ED can spur Economic Growth via Academics By Nelson Ruwa. AT the 2017 Bulawayo Youth Interface Rally, then Head of State Robert Mugabe explained that he had asked the National University of Science and Technology (Nust) administration the question: “Where are the engineers?” as the Nust graduation ceremony came to closure. The response was that the engineers had graduated over the years and were now at work in industries all over the country. Said Mugabe in response: “No, that is not what we mean. We want people who are innovative and can develop airplanes…”. Having spearheaded the globally outstanding Zimbabwean post-independence education drive, this man must have resigned a disappointed man, and he acknowledged failure to realise the intended gains of the education drive. The University's Vice Chancellor could not define who or what an engineer is. Academics. It is very possible that national university vice chancellors and President Emmerson Mnangagwa, now the new Chancellor of all State universities, in the same manner, find it difficult to define who or what an academic is. The Collins English dictionary defines an academic as a university intellectual who teaches or does research. Residue of Influence from Ancient African Attitudes During the colonization process, Africans marvelled greatly at the disparity between their indigenous technology and that of the Europeans who had colonised them. They later conceded defeat and had consensus that white men were inherently blessed and hence superior. Though liberation wars were later fought and were merely political because it seems that even presently, the inferiority complex still grips the black indigenous, with the education system hopelessly failing to catapult them to catch-up with the developed world in terms of attitudes, imagination and expertise. Many Zimbabweans still question the feasibility of modern civilisation that involves technologies such as bullet trains, numerous airports, world class tourist destinations, a strong currency, road surveillance cameras and others, as reiterated by the young leader of the MDC Alliance, Nelson Chamisa, during his nation-wide campaign trail. The history of the discovery of fire usage, the Stone Age, the Iron Age, the Cow-horn battle formation and the Short-stabbing spear, among other developments, is enough evidence that Africans inherently had some measure of enquiry and imagination. When the Vashambadzi came to exchange their clothing items for the African gold and later the Europeans came to introduce a modern civilization through colonisation, it became evident that Africans were far behind in terms of aggression and pace of innovation and development. Creativity and zeal can also be noticed on the rock paintings by the Khoisan and massive constructions such as the Great Zimbabwe Ruins. However, these developmental approaches lacked scientific substance as they were void of uniformity and symmetrical balance. These developments could not be replicated as they were not documented because our forefathers did not have writing skills and publication technology like other continents. The Egyptian hieroglyphics writing and the scientifically built pyramids suggest that the Arab world has been way ahead of sub Saharan Africa over centuries. In terms of time and labour, the construction of the Great Wall of China might have been very inefficient, but later developments such as the Forbidden City depict traits of modern civilisation based on scientific research and development. Other parts of the world boast of philosophers whose theories still guide their modern systems of governance and economic development. Russians have Karl Max, Chinese have the likes of Confucius, and there are countless European and American inventors that brought about industrialisation. The Arabic numerals are still indispensable and the whole world has adopted the term algorithm after Abu Ja'far Muhammad ibn Musa al-Chwārizmī, the Arabic mathematician who introduced restoration and balancing in algebra. On the contrary, Zimbabweans have icons like Chaminuka, Mzilikazi, Lobengula, Mbuya Nehanda, Changamire Dombo and the Munhumutapas who did not even leave a single written script but only oral sentiments such as “Take your gun and become independent”. Zimbabweans were, therefore, left with no option but to adopt foreign ideologies and technologies that are proving to be incompatible with our traditions and way of life. There is a great need now to instil values such as attention to detail, creativity, perseverance, time-consciousness and the intrinsic drive in a new wave of patriotism, where everyone is found on the post of duty without fail or excuse. There seems to be need for expatriate teachers in Early Childhood Education to help foster developmental attitudes in the minds of our infants. The already damaged and unexposed local teachers may find it difficult to cultivate a different approach where our infant academics grow up treasuring the culture of meticulous attention to detail, innovation, development and enquiry. The Role of Universities Politicians should not just major on populist policies of university grants and loans for students while failing to acknowledge that, if the academic talents are groomed and promoted, they attract global technological giants such as Google, Facebook, Alibaba and Amazon, who can fund local research projects that can cover a lot of financial needs of university students and professionals. In the early 80s, countries like Sweden sponsored a lot of secondary school science projects. The government should facilitate the provision of an environment conducive for innovation, research and development in higher education institutions. Laboratories should be equipped with modern machinery and operate day and night as Zimbabwe races against time to catch up with others. There should be a major shift from the practice of students learning to reproduce knowledge for the purpose of passing examinations and getting employed. Academics in the Diaspora To narrow the gap between local academic system and that of the developed world, there is dire need to harness the potential deposited in the Diaspora academics who have studied and worked abroad, where they managed to get exposure to modern technologies. Politicians should come up with policies on how to attract Zimbabwean experts in the Diaspora back into the country to spearhead the aggressive transformation of the economy. It seems that the current Zimbabwean government views these Diaspora citizens as enemies of the State in terms of participation in elections and governance decisions. Government only like their investment initiatives, but who will be on the ground to champion the modernisation revolution? Local academics need to do exchange projects with professors in developmental hubs such as the US and Japan. Expatriate professors should flood our universities to complement the investment drive so as to facilitate the provision of local solutions by the locals. In fast developing countries like South Korea and China, it is the locals that run industrial operations, even though much of the investment comes from the US. This impowers the citizens and minimises unemployment. The Mnangagwa Administration can therefore spur Economic Growth via Academics Conclusion When only the leader has the vision and those around are just opportunists echoing that vision, only for political gains, the visionary might end up being distracted, neutralised and joining his lieutenants in self-aggrandisement, to the detriment of the vision and benefit to the masses. A vision cannot be transmitted from one person to another by appointment, affiliation or marriage. It is, therefore, wise for the Head of State to identify the progressive academic technocrats who can share, advance and implement the developmental vision, otherwise political manifestos will be a mere repeat of Mugabe’s 38 years of vacuous and sterile rhetoric. Therefore, President Mnangagwa can spur Economic Growth via Academics Copyright ©www.thesolutionstower.com , 2018 All Rights Reserved. The Solutions Tower Article may not be published or reproduced in any form without prior written permission
President Emmerson Mnangagwa

Once again election season is beaconing. Manifestos are being thrown here and there; and as usual, politicians are jostling for votes and are acting like they care too much for the electorate.

By Benson Sithole.

This also happens to be the first election where both the former president Robert Mugabe and the leader of the biggest opposition party, Morgan Tsvangirai, are not participating, which in itself comes with a fresh headache for the electorate as to which legacies either of their successors will seek to promote.

Zimbabwe has registered a significant increase in the number of political parties contesting, with some report claiming that over one hundred parties are registered. Despite all this, the true contest seems to be between the incumbent, Emmerson Mnangagwa (ED) of Zanu Pf and Nelson Chamisa (NC) of the  MDC Alliance.

But why should the electorate be encouraged to ignore an ED vote ?

Ever since the military coup that took place in mid November 2017 and ED came out as the new president for both Zimbabwe and Zanu PF, Zimbabwe has had a tipsy-turfy kind of lifestyle whereby no one really knows what tomorrow has in store for them.

Zanu PF

The ruling party has been in power for the past 37 years and has presided over a meltdown in the country’s economy, and most of its politicians are known to be proverbial bootlickers who are just after advancing their own agendas. Many people are now just fed up with the party and want a fresh start, with new ideas to take over hoping that this will lead to the country having a fresh breathe of life.


When ED took over, it was the hope of many that the thorny Gukurahundi, where the government unleashed the notorious North Korean trained Fifth Brigade force against the Matabeleland and Midlands  people, an action which allegedly led to the deaths of more than 20,000 people, most of them innocent and defenseless civilians, would be resolved. No-one  an reverse time and undo the atrocities but closure is what’s really lacking.


This then poses a few problems for ED whereby the nation needs to know what really transpired at the time, but he is too reluctant to respond and that also leaves the opportunity for various versions to be thrown around. For that, ED doesn’t deserve a vote.


Corruption is an infection that is chewing away at the very moral fabric of this society and ever since ED took over power and having promised to deal decisively with the vice, action on the ground has been somewhat disappointing.

For those who are well versed with politics, they can tell you that ED is biding his time so that when he eventually has a new five-year mandate then he can deal with corruption. He doesn’t want to create new enemies from his own camp hence his silence, but to the ordinary Zimbabweans out there, this inaction is a sign of not wanting to commit and lack of action breeds frustration. That’s the only stuff that can lose one crucial votes. Former government minister Ignatius Chombo and a few other alleged criminals then around former President Mugabe have been arrested and some have even run for dear life into exile but a lack of decisive action will cost ED votes.

ED is in a catch 22 situation whereby if he doesn’t deal with corruption, he loses the ordinary voters and he is also bound to lose also should he decide to deal with the corruption as well.


For the first time in the history of Zimbabwean politics, there has been a very high number of youths registering to vote. Voting is known traditionally as the general public voicing their decisions through the ballot, and it’s also common belief that most youths have suffered at the hands of Zanu PF, so they may want to get rid of ED as well as Zanu PF in these elections. Although it is not so clear which party the majority of the youths belong to, most people believe it is resoundingly in the favor of the opposition. The youths also may have taken ED’s decision not to name any youths in his first cabinet as a way of him saying he does not want anything to do with them, so they may also not want to align themselves with him.


Just the name alone sends shivers down the spine of a growing constituency of voters. Terrence Mukupe, the deputy minister of finance, seems to be in a competition against everyone else of wanting to destroy Zanu PF. His performance or lack thereof in a debate against the revered Tendai Biti, a former finance minister himself and leader of the People’s  Democratic c Party (PDP) and one of the principals of the MDC Alliance, exposed not only Mukupe but his principal who threw him in the deep end by sending him to debate against a shrewd politician like Biti. Mukupe has been gracing the media for all the wrong reasons, from manhandling civil servants to shouting obscenities live on national television, does not augur well to the electorate. It loses Zanu PF and ED himself a few votes.

As highlighted earlier, ED now finds himself between a rock and a hard place whereby if he listens to popular schools of thought and fires Mukupe, he loses one of his allies and those who bootlick the latter or he stands to lose the public by not firing Mukupe. Either way  this loses ED a few crucial votes

Unfulfilled promises

In the close to eight months that ED has been at the helm of the Zimbabwe government, he has promised a lot of things to the populace. From the 100 days policy to the investments boosting, people have heard it all. It may not be his problem that his message that ‘Zimbabwe is open for business is not receiving enough backers, but the promises made and action on the ground do not tally. His deputy also is dividing the country with his acid tongue and the electorate has grown tired of these promises without due action. The Zimbabwean voter needs a decisive figure who promises and delivers. ED is trying but the jury is still out on if he will be able to convince enough voters through that.

Copyright ©www.thesolutionstower.com , 2018 All Rights Reserved. The Solutions Tower Article may not be published or reproduced in any form without prior written permission