By Peacemaker Zano
On 26 November 2019, US Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman, Senator Jim Risch, imprudently tweeted on his official twitter handle, @SenateForeign that President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s Government should work with its people to end corruption and implement reforms in order to end economic challenges being experienced by the citizens.
To be very honesty, Senator Risch is out of touch with reality. Ever since the new dispensation came into power, the issue of reforms, whether political, economic or social has been the Second Republic’s daily bread. There are a lot of reforms being implemented under President Mnangagwa’s Government and only a person who has been living in outer space would claim to have missed these positive goings-on.
When he assumed office in November 2017, the President pledged to implement reforms so as to extricate the nation from the jaws of its past experience under the previous administration and ensure economic recovery and political stability. However, it should be noted that implementation of reforms is not an overnight thing or an event, but a process that will be progressively implemented.
Lest we forget though, “We are not reforming to appease the nations of the world, but because reform is necessary to build the future our people desire” President Mnangagwa was quoted recently, capturing the motivation for our reform agenda.
The reformation agenda for economic transformation being pursued by the Second Republic should not be confused with reasons behind our economic crisis. Senate Risch should be aware that, like the US under Roosevelt Franklin from 1933 after the Great Depression, Zimbabwe will soon overcome its challenges.
Recently presenting the 2020 national budget, Finance and Economic Development Minister, Professor Mthuli Ncube highlighted that the budget marks the exit from austerity to prosperity. Minister Ncube said beginning from next year; the nation will now be focusing on economic development.
It’s puzzling that the US Government is alleging that our economic challenges are a result of failure by Government to implement political and economic reforms, when everyone knows it’s the imposition of illegal sanctions against Zimbabwe. Those illegal embargoes negatively affected the economic environment of the nation, such that many large firms stopped their operations locally.
When the MDC’s National Executive Council (NEC) held a meeting recently, it released a statement that it was no longer criticizing the issue of the alleged ‘illegitimacy’ of President Mnangagwa, instead, they were now concentrating on electoral reforms only. The MDC statement on reforms clearly reflects how the US government is working in cahoots with that opposition outfit, as they are singing the same song on implementation of reforms.
It is vital to acknowledge that President Mnangagwa’s administration has also been implementing electoral reforms. The political environment was freed up such that political parties could do their party activities without any harassment as witnessed in the previous administration. Also, President Mnangagwa introduced the Political Actors Dialogue (POLAD) with a view of uniting all the political parties in the country so that they could also make their contributions on national building. The idea of POLAD was welcomed by a number of opposition political party leaders who showed their interest and joined it.
Under economic reforms being implemented, the Government introduced the ‘Open for Business’ mantra and the easy of doing business policy. These economic reforms led to the liberalisation of the economic environment. For instance, ease of doing business helps to facilitate the domestic producers as well as foreign. The foreign businesses will not only provide jobs, but also bring new technology with them. Thus, the ‘open for business’ mantra and ease of doing business policy shall enable innovation in indigenous technologies, and out of the way solutions to problems.
With all the transformations being implemented, it is telling that the US Senator Risch is out of touch with events. What is evident from this poorly crafted tweet is the heinous agenda of the US administration, which will not accept a Zanu PF government in favour of their puppetry option, the MDC party.
The issue of corruption is being seriously monitored. The Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) boss, Justice Loice Matanda-Moyo promised to tackle all forms of corruption by the public officers in a multifaceted approach that can strengthen institutions and systems to reduce its impact and promote development.
Adding on to that, President Mnangagwa, with his eyes firmly set on making Zimbabwe an upper middle class economy by 2030, pledged also to tackle corruption head on, by leaving no stone unturned in dealing with the vice.