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Opinion / Columnist

Rethinking Zimbabwe's 21st socio economic demands in policy formulation: Part two

25 Sep 2017 at 16:14hrs | Views
As it is known that dialogue is the fundamental element of a vigorous dispensation of democratic intellectualism. This article serves as an extension to the first article, which rethought Zimbabwe's 21st socio economic demands in policy formulation.

The first instalment established that class struggles are the core of Zimbabwe's policy default; it acknowledged the binding effects of national policy formulation to a people as individuals and to people as an identity.

For Eric D Mabutho, in as much as this assertion is true, he argues that the economic dilemma that is at present cannot be viewed entirely through the lens of dialectic materialism.  He is of the view that the problems facing Zimbabwe go beyond class oppression in the material sense of it; his instalment interrogates the socio systematic policy cracks in which minority groups drop from, in the national economic policy formulation practice. He proposes a decentralized perspective to Zimbabwe's economic policy conundrum, one which is plural and cognisant of factors like tribalism and the artificial definition of Zimbabwe's homogeneousness as authored by the colonial machine.

My first commentary advocated for a unitary perspective in handling the prevalent struggles facing Zimbabwe, one that Mabutho seriously contends as being subliminally parochial. This article therefore links and distinct the most suitable escape route for Zimbabwe from this problematic policy query. The comparison will be between the unitary dialectical materialist explanation of the conflict and the federal provincial professionalism thought as according to Mabutho.

In the federal thinking presented by Mabutho, tribalism is cited as the major obstacle to the success of any unitary policy formulation procedure. The idea converges that a political system must be tribally balanced to ensure an equitable policy fragment. Although this is true, if national policy is constructed along tribal lines, it is more vulnerable to pitfalls of elitism in the mantra of our economic policy formulation. In political science and sociology, the elite theory is a philosophy of the state, which advances to define and clarify the command affairs in modern-day society. The theory hypothesizes that a small minority, consisting of associates of the financial elite and policy-planning systems, holds the supreme control and that this control is sovereign of a state's democratic grassroots' participatory process. In diverse Zimbabwean tribal groups these groups exist and they emerge as centres of power in their respective constituencies.

The hypothetical opinion alleged by numerous social scientists which clenches that African legislation is best assumed through the generalization that nearly all political power is held by a relatively minor and rich cluster of people sharing comparable standards and interests and regularly coming from fairly analogous privileged circumstances.

Upper leaders in all significant sectors of humanity are understood as enrolled from this same social group. thinkers emphasize the degree to which intertwining corporate and foundation directorates, old school ties, political parties and frequent social interaction tend to link together and simplify synchronisation between the top leaders in business, government, civic organizations, educational and cultural establishments and even political parties. These strong linkages between the national elites and the provincial elites therefore suggests that any policy initiative from the centre (which harbours the elite) is most likely to involve the elite from the affected minority groups hence othering the others. In Zimbabwe to be particular, the situation is so dire such that it has become a religion to include regional groups at a junior rank.

One good example would be our local political institution' structures, an average relevant political party is formed by the central tribe (Harare), and these political institutions spread to regions like Bulawayo to recruit junior members who are not in a position to challenge the centre of power. What ensures the perpetuity of this arrogant tendency is that central participation in policy happens in the centre, whilst any participation that happens outside the centre cannot be central. This further ensures that individuals from the central province in their simplified efforts of participation are most likely to end up in the central system of power, whilst individuals who are not geographically in the ‘centre' even if they present sophisticated efforts they can still not make it to the central command of power. This system of a federal approach to policy discussion can therefore be a major threat to competence because of the geographical privilege. More so, in their agenda to recruit junior structures, the central elites are most likely to recruit local elites who have been fortunate to participate at unitary level hence solidifying unitarism as the best model of policy participation.

The provincial elite themselves although they benefit from this unjust system of federal policy dialogue, they are exploited by the same system due to the linkage between the centre of power and the provincial tribe which harbours the centre of command. In Zimbabwe, an elite in Harare is most likely to influence policy opinion than an elite in Bulawayo. The cause of this is that even if the opinion of a Bulawayo elite is considered, it is a long short from the geographical standing of the centre of power which is Harare. However in my postulation of explaining policy formulation through dialectical materialist lens, effective policy participation happens mostly at a unitary level with minimal attention to ethnical divisions, but with maximal attention to the national humanist approach. Therefore the amendment of policy flaws can be best accomplished at a dialectical materialist level than at a provincial professionalism lens

In the Mabutho hypothesis of a federalised policy dialogue system, the provincial elite are the individuals who participate and advance their interests which are habitually different from those of the general populace in that respective tribe. In any case, the policy outcome from such a process is elitist and is devoid of the general populace which then succumbs to an artificial system of tribal representation. The federal system of policy formulation is not an entirely skewed procedure of legislation; it is rather highly effective in administrative functions. However if recycled devoid of dynamics resembling dialectical materialism, it is can construct a dishonest system of policy inclusion; a structure that only accounts for human necessities as standardised ethnic assemblage without accepting the dissimilar intra clannish class prospects from the jurisdictive framework.

The query of policy formulation in Zimbabwe does not have any certain answer, however every attempt to answer that question should be engaged with evaluation over a parochial acceptance of notions. This submission aims to prove that the crisis facing Zimbabwe can be best addressed in a classist economic dialogue. This directly reduces the notion that identity politics (ethnic lens) is the only solution. Although tribalism is an existing factor which separates Zimbabweans as according to their language, cultural and geographical belonging. The classist dialectical school of thought unites Zimbabweans based on their experiences and aspirations hence increasing the chances of them achieving their common goals.

Tedious Ncube is a Political science and Public Management researcher with Leaders for Africa Network. Feedback can be sent to; tedious@abakhokheli.org



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Source - Tedious Ncube
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