FORMER Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara has branded President Emmerson Mnangagwa “careless and thoughtless” for asserting that Zimbabwe is going through a radical economic transformation the Zanu PF leader claimed will catapult the country to a middle-income economy (MIC) by 2030.
BY Njabulo Ncube
Mnangagwa has repeatedly said in the past few weeks Zimbabwe is open for business and could become an economic giant over a short period of time, if all Zimbabweans worked towards economic development.
But in a hard-hitting rebuttal, Mutambara, who attended the CEO Roundtable meeting at the resort town of Victoria Falls on Thursday, told NewsDay the Zanu PF leader’s much-trumpeted Vision 2030 is meaningless.
“In my view, it is neither sensible nor meaningful for Mnangagwa to posit that the shared vision for Zimbabwe is for us to be a middle-income country by 2030. This is careless and thoughtless talk,” charged Mutambara, who was Deputy Premier during the Government of National Unity between 2009 and 2013.
“What does that vision statement mean. What are the specific matrix? The MIC nomenclature is a World Bank analytical tool that refers to economies with the gross domestic product (GDP) per capita of between $1 005 to $12 235. This is too broad a grouping.
“In any case our GDP per capita income is $977; hence jumping to $1 005 over 12 years is not sufficiently ambitious. More crucially, this definition of a share vision does not explicitly address the politics and society pillars. Neither does it speak to the issues of values and flagship (mega-impact) projects. Furthermore, where was the buy-in and ownership of that shared vision achieved? It is shared by whom?”
In his submissions to the CEO Roundtable meeting, Mutambara said there should be a collectively desired destination of the country in 2040 – the Share National Vision – and a shared competitive national identity – The National Brand.
“The vision has three pillars: politics, society and economy. Overarching issues are values and mega-impact projects. There is need for buy-in and ownership by all Zimbabweans, all sectors (industrial, business, social, academic) and all political parties,” he said.
“Differences should be on how to achieve the vision but a shared national vision requires new political, social and economic values across the nation which includes inclusiveness, tolerance, democracy, freedom, constitutionalism, integrity, meritocracy, equality, fairness, entrepreneurship, creativity, technology savvy, ubuntu, continuous learning and winning habits.”
Mutambara said a new dispensation is “not declared, but earned”. “We are not there yet.”