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Muzamhindo presents an ideal plan for Zimbabwe

30 Sep 2019 at 22:10hrs | Views
Zimbabwe is buffeted by inconsistencies, lack of cohesion, indecisive politics, incapacitation and deep rooted corruption. The bottom line is Zimbabwe economy has totally collapsed and there is need for progressive minds to converge and come up with collective decisions to bail out the ailing economy. There is need for consensus on what exactly needs to be done to revive our ailing economy.  

Our economic crisis has reached unprecedented levels and there is need to put proper measures to deal with the nature of our problem. Below is a pre-review on the current situation and proper remedy to curb our crisis. Our major crisis is corruption ranging from looting of national resources to policy shifts and inconsistencies without major reforms. We need political, economic and judicial reforms before we address the issue of sanctions. For example today I was looking at cars which were purchased for senators, MPs and ministers and the entire executive.

My question is how does a small economy like Zimbabwe survive? This country is rich with natural resources and resources at our disposal and rich deposits. My question is do we have proper economic and legal frameworks to address our challenges? We lost billions of dollars in Marange and gold proceeds and other precious minerals because of lack of cohesion and proper frameworks to address the real problem.

Problems we have at stake

-    Corruption
-    Incompetency within and outside the system
-    Lack of policy clarification
-    Lack of capacitation
-    Leakages
-    Structural adjustments
-    Appetite for expenditure
-    Debt problem
-    Servant leadership
-    Lack of tolerance
-    Divergence of views

Way forward:

Zimbabweans must be empowered

The culture of dependency syndrome must stop. The State must produce quality economic players through empowerment planning. This idea of looting national resources and allowing individuals to bankroll Government projects must stop forthwith. Zimbabweans must be allowed to participate in economic planning and activities. Whilst a middle-class economy (2030) is ideal, but Government must come up with frameworks that address poverty reduction, high rate of unemployment, competency, idealism and competitive growth. I also buy in the idea of rural transformation. I don't agree with the concept of dishing out inputs and food handouts, this will open loopholes of manipulation and vulnerability particularly in rural areas. Why would you creat a culture of dependency syndrome?

Senate must be abolished

Zimbabwe does not have the capacity to bankroll the activities of a bloated senate. If I may ask, how much was spend to buy cars for the senators? Sitting allowances, and what is the role of senators. I have always come to the conclusion that the concept of senate was a political move meant to reward political players and silence whistle blowers. There is no much difference between senate and parliament. Money could be saved to re-furbish hospitals and even build more state of art hospitals for our country. We have wasted so much money on this bloated senate which is not rewarding Zimbabwe with anything.


Cutting Expenditure

We borrow for survival. Money is not grown from trees. Economy is all about industry. We need a functional industry and we must have the capacity to produce. Instead of hiring planes for the President and the entire executive, we can purchase a plane for the President. The size of the cabinet must be reduced, we need at least 15 ministers, and we can merge other ministries such as information with ICT, finance with economic development, youth, women and sports can be one ministry and we easily do away with deputy ministers. Our economy does not have the capacity to bankroll deputy ministers. In a nutshell we are saying, 15 ministers are enough and deputy ministers must be dealt with. In place for deputy ministers, permanent secretaries and principal directors can assist ministers and other senior civil servants.

Foreign missions must be reduced

We have embassies almost in all countries around the world. I think the focal point is to have foreign missions in key strategic countries for economic interests. This will reduce costs for the entire Government systems and reduce costs. My question is does the Zimbabwe Government have the capacity to bankroll all these foreign missions? This money can be redirected to critical sectors of the economy such as health, tourism, education, infrastructure development, mining and Agriculture. We can have one key strategic mission in South Africa for Botswana, Namibia, Zambia and Lesotho to reduce costs. Government must re-look into the issue of foreign missions revenue can be re-directed into critical sectors of the economy.


Eat what you can kill policy

Our major problem is we are surviving from debts and borrowing from multi-lateral institutions and we have created a serious gap in our economy. We don't grow money from trees, and our major challenges is that we are surviving from donation. We have minerals, land, competent people, our literacy rate is almost 90% and then what is our problem? We must learn to depend on our own. We must deviate from the culture of borrowing and dependency syndrome from other economies.


Nature of foreign and local debt

It is important for the Government to clear the air on the nature of our debts. Whom do we owe? How much? List of creditors, and nature of the debts. How did we reach those debts? Accountability of governance is key. Zimbabwe must not depend on rumor mongering. We must lead by transparency and accountability. Why is it that Muthuli Ncube has failed to account on the nature of our debts? The question of debt clearance has been rubbished aside and swept under the carpet. We have mortgaged our country and minerals to foreign nationals because of circumstances leading to borrowing without following proper procedure.

Policy clarification

Our foreign policy is in shambles. We have so many inconsistencies on media, mining, foreign, tourism, education and agriculture policies. Government has been backtracking on several issues related to economic and governance. Mnangagwa's priority must be to table a proper national development agenda. There must be a policy document which incorporates academics, policy makers, and politicians across political divide, economists, development practitioners, and other stakeholders so that they can come up with a second national development agenda in line with the five year plan which stipulates a clear development agenda. How do we expect investors to flock into Zimbabwe when our policies are in shambles? Today we say this, tomorrow we have changed. Look at the currency reform agenda, there are so many adjustments which has confused many potential investors and other leading companies in Zimbabwe. On the introduction of the new currency, there were conflicting statements regarding currency issues between the President and Minister of Finance. Lack of clarity has scared the few potential investors. At any given point, no country can survive without Foreign Direct Investment (FDI).

Command Agriculture Facility

The concept of command Agriculture is a exceptional but the implementation is offside. How can an individual bankroll a Government project which can sustain the whole nation without going to a public tender? Secondly, parliament is an arm of Government, and it has never been involved in the facility in terms of consultation. Thirdly, all stakeholders have been sidelined in this major project. Sakunda Holdings was awarded this massive project without a public tender, and this has amounted to 5.9 billion which has disappeared without any trace. According to the auditor General report, and the public accounts committee, almost 6 billion United States Dollars was not accounted for since the inception of the new dispensation. We have an individual bankrolling this project. We have grain in stock that can last for six months. My question is simple, was the nation consulted on this project? Why is it that a major project like command agriculture is not bankrolled by banks like CBZ, ZB, Met Bank and others yet we have strong financial institutions which can do so? There must be a proper framework which involves legal and economic practitioners who are competent to deliver the best for our country. The framework must be clear and outline the following:

1.    What is the role of the Government in the deal?
2.    How much does the Government get from this deal?
3.    Does the project benefit an ordinary person in Zimbabwe?
4.    How much does Sakunda Holdings get from this project?
5.    What is the nature of the deal?
6.    What are the legal and economic implications of the deal?


If the Command Agriculture facility cannot explain the above issues, then it must be abolished and those people who were leading the project must be made to account the 5.9 billion which is missing.


Human Rights Obligation

Zimbabwe is under spotlight on human rights issues. Cases ranging from abductions, torture, and violence must be dealt to clear. Are we able to attract any foreign direct investment over the alleged abduction cases? We need to come out clean on such issues. The issue of violence, abductions and torture are way past and beyond the modern era obligations and such is associated with early stone era of politics. We must be coherent, tolerant and allow divergence of views. We must be able to accept views of other people.

National projects

We need to reflect on how we handle national projects. We must come up with proper monitoring and evaluation systems and put in place mechanisms to deal with incompetence, incapacitation and corruption on Government projects. Where is Dema project? What happened to the 2 billion dollar project? This is one of the projects which drained from the fiscus and those who bankrolled the project looted all the resources, leaving the Government coffers empty. We have the Beitbridge â€" Chirundu project, what happened? The issue of tender systems and procedure. Do we have competent people around the project? What about the Gwanda â€" solar project? What happened? 7 million went into the drainage. Nothing was recovered. We have the command agriculture which has gobbled almost 5.9 billion, and still we have shortage of grain and more than 4 million face starvation. We have ZINARA tollgates projects and many others. Few months ago ED made it clear that we have over 100 buses coming to Zimbabwe. Do we have a proper tender system on these projects?


Tinashe Eric Muzamhindo â€" D. Phil Candidate

Muzamhindo is a leading consultant in Project Management and he is also the Executive Director for Global Institute of Policy Analysis and Research and he can be contacted at tinamuzala@gmail.com

Source - Tinashe Eric Muzamhindo
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