via Parly Speaker warns govt of civil unrest 08 September 2014
PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe’s government faces civil unrest if it fails to deliver on its election promises made in the run-up to last year’s elections, Speaker of the National Assembly, Jacob Mudenda, has warned.
Mudenda was speaking at the launch of the inaugural capacity-building training programme for MPs on the government’s ZimAsset programme.
“The consequences of failure to deliver on our mandate might lead to the unceremonious and untimely amputation of our political careers, or even worse still, trigger social convulsions that might endanger the general peace and stability we have enjoyed since independence as well as the period after the 2013 general elections,” Mudenda said.
Mudenda’s chilling warning comes after the opposition MDC-T party last month staged a series of demonstrations in Harare demanding that the government fulfil its election promises by providing jobs.
Mugabe last year promised that if re-elected into power his government would create 2.2 million jobs over the next five years.
But a year after his crushing election victory, Mugabe’s government has dismally failed to generate the promised jobs.
The government has also struggled to pay civil servants prompting Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition to warn of a possible coup from impatient rank and file soldiers fed up with the pay delays.
Mudenda said policy pronouncements that do not result in tangible results might anger the people and set them up against the government.
“Declaratory achievements not buttressed by substantive and discernible progress on the ground will alienate the people we undertook to represent as honourable members,” the Speaker said.
“The hitherto lackadaisical and fragmented approach to national development agenda has to be supplanted with a consolidated revolutionary thrust that measures success in terms of visible quantifiable deliverables. As MPs let’s leave a legacy behind, we must be relevant.”
The programme which was launched on Monday in conjunction with the Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education will allow MPs to enrol in the country’s institutions of higher learning to take up tailor-made programmes to enhance their skills.
“This capacity building programme should facilitate the self-actualisation of individuals and enable them to realise optimum potential through self-employment or by rendering them employable within the labour market beyond the life of this parliament,” said Mudenda.
Among these are Buhera West MP, Joseph Chinotimba and Kwekwe Central MP, Masango Matambanadzo, a self-confessed Grade Two drop-out who worked for years as a street photographer in the Midlands city.
Mudenda said the programme is meant to enhance the craft competencies of the lawmakers as well as sharpen and deepen their individual appreciation of the broader social, political and economic environment in which they live.
“Equally important, for MPs to contribute to the legislative function, they must be acutely aware of, and have a clear understanding of topical social economic issues, so this will also create appropriate conditions for the creation of a conducive legal environment that promotes good governance, peace and order as well as investor friendly legal environment for domestic and foreign investments,” added Mudenda.
He encouraged universities to offer “local geo-economic studies without losing focus on the national development matrix and its goals also acknowledging that knowledge will not come on a silver platter”.