ZIMCODD’s REACTION TO PRESIDENT E.D MNANGAGWA’s INAUGURATION SPEECH

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ZIMCODD’s REACTION TO PRESIDENT E.D MNANGAGWA’s INAUGURATION SPEECH

 

While acknowledging that an inauguration speech is not a detailed government programme that comes in the Presidential address opening each annual session of Parliament, it is worth to take note that the inauguration speech does set the tone for an entire five-year administration. At face value His Excellency President Mnangagwa ’s inauguration speech sounds promising and ambitious BUT, the question remains, will the administration sufficiently address the citizens’ aspirations; maybe YES, maybe NO. The citizens’ quest for responsible stewardship of the economy and public resources for the betterment of lives for all is very clear and can not be satisfied by overtones and rhetoric of ‘new dispensation’ but rather actions that transform people’s lives for the better.

 

While presenting the inauguration speech on the 26th August 2018, President Mnangagwa noted the need for re-engagement; indeed Zimbabwe cannot remain isolated from the global economy. However, ZIMCODD is concerned that re-engagement processes that exclude the citizenry may certainly not reflect the citizens’ interest. Those on the discussion table must not push their self interests but rather all the discussions must involve the ordinary citizens who are immensely affected by any policy.

 

Radical economic reforms targeted at attracting and facilitating foreign direct investment in line with the reality that ‘Zim is open for business’ and improving the ‘ease and cost of doing business’ is a cause for concern and must take note of the following:-

v

Policy should protect the citizens’ rights, particularly labour rights. Rampant cases of Chinese investors abusing (physically, economically & sexually) local workers should be investigated and prosecuted. Zimbabweans are not open for abuse;

v

Policy should avoid excessive tax concessions and holidays which impact on the tax revenue base;

v

Policy should guard against making Zimbabwe a home for money launders;

v

Policy should promote ‘responsible investment’ premised on social, economic and environmental accountability.

We must think our way beyond the current socio-economic crisis. The new administration is presented with a chance to make social justice principles a central element in all policy frameworks in a humane and ecological context. Social justice and sustainable environmental standards must guard against excesses of the market driven economy such as urban decay, carbon emissions, land degradation, water and air pollution, all of which have the potential to reverse the perceived economic gains of liberal economic reforms in the long run. Market driven economy focusing on quantity of growth more than structure and quality of the growth has tendencies to disregard the social element of human development; it is incapable of regulating its own excesses, thereby violating some fundamental social and economic rights. The UNDP 1996 Report succinctly describes such kind of growth as:

·        

Jobless – growth that does not create new employment opportunities with it.

  • Ruthless – growth that only benefits the rich, and leaves the poor in their poverty.
  • Voiceless – growth without improvement in democracy or social inclusion.

·        

Rootless – growth at the expense of cultural identity, or the loss of minority identity, and

  • Futureless – growth that undermines future generations by depleting resources or destroying biodiversity.

 

The administration must decisively deal with the debt question. The nation is faced with a high debt overhang in the regions of $18 billion- combined domestic and external debt- with no tangible solution on how to deal with the crisis. The current debt burden has crippled the state from raising enough resources to fund the infrastructure gap among other public services. A new sustainable debt plan is necessary. ZIMCODD strongly discourage the government from pursuing the LIMA Plan –commercialising the debt on collateral basis, in gold and platinum sales will worsen the financial situation in the country. Government must engage the IFIs towards total debt cancellation. The mortgaging of our natural resources is counter productive and unsustainable to such an extent that future generations will curse any current leadership which forfeits the country’s rich endowments in that manner; in any case, such a position must be put to a referendum to secure the citizens’ mandate in that regard. The citizens would want to see the debt question dealt with decisively and a debt sustainability model going forward- we must never leave a legacy of both financial and ecological debt for our future generation.

 

The citizens of Zimbabwe from across the political, racial, tribal and ethnical divide are looking forward to the government putting in place and implementing strong domestic resource mobilisation strategies and plugging of illicit financial flows which has only benefitted a few and left millions impoverished.

 

The promise to build capacity of women, youth and the disabled to participate in economic development and governance must become a reality in practice. Rapid industrialisation and modernisation has potential to widen the inequality gap, neighbouring South Africa being a good example of such scenario. Meaningful participation of youth, women and the disabled in economic policy crafting and governance will ensure that their group and individual interests are addressed and that the gap between the haves and have nots is minimised.

 

Central to the people’s aspirations is democratic economic governance anchored on accountability, inclusion, transparency and genuine citizens’ engagement and consultations commensurate with a democracy which we purport to be. Zimbabwean people are yearning for a people driven development model that addresses multi-dimensional poverty by implementing domestic redistribution policies that address both poverty and inequality. The burden to deliver these expectations rests squarely on the shoulders of leadership of the day. The president gave the nation a monitoring and tracking indicator of “servant leadership” – the people will monitor and evaluate!

 

 

For more information, please contact:

 

Mr. Liberty Bhebhe: National Chairperson:+263 774 208436 , Email:libertybhebhe@yahoo.com

Mrs Janet Zhou: Executive Director: +263775415685, Email: janet@zimcodd.co.zw

 

Contact ZIMCODD Head Office:

226 Samora Machel Avenue, Eastlea, Harare Tel: +263-4-776830

Website: www.zimcodd.org

Facebook Page: Zimbabwe Coalition on Debt and Development,

Profile: Zimcodd Zimcodd

Twitter:@zimcodd1

 

 

Release Date: 
Friday, August 31, 2018 - 13:30

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