Latest News Editor's Choice

Opinion / Columnist

2nd national development plan for Zimbabwe

08 Jan 2018 at 12:47hrs | Views
An Alternative for the Government of Zimbabwe in Re-Building Zimbabwe

I get frustrated when we simply talk and talk without implementation. Implementation is very critical. If we decide to have a blue print for this country, first of all we must put someone in place that is achievable, what objectives do we have? Do we have any goals? To me pouring in money into the economy at this point may not be meaningful, what is very critical at this point in time, is to make sure we have sanity in our country. We must have clean hands. We must be able to have right people, in right places and there by putting in measures that are viable for economic growth. If we don't have production it is useless to beg for money. Let's put our house in order. There is need for the Government of Zimbabwe to come up with a proper policy mechanism in place before any implementation. It is very critical for any Government or any institution to put a proper structure which produces quality results. Second (refers to second President) in line with E.D's line of policy and thinking. This proposal will assist Government institutions and private sector to put in place, structures, set of rules and measures to bring development and achieve all economic objectives. The basic principles by which a government is guided. The declared objectives that a government or party seeks to achieve and preserve in the interest of national community. See also public policy. The set of basic principles and associated guidelines, formulated and enforced by the governing body of an organization, to direct and limit its actions in pursuit of long-term goals. Blue prints are very common in any phenomenon and critical for any turnaround of the economy. For the past 37 years our country was in a mess of which everyone would admit the failure, and it is now critical for a second national development plan to be in place to curb all leakages in our economy and enhance development.

Importance of Policy Planning

Policies and procedures also provide clarity to the reader when dealing with accountability issues or activities that are of critical importance to the company, such as, health and safety, legal liabilities, regulatory requirements or issues that have serious consequences. Policies are important for guidance and setting proper standards for every institution. So as it stands it is advisable that the President can take a leading role in making sure during his tenure he should consult with all stakeholders before passing decisions at cabinet level. When investors look at our policies, first thing which comes into their mind, are these people worthy supporting? Do we have to support their cause? How do we support people who don't have operating guidelines, what if there is change of leadership, how do we secure our resources and money that we have poured in their economy? Even if leaders change but policies should remain intact and they help to build the image of the economy. It is fundamentally important for organizations or Governments to develop policy. An organization or Government without policy is an organization without control. If there were no formal documented policies, then Government at any level would have no guidance on how to make decisions. Imagine if you had a faulty product and you wished to return it to the shop from which it was purchased. In short, an absence of policy leads to inconsistency of decision making. From the point of view of Governments, policies provide really useful and necessary assistance. The President or ministers cannot be everywhere all the time to ensure everyone carries out their tasks correctly and responsibly. Instead the President will develop and communicate policies, and ask for ministers and departmental heads to read and adhere to them. Therefore policies help to decrease the amount of direct supervision by the Head of State, and at the same time increase the efficiency of work processes. Not everyone understands why policies exist. Some people may view them as being bureaucratic and overbearing. In reality, however, the existence of policies provides many benefits provided they are written well and kept up to date.

Round Table Policy Meetings

It is important for the Government of Zimbabwe to engage civic society, academics, business community, politicians, researchers, policy makers and senior civil servants to ensure we come up with proper domestic and foreign policies. This should be done monthly. I was of the suggestion that Government must come up with what is called "ECONOMIC COUNCIL OF ZIMBABWE" this council will ensure the Government won't implement anything before the council endorses such programs. Yes I agree every Government department have heads of departments but is important and critical that decisions should be impartial and independent. Economic decisions affect everyone therefore they should be inclusive regardless of political affiliation. So this council must comprise of opposition, ruling party officials, senators, parliamentarians, academics, church, civic society, policy makers and other key personnel.

The Role of the Civic Society (Opposition As Well)

The role of the civic society is not to loot resources or buys fenzy cars, looting donor funding. The role of civic society is to provide guidance to the Government and offering checks and balance to matters of policy. So civic society must have the right people who can neither be bought nor sold but who can offer assistance, alternatives to other critical areas of policy making and economic development. I'm sorry to say this but we have a sleeping opposition who spend most of their time debating petty things. Real opposition must come down from terraces and confront areas of need, and provide alternatives. We need an opposition that can deliver best results by ensuring that they come up with genuine issues, not opposing for the sake of being in opposition. We have representative parliamentary democracy leaving the decision-making to a small group of elected representatives. This could result in government 'of' the people becoming a government 'off' the people. Progressive marketization of traditional government functions has widened this gap. There is a gap between the not-so-efficient state and the profit-alone-matters private sector which needs a third sector to bridge it. This is how civil society is seen today. We need a progressive approach where the Government of the day approaches the opposition and civic society for assistance in technical areas.

Institutional Reforms (the Role of the State)

Institutional reform is the process of reviewing and restructuring state institutions so that they respect human rights, preserve the rule of law, and are accountable to their constituents. We need institutional reforms to provide competency in our systems of governance. What type of results do we expect? Do we expect quality? What are we going to use the quality for? Should we continue with what we have or we have to build strong institutions using proper policies. Policies and coherence should simply flow because there are proper policies in place. This is where we have to re-define the role of the state, what exactly is the state supposed to do? The state must do something for example; civil service of Zimbabwe should be reformed. In the previous years, Mugabe and his cronies used to staff the civil service with incompetent people, nepotism and other activists, so there is need for the State to re-define itself. Until recently, the state's scope of activities had no defined limits. In addition to its sovereign functions (for example, security, justice, education, and health care), it was involved in economic life through direct control over the production and distribution of many goods and services. In a number of countries, the state was also responsible for managing financial institutions, as well as controlling trade and capital flows between the national economy and the rest of the world. This interventionist system, which was justified in various ways, eventually ran out of steam. But it did not give way to a burgeoning private initiative. A restrictive regulatory framework limited private initiatives to marginal activities, stifling the emergence of a true entrepreneurial class. Moreover, the rare foreign capital that has flowed into the region has been contingent on investors being granted monopoly rights and protection from competition.

Productivity and Industrilization

Productivity is defined as the efficient use of resources, labour, capital, land, materials, energy, information, in the production of various goods and services. Higher productivity means accomplishing more with the same amount of resources or achieving higher output in terms of volume and quality from the same input. Very broadly productivity captures our ability to transform our physical and human resources to generate the desired outputs. It is important to note that productivity improvement or the effective use of available resources is the only way for future development in the society. Productivity improvement results in direct increases in the standard of living under conditions of distribution of productivity gains according to contribution. We can pour in a lot of money into the economy, but without increase in production levels we are nothing. We really have to increase the output. Improvements in firm level productivity translate directly into national economic growth, but productivity growth in the economy can exceed that of the individual firms. This is because competition favours firms that are more productive, and so these firms' market share expands, while that of less productive firms' contracts. In the process, the average level of productivity is increased. This process of competitive dynamics is important for keeping the economy close to its production possibility frontier. Policies and market behaviour that undermine competition may cause the economy to slip below its potential. There is also potential for 'spillovers' between firms that mean productivity improvements can be contagious. That is, the things those firms do to benefit themselves benefits other firms as well. Proponents of proactive industry policies (such as government support for innovation hubs and clusters) often cite the importance of spillovers as a source of productivity growth. However, proposals for public expenditure in this area need careful scrutiny to ensure that spillovers are indeed generated, they are from activity that otherwise would not have occurred, and the benefits exceed the public cost.

Agriculture and Land Policy

Let's have one man one farm policy. Let's stick to the rules that we have set. We have the former President having 12 farms to me it doesn't make sense when a person like me does not even have somewhere to do my subsistence farming practices. Why did we grab the farms at first? Whatever we grabbed was it utilized in a proper way? 78% of farms that were taken during the hondo yeminda mantra are not being utilized. We have farms that are lying idle. Yet in the past 60% of foreign direct investment was largely from Agriculture. What has gone wrong with our agriculture sector? So there is need for the President to put in place a committee which can deal with these matters. We are talking of fishery production; we should increase output levels in agriculture. We need a proper policy document in agriculture sector. We must ensure that there is enough food security. We need to ensure that we have internal trainings. Those people who were given farms that are not being utilized should simply return the farms. In fact the Government of Zimbabwe must set standards of what is expe4cted in the Agric sector. 30% of land must go for housing and other related areas and 70% should be commercial. That way we can restore order and legacy in the agriculture sector.

Tourism Sector

Tourism is a critical sector that can drive the economy very well. First of all we must have a good image as a country. We must be able to engage other countries and relate with them very well. We should not be hostile or come up with hostile policies that will prevent other nationalities from visiting our country. We must relax our visa arrangement for other countries. We must have a disciplined police force in our country. Government should be involved on crafting of tourism policies but should make use of relevant stakeholders. Stakeholders are pertaining to tourism business and engaging in tourism policies formulation. These stakeholders vary among ministry of tourism, tourism planning department, NGOs, local communities, as well as, private sector players including owners and managers of all tourism facilities such as restaurants, hotels, transportations .It is of importance to explore the role of government and other relevant stakeholders' in formulating tourism policies since these policies affect all varieties of business pertaining to tourism sector. Furthermore, it is crucial to understand interactions and activities of the government and the pressure applied by main players in tourism industry during the policies making process. This reflects the high significance of the effect of these policies. Derived from its practical and theoretical importance, tourism policy is considered to be a dynamic issue to be studied. Consequently, the sustainable development process of tourism and all related issues should be directed by an independent tourism organization that embrace all stakeholders in both sectors, private and public , local communities and NGOs . In addition, as a result of a rapid change in the world, tourism industry should cope with the new trends and incorporate new technologies such as the usage of networks, internet services, E-ticketing and WIFI service in all domains. In the same context, one of the main problems that affect tourism is the quick development in all our lifestyle, the need to cope with the diversity of means of travel, the diversity of tourism attractions all over the place which struggle the competition between destinations. For that reason, facts stated above should be taken into consideration by tourism planners, as well as encouraging them to take the lead. As a sequence, flexible policies should be designed to cope with this speedy progress on all spheres of influence in tourism and travel world.

Mining Sector

There has been rampant corruption in the mining sector and it is critical for the Government to come up with a proper mining policy to avoid leakages. For example in Chiadzwa alone we had so many leakages where the country lost almost 15 billion. We are the second largest platinum producer in the world but we are the poorest country if not in the world. So what is the problem? We have so many Chinese in this country being involved in many illegal mining activities. What do we get from those deals? We have mortgaged our country to other country. We are getting absolutely nothing from the mining proceeds. There is need for us to ensure safety of workers as well. How do we safeguard our resources from exploitation? It is big question. We need to put proper policies to ensure that we have a proper legal framework that will guide investors who want to venture into mining, how we share proceeds. I would suggest that any investor who wants to invest in Zimbabwe must partner with a Zimbabwean and 70 percent of the labour must be locals. We must also make sure that the Government benefits directly and indirectly by ensuring that these investors they buy material and other equipment from local manufacturers.

Infrastructure Development

That infrastructure matters to growth is now relatively well recognized and widely understood among practioners and policy makers There is, indeed, a plethora of anecdotal and more technical evidence that better quantity and quality of infrastructure can directly raise the productivity of human and physical capital and hence growth. The upshot is that it is easy to understand why there still are so many debates as to the level of the impact of infrastructure on the level of GDP and its longer term impact on the growth potential of the economy. Among the many debates, the discussions on the specific definition of infrastructure may matter the more directly to practioners. In general, infrastructure is defined as electricity, gas, telecoms, transport and water supply, sanitation and sewerage. However, because data on the physical stocks of these sectors or their valuation tends to be scarce, authors have often relied on stocks of public capital or specific subsectors as proxies for infrastructure.


Our challenge is implementation as a nation. We need to deviate from those old ways of too many promises without anything touchable on the ground. We need results. We must at all cost avoid excuses. It is better to have few objectives that are achievable and regret after we fail to implement. There is a temptation in Zimbabwe since we are going to election and the election mood will always force politicians to give to many promises that will never happen. So let's move away from that syndrome. Our economy is in shambles and it is high time we expect key results. We should begin with critical areas so that we can be able to deliver.

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

Join Bulawayo24 Online Community
Source - Tinashe Eric Muzamhindo
All articles and letters published on Bulawayo24 have been independently written by members of Bulawayo24's community. The views of users published on Bulawayo24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Bulawayo24. Bulawayo24 editors also reserve the right to edit or delete any and all comments received.