‘Calls for economic dialogue’

via ‘Calls for economic dialogue’ – DailyNews Live 28 July 2014 by Kudzai Chawafambira

HARARE – Former Economic Planning minister Tapiwa Mashakada has called for the establishment of an all-stakeholder National Economic Council (Nec) in order to arrest Zimbabwe’s economic collapse.

Mashakada said the council will “sit down and work out modalities of recovering the economy…and reversing the economic decline”, which he alleged, “cannot just be done by Zanu PF alone”.

This comes as the country’s economy is faltering, with 2014 economic growth targets revised downwards to 3,1 percent from government’s initial 6,1 percent projection.

The southern African nation — still suffering a hangover from a decade-long economic recession — faces a widening trade deficit, high unemployment levels, unprecedented company closures, a huge debt overhang, dwindling revenues, deflation, depressed aggregate demand and an acute liquidity crisis, amid concerns of further deterioration. “… the Nec will be a cross cutting body comprised of industry, labour, churches, political parties and members of Parliament,” Mashakada told Parliament last week.

He added that the country urgently needs to tap expertise from the private sector and other sectors of the economy.

“I am calling upon the setting up of this all important stakeholder Nec to resolve the economic quagmire that Zimbabwe is into,” he said.

Early this month, President Robert Mugabe’s administration said it was ready for face-to-face talks with opposition parties and civil society to find solutions to the country’s problems.

The ruling party Zanu PF’s spokesperson Rugare Gumbo said dialogue was possible with MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai, but insisted the former Prime Minister must first drop claims that Mugabe and his party had rigged last year’s July election.

Gumbo’s remarks followed Tsvangirai’s document dubbed “Personal Reflections” in which he repeated calls for talks to help end the economic slide.

“The economic transformation that we want to achieve requires the voice of everyone, including the opposition and civic society,” said Gumbo.

He, however, said “there is no point in pointing fingers”, but rather work together in order to deal with problems besetting the country.

“What we need to do as a country is to focus on economic issues affecting us. Many Zimbabweans do not understand the problems we are facing. Let us stop fighting for the sake of fighting.”

“Let us eliminate criticism for the sake of criticism. It is a tragedy that Tsvangirai blames the president it is not a blame game. He just cannot open his mouth without uttering something bad. We want to change the landscape in our country,” Gumbo said.

His tone signalled a shift in Zanu PF’s hard stance, after the party initially out-rightly dismissed calls for dialogue with Tsvangirai — who was in an uneasy a four-year coalition government with Mugabe since 2009 — to save the economy.

Tsvangirai, analysts and other economic stakeholders have repeatedly called for a multi-stakeholder dialogue on the economy, amid growing concerns about Zanu PF’s capacity to turn it around.


  • comment-avatar
    Washumba 7 years ago

    You can take donkeys to the river, but you cannot force them to drink. At the moment the ball have been passed to Zanu its up to the to play the game or run away with the ball.

    I don’t think Zanu does not know what needs to be done they just don’t want to do it.

  • comment-avatar
    John Thomas 7 years ago

    ZANU is the problem. You do not need an all commers confabulation to deduce this. ZANU step out of the way and let Zimbabwe prosper. You, ZANU, are the disease that is the cause of all of our misfortune.

  • comment-avatar

    Rule of law, freedom of speech and association open the airways respect property rights and get out if the way of entrepreneurs. Anyone seeing breaking gelcap throw the book at them and get rid of unnecessary bureaucracy. That’s it

  • comment-avatar
    peter tosh 7 years ago

    Gumbo,stop trying to be nice,you are the ones who have degrees of pointing fingers at others all the time. Rig the elections but you can’t rig the economy.

  • comment-avatar
    roving ambassador. 7 years ago

    For as long as Zanu is in power, you can set up as many national think tanks as you want, Zanu will never take any one ‘s advice . It is an egocentric part that survives on corruption.
    Zanu must go first then us true Zimbos can work ourselves out of this nightmare.
    Pasi ne zanu.

  • comment-avatar
    Mandevu 7 years ago

    Just another talk fest to delay the inevitable

  • comment-avatar

    ZANU PF is a pain in the ass. No one trust ZANU even it’s own ministers. Everyone knows how good they are at stealing and lying. ZANU is cursed because of all those murdures they commited. You can’t rig the economy.

  • comment-avatar
    Mishonga yanetsa 7 years ago

    Ma 1

  • comment-avatar
    Straight Shooter 7 years ago

    Well, this is not about negotiations. There is nothing to negotiate here. All that is needed is getting rid of confrontational politics, thats all.

    I mean, anyone with a semblance of intelligence knows that nowhere in the world can a country with an economy the size of that of the Polokwane City in South Africa fight against the US or the Europe combined.

    Even the Soviet Union crumbled at the hands of the US in their race for global supremacy.

    Being friends with China – I thought the gukurahundis would have learnt a lesson or two from this quiet economic and military giant.

    Whilst the Soviets made lots of noises, fighting the US at every turn whilst their economy crumbled; the Chinese quietly abandoned Mao’s distructive policies and opened up their economy and educated their nation in high tech professions.

    Today they have overtaken Japan and Germany and are the second biggest economy in the world. It is envisioned that, if they continue growing at double digit figures; they will soon overtake the US itself, to become the biggest economy in the world!



  • comment-avatar

    So, lets stop the confrontational politics but continue the gross mismanagement, looting, corruption,……etc, etc?

    In other words, its not that simple dealing with the Zim question, straight shooter.

    Many have said it already, with ZANU at the helm, no amount of talking is going to do any good.

    Fresh elections, with an open voters’ role and under UN supervision are a possible way out.

    Because no one in their right minds, are going to invest their monies in ZANUland. And without investment, the economy is going nowhere but down.

    • comment-avatar
      Straight Shooter 7 years ago

      Ngoto Zimbwa
      Gettting rid of confrontational politics, if meant wholeheartedly obviously means the conduct of national affairs will be done by the book i.e. the Constitution. It therefore follows that there shouldnt be mismanagement; corruption and cheating.

  • comment-avatar
    Wilbert Mukori 7 years ago

    The trouble with people like Tapiwa Mashakada is that they lack common sense much less imagination expected of someone in a leadership position.

    Zimbabwe’s economic nightmare is not because Zanu PF did not know there was corruption and that it was destroying the nation’s economy, for example. Of course Mugabe know there was corruption and has denied it because it was an integral part of his patronage system that helped keep him in power and he was himself the chief beneficiary. In recent years corruption has be-come so rampant it is sucking the very life out of parastatals like PSMAS, ZESA, City Council across the land in obscenely high salaries and allowances paid to the top managers and board members. Mugabe has done nothing to stop this looting because he is himself just as guilty of the looting.

    Mugabe had a $1 million birthday party, a $ 5 million wedding for his daughter held in his $ 20 million Blue Roof mansion, spent $ 5 million on bronze statues of himself, etc. all spent in two months. He cannot tell any of his cronies to stop looting; they are catching up with him!

    The root cause of Zimbabwe’s economic crisis is the lack of political will to do the right thing!

    Tapiwa Mashakada should know what lack of political will means, as an MDC leader in the last GNU he too was involved in the party’s decision not to implement any democratic reforms. Of course all the MDC leaders knew the reforms were important, they were reminded of that a thousand times. They also knew that implemented the reforms would upset Mugabe, he had allowed the MDC leaders to enjoy the benefits of being in power and they did not want to be seen to be ungrateful.

    “MDC vadzidza kudya vanyerere!” (MDC leaders have already learnt to enjoy life on the gravy train and not rock the boat!) was the pithy remark from one Zanu PF official six months into the GNU! True enough, MDC never mustered any political will to even get one democratic reform implemented.

    Ever since the rigged July 2013 elections in which MDC was kicked off the gravy train people like Mashakada, Tsvangirai and all the other MDC leaders have been looking for an excuse to get back on the gravy train.

    Mashakada said the council will “sit down and work out modalities of recovering the economy … and reversing the economic decline”, which he alleged, “cannot just be done by Zanu PF alone”.
    What is required here is a council or interim administration with the political will to implement the democratic reforms and make sure there are free and fair elections. The government to emerge out of the free and fair elections will have the political will to address the problem of rampant corruption and all the other teething economic problems.

    Mashakada’s proposed council is just another stupid idea from MDC and a waste of time!