|ZIM Asset: Panacea to Zim’s economic woes|
|Thursday, 14 November 2013 14:33|
Muchadura Dube Special Correspondent
country rendering it moribund.
That the MDC-T craves for the perpetual subjugation of black people as a weapon for their anticipated political resurrection has never been in doubt. It should be remembered that this political outfit (MDC-T) is a product of social upheaval that characterised Zimbabwe in the 1990s; ironically these economical and social problems were of the MDC-T creation.
These economic problems characterised by closure of industries, high unemployment levels, lack of financial support for the agriculture sector and the liquidity crunch have been an albatross around the necks of the populace. With such gigantic challenges, add in the debilitating sanctions which were engineered by the then united MDC-T as a political tool to oust Zanu-PF, and then you have a mammoth task of resuscitating the economy.
In the July 31 2013 elections, the electorate managed to detect the MDC-T hypocrisy hence its crushing defeat at the hands of Zanu-PF. Zanu-PF’s manifesto endeared the party to the people as it managed to articulate their wishes and proffered possible remedies to their socio-economic woes. In order to ensure that the people’s expectations are met, the revolutionary party crafted a five-year economic blueprint aptly named Zimbabwe Agenda for Sustainable Socio-Economic Transformation (Zim Asset).
In addition to the Zanu-PF manifesto as its source, Zim Asset is also guided by the Presidential Vision as encapsulated in President Mugabe’s Inauguration Speech delivered on 22 August 2013 as much as it is also informed by a wider consultative process within Government, the private sector and review of previous national development programmes. Zim Asset becomes the Government’s new macro-economic policy that will guide economic development programmes over the next five years until December 2018. If well funded, this economic masterpiece has all the ingredients to transform Zimbabwe’s economic fortunes.
The economic blueprint identified four all encompassing clusters which need to be prioritised for the economy to tick. The clusters are as follows: food security and nutrition, social services and poverty reduction, infrastructure and utilities, and value addition and beneficiation.
Two sub-clusters were also developed thus fiscal reform measures to anchor resource mobilisation to finance projects, public administration, governance and performance management poised to create a conducive environment and to build capacity to formulate, implement, monitor and evaluate the economic plan. The media, the revered fourth estate, is expected to play a critical role of putting in check performance of those tasked to implement this national agenda. Given the holistic nature of this economic plan, it augurs well for the nation as it endeavours to chart its destiny.
As alluded to earlier in this piece, financial resources are of paramount importance if the well-thought economic plan is to become reality. After having been subjected to ruinous economic sanctions for the past decades, the newly mandated Zanu-PF Government has to approach its all-weather friends in the East mainly the Russians and Chinese for funding of this economic policy. Naturally the government has to engage even our allies with caution bearing in mind that national interest takes precedence over all other matters.
All agreements have to encompass the win-win notion for either party. The Chinese have the world’s second biggest economy whilst at the same time boasting of the largest United States dollar reserves, making them Zimbabwe’s potential partner in the implementation of the economic policy. Zimbabwe has abundant minerals resource which the Chinese need given the magnitude of their economy. The country has to prudently leverage its minerals resources for it to secure lines of credit from the Chinese. It is true that mineral resources are finite by their nature hence anyone designated to negotiate on behalf of the Government has to ensure that the principle of win-win scenario has to prevail. All self-respecting governments the world over defend their national interest with a passion hence Zimbabwe’s Government, a derivative of a world acclaimed revolutionary party, Zanu-PF, should never be an exception.
In the implementation of this policy, local content approach has to be a key guiding principle. As enunciated by the country’s indigenisation and empowerment policy, locals have to be in the thick of things in the execution of any investment deals. It should also be a prerequisite to ensure that goods manufactured locally get the preference ahead of foreign-manufactured goods as this will act as the springboard for the growth of the local economy.
Government has to ensure that the local content requirement has to be legislated; this will in turn relieve fiscal authorities of pressure as the move will improve the circulation of money and halts the rampant externalisation of money in the retail and mining sector.
Innovation is central to unlock resources from elsewhere on the part of those holding key positions in government given that the nation cannot raise money from taxes or foreign direct investment in the medium term. Anyone who underestimates unity in the implementation of this noble economic plan will be a liability to the nation. It is crucial that Zimbabweans realise that now is the time to propel this great nation to prosperity by holding fort in ensuring that this economic blueprint becomes an instant success story.
The sad story of exporting raw materials without adding value to them should come to an instant end. The country unlocks value and potential by adding value to our God-given resources. Why should we export jobs elsewhere when thousands of our youths are without employment? The time is now for everyone to walk the talk. Let’s all harness our energies for the betterment of the nation. All Zimbabweans in their diversity have a role to play in making this economic plan a success.
Now that the new Government has crafted a sound economic blueprint, what is left is for all stakeholders to pull in the same direction. Unity of purpose is indeed a fundamental element for the nation to realise its goal whatever its scope or dimension. Reliance on the country’s erstwhile colonisers who are also co-architects of the economic sanctions can only take the nation back to the economic turmoil they engineered for the past decade.
This economic blueprint is all this great country needs at this point of our history. History will record this era as the beginning of Zimbabwe’s economic revival.