via Zimbabwe’s ideal President – NewsDay Zimbabwe March 19, 2015 by Vince Musewe
Our President must only use his or her conscience and good offices to serve all, with no fear or favour to praise singers and parasites.
It must not matter what political party any President belongs to, whoever it is must truly represent the interests of all Zimbabweans regardless of race, political affiliation gender or ethnicity.
I seriously think that if we are to change the political narrative in Zimbabwe, we need a new President who has the character to act beyond narrow political party interests and realise that Zimbabwe has all it needs to be a prosperous and inclusive democracy.
As I have said before, we must use people power to liberate politics and not expect politics to liberate us.
Our next President must not belong to any political party so that he or she will be able to put Zimbabwe and its people first. That is to say, we need an independent President who holds no political baggage or has any political favours to meet when he or she occupies the highest office in the land.
This will also mean our President will not have time to play politics but only have around him people who share the vision of the Zimbabwe we want.
For me this is the only way we can break predator politics and the toxic patronage that has cost us so much.
We must also have a strong Parliament that owes no favour to the person who is President and looks only at the interests of the country, not the political party they come from. Our judiciary must truly be independent and appointed based on ethics and competence and deliver fair justice.
The judiciary would make the best decisions that serve Zimbabwe and not the President.
We must create a non-partisan professional army and police that are headed by the best amongst us. When it comes to ministers, we must have the best of the best that can be hired or fired based only on ethics, competence and loyalty to the Constitution of Zimbabwe, not loyalty to a President.
In my paradigm, ministers should not have to be MPs, but must be accountable to Parliament. In fact, they must be vetted and recommended by Parliament for appointment.
In this scenario, Parliament will have the courage to impeach a President without fear if he or she breaks the law. They will also have the power to recommend the dismissal of ministers.
Ministers would do their job and retain their positions not because they are loyal to a President, but because they are delivering. Zimbabwe does not really need deputy ministers and there should be no such thing as a permanent secretary of this and that.
We need just about 12 ministries backed by a professional technical team to deliver. No minister or senior civil servant should run a business or do business with the government.
They must be paid well of course.
We must see a President who fights corruption tooth and nail with no fear or favour and demand total accountability from all public servants.
Our President must not care what the media says as long as they are within the law.
He must not want to control radio or television. There should be total freedom of speech and association unhindered by a government or the President.
Under such stewardship, Zimbabwe would be an attractive investment destination and we would get the economy back on track in a very short space of time.
There should be no indigenisation laws at all except local content requirements where foreign investors must stimulate the development of a local production base through the supply chain.
We must focus on agriculture revival based on titled property ownership, use tourism as the country’s public relations platform, create an independent minerals revenue board made up of the best professionals to maximise the country’s return on its mineral assets, attract all Zimbabweans in the Diaspora back through incentives and tax holidays, focus on youth empowerment and development, accelerate access to information on all platforms for all, focus on human capital development as the competitive advantage of the country, have a crack police force to deal with corruption and protect those that are vulnerable through welfare.
Genuine war veterans must receive special status and must be looked after by the State for life.
While our land policy must be based on title and the establishment of industrial food production and value-add hubs that incorporate small-scale farmers who would have title to their land, large-scale industrial farms can be owned by any citizen or company with no discrimination whatsoever.
This is the Zimbabwe that some of us imagine and nothing is impossible.
Vince Musewe is an author and economist. You can contact him on firstname.lastname@example.org