PRIME Minister Morgan Tsvangirai yesterday officially launched the MDC-T’s ambitious economic blueprint that seeks to create one million jobs by 2018.
REPORT BY MOSES MATENGA STAFF REPORTER
The plan — known as Jobs, Upliftment, Investment, Capital and Environment (Juice) — seeks to reverse Zimbabwe’s world-breaking unemployment levels, now estimated at over 80%, by reinvigorating the economy.
Juice is expected to anchor the MDC-T’s election campaign ahead of harmonised elections expected early next year.
Launching the 52-page plan at High Glen Shopping Centre in Harare, Tsvangirai said the country risked an implosion if the current unemployment levels were left unchecked.
“Our plan is to transform Zimbabwe into a newly-industrialised nation within a generation,” he said.
“We intend to raise Zimbabwe from failed state status where perception and suspicion run riot within the investor community whenever Zimbabwe is mentioned as a possible investment destination.”
Citing the indigenisation laws pushed by Zanu PF, Tsvangirai said the discord in the inclusive government was driving away desperately-needed foreign investment.
“The MDC has a plan that will get Zimbabwe working again,” he said. “We have a crisis, a serious crisis even after the MDC victory, and that is how we are going to deal with massive unemployment in this country.
“In our campaigns we don’t want to hear anyone saying (President Robert) Mugabe has failed or Zanu PF has failed because they have a legendary record of failure.
“The first crisis we face is a political crisis. We have to vote for the MDC because it has a future and a plan for Zimbabwe. The crisis we face is that of opportunities for jobs.”
The former Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions leader said his party, if elected into government, would open doors for foreign investors and the “sons and daughters of the country in the Diaspora to come back and invest in their own country”.
He cited South Africa-based businessman and Econet Wireless founder Strive Masiyiwa as an example of the many Zimbabwean entrepreneurs making a huge economic impact on foreign soils.
He said the MDC-T government would encourage massive investments in the mining, construction, housing and tourism sectors to create more jobs.
He said the indigenisation legislation was “a smash-and-grab” policy that was killing any prospects of investment.
He accused Zanu PF of “stealing” key elements of the MDC-T’s alternative economic blueprint.