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Opinion / Columnist

President Mnangagwa needs a cream of advisors around him or risk losing credibility

19 Jan 2018 at 15:16hrs | Views
I think ED's national development plan might be a clear one but there are some areas which needs introspective and reflective mirror if we are to turn around this economy. If checked the response from citizens on the issue of buying cars for chiefs and also those farm equipments for snow worthy 8 million shows that there is someone who is feeding ED with wrong advice. To me from the economic perspective point of view, development should be ahead of politics if we are to go by. We have more than 58 districts without ambulances on the ground for emergency purposes, we have a crisis at NRZ where workers have gone more than 2 years without salaries, we have students from different tertiary institutions who have gone for months without grants, and we have critical areas such as tourism and production. What is the priority of the Government then? I always emphasize on priorities, whilst it is important to respect and acknowledge the presence of traditional leaders in rural areas but is it really worth it to give 14 million away? Some of these chiefs are no longer able to walk, some have healthy problems and was that put into consideration? I would suggest in order to compose a good team of advisors, the President must come up with these models for advisory team and research work.

Model 1 - Chief Political Advisor

I suggest the President must have a chief political advisor who will be assisting him in the political field. The president can't have a special advisor covering everything, it is important to take note to have a chief political advisor who will be helping to make correct political decisions which will not plunge this country into serious crisis. I would suggest that there are so many professors of Law or technocrats with good backgrounds who can be able to pick political connotations before the country is plunged in civil war or other defaults. We still have political issues at hand, he is still making political changes in the Government and it is important to have someone who can be in that field to assist him. For example people were not for the idea to have so many soldiers in the Government and such advisors will be able to pick that on time and give him the correct information. We have majority of men in the cabinet, and we have 3% of women only, and we are not balanced in terms of gender so it is critical to correct that politically to save our country from further embarrassment. Why returning people who have been looting diamonds in the Government which will give bad precedence to our country, politically that was wrong and this will tarnish our image as a country.

Model 2 - Economic Advisors

Economically our situation is not good. Why then would one proceed to purchase vehicles worthy 14 million at the expense of the nation? We need advisors who are in the economic field who can assist the Government on economic matters, and making correct economic decisions. For example we have everything in this country, minerals, labour, natural resources so what is our problem? We are busy mortgaging our country to Chinese who are busy looting our resources when we have more than 7 million people languishing in poverty. We have more than 160 000 graduates who have turned to vending for survival. So where are the advisors to shed more light to the president concerning this area? These people should be able to work on projections, and identify areas which can help Zimbabwe to get back to its feet again. For example, the previous regime purchased vehicles for chiefs, and when ED came in he could not make changes because the deals were already signed, so what then it meant was that, if the deal was going to be cancelled, it is Zimbabwe authorities who were going to fork out more resources to compensate those suppliers.

Model 3 - Policy and Research Advisors    

We have a problem of policy consistency. In the previous dispensation we witnessed Government ministers from the same regime clashing on policy matters. Investors need clarity on policy and research. Before we give away our natural resources such as gold, nickel, coal, diamonds, chrome and platinum we must come up with a team of policy and research who must carry out feasibility studies and find out what is exactly needed on the ground, are those deals worth? What do we get from these deals? Can the deals resuscitate our ailing economy? Who are the investors? Are they not bogus? Their previous records, and can they produce quality? What do they bring in these deals? Are the deals transparent to the whole nation? Are the policy in line with international standards? Our research and policy do they meet international expectations?

DANGERS OF MAKING DECISIONS WITHOUT PROPER ADVICE

1. One can risk losing credibility

2. We can make losses as a country

3. The impact of poverty on the social and well- being of ordinary Zimbabweans

4. Slowing of economic projections

5. Wrong political moves that can have repercussions

6. Investors can be very skeptical

7. Conflicts and political confrontations

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 adviser to many financial and political institutions within and outside Zimbabwe. He can be contacted at southerninstitutepar@gmail.com

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Source - Tinashe Eric Muzamhindo
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