The Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries (CZI) has called for the appointment of a “super minister” with no political inclination to superintend all government ministries.
The business lobby group said President Robert Mugabe should urgently appoint the minister whose task will be to “whip everyone into line”.
In its input into the fiscal policy review, CZI said it was time the government was seen taking serious measures when it comes to privatisation of parastatals.
CZI said there was a need for the government to put timelines on privatisation, adding the “super minister” would be better positioned to handle the matter.
“Given the seriousness of the matter and the huge economic benefits to the nation, CZI suggests the issue be handled in an independent office with an independent minister (someone from the private sector, with no political affiliation, but answerable to the President) as State Enterprise Regulatory Authority is facing challenges (when) dealing with line ministries,” said CZI president Joseph Kanyekanye on Tuesday.
“The idea is to have an independent minister who can whip the government into line to ensure successful implementation of the programme. The president should put a minister with no constituency who whips everyone into line. Countries like Malaysia and South Africa have done it.”
In South Africa, Trevor Manuel is a minister in the Presidency-National Planning Commission, which is responsible for developing a long-term vision and strategic plan for South Africa.
On sanctions, CZI said: “Beyond signing petitions, the government needs to dissolve the engagement committee and set up a new committee comprising business and guided by the government. The idea is to depoliticise the engagement process and effectively engage with the view to achieve debt forgiveness.”
The body also said the government should establish an industry revival fund funded from pensions and set deadlines for debt reduction.
CZI added: “We further recommend the announcement that the Zimbabwe dollar will be entirely voluntary and no person, business or other entity will suffer a forced conversion of foreign currency into Zimbabwe dollars should they be legislated. This will give major reassurance to investors and unlock capacity.”