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Good and sound advice for the Presidential Advisory Council (PAC)

08 Mar 2019 at 14:14hrs | Views
To be quite honest and frank the Presidential advisory council which President Mnangagwa appointed have a tough assignment to accomplish though I still have some disputation over some names which were enlisted. To start with, I don't think it was necessary to have more than 26 people, was the idea all about advisory work or to accommodate those who were left out during some critical appointments. This is a bloated figure and it is not necessary, I think he must have reduced the figure to eight. It does not sound economic to have such a bloated figure, and all these people need perks, allowances and fuel allocations and where does the broke Government get funds to run this PAC idea? Is that possible? Mnangagwa has a politburo in place, he has a full cabinet, he has a central committee, and he has an advisory council on top of that, my question will then be all these people can't give him good and sound advice? Food for thought. Looking at the Perm Secs in the Government, they are well oriented and do you need an additional team to save us from this mess? Let's come back closer home, I have good and sound advice which I can give to the advisory council, and the entire team so that we can achieve our economic gains. The PAC has a tricky situation because how does he complement the ideas from politburo, central committee and at the same time cabinet with full energetic Permanent secretaries?

Policy clarity and consistency

We have a lot of inconsistency in terms of policy clarity in Zimbabwe. Same ministers from the same Government issuing different statements on Government position on certain economic aspects. Recently there was a diamond policy at hand, the other day, a new mining policy is on cards, the other day, we hear of 51 percent empowerment threshold under mining sector. My question is where exactly are we going? It was embarrassing to watch ZTV the other day when Government was climbing down on the issue of bilateral agreements between Zimbabwe and Botswana. Honestly in this era, do we expect such drama, a former bread basket nation receiving bandages from the Government of Botswana, what a mess. I think we have better things to do. Why did ZTV lie that we received 500 000.00 from Botswana yet there were still consultations over the deal? So my advice is before any agreements are made, Government must not rush to make decisions or conclusions, there is need to consult first on key economic decisions before any deal is penned or any announcement is made, such traits reflect signs of desperation and lack of cohesion and clarity.

Reforms and Dialogue

What Zimbabwe needs are reforms and dialogue. We can have as many advisory councils as possible, but the political and economic question is centered on dialogue and reforms. We need to reform ourselves. There must be a difference between the previous regime and the current one. This is what the advisory council must tell the President, to walk the talk. Our current re-engagement plans have been put in jeopardy because of inconsistencies, human rights abuses and gross violations and lack of sincerity. Give the President good and sound advice. Why would the President go ahead to meet more than 20 loosing candidates who failed to garner a single seat or votes under normal circumstances? Do you want to dent your image give the President good advice and honest opinions. If Mnangagwa and Chamisa do not meet, we are far from reality and it would be difficult to resolve our political and economic impasse. What a waste of tax payer's money during that dialogue session, yet we know exactly what to do. You need to work on security reforms agenda, electoral reforms to avoid future disputes and economic reforms. We have so many debts which the Government has accumulated, how are we going to repay those loans is another question of the day? So my suggestion is before any move is done, it is critical to consult so that we can have a sense of direction.

Legitimacy question

Do you know why we are all in this mess? Do you know why the economy is declining? In 2017, bread was pegged at $1, and currently it's pegged at $2.50, and prices of basic of basic commodities are skyrocketing, and the whole question is centered on legitimacy resulting in instability of our economy. You can't separate the economy and political developments. We have markets they respond to the current political developments, and it's simple. Following a deep dispute over July 30, 2018 elections, we have serious problems in this country, whoever is brave within the Presidential advisory council must ensure that the President gets correct information and advice to pave way for a better Zimbabwe. Elections are over, but there is need to resolve the political question. I would suggest that the PAC must come up with a program of bringing the two political rivals together, and work on how to resolve the impasse so that the nation can move forward.

Tinashe Eric Muzamhindo is a Policy Advisor and Project Management Consultant, and a leading academic who is studying Doctor of Philosophy at Women's University of Africa (WUA- Development Studies), and he can be contacted at

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Source - Tinashe Eric Muzamhindo
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