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PDP policy brief - What will be the key functions of the NTA?

by Jacob Mafume - National Spokesperson
03 Oct 2016 at 07:57hrs | Views
Last week, we shared with citizens the origins of the NTA idea which is within PDP's Agenda for the Restoration and Rehabilitation of Electoral Sustainability (ARREST).

The PDP's ARREST, seeks to "arrest" the current political status quo of fatigue, fatality and hopelessness by clearly defining an alternative political model for Zimbabwe following years of frustration and delayed or arrested transition. It is based on seven key canons which seek to address the current impasse:
II. CANON B – the National Transitional Authority (NTA)
III. CANON C – Coalitions Against Dictatorship
IV. CANON D – Social Movements and Broad Alliances
V. CANON E – Peace and Security
VI. CANON F – Devolution of Power  
VII. CANON G – Conditions for Free and Fair Elections (COFFEE)

For now we are dealing only with the NTA.

A lot of debate is going on seeking to find out more about the NTA and how it will work, who will be involved, its legality and so on. We intend to deal with all these matters and share with interested citizens our ideas as PDP. As a political party, we have vested interests in the creation of sustainable change (both economic and political) which must lead to the holding of free and fair elections, that is why are advocating for the NTA. Let it be clear that we therefore seek to popularise the NTA idea and not seek to determine modus operandi.  

In addition to the above, we believe that focusing on elections alone is an important but narrow agenda because the country needs fundamental non-reversible political and economic transformation to address the economic meltdown today and not in 2018.

The NTA is therefore a holistic albeit new approach which addresses the crisis of confidence which we are suffering under a ZANU (PF) government, but also goes further to proffer an immediate economic rescue strategy to arrest poverty, joblessness and declining social indicators.

We believe that the NTA must oversee the country between now and the next election. Its key objectives are;
1. To attend to the issues of national stability and peace in a possibly very volatile post Mugabe period.

2. To attend to the implementation of an economic recovery plan to urgently deal with the social crisis, to create jobs, stabilize the economy and re-vitalise industry.

3. To attend to issues of the breakdown of the social contract through open dialogue among labour, government, industry and the rest of the Zimbabwean society, including the Diaspora.

4. To attend to the creation of conditions for free and fair elections, whenever those elections are held.

5.  To create conditions and platforms for citizen participation in policy issues.

6. Beyond averting a catastrophe, the NTA will also remove the infrastructures of fear, violence and police brutality and therefore open space for citizens to participate in creating the future they desire.

The NTA economic reform responsibilities will be critical to arrest the decline and we will deal with those first. The NTA must therefore implement an emergency socio-economic recovery program which we term- The Zimbabwe Emergency Rescue Strategy (ZERST).

ZERST seeks to reverse the current downward spiral that is heading towards a full blown economic meltdown whose total negative effect will be catastrophic.  ZERST is an integral part of HOPE and is a precondition to the full recovery envisaged under HOPE.  

The urgent focus of ZERST is to drive Zimbabwe out of the present crisis of deflation, stagnation, under-accumulation, devaluation of capital and valorisation of labour and to bring in a new era of dignity and prosperity for all citizens regardless of race, gender, tribe or political affiliation.

The following are thus the key features of ZERST:
1. An urgent stimulus package-Zimbabwe Economic Recovery Fund, (ZERF), targeted at infrastructure and reindustrialization with a view of ensuring that "the economy spends its way out of the regression". It must also execute serious public works, housing, water, transport, and ICT infrastructure to create immediate employment opportunities.

2. Job creation and re-industrialization for the resuscitation of closed or distressed companies will be a key deliverable. Thus, ZERF will provide long term friendly lines of credit to ensure that old companies are revived and new companies created. Key to this will be the repeal of the Indigenization and Empowerment Act to facilitate Foreign Direct Investment into Zimbabwe.

3. Austerity and rationalization of government expenditure will also be key. Since 2013, the budget deficit has been widening with an increase in domestic arrears, and has created a debt gridlock in the economy. The NTA will thus seek to restore the principal of ‘we eat what we kill' and at the very minimum maintain a primary balance. ZERST will also prescribe the monetizing of the budget deficit through the issuance of Treasury Bills and other debt instruments but in a responsible manner which does not stifle capital formation, social investment and economic growth.

4. We must the deal with the balance of payments position and create long term investment instruments under ZERST which attract Diaspora capital and maximise and formalize Diaspora remittances. We must also reduce the current account deficit to converge with the SADC benchmark of at least 9% of GDP.

5.  The normalization of relations with the international community and appealing for increased Overseas Development Assistance will be critical. Engagement and increased cooperation with the International and Financial Institutions including the international private capital market will ensure that we integrate back into international capital markets.

6. Next must be financial sector reforms particularly access to affordable credit the reduction of the cost of capital, the increase of competition in the financial services sector, effective regulation and financial inclusion.

7. ZERST should also see the investment of defined amounts in key social sectors to ensure that we look after and empower our human capital. These include - education, health, water and sanitation, housing, social safety nets for vulnerable households and grants to persons living with disability, single mothers, marginalised youth, the unemployed and pensioners.

The NTA, should be able to raise at least $10 billion USD which will be put under ZERF.   We believe that the PDP, has the capacity and experience of ensuring that ZERF is fully funded.

In our next instalments, we shall deal with how NTA can be structured and the legalities pertaining for it to be an effective citizen's driven transformational platform which is inclusive and creates sustainable social, political and economic change.

Another Zimbabwe is possible!

Source - Jacob Mafume - National Spokesperson
More on: #NTA, #PDP, #ARREST, #ZERST