THE curtain came down at midnight on an eventful 2008 that saw our country make significant inroads in the quest to consolidate our hard-won independence. The just-ended year also marked the end of starkly mixed fortunes that many would understandably want to quickly wish away.
It was a year in which one would say the negatives outweighed the positives in view of what some sections of the banking community did to the economy. But we now need not expend precious time brooding over past trials and tribulations.
Instead, we need to acquire a sense of confidence and be spurred to work harder and make 2009 a better year. 2009 should be the year we resolve to strengthen our democracy and fully revive our economy.
It should also be a time to strive for greater national unity and unity of purpose.
The other immediate challenge facing the nation is to affirm these desires. As we have stated, one of the biggest challenges facing Zimbabwe, however, is that of breathing new life into the economy.
We expect to see greater commitment to addressing issues such as inflation and other economic matters.
These cannot be addressed by the Government alone, but can only be effectively tackled through collective efforts involving the private sector as well.
We are encouraged by the support of our friends in the region and abroad, who continue thwarting the machinations of British Prime Minister Gordon Brown and outgoing United States President George W. Bush.
Both men have really run out of time and friends in their quest to bring us down.
Even their proxies in Harare are at loggerheads and cross-purposes.
While we cannot give a definitive forecast for 2009, the outlook is promising, given the good rains we have witnessed so far.
The widespread rains that have persistently fallen throughout the country give a lot of hope for our agro-based economy.
More rains should see higher agricultural production, increased exports and more disposable income for the rural folk, who heavily depend on agricultural produce for their livelihood.
We also look forward to this year with high expectations on the land reform programme that is now highly mechanised.
It must be clear to everyone that there is no going back on the land issue.
HIV/Aids continues to be a stumbling block to national development as it is wiping out the productive ages and depriving the nation of much-needed skills. This has lately been compounded by a cholera outbreak.
Thus, a collective effort is of vital necessity to fight the epidemic. 2009 should see us all persevering with programmes designed to uplift the national economy.
Those programmes should shame the detractors who have bogged us down with their illegal sanctions.
From the foregoing and many other positives, there is every reason to wish our country and its people a happy and prosperous 2009.