Mugabe says ready to work with West

via Mugabe says ready to work with West | The Zimbabwean by Nelson Sibanda 17.09.13

The new Zanu (PF) government is ready to work with western countries to revive the economy, President Robert Mugabe said today while officially opening the 8th Parliament since independence in 1980.

Mugabe said, with elections now behind, his government looks forward to meaningful and effective collaboration with all progressive members of the global community. “We indeed stand ready to work even with those who, before, were at odds with us,” Mugabe told Parliament.

He however said on the other hand Zimbabwe would continue to demand the immediate and unconditional removal of restrictive measures imposed by some Western countries against him and some members of his inner circle in the early 2000s.

The US, EU and some Western countries imposed the restricted measures over Mugabe’s bad human rights record.

Mugabe said the 8th Parliament will be expected to deal with legislative business left incomplete by the 7th Parliament and come up with a legislation that would legalise new structures and institutions provided for in the new constitution.

He admitted that the farming sector which must be the mainstay of the economy remained depressed due to underfunding, recurrent drought and erratic rainfall patterns.

To mitigate the risks caused by droughts and other negative factors, government would assist with increased irrigation, water harvesting and conservation facilities, he said. Mugabe promised farmers inputs support and marketing incentives.

To bring the economy back to its feet, Mugabe said government would prioritise the revival of keys sectors of agriculture, mining, tourism and manufacturing.

He admitted that the economy continued to be characterised by declining production levels, high costs of production, company closures and high unemployment.

To address the challenge of declining capacity utilisation in the local industry, government would mobilise funding for the opening of closed and distressed companies.

Foreign and domestic investment will be promoted within the context of Zimbabwe’s indigenisation and empowerment laws, he added.

Due to restrictive local funding, government will resort to Public Private Partnerships and establish the Sovereign Wealth Fund for mobilising resources for programmes such as public infrastructure, irrigation and rural development.

To provide legal framework to means of reviving the economy, several bills such as The Public Private Partnership Bill, The Sovereign Wealth Bill, Mining Policy and The Promulgation of a new Mines and Minerals Bill, The Consumer Protection Bill and The Zimbabwe Quality Standards Regulatory Authority Bill will be tabled in the 8th Parliament.

Also to be tabled would be The Land Commission Bill, The Banking Act Amendment Bill while there will be some amendments to the Insurance Act, The Insurance and Pensions Commission Amendment Act and The Pensions Provident Funds Act, among others.

Mugabe noted that the expansion of the Kariba and Hwange Power Stations whose tenders had been awarded to Sino Hydro and China Machinery and Equipment Company, would produce some 900 megawatts for the national grid.

Construction of the 1 600 megawatts Batoka Hydro Power Plant is underway, according to the president. To help ease the power crisis, Mugabe said, Zimbabwe recently received some 500 mobile solar units from the People’s Republic of China.

The ARDA-Chisumbanje Ethanol Plant is also expected to be fully operational soon. The exclusively Zanu (PF) government would continue with the upgrading and dualisation of the national roads infrastructure as the cornerstone of economic development.

President Mugabe appreciated what he described as the turnaround of the National carrier, Air Zimbabwe, which has resumed domestic flights and increased trips between Harare and Johannesburg.

Government expects the $144 million loan facility from China to ease water and sanitation problems in Harare.

Mugabe told parliament that the new constitution imposes on the State the obligation to take preventive measures against the spread of diseases and treat health care as a right for every Zimbabwean.

“Relevant medical Acts would be urgently amended to reflect this constitutional requirement,” said Mugabe. Government will also transform the structure of the country’s education curriculum to meet needs of the economy.

The education curriculum would slant towards science, technology, engineering, mathematics and prioritisation of youth empowerment and entrepreneurship development.

During the 8th Parliament government will implement an e-enabled programme and do away with bureaucratic systems which promoted corruption, said Mugabe, adding that ailing parastatals will also be revamped ‘since they have the potential to contribute over 40 percent of the country’s Gross Domestic Product.”

Civil servants’ working conditions, wages and salaries will be a priority issue for the Zanu (PF) government. Mugabe promised to fight corruption across all sectors of the economy through the National Prosecuting Authority.

The indigenisation policy which analysts and observers say scares away investors, according to Mugabe, will be pursued with vigour by his government. According to provisions in the policy, foreign owned companies are required by law to cede 51 percent shares to locals.

COMMENTS

WORDPRESS: 11
  • comment-avatar
    khanka 7 years ago

    Thus the same song we have been listening to for the last 33 years

  • comment-avatar
    MikeH 7 years ago

    AND IF YOU BELIEVE ALL THAT YOU WILL BELIEVE ANYTHING !!!

  • comment-avatar
    Tjingababili 7 years ago

    YOU HAVE NO CHOICE, MADALA!

  • comment-avatar

    Vakuru ava z confused…at one point you hear the guy saying he is prepared to work with the west and later the oppossite. I assure you a month won’t last before you hear this guy mocking the same Western Governments which supported him after the liberation struggle.

  • comment-avatar
    Observer 7 years ago

    Wa wa wa wa ……………… but at the back of this muttering I hear “I want to be free to visit the western capitals – I am tired of this look east when the east is looking east to the west”.

  • comment-avatar
    Democracy wisher 7 years ago

    What a confused cockroach!!!Today u scold the West tomorrow u want to work them.Forget it u failed fr 33yrs do u think u wl deliver Zim frm the deep cliff u plunged it??????

  • comment-avatar
    Dzoromuvhu 7 years ago

    Long live His Excellency!!! You now want a “slant to engineering, maths, and Science & Technology” in education curricula. These BAs, Political Admin and Legal degrees hv totally destroyed Zimbabwe. Train Agriculture, Enviromental conservation etc.

    Knowing your debt repayment record, I m worried when you continue borrowing from China bcoz sooner or later you ll fail to repay and loose such a noble friend. Did you say he gave you 500 solar unit kits or it 500 000? 500 will no be sufficient for chefs man. Persuade themm to make them last longer, akaitawo a life span of a year or 2, it wld give you relief.

    This parliament will be working bills, I don’t expect much in terms of performance. But I encourage you sir, to try and put one more last effort, buy irrigation material but don’t forget seeds and fertilisers. Yu can’t farm with irrigation pipes alone. Encourage farmer to grow food crops, they are starving after harvesting record high tobbacco bales

  • comment-avatar

    yes ,the president is now talking first time after 33 years , the last kick of a dying horse will work for us , thank President , fire those who are not performing .

  • comment-avatar
    Matumba 7 years ago

    If the President and cabinet just run the country like politicians should govern, and not like gangsters, then we are ‘A’ for away!!!

  • comment-avatar
    ZimJim 7 years ago

    Obviously China has snapped it’s purse shut, so they need to find other sources to line their pockets.

    Good luck with that Bob… Hypocrite!

  • comment-avatar

    Myth of economic sanctions

    The statistics discussed above show that the economic decline of Zimbabwe started in the eighties. However, the free fall of the economy only gathered pace at the turn of the century. In view of this, it is wrong to suggest that sanctions were the main cause of poverty in Zimbabwe. But sanctions or no sanctions it is the prime responsibility of government to husband the economy in a way that averts economic destruction whatever the cause of that malady may be. This is what the government of Zimbabwe dismally failed to do.

    Dearth of leadership

    That Zimbabwe is mired in poverty is because its leaders in government have made this choice. Instead of devising policies which benefit the bulk of the population, government concentrated on evolving policies which create short-term benefits to their followers.

    The record all over the world shows that economies can grow and develop faster if leaders take sound decisions in the national interest. This is what governments are elected for.

    Success in the global economy has not required a miracle, an elixir. It has not demanded any special conditions to enable countries to prosper.

    What is required is the creation of a socio-political environment which guarantees the frictionless movement of people, capital, services, technology and goods to centres of need. This is the prerequisite to development which has been recognised and accepted in the progressive economies of the world but has been shunned in Zimbabwe.

    It’s in the Zanu PF culture
    The failure of Zanu PF also stems from a compendium of entrenched positions and promises made during the war of liberation.

    These include its discomfort in embracing simple economic principles which have proven their efficacy in the developed economies; its failure to accept that increases in production are founded on a nation’s ability to access the requisite technology, and the human and material resources needed to facilitate growth and development.

    In addition, it failed to appreciate that transparency and accountability are the crucial maxims of governance as they provide the compass and confidence for the development ethos of the nation.

    Lastly, Zanu PF is oblivious to the fact that trust builds confidence and that increased investment depends on confidence and the minimisation of risks attendant to that investment. Zanu PFs policy flip-flops and policy inconsistencies have accentuated these risks. This, in turn,has increased the cost of borrowing and, addition, eroded business confidence which are the basis of long-term investment.

    The war of liberation was waged, in part, to establish wise husbandry and dominion over the indigenous resources of the country. This is accepted.

    However, when the war was won, the need to control resources became the overriding objective of almost all development effort. Government programs increasingly became the means to pay-back for the war effort at the expense of programmes which would grow the national cake. This undue accent on institutions of control rubbished the role of property rights, capital investment and the rule of law, in the development process.

    In addition the disproportionate expansion of social at the expense of productive investment created unsustainable demands on the meagre revenues generated by central government.

    This is where the national crisis of little productive investment and inadequate revenues to finance the fiscus originates from. With little or no investment, at best, the economy underperforms and the number of people living in penury rises dramatically. This is our situation.

    The blame game
    In addition to the issues raised above, Zanu PF’s wholesale engagement in the blame game to explain the poor performance of the economy has created a situation where the nation cannot focus on the real problems facing the country.

    It’s shameful vitriol directed against the Bretton Woods Institutions for foisting the ineffective Esap programme on it, and its decade long castigation of “Sanctions” for the economic melt-down, are but a few examples which amply demonstrate this.

    This, they have been able to do because of the biddable nature of the country’s population which continues to suffer silently as the situation worsens.

    This absence of an effective bottom up pressure on leadership has enabled government to get away with excesses despite the pernicious damage inflicted on the economy.

    The docile response of the population is due, in part, to the neo-patrimonial “big man” chieftain styles of rule, which dispenses favours to supporters, and uses state tools to silence dissenters. Consequently institutions and legal provisions established to enforce transparency and accountability are, at best, not effective, and at worst, corrupted.

    Bloated civil service

    Finally, it is patently obvious that the government is struggling to meet both the budgeted recurrent and capital expenditures because of the dwindling central government revenues.

    The net effect of this is that the majority of programmes are not implemented and huge underemployment haunts the civil service. It boggles the mind of a simple economist to understand why Zanu PF continues to employ, year on year, a bloated civil service when their out-put is so insignificant.

    Throughout the central and quasi-governmental institutions civil servants are under employed as there is no adequate money to finance its programmes.

    Over 90% of the national budget is now spent in paying the salaries. But these civil servants have no programmes to implement due to lack of funding and due to limited fiscal space. The percentage of central government revenue spent on employment costs continue to rise as inflows dwindle.

    Sooner or later civil servants will not be paid at all. This eventuality not-withstanding, Government continues to prevaricate on solutions which effectively address the problem.

    Conclusion
    It is clear that the poverty situation in Zimbabwe is worsening with time. Further, the number of unemployed people in the country is growing in leaps and bounds.

    The bulk of young people being voided into the labour market continue to swell the streets with no hope of ever getting employed in the near future. In addition, the revenue base continues to shrink and there is no guarantee that central government will be able to sustain its services to the people.

    Furthermore, with the low levels of domestic and foreign investment in the economy, sooner or later the process of de-industrialising the country will be accomplished.

    This eventuality must be rejected outright because nobody will benefit from it. It is our filial and national duty to redress the situation at the earliest opportunity.

    Whilst some may feel that this onerous task belongs to the opposition politicians, those who have gone into politics have done so not because this is a profession for them. Their prime motivation is to create a Zimbabwe we all want.
    Accordingly, the clarion call is for Zimbabweans from all walks of life to join in the crusade to fight the wrongs that bedevil our economy. This is the impending calamity that cannot be left to a few individuals to pursue. All our voices must be heard far and wide.