The government has pinned the hope of the country’s economic recovery on its economic blueprint, the Zimbabwe Agenda for Sustainable Socio-Economic Transformation (ZimAsset), an initiative that they say is meant to holistically address the challenges being faced by the various sectors of the economy.
Successful implementation of the programme is likely to restore the lost economic dignity so it is important to do an analysis of the basic components that are essential for the full implementation of ZimAsset.
Just like in any economic initiative there is need for land, labour, capital and entrepreneurship.In this case there is need for investors to bring capital, the people to provide labour and for the government to provide oversight over the activities that will ensure its success.
It is, however, unfortunate that there is a glaring fundamental incongruence in the policy and unless that is quickly addressed, the economic blueprint, like its many predecessors, will suffer a still birth.
For a project to succeed, there is need for all the components necessary for its fruition to be fitly joined and work together to achieve its purpose. The arrangement and interaction of these components must be so orderly that no component will expressly or impliedly work against the effective functioning of the other.
On the other hand, if all the components work contrary to each other, the attainment of the set mission objectiveswill lead to a paralysis. One of the key components to the success of ZimAsset is labour.
It is therefore unfortunate that there is lack of appreciation that is shown on labour as a critical component that is essential for the success of this economic blueprint.
The direct or indirect lack of appreciation and concern for the labour force has far reaching consequences that need to be addressed as a matter of urgency in order for the country to move forward.
Every day in Harare starting from 4pm, people rush to various places where they can get transport to go back home so that they can rest and have time with their families and loved ones but unfortunately the transport crisis makes them to wait for a long a time even upto 7pm.
This long wait is a result of the commuter omnibus operators charging $1 for an otherwise 50 cents. Such delays affect those workers who want to go home in that they will get home late. Those that are on the evening shifts will be affected as well because they will also be waiting for the same omnibuses to carry them to work and therefore are likely to arrive late.
The subtle negative consequences of this development is that these people coming from work will be subject to the elements of weather for a long time and they will be fatigued after at least eight hours of hard work.
The limited time spent with the family and loved ones can result in a strained social fabric which is likely to affect concentration at work.
The children in this case will have less time with their parents and thus will be missing out on the invaluable paternal or maternal affection that is critical for human development.
Those on the evening shifts will have to cut down their time with the family so that they can go out at far much an earlier time than is necessary or else they risk getting to work late as well and will be subject to the labour laws to do with being late at work.
Having been subject to the wind, the cold and the rain on an open space waiting for transport over long time is likely to result in health challenges which unfortunately would have to be met by the same person who is failing to afford bus fare.
The same happens in the morning where the same workers have to fetch a dollar for a trip to work and thus depleting any saving that they have for the sustenance of the family or else they will get to work late and then risk straining employer-employee relations.
Therefore when transport situation alone can have such ripple effects on the workforce who are a critical component on the success of the ZimAsset, it would be scary to imagine the implications of other variables on the same workers.
The same workers who are subject to such health threatening elements of weather and psychological pressure are likely to be sickly and cannot be able to deliver on productivity in the long run.
These people will be a very big burden to the country’s healthy budget because they cannot afford medication on their own as evidenced by the failure to afford the bus fare which made them to wait for long hours for transport.
Unfortunately the same people are expected to be parents in the future and therefore it will be difficult to have healthy children from sickly and stressed parents. In the long run the country will be made up of a pathetic, hopeless and helpless population which cannot come out this situation unless it is addressed today.
So in this case the need to bring normalcy and order in the transport sector is directly affecting the full implementation of ZimAsset through undermining the wellbeing of the workforce.
There is a very serious need to do an analysis on the impact of one component (policy) over the effectiveness and wellbeing of other components in the short and long run relative to the mission at hand.
Brian Kazunga can be contacted on firstname.lastname@example.org