Zanu PF promises made during the run-up to the July 31 elections have come back to haunt President Robert Mugabe and his party.
DUMISANI SIBANDA ASSIGNMENTS EDITOR
Addressing the Zanu PF central committee yesterday in Harare, President Mugabe admitted that failure to fulfil the promises would raise dust among the people.
“We have got to start work, travel less, meet less and more action, more action, more action and that’s Zanu PF, otherwise the people will say to us ‘you said you were going to fulfil these pledges, you are not fulfilling them’,” President Mugabe said.
In a bid to come up with a blueprint to action the pledges made to the people, Zanu PF crafted what they term ZimAsset which President Mugabe said had to be actioned now.
“ZimAsset must start unfolding and unfolding immediately . . . ,” President Mugabe urged his party members.
Zanu PF pledged a lot to the electorate during the run up to the elections, chief among them economic revival, job creation and pay rise for civil servants, which have since not materialised.
In the run up to the harmonised elections, Zanu PF’s promises included the creation of
2 265 million jobs over the next five years, but more jobs have been lost since the polls as companies are closing down or retrenching workers because of the harsh economic climate.
Thus, President Mugabe, aware that nothing has been done so far, said people will soon begin to ask questions. “People will say what’s happening in agriculture? No change. In industries, the factories are not coming up. The mining sector has not been organised, our roads are still the same, railways still the same, Air Zimbabwe still the same. Where is your ZimAsset which you preached to us?”
In apparent reference to civil servants, President Mugabe admitted that they have been exploiting them for too long.
“ . . . we also have to take care of our worker that is why yesterday we decided that the poverty datum line must be the lowest salary and other salaries and wages build on that. This is because over the years we have really exploited the worker. We have done him down and its effects were obvious, look at the number of children who are dropping out of school before getting to Form Four because their parents cannot afford to pay school fees,” he said.
On Thursday, Zanu PF’s Soviet-style politburo agreed that the lowest paid civil servant’s salary should be pegged in tandem with the poverty datum line.
In an apparent admission of his government’s failure, President Mugabe said: “Look at the situation of unemployment, look at even the dilapidation in our schools and hospitals. We have got to correct that.
Don’t tell us you don’t have the money. No,” said the veteran leader. He also took a swipe at the Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation (ZMDC)for its lethargic approach to the diamond mining operations.
He said the ZMDC, which had partnered with some foreign companies to mine diamonds, was letting the country down.
“What is our ZMDC doing? It doesn’t seem to be present in the management of these operations at all.
It’s folding its arms and waiting to be given a dividend.”
He added: “It’s quicker to have money from gold than from diamonds” urging his government to quickly legitimise gold panners to ensure all the gold mined goes through Fidelity Printers to plug smuggling loopholes.
There has been an outcry against panners because of the haphazard manner in which they have carried out their operations resulting in serious land degradation.
President Mugabe, however, said: “Organise Makorokozas (illegal gold panners) under our SMEs and let them do their alluvial mining properly, but not on rivers as we saw them do on Mazoe and other rivers. No, that damages our rivers.”