The 100-day test: From rhetoric to reality


The first 100 days of any new administration are widely considered as indicative of the prospects of success or failure of that administration during its entire term.

Financial Sector Spotlight with Omen Muza

Though the new government will argue that its success cannot be measured adequately in just 100 days, when in fact it has over 1 800 days in which to turn things around, within three months we are likely to have a fair idea of where we are going or not going. Over the past few weeks, we have heard about the “what” of the country’s development; it’s the “how” part that must now be addressed.

As we wait for the process to be put into motion with the announcement of Cabinet, let’s consider some of the issues that will have to be dealt with during this 100-day period.
l Restoration of market confidence: Probably the most important act government will have to perform is to rebuild confidence and stabilise the financial markets through appropriate pronouncements.

This will involve re-establishing policy visibility around a wide range of issues such as currency reforms, flexibility of indigenisation and economic empowerment, dealing with stagnating growth and the widening current account deficit.

Cabinet composition: Putting together Cabinet will in itself be one of the new government’s first acts of confidence building. Qualitatively and quantitatively, Cabinet’s dimensions will have a major bearing on economic policy and thereby growth prospects. We have previously had “Cabinets of dead wood” and “War Cabinets,” what will this one be?

Dispersing feelings of doubt and despondency: Despite the political landslide victory, a nationwide celebratory mood hasn’t exactly engulfed the nation outside party realms because the people are keenly aware of the bigger economic battle that lies ahead. Instead there has been an unspoken sense of doubt and apprehension, which government will have to deal with in order to mobilise public sentiment around key national goals.

Civil service demands: Having suffered considerably due to the paucity of the government’s financial resources before, during and after the government of national unity, civil servants are already calling on the new government to own up to its pre-election promises and address their plight sooner rather than later.

Agricultural financing/support:
The first real financial challenge or perhaps opportunity to be faced by government in the near-term is the financing of the summer cropping season which commences in September. With State revenues having recently been dwindling due to pre-election growth slowdown, the government faces immediate spending pressures attributable to agricultural input requirement so it must hit the ground running. However, given the parlous state of government finances, a big question mark hangs over the source of money for such expenditure.

2014 National Budget: Given the declining growth prospects over the past two years and the uninspiring performance of government revenues, the 2014 National Budget, whose presentation falls within government’s first 100 days, will not only be the sum total of government’s revenue and expenditure aspirations, but is also expected to lay down the foundation of its quest to re-energise a faltering growth trajectory.

Diplomatic engagement:
One of Government’s key tasks within its first 100-day period is to chart a viable diplomatic course for the country because diplomatic relations are a precursor of economic engagement at both bilateral and multilateral levels.

The EU and US have rejected the Zimbabwean poll outcome on the basis of a flawed process, so the diplomatic terrain looks quite treacherous.

The new government will, therefore, have to muster all its diplomatic might in order to manoeuvre this new landscape, as restoration of diplomatic relations is likely to see the easing and eventual removal of sanctions, paving the way for better access to foreign direct investment and lines of credit. Engagement with domestic partners will also be critical.

Debt Burden: Without resolution of the country’s $10,7 billion debt burden, we will continue to grope in the dark — curtailing the country’s access to much need foreign capital and lines of credit. Both internal and external stakeholders are, therefore, expecting bold signals within the next 100 days on how this millstone will be cast off our collective shoulders.

What are your own expectations from the new government within its first 100 days?


  1. give civil servants a pay rise to stimulate demand and put some import quotas to support the local industry and we will cut our b.o.p deficit. also availing cheap money for industries to recapitalise. our roads pliz and put a close eye on our parastatals they letting the economy down

    • Forget it with Chaina as our ‘friend’ there can never be a reasonable quota on imports. Economy not that liquid to allow for cheap money unless the ministers decide to bank that corruption gained money in Zim.

      Solution is a change in government which equals a change in thinking at the moment the current leadership is happy with maintaining the status quo.

  2. Iwe stop dreaming where in Africa does a 100-day-test works, let alone in Zimbabwe? Instead you should be more concerned in promoting coexistance, harmony and togetherness among Zimbabwe…we are still a nation that is divided and polarised and surely we have to tone down hatred and make peace more peace. What can be achieved is scarpping off rates debts and plunge those institution in mayhem the rest forget it.

    • From the comments made by Mugabe recently on Harare and Bulawayo residents having voted for the MDC do you see the prospects of peace and co-existence coming into fruition?It all starts at that level and we have already heard the warning shots.What of Chombo, before cabinet is even announced.These are the per-cursor of things to come.

    • 100 DAY TEST MY FOOT.
      Yes Gamba you are right this thing does not work in Africa at all.

      Look at this scenerio:
      Those who set the test are people like Omen Muza To put it clear it is those who are in opposition. In Zimbabwe’s case involve the countries that have imposed sanctions as well. These do not just sit to watch what happens next but they play a big part to pull the Government of the day down.

  3. We no longer in that mode of economics. The 100 day thing doesnt work anymore. We r growing much slower or not growing at all according to that mode of the 100 day theory. Remember the 500 billion percent inflation rate. Its only found on the moon but we had it. The US and EU r not going to invest here. Iyo igaroziva. Foreign capital is sanctioned coz they fear kuti we channel mari iyoyo kuland reform. Thats why they refuse us money coz they dont like us to be successful. I give the new government no pressure. A zanupf government has given me all i need already. Kwasara ini kushanda chete.

  4. Iwe GAMBA, if the 100-day test does not work, it’s is because of brain-dead people like you who do not want to hold politicians accountable for their promises. You only vote for them then give them free rein. The way I see it, the writer is not even saying that the new government must change everything in 100 days, but just give a convincing indication of how they will deliver on their promises.

  5. Debate issues don’t abuse people with different perspectives. Brain dead??? Really. Not necessary. Inga you made some sense after that. Lets debate issues baba.

  6. Mhodu
    Thanks for correcting me. I take back the ‘brain-dead’ bit.
    It’s actually Amai though, not Baba. Out of interest, why did you think I was a man? Shouldn’t women debate issues on a platform such as this?

  7. @Pro Logic: which politician have you held accountable from land reform to indeginisation programme let alone on a 100-day-test? Unongo wawata notuka vamwe! Tipewo maviews ako that’s what makes a debate …. une violence asi?

  8. Gosh! I am flabbergasted. What is the rationale of giving a 100 test to a government which has been in power for 33 years, and which has been given another mandate to rule for a further five years! What benchmarks were in place for over three decades? Where were our fundis hibernating? What are the consequences of failing the 100 days test? Is this social discourse productive at all or ‘mahumbwe’?

  9. Gosh! I am flabbergasted. What is the rationale of giving a 100 days test to a government which has been in power for 33 years, and which has been given another mandate to rule for a further five years! What benchmarks were in place for over three decades? Where were our fundis hibernating? What are the consequences of failing the 100 days test? Is this social discourse productive at all or ‘mahumbwe’?

  10. @ PAX ROMANA
    So you would rather not attempt to put in place any benchmarks any at all, just because in the distant past where you still live, none were in place? Can you, Mr Judge-Jury-And Executioner tell us which discourse is productive then, so we can engage in it ? The fundis have now decided to hold government accountable for its actions and must start somewhere. Are you going to join them or stay in the past?

  11. the good thing is we clap hands, ullulate wen cde “robert” blames his failures on e westerners. we fear for our lives if we r known to be anti a dubious policy benifiting a few “indeginisation”. we boast if a high literacy level bt we have e likes o chinotimba in paliament wat policy cn he craft we tried and tested expired pple in cabinet wat new thing cn they bring. like it o not biti drove e economy for e past five years and chinamasa, mnguni , murerwah and o gono cn never b half o wat biti was so honestly WHO WILL CARRY US THROUGH??

  12. Many hat off to you Pro Logic. Sorry for supposing you where a man. I am a man and normally man are the crude one ones. However from your apology you are the sensible person I thought your were. Great chatting and lets keep the forum going.

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