THE People’s Democratic Party (PDP) is irked by the threats to introduce command economics by Zanu PF. We view the move as ill-informed, ignorant and bound to fail.
PDP Spokesperson Jacob Mafume
Vice-President Emmerson Mnangangwa recently told a gathering that the government is now working on a plan to introduce command strategy on everything, including education and health.
He used an unproven argument that command works because of the projected bumper harvest, deliberately misinforming the nation that the harvest is a result of the command scheme.
Farmers who are not directly linked to Zanu PF did not access the inputs. The percentage of the beneficiaries is, therefore, too insignificant to attribute a successful agriculture season to the programme.
As we have mentioned before, the loan used to fund the purchase of inputs in the scheme has inflated interest rates.
More importantly, Zanu PF has always failed to put in place a mechanism to recover loans extended to its cronies.
With that in mind, it is inevitable for Zanu PF to force the people of Zimbabwe to repay the debt the same way they did with the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe debt.
Using such a model in the broader economy will only serve to create more debts for the people of Zimbabwe, while Zanu PF-linked individuals continue to enjoy the fruits of the dirty loans.
Instead, Zanu PF must fix the basics. Zimbabwe needs to do the following:
- Attend to macro-economic stability. In this regard, we contend that fiscal discipline must be maintained and that the government must immediately resort to the principle of cash budgeting.
- Financial sector stability and liquidity by scraping the bond note, paying back the stolen real-time gross settlement balances, promotion of plastic money and, in the long term, facilitating a regional monetary union.
- Industrialisation through a shift from an extraction model to beneficiation, repealing the indigenisation law and investing in infrastructure, which makes it easy to do business.
- Rationalisation of the 2017 National Budget. Reduce the budget to an achievable target of $3 billion, which can fully be covered by domestic revenues and also develop external partnerships that can take care of social sector obligations in areas like the Basic Education Assistance Module, flood victims support and drug procurement.
- Retrenchment in the civil service. Rationalising the wage bill by dealing with the issue of ghost works
State-owned enterprises. At least 30% of gross domestic product is being drained through State-owned enterprises that have become a vehicle of patronage. The State enterprises are increasing domestic debt, making reform of the institutions urgent.
- Restoration of land value. The revival of the agricultural sector is predicated upon the restoration of the land value through the issuance of land title, ie, title deeds to all the beneficiaries of the land reform programme.
- Mining. Zimbabwe is endowed with world-class reserves of commodities, which, however, are regulated by imperial regulation that promotes primitive accumulation and self-aggrandisement. There is need to create a framework for value addition, transparent allocation of mining rights and spatial linkages in the sector.
- International re-engagement. End isolation of the nation, deal with the debt question and negotiate a Marshall Plan aimed at reconstruction.
With a functional economy, education and health, it will then need government intervention in creating a welfare state with social safety nets uplifting the disadvantaged due to the lottery of nature assisting them to even up and be able to live personal determined lives.
As a matter of fact, Mnangagwa must attempt to command the reduction of roadblocks, an end to corruption and the insatiable appetite to fly in and out by the Executive.