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Zim economy elusive - Tapiwa Mashakada

by Stephen Jakes
19 Oct 2015 at 07:11hrs | Views
Senior MDC-T official Tapiwa Mashakada has warned that the Zimbabwe economy has remained elusive despite all the spirited attempts to introduce fiscal and monitory measures to turnaround the economy.

In an article he posted on Facebook Mashakada said the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth has plummeted to 1.5 percent since 2013 compared to an average growth rate of 7 percent between 2009 and 2018.

"It is not so.obvious or easy to decipher the causes of Zimbabwe' s economic fragility because most of our problems are structural and of a political economy nature," he said. "This is why simple neo liberal IMF and World Bank programs such as the so-called Staff Monitored Program will not work. In this article I attempt to propose an agenda to move Zimbabwe forward, economically beyond 2018. Iam therefore putting forward an Agenda for a new economic dispensation post the 2018 elections. My assumption is that between now and 2018 the government wont be able to stimulate the economy because it cannot deal with the vexing problems of a comatose productive sector coupled with lack of capital and a weak domestic revenue base"

He said the first order of business is a stable government ushered in by free fair and credible elections in 2018 or in the absence you need a government that is willing and politically capable to usher in economic reforms.

"The latter model is the Chinese Model which has catapulted China from an agricultural economy to an industrialising economy- the second largest in the world. The issue of a credible government is necessary to open doors to the international community and restoration of diplomatic and economic ties with the rest of the worl," he said. "ZImbabwe Conference: immediately after elections, the Zimbabwe Conference should be convened to adopt the country"s economic blueprint and vote of credit based on pledges by the international community. The target of the Zimbabwe Conference is to raise USD10billion for the Zimbabwe Economic Growth and Recovery Fund."

In the Macro-economic stability Mashakada said fiscal and macro'economic stsbility is needed.

"Currently Zimbabwe suffers from the unease triangle of (a)absence of official development assistance (b) low revenue.base (c) absence of balance of payments support. This has affected growth and caused deflation. Deflation is exactly the opposite of hyperinflation and the consequences on stability are the same. In medical parlance Its like Blood Pressure- high bllood pressure kills the patient and Low blood pressure kills. The use of the United States Dollar should continue in order to maintain currency and price stability. All.this requires a macro-economic framrwork of an average growth rate of 10 percent among other variables," he said. "Productive Sectors: Economic recovery will critically depend on the recovery of Agriculture; Industry; Mining: Tourism and Infrastructure. Part of the $10 billion will go towards the revival of the productive sectors. For Agriculture the focus will be Food Security and restoration of the bread basket.status."

"For Industry the focus will on agro-processing and retooling. For Mining the focus will be investnent and local beneficiation. For Tourism.the focus will be on visa regime reform.and security of the person. For Infrastructure, the focus will be rehabilitation and construction of new projects. There has to be a seperate Capital Budget," he added.

The MDC-T official said investment led growth can be arrived at by involving the Zimbabwean Diaspora who are critical in the mobilization of capital for the development of the country.

"The ease of doing business will be addressed for both domestic and foreign investors through an electronic one stop shop investment agency," he said. "Rural Economy: Through purposive and decentralized budgetary interventions rural district councils will be empowered to carry out infrastructural projects and the development of based on the micro enterprise model. Rural housing, road construction, water and sanitation and renewable energy rolled out in rural areas."

He said Small and Medium Enterprises: A Micro-Enterprise Bank will be established to provide cheap loans for start ups.

"Economic and Public Financial Management: Fiscal and Institutional Reforms will be undertaken targeting Parastatals: Local Authorities; The Public Service Commission and other key institutions. The objective is to enhance efficiency in service delivery and stamping out corruption," Mashakada said. "Citizen Participation: Zimbabwe belongs to.its citizens given the right and opportunity to participate in the economic governance of the country. An opportunity to participate in shaping the development agenda of the country."

The MDC-T top official said the economy must create jobs for school and college leavers in all.sectors of the economy.

"This can only happen if the private sector is recognized as the engine for growth. Necessary support mechanisms for private sector development should be put in place. Poverty alleviation.schemes will be put in place do that no Zimbabwean should live on less than a dollar a day. People's livelihoods would have to be addressed in urban and rural areas. Citizens who are over 70 years old will not pay health. Electricity, water and transport. Taxation on pension benefits will be scrapped," he said.

Adding that, " Education and Health: There ought to be a new paradigm shift on education and health. Primary education and tertiary education Parents will only pay for pre-school and secondary education. Public health will be free to all senior citizens as mentioned above and investment incentives will be provided to investors in the health care sector in order to boost infrastructure in the health sector. Research and innovation in health will be funded by the State."

He said Civil Servants and Uniformed: There must be a revolution in the manner civil servants are treated.

"All.civil servants will own houses and be allowed to.import cars for thenselves duty free. Or else government will provide loans for civil servants locally assembled vehicles. Civil servants will earn competitive salaries which motivate and pay income tax," Mashakada said. "War Veterans- All certified war veterans will have access to free health and free education for their children. Their pension benefits will not be taxed. Their funeral will be funded by the state. Veterans will get free inputs for agriculture in order to support their livelihoods."

He said there ought to be democracy with stability in Zimbabwe. In order to achieve that, the army, prisons, security and police command will be given a 5 year window to balance renewal with continuity in order to safeguard our sovereignty and territorial integrity.

"A clear.succession trajectory will be initiated in regard to the command of our security services taking into account the values of the liberation struggle and the need to.infuse new blood at command and boots levels," he said. "The Land and Natural Resources: All land and natural shall belong to the state. Land is a god given resource. No private individual can own land. Those allocated pieces of land are holding the land in trust on behalf of the state. Only residential land can be deemed freehold land subject to public interest. All natural resources including subsoil resources shall belong to the state. Investors will buy rights to carry out their business on land, mineral and other natural resources."

He said the Constitution and Rule of Law: The Constitution will be implemented in full and Zimbabwe will be truly a constitutional democracy. No body will be above or below the law. All natural and juristic persons shall be protected by the law and enjoy the Bill of Rights.

" In a democratic Zimbabwe, journalists shall enjoy freedom subject to the laws of the country," he said.

Source - Byo24News