via Govt sleeping on the job – DailyNews Live 7 August 2014
HARARE – Recent revelations by Industry minister Mike Bimha that President Robert Mugabe has sanctioned a sector-by-sector analysis on the state of industry in the country are not only shocking to say the least but an embarrassment to the nation.
Day after day, we are bombarded by news of company closures, with a few remaining firms operating below 40 percent of capacity utilisation due to a host of challenges, yet the highest office in the land is not aware of such dire straits in the industry.
This does not only show that the Zanu PF-led government has been sleeping on the wheel, but also that we have clueless people in Cabinet masquerading as ministers who lack insight of the miniature development taking place in the sectors that they purport to lead.
One is then left wondering how the much-touted economic blueprint, the Zimbabwe Agenda for Sustainable Socio-Economic Transformation (ZimAsset) was crafted in the first place without doing any market research.
When the blueprint was launched last year, Zanu PF told everyone who cared to listen that they had consulted all the stakeholders in the country concerning the state of every sector in the country.
However, following the failure by ZimAsset to quick-start the economy or even produce a single job, it is now very clear that the economic blueprint was crafted by people who are out of touch with reality.
In their haste to legitimise the disputed election outcome last year, Zanu PF quickly dismissed and replaced the Medium Term Plan with ZimAsset, doing due diligence on the state of the economy.
We strongly believe that the policy was a delicate attempt by the ruling party to appease its supporters who voted on the merit of its empowerment policies while at the same time re-engaging the international community to invest in the country.
At a time when the economy was on a downward movement, Zanu PF through ZimAsset promised to generate 2,2 million jobs, construct 250 000 low income houses, a growth rate of nine percent, 310 new public schools and 300 more clinics up to 2018, but the blueprint is lagging behind.
So far it has been a case of hit and misses with the International Monetary Fund and World Bank insisting on a raft of changes before they can support the country’s economic recovery efforts.
As expected, the Zanu PF-led government has refused to back down on its “radical” indigenisation policy and has been slow in implementing cost-cutting measures, especially the bloated wage bill in the public service — giving credence to our hunch that the policy was crafted primarily to consolidate the gains of various empowerment policies that Zanu PF embarked on.
Only renewed political and economic dialogue with both local and international stakeholders can save this economy from collapse.