November 2017 remains etched in the memories of many Zimbabweans as well as foreigners as a month when so much promise loomed on the horizon.
This was after the fall of the once-mighty despot Robert Mugabe which also signalled the crumbling — like a deck of cards — of former first lady Grace Mugabe’s charge at the throne.
And yet for the majority of citizens, it has remained the prophetic adage of “so near and yet so far”.
Zimbabweans had endured for too long, waiting as it were for a saviour who never seemed keen on coming since the political career — as an opposition leader — of the affable founding president of the MDC, the late Morgan Tsvangirai, who succumbed to colon cancer in February — took a nose-dive following his defeat by Mugabe in 2013.
The death of the inclusive government — again in 2013 — after bringing so much hope, also signalled the dissipation of all hope people had.
When military tanks rolled over into town and the end of the Mugabe era became nigh, Zimbabweans thought the flushing of the disastrous regime down the chambers of history would soon lead to bliss.
However, the Emmerson Mnangagwa administration which knew all that was wrong with the Mugabe regime made so many promises, including placing economic recovery on top of their priorities.
One year down the line, nothing tangible has happened yet except bottled hot air in the form of mega deals with Zimbabwe’s erstwhile oriental friends.
Today, as people reminisce they see the country’s prospects buried in the three steps forward, four steps backwards scenario.
The economy has continued to slide down the cliff, worsened of course by prices that have literally shot through the ceiling as shortages beckon, in the wake of the introduction of the unpopular two percent transactional tax by new Finance minister Mthuli Ncube.
The language has been austerity, preached on almost all political fora but which is biting the ordinary citizen more than anybody else.
Despite the political gains the country has registered, Zimbabweans’ quality of life has actually receded post-inclusive government.
Mnangagwa has to go back to the drawing board, clear all illusions he may have of what Zimbabweans expect and start working towards making people’s lives better.
The people want nothing short of immediate relief from all problems birthed in the Mugabe era.