via Gonese urges govt to get serious about economic policy | The Zimbabwean 22.05.14 by Marcus Tawona
The time has come for those who stole the July 31 elections to admit that they have failed the nation and be humble enough to engage those with solutions to end the economic crisis, says Mutare Central Member of Parliament Innocent Gonese.
He accused Zanu (PF) of destroying a once-vibrant economy through mismanagement and poor economic policies and bemoaned the closure of companies such as Mutare Board and Paper Mill, Karina Textile, Quest Motors and Cairns Holding, saying it had caused untold suffering to his constituents.
Gonese said Zanu (PF) should not point fingers at anyone for the economic meltdown, but should swallow humble pie and apologise for failing the nation. He said Mutare Central had become a constituency of vendors, adding that many people had been condemned to begging.
“The economy has plunged to unprecedented levels. Where are the 2, 2 million jobs they (Zanu-PF) promised during their campaign? Bhadhella Wholesalers also closed shop recently – another clear indication that we are heading for tough times,” said Gonese.
He said the situation would not get any better if Zanu (PF) continued to cling to power without finding solutions to the challenges facing the nation. “There is need for national dialogue to find long-lasting solutions to our challenges as a nation,” added the MDC-T legislator.
The leader of his party, Morgan Tsvangirai, has repeatedly called for dialogue with Zanu (PF) in the wake of the disputed polls, but the ruling party insists there is no need for any talks.
Gonese said the root cause of the country`s problems was lack of consistency in policy within the Zanu (PF) government. “You will hear the Minister of Finance saying Zimbabwe needs more friends and next day his colleagues in the same government are doing the opposite. We have to be cognizant that we cannot talk only of a Look East policy. We have to look West, South, and North for partnerships that really work,” he said.
Zimbabwe should mend relationships and admit the challenges of maladministration, corruption and stolen elections that need to be resolved, he added. “You cannot preach the gospel against corruption and not do anything to eradicate it. As a starting point Zanu (PF) should admit that they have done wrong, made some grave mistakes that have led us to where we are today. You cannot indicate left then turn right,” said Gonese.
He also criticised the Zanu (PF) indigenisation and empowerment programme, saying it had done more harm than good. “Indigenisation is desirable, but we cannot have a one size fit all situation. You cannot have a situation where the investor who has capital becomes a minority shareholder. Right now there is a climb-down by Zanu (PF) on this policy and this is causing confusion.”
He urged government to review the whole policy in a consistent manner to get rid of confusion, and the implementation of investor-friendly policies.