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Policy and research institute on cards to restore legacy - SIPAR TRUST

by Tinashe Eric Muzamhindo
21 Dec 2017 at 13:14hrs | Views
Everyone can agree with me that our policies within Government and private sector were not looking good for our economy. The issue of sanctions is out and lets not bank on that, we need to safeguard our economy by putting the right people on the right places, activists and cadres should go to their respective party headquarters be it opposition or ruling party, they can spend the whole day singing party songs but on policy matters let the right people do the right thing. Let the right policies be on track for the economic recovery plan. As a policy maker I prefer to have an overhaul of the system of governance and make sure we have set our priorities right, what exactly do we want.

Southern Institute of Policy Analysis and Research

Yes I'm setting a big Institute that will cover the whole Southern Africa. I've the nation at heart and so far the pace is moving and hopefully this will be an aid to our Government of Zimbabwe. Basically what will be doing is to establish proposals, and alternatives that the Government can use for policy making. In the past we have seen the previous regime struggling to raise adequate funding for Government operations because of policy inconsistency and they found it very difficult to penetrate in other areas of business. So SIPAR TRUST will be there to provide information and alternatives in the Government, civic society, academics so that we will build a stronger nation. I saw Mugabe signing several documents and agreements in China and other countries, they call it MEGA deals but up to date nothing has been achieved. SIPAR will be available to scrutinize and assist to see whether our environment will be conducive for investments, what areas we can prioritize for investments so that we can have a quick economic recovery plan. It is important to have such alternatives. Our areas of focus will be mainly policy objectives and analysis, then community development, basically we will be providing awareness to the public, engaging civic society, public, business community, academics on how they view certain policies before implementation, and also we will be providing consultations on way forward regarding economic blue prints. We will also focus on Governance, capacity development and institutional building, providing workshops and other logistics on how we can market our economy, and also ideas on free market policies. Once our policies are right and straight forward honestly we can build a bigger economy by 2030.

Place Your Priorities Right

When building a nation like Zimbabwe, there is need to place our priorities right as a nation. What exactly do we need as a nation for now? What is important for now? If I had a chance to meet the President soon I would table my inputs so that we can move forward as a nation. What is need now is food on the table. People need food. You see people are not concerned by politics, or going to State House, they don't even care about those positions neither do I also, what we just need is food on the table. Basically I'm saying lets table plans that have short term gains for economic recovery for now. Quick economic recovery plans. What exactly is available for us to grow the economy now? Let's stop infighting and build the nation.

Our Country Is Not Producing Anything

If you remember very well, our production level is as good as nothing. Most powerful companies have closed, and thousands of people lost their jobs. What is the problem? We need to find out the real cause of that before borrow some more money. For example we had to put measures that led to closure of so many companies. If you remember that S126 instrument to me I think President Mnangagwa should completely do away with that one. It is not addressing any problem. What I have discovered is that is protecting the few, elite and well-connected business people and mostly those who enjoy cordial relation\ship with the ruling party. We need a broader aspect, so that we can share the national cake together.

Eat What You Kill Policy

Deal with what is available. The Government can do away with borrowing mentality and make use of resources available in our country. I guess our external debt is no longer good and the previous regime was good at borrowing, travelling drawing hefty allowances. We must live within our means. If we don't have, we don't have, if we are borrowing let us make sure the money is directed to critical areas of the economy. We can't survive as an economy with hefty borrowing. We need to provide resources and merge with those who have capital and equipment and then share the resources. We should not stand to lose. For example we are the second largest producer of platinum in Africa if not in the world but we are the poorest country if not in the SOUTHERN Africa. So SIPAR-TRUST will come up with a raft of measures to curb such leakages.

Let's Avoid Excessive Borrowing at All Cost

You see our main challenge was borrowing. When the money comes it would go straight in people's pockets. I remember we had money from IMF and the World Bank we don't even know what happened to that amount, we had money from the AFRIMEX bank we don't even know what happened, we had revenue from the toll gates which came in the form of toll fees, no one knows what happened, we had money from diamond proceeds, we had equipment from Brazil for Agriculture so we need to be careful so that we can live within our means. The good part is that the President outlined from his vision the need to prioritize the growth of the economy.

Inclusiveness Is a Key Priority for Policy Making

Discord in the Government or opposition will raise unnecessary alarm. It is important for the Government to come together with the opposition, civic society, academics, individuals, business community so that our ideas will be inclusive. It is unfortunate that everyone thought the appointments at cabinet level were going to be inclusive. Transitional mechanism was the best idea for Zimbabwe. So when ideas are tabled it will be an open forum for everyone so that everyone will be able to give his or her input. Policies should benefit everyone and it should reflect a national agenda with people at heart.

Legislative Agenda

From my understanding there are some laws which are not yet aligned, we have more than 400 laws which are not yet aligned and these include media laws, electoral laws, judicial laws, draconic laws which should be repealed. Investors look at these issues, and once we fail to deal with such matters at national level it would be very difficult for us to achieve our goals. Remember they also want to protect their wealthy and assets.

Legal Aspect

Zimbabwe have lost so many minerals and money to bogus investors. They are some foreigners who took advantage of former President and other loopholes to swindle the country of large amounts. Before any deals are signed they must be disclosed to the public, and nature of deals, what is involved in the deals, and at the same time how does Zimbabwe benefit from such deals, and this will help the nation. Nature and information of deals should be cushioned to the public to avoid any outcry in different sectors. We have good legal brains as a country, we should have proper laws that protect our minerals and natural resources, there is need for proper work, we should avoid desperation as a country and most foreign nationals will take advantage of us and this will create a lot of leakages.

If you have ideas on how to build proper policy institutions or you want to come forward to assist in setting up this big creation you can always get in touch.

Tinashe Eric Muzamhindo writes in his personal capacity as the Head of Southern Institute of Policy Analysis and Research - SIPAR TRUST, which is responsible for policy analysis and research. He is also an academic and researcher. He holds a BA, MA from Solusi University, and he also holds a Masters of Development Studies from University of Lusaka, Zambia. He is currently enrolled at University of KwaZulu Natal University in South Africa (PHD in Development Studies). He is also an advisor to many financial and political institutions within and outside Zimbabwe. He can be contacted at southerninstitutepar@gmail.com


Source - Tinashe Eric Muzamhindo

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