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Government committed to implementing reforms

15 Feb 2019 at 11:45hrs | Views
The new administration under the leadership of President Emmerson Mnangagwa has shown serious commitment in amending major reforms, which are mainly economic, political and media reforms, as shown by the recent repeal of Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act (AIPPA).

AIPPA has always been cited as an obstacle to the full realisation of freedom of expression amongst other fundamental rights.

The opposition political parties particularly the MDC has been crying for the amendment of AIPPA and President Mnangagwa, as a listening President has promised to look into the issue and the amendments have already began.

Government is committed to implementing media reforms that will help Zimbabwe develop into an economy and society we want it to be, by 2030.

The repeal of AIPPA will give rise to three legal instruments, namely, the Access to Information Bill, the Zimbabwe Media Commission Bill and the Protection of Personal Information/Data Protection Bill.

Minister of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting, Honourable Monica Mutsvangwa revealed that the proposed repeal and amendment fulfils the requirements to align the country's laws to the Constitution.

Amendment of these laws may not seem important, yet they do affect the bread and butter issues. This will create employment with the coming in of new requirements.

Government wants to see its citizens enjoy all modern media products regardless of their environment and to fully enjoy their freedom to access information through all available platforms, a matter guaranteed by the constitution.

Other than AIPPA and Police Act, the new dispensation is also looking into the economic and political reforms.

Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, Dr Sibusiso Moyo said Zimbabwe has started attracting investment into the country and has declared the country being open for business so that the rest of the world can see this awakening giant.

Dr Moyo noted that Government was presently in the process of creating an environment attractive for investors. This, he said, resulted in the review of the Indigenisation and Empowerment Act, which limited the 51 percent threshold to platinum and diamond.

"An example is our immediate reform which we undertook to reform the economic empowerment policy and Act, which now allows business to own the equity of their desired choice as they negotiate to enter into the business arena. But this of course is limited to the rest of the sectors of the economy, except in the diamond and platinum areas, where we are still developing a new policy in that regard.
"But a lot of reforms are taking place in order to open Zimbabwe for business and awakening this giant," he said.

In terms of the economic reform, Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Professor Mthuli Ncube's approach is anchored on maintaining bond notes parity as he argued that he will make currency reforms and introduce what he hopes to be a more stable currency within two years.
Minister Ncube is trying to improve the country's economic image through a policy of fiscal consolidation to rein in government spending, reduce, at least, local debts by raising all sorts of taxes and by laying out a plan to deal with international debt. These are what Minister Ncube calls austerity measures.

Minister Ncube also reviewed the Intermediated Money Transfer Tax from 5 cents per transaction to 2%. Minister Ncube proposed the tax saying it sought to expand Government's capacity for capital funding and retooling of the manufacturing sector.

The Transitional Stabilisation Programme (TSP) was also introduced as a response to normalise things in the country following what Minister Ncube called years of disequilibrium. The TSP is therefore meant to stabilise this disequilibrium and it came with it a set of objectives, among them the elimination of rent-seeking behaviour and arbitrage opportunities that cause great discomfort on the smooth function of the economy.

Politically, Zimbabwe is now undergoing some significant transition following the 2018 harmonized elections that were the most peaceful since independence and have ushered a new era in Zimbabwe with opportunities for economic and political reform including transformative leadership. Not only that but Zimbabwe now has the most democratic space where over 110 political parties participated and campaigned freely with no hindrances.

Source - Gift Mashoko
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