africa.

Yes, there will be birthing pains, there are birthing pains. But the experience of the last 16-odd years -- much like the experience of the 14 years of armed struggle - show us that together we can overcome.

Let 2014 be the year.

We have conquered before, and we shall conquer again.

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