Source: Zanu-PF urged to focus on economy | The Herald December 14, 2016
Lloyd Gumbo: Senior Reporter
BUSINESS has urged Zanu-PF party to expend energy on the economy when it meets for the 16th Annual People’s Conference and bury internal squabbles once and for all. As the ruling Zanu-PF maps economic revival through implementation of various policies, Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries president, Mr Busisa Moyo, said there was need to improve the country’s economic performance by all forces.“The economy should take centre stage at the conference,” he said. “They should look at the development of the value chain, getting agriculture to work again by focusing on agricultural programmes that will improve the economy.
“Their focus should be on getting the country to be competitive to the extent that it can export. That should be the language at the conference.”
Mr Moyo said the 0,6 percent economic growth this year and the projected 1, 7 percent next year were indicative of the economic problems facing the country. He said it was evident that the country’s productivity sector was not performing.
“We need to be productive in every sector if the economy is to improve. So we expect the language to focus on welcoming investors, visitors and those who want to do business here,” said Mr Moyo.
Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce chief executive officer Mr Christopher Mugaga said it was high time the country’s leadership expended more energy on the economy than politics.
“We expect a policy shift that is biased towards economic revival. So we expect that everything that they say must be inclined towards economic revival. We expect that they focus on how to enhance the ‘Ease of Doing Business’, attracting investment and to address the problems affecting our utilities. Absence of utilities such as electricity and water in 2017 could actually threaten the 1,7 percent growth that was projected by Finance Minister (Patrick) Chinamasa. We expect that they focus on the economy mostly than politics,” said Mr Mugaga.
Employers Confederation of Zimbabwe (EMCOZ) senior vice president Mr Callisto Jokonya added: “Industry is patiently looking forward to the Zanu-PF gathering in Masvingo to stop corruption in its structures completely, give a clear economic direction to our challenged economy and restore respect to those in senior positions.
“Also give workable and feasible solutions to competitiveness of our exports and a clear programme for reconciling the nation, which has become very tribal.”
Affirmative Action Group president, Mr Chamu Chiwanza, said while the conference was a political one, it was important that the revolutionary party put much emphasis on the economy. He said the conference must check on progress that has been made on the various deals that the country has signed with different countries.
“Zanu-PF must at this forthcoming conference forget about issues to do with succession and completely forget about issues to do with factionalism. It is an opportune time for them to focus on the economy, on structures of business and how there can be consolidation from the businesses and the deals that have been signed so that the country and the ordinary men on the streets can benefit. So Masvingo conference should be a political conference without many discussions on politics but more focus on the economy,” said Mr Chiwanza.
The conference kicked off yesterday with the meeting of the Politburo followed by the Central Committee today. Delegates will then travel to Masvingo tomorrow ahead of the official opening on Friday. The conference ends on Saturday.