via We need the right policies – The Zimbabwean 24 September 2015 by Vince Musewe
“All political lives, unless they are cut off mid-stream at happy juncture, always end in failure because that is the nature of politics and of human affairs.” So said John Enoch Powell, the British politician.
There is no doubt in my mind that Zimbabwe faces catastrophic failure because of the refusal of President Mugabe to realise the above truth. Zimbabwe will not go anywhere any time soon unless we have a change in political leadership – that is now an open secret.
In recent weeks, we have seen how the emergence of Joice Mujuru as a likely contender for the throne has activated fear within the ruling party, which has threatened, through the inscrutable Manheru, to do the necessary to avoid competition from her. That is the nature of this despicable and evil regime that fears fair competition and will do anything to stay in power despite the overwhelming evidence of its failure to manage the affairs of the country.
On every tongue is the anticipation of imminent change because the majority of Zimbabweans are tired and now appreciate that our problems are positively correlated to Zanu (PF) remaining in power.
The message must be made clear to Zanu (PF) and those who would imagine that theirs is the universal right to rule us forever. We need to re-invent Zimbabwe. We need a fresh start and a new paradigm and that can only come with a fresh mind in State House.
We need a coalition government and not a winner takes all scenario as we have had in the past. It doesn’t work. We need to create an inclusive society where we all are involved in creating the Zimbabwe we want.
We are decades behind as a country and we will need to re-invent not only our psychology as a nation, but our economic model as well.
With regard to our psychology, for far too long this government has chosen to act as a victim of circumstances and this has created a dependency mentality where our progress is perceived as dependent on how others, especially the West or China, treat us. That psychology must go. We are a country with all the resources and skills that we need and we can lift ourselves out of trouble if we take the right policies.
I have been having very interesting conversations with Zimbabweans in the Diaspora about where we could take Zimbabwe if given an opportunity to do so.
We cannot rely on the old colonial model if we are to create a new Zimbabwe. As long as we expect that organisations such as the IMF must rescue us, we will recreate exactly the same problems that we have faced to date – high foreign debt levels and continuous prescriptive measures from organisations such as the IMF which have failed on their mandate throughout history to create sustainable development and eradicate poverty in Africa.
As new generation Zimbabweans we now need to think outside the old paradigm on how we can create value as an economy and attract the necessary investment into the country without borrowing heavily. That is the new mind-set we must now promote.
In order for us to create this new model it will be necessary for us to agree on the fundamental keys to success and do everything we can to implement these.
More importantly, the politicians must stay out of business. I am distraught to hear that the President’s Office taking over the investing process. That is preposterous. We need to create institutions that function by themselves. Why for goodness sake should I have to go through the President’s office to invest in a country?
Rule of law
In my opinion we must adopt the key principles that have throughout history led to the emergence of successful economies. These include continuous leadership renewal and accountability, rule of law and protection of private property, institutional renewal and delivery, economic freedom and inclusivity, agriculture and industrial revival, human capital preservation and development , effective and efficient resource management, infrastructure rehabilitation and development the promoting foreign direct investment and lastly citizen empowerment, food security and poverty alleviation.
What I am trying to say is that we now need to think outside the colonial economic model of dependence and be bold in charting a new trajectory for Zimbabwe. We definitely have all the necessary assets and people to do so.
I think that as a country we can attract the necessary capital to revive the economy – but we must have a good story to sell as a country first and a change in political leadership.
As things stand we are indeed stuck with the old who do not have any idea of our potential as a country. That is why we need a new leadership that thinks beyond the past and creates a new narrative that indeed Zimbabwe can rise. – Vince Musewe is an economist and author based in Harare. You may contact him on email@example.com