New admin faces expectations crisis

BUSINESS and economic players from across the economy have called for the incoming President Emmerson Mnangagwa and his new government to quickly address the pressing issues plaguing the economy to kick-start the recovery process.

BY TATIRA ZWINOIRA / FIDELITY MHLANGA

With rising inflation, shortages of cash, high premiums, low production and exports, and a snail’s pace movement in amending laws, economic stakeholders have called for these issues to be urgently addressed.

Speaking to NewsDay yesterday, Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce chief executive officer Christopher Mugaga said the incoming President must endeavour to depart from Zanu PF party position and dwell on economic policies aimed at improving the country’s fortunes.

“To expect change because [former President Robert] Mugabe has left overnight is expecting too much. We are not sure that whoever is coming after Mugabe would depart from party position in terms of economic policy,” he said.

“While there is a constituency of people who believe in empowerment, there is also a constituency which doesn’t believe in it. It’s a conundrum. The greatest fear is entitlement by a number of shareholders who will believe they deserve rewarding and impunity. But this can weaken or slow down the pace of economic growth.”

Mugaga said the country’s new leader should put a paradigm shift in the way of doing things by appointing technocrats to Cabinet.

“So whoever is coming must make sure that he departs from the party position, for instance, for long, Cabinet has been made up of Members of Parliament. He should put technocrats and not only depend on the august House. The incoming leader must be prepared to be criticised and expect that it can’t be politics as usual. The person should deal with corruption, nepotism and parastatal rot,” he said.

Confederation of Zimbabwe Retailers (CZR) president Denford Mutashu said going forward, there was need for political stability, especially at the highest level of leadership.

“Great focus should be placed on reviving the economy, industrialisation to create jobs and produce more goods locally, all this while advancing an export agenda premised on normalised internal, regional and international relations,” he said.

“There is need to focus on enhancing competitiveness and ease of doing business. CZR will embrace and work with the new government to ensure policy consistency and address critical issues like foreign currency shortages. There is great need for inclusivity and promotion of peace and development while eradicating regionalism, corruption and build social trust and confidence.”

The ones who have felt the brunt of the economic decay in the country are the consumers who have been struggling with low disposable incomes.

Consumer Council of Zimbabwe executive director Rosemary Siyachitema said with the new political dispensation, speed was needed in the enactment of the consumer protection law.

“We are calling for the enactment of the consumer protection law. I think this continues to be paramount because consumers have gone for a long time without any protective legislation when we look at what good practice is. Consumers need prices to stay stable, affordable, goods have to be accessible, and prices need to be fair. We do not want to continue seeing these unprecedented price increments in the supermarkets or retail shops,” she said.

“We want money in our pockets to mean something. The United States dollar is worth quite a bit, yet we have seen it being eroded over a period of time. We still ask for the same things and they do not change so we still just make the same demands. We need swipe machines to be accessible and in all places so that people can be able to transact, bank charges to be much fairer than what they are. We need quality and standards.”

She said the legislation would deal with a number of issues plaguing consumers.

Former Zimbabwe Investment Authority chairman Nigel Chanakira said Mugabe’s resignation should encourage a relook at the investment impediments in the country such as property rights.

“Mugabe is what I would call a Pharaoh. He was a shrewd, probably the shrewdest African politician in terms of his conduct. In other words, they (foreign investors) feared him and did not know how to handle him. So, we now look at investment, the whole issue that the war was fought for, the vote, as well as land, which in itself is one of the key panacea for investment, in a sense that deals with property rights,” he said.

“So, if you now infringe on the right of title, you are kind of violating investment principles in protecting investment and that was the whole anchor of why Zimbabwe became a pariah State for foreign direct investment. It was accentuated further because people took away the right to farm title or land ownership. So once that was taken away, people walked away with nothing.”

“If you take away property rights, as was done with the land issue without compensation in one form or the other, and you go on to accentuate the position by amending mining rights, you would have touched on two very key attractions which foreign investment seeks in Africa,” he said.

Mugabe’s leadership was marred by policy inconsistency, violation of property rights as well as uncertainty, which all drove away potential investors.

Federation of Farmers’ Union president Wonder Chabikwa said farmers expected the new President to increase the agricultural budget allocation to return the country to its former bread basket status in Africa.

“As farmers, our requirements have not changed. Naturally, in terms of budget allocation, agriculture must be allocated 10% of the budget and that has not been happening. Prioritisation must be given to agriculture and that has not been happening. We need that so that the country goes back to being the bread basket of Africa,” he said.

Chabikwa said if the new leader were to bring a vibrant agriculture sector, the country’s manufacturing sector would also grow and generate vast foreign currency receipts and employment opportunities.

“As farmers we would want to be given our due respect. Long back when CFU [Commercial Farmers’ Union] talked about key issues, they were listened to, but now that was not happening. Once agriculture performs to its potential, everything will respond to it. This means manufacturing will perform and vendors will be wiped out, as there will be job opportunities. If our manufacturing sector starts performing, all companies in the country will start to export and we will not struggle to get foreign currency,” he said.

Chabikwa added that farmers also wanted to be seconded into boards which are linked to agriculture, unlike what was happening where people were appointed based on nepotism.

As Mnangagwa comes in, business and the economy at large will be looking to him to address these issues.

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27 Comments

  1. Still anything tinted with zanu pf spirit is gloom. We need to move forward our visions with spiritual vision.

  2. If we are to achieve big, the incoming leader needs to unite people of Zimbabwe so that they become one. Without love, peace and unity we will not make it to the promised land. Let s all learn the spirit of love from our good military. They oversaw a million man demonstration in which no one said a dad word to the other. no one was hit with button stick or tear gassed. KEEP IT UP OUR REVOLUTIONARY ARMY. WE ZIMBABWEANS WILL ALWAYS LOVE AND CHERISH YOU.

    1. Umkhonto ka Shaka

      People were allowed by the army in accord with the Police which suggest some sort of colluding against Mugabe was planned beforehand by the same army which sent tankers against the povo that wanted to take to streets demanding 2008 results to be announced and Tsvangirai declared a winner

  3. Excited to have a new president. one piece of advice to you Mr. President. Before you can sit on that throne, find a man of God who can cleanse it for you, becoz if you rush to sit there without cleansing it, the demons that possessed Mugabe will surely possess you and soon we will begin to see you rule like Mugabe regardless of your good intentions. The brutality, repression, patronage, impunity, corruption, poverty, arrogance, etc.

  4. hapana zviripo apa. mnangagwa wacho is too partisan. madeko aitohumana zvake paTV pane vakaona nhau dza 8pm. aitoti vanohukura muchingohukura isu tichingotonga tichingotnga, pasi nemhanduuuuuuuuuu and was full of pride. president wenation mutsva haafaniri kuwanikwa muromo wake uchitaura mashoko okunyomba nokuzvidza.

    1. Thatwas not last night my friend, that speech was made in Chiredzi before he had the falling out with RG. Not that I am an ED supporter but we need ti get our facts right

      1. I saw it live, he said it but I understand that he was addressing his party supporters.

      2. Instead I think it’s you who didn’t get your facts right. He talked about being sworn in on Friday. How could the video have been made before the fallout? Anyway, we all agree that these slogans chanting “pasina na whoever” are really bad. He needs to stop it before Dr Stop It stops it.

        1. Dr Stopit “cables” fake phd was stopped in her tracks. She must now look for new idiots to impress!!

  5. Same like Mugabe.Changing from the devil to lucief.
    Do not forget what he did in 2008. Kungoti zvedu hapana yokutamba , there is need for a real change

  6. Mr President please let us have genuine police on the road. These fake Mugabe police will do a lot of harm to you and the nation. Roadblocks should be genuine not these roadblocks full of thieves who are so corrupt that they will want you to pay for even breathing around. Hatichavadi vanhu ava they need retraining.

    1. Right now they are on “leave”…check educational qualifications & experience when recalling them. We need few but effective roadblocks, we need stiff custodial sentences for violating road traffic act especially for public transport. Make tracking of public passenger transport mandatory and police should be privy to these records.

  7. Concerned Citizen

    Dear Fellow Citizens

    THIS IS OUR ONLY CHANCE TO BE HEARD, LETS BE BOLD AND MAKE IT RIGHT.

    Fellow citizens, we came out in our numbers to demand for former Pres R.G Mugabe to resign and he did. This shows that when we are one force we can achieve anything. I would like to highlight that the fight is not yet over. The bulk of us did not only march for Mugabe’s removal but for a better and prosperous Zimbabwe. NOW IS THE TIME TO BE HEARD, WE NEED TO INFORM OUR INCOMING PRESIDENT OF OUR EXPECTATIONS. I SUGGEST WE GO IN OUR NUMBERS TO HIS INAGURATION WITH PLACARDS HIGHTLIGHTING WHAT WE WANT OUR NEW ZIMBAWE TO BE. This is our only chance to be heard both locally and internationally, we are too quite.

    LET’S MAKE THINGS RIGHT!!!

    These are some of the suggestions, can add more:
    1. Mr President, We want JOBS
    2. Mr President, We want Investors
    3. Mr President, Uproot corruption
    4. Mr President, we want an inclusive government
    5. Mr President, please remove suppressive legislation
    6. Mr President, release political prisoners, give them rights to a free TRAIL
    7. Mr President, we want electoral reforms
    8. Mr President, de-militarise public institutions

    HOW CAN WE ACHIEVE THIS?

    1. Can printing companies pre-print these placards and sell
    2. If the Diaspora people can sponsor 1 or 2 people to go/ buy the placards so we can be heard
    3. If you are not going, please sponsor someone who can go.

    WE CANNOT AFFORD TO LET THIS CHANCE GO, LET US BE HEARD. THANK YOU

    1. abolish bonds before christmas and write off all council and zesa bills

  8. We dont want inclusive govt we want sound economic and social policies,what does an inclusive govt brings?

  9. we want policies which are investor friendly and for zim to be brought back to the world,zveinclusive govt kwete.Gore rinouya maelections mirirai kumudya ipapo.Moitawo govt dzenyu.

    1. REMOVE THE 14 FARMS M HAS

  10. baba ava vafoira vasati vatanga kubatiswa hari inopisa

  11. Investors, then jobs, jobs and jobs Mr President.

  12. Commander Guvamatongo

    My suggestions to the incoming new President of Zimbabwe:
    1. Do away with the Bond Note, embrace the Rand/US$ until the economy has stabilised
    2. Compensate former white farmers-the West should be prepared to give loans/grant for this purpose.
    3. Land audit should be done urgently and all under-utilised land and multiple ownership dealt with.
    4. Appoint a lean cabinet of not more than 20 composed of experienced and professional technocrats.
    5. Adopt consistent and inclusive policies
    6. Avoid arrogant and hate speech at any for-whether at political rallies or anywhere.
    7. ZRP need complete overhaul or re-training to gain the confidence of people again-otherwise keep them off the roads
    8. Root-out and shun corruption, nepotism and patronage.
    9. Get the country back to world e.g. Commonwealth.
    10. All funds looted by individuals should be returned to the state

    I thank you and wish you the best.

  13. Zimbabweans have suffered for too long to care about who will eventually run this country. All we need is economic recovery. I suggest that whoever is going to be President should do two things

    1. Bring back investor confidence by doing away with the draconian law of indegenisation
    2. Redistribute underutilized land to former white farmers

  14. Good clear pointers coming from the readers. We are ready to give ED a chance to show how he intends to make it possible to put these road maps into firm programmes. Then get those programmes executed.

  15. one big challenge that any incoming administration will have to battle with is the lack of good will from Zimbabweans, due to desperation, greed and corruption.

    The word trust has been ripped off the pages of the Zimbabwean dictionary a painful legacy left to this country by one R.G Mugabe.

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