HARARE – In the aftermath of Zanu PF’s launch of its latest economic blueprint, the Zimbabwe Agenda for Socio-Economic Transformation (Zimaset), Zimbabweans are waiting with bated breath on the delivery and potential impact of this key policy document.
We say this based on the current state of our economy and anxiety across many sectors of our beloved republic.
Although the recently-launched Zimaset has a lot of potential, it is an undeniable factor that sentiment and Zimbabwe’s economic fundamentals remain unchanged, almost three months after the ruling party’s overwhelming win.
Nonetheless, one remains optimistic on the grounds that the economic blueprint seems inclined on taking a more active role in fixing areas identified under the inclusive government.
On that score, the new pledge to deepen reforms and press ahead with other pro-development activities is, in our hope, expected to bring the much-needed relief to hard-pressed Zimbabweans.
According to the Zanu PF-led government, Zimaset is due to stabilise the economy and encourage growth by transforming the economic mode, and an adjustment of its structure.
As such, the latest economic roadmap will be in force in the next five years.
While it has lofty ambitions to grow Zimbabwe’s moribund economy by an average 7,3 percent between now and 2018, that is a tall order unless there is discipline, a really serious and different approach to implementation of the much-needed reforms.
And based on our experience, skeptics abound. As things stand, we urge President Robert Mugabe’s party to cross the river by feeling the stones i.e. tackling corruption, reign in unnecessary expenditure and undo vested interests, among other key enablers, for economic growth.
With Zimaset’s highly-promising top-level design and strategic approach to reforms, the devil remains on implementation. This must go a step forward.
For a good part of the last 33 years, Mugabe’s successive governments have been pushing, and focusing, on the supply side of the economy, but there was no real appetite for this kind of transformation.
But now, Zanu PF has no choice except to do that in line with its promises and electoral undertakings.
As many have observed, Zimbabwe is at a stage where the simple vow to economic reform loyalty is too hollow to be meaningful and the call will mean nothing without implementing master plans to the letter.
To Zanu PF, we say the roadmap is there and so the nation awaits implementation, and critically, it has to go around the entanglement of vested interests, presumably the biggest and toughest challenge facing Zimaset’s promoters today.
As stated earlier, the task of untangling these often unproductive interests entails greater political courage, will and wisdom if the programme is to be a success.
By taking the plunge, however, Mugabe and his colleagues have shown a laudable resolve to try, and do something about our current circumstances. And for that, we say bon voyage.