PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa has been urged to ensure that there is citizen participation in governance issues as well as demilitarise and de-politicise functional commissions so that they are effective in their mandate of protecting citizens.
by VENERANDA LANGA
The Zimbabwe Coalition on Debt and Development (Zimcodd) in a statement responding to Mnangagwa’s State of the Nation Address (Sona) presented in Parliament on Tuesday said accountability was key to ensuring the country moves forward.
“The executive, legislature, judiciary and commissions will need to be independent of each other, allowing for efficient checks and balances that allow for accountability to the citizens, performance management as well as the impartial upholding of the rule of law,” Zimcodd said.
“There is need for demilitarisation and de-politicization of functional commissions such as the Human Rights Commission, Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission, Gender Commission and the National Peace and Reconciliation Commission for them to efficiently and impartially carry out their mandate.”
In order to achieve economic growth and a middle income status, the debt lobby group said Mnangagwa needed to address any outstanding legacy issues that have prevented growth.
“These include updating and developing new infrastructure for transportation, power, water, industry, manufacturing and social services; upgrading and developing new human capital skills required to create a highly-skilled workforce; embedding science, digitalisation and technology into every aspect of the economy and society to improve efficiencies,” it said.
On State enterprises and parastatals, Zimcodd said Mnangagwa should remove all non-performing boards.
“Government should not necessarily relegate its duty to provide basic social services through privatization of State enterprises and parastatals, but rather they should improve efficiency of these enterprises,” Zimcodd said.
The debt lobby group also expressed concern at Zimbabwe’s debt clearance strategy which they said was neither clear nor sustainable.
“The Zimbabwe debt question calls for a debt audit to ascertain which of the debts are legitimate or illegitimate so that the general citizens are not burdened by debts that suppress their rights. The government is therefore called upon to echo the sentiments of unconditional total debt cancellation,” said the group. Zimbabwe is saddled with a national debt stock of $18,4 billion which is 74,9% of the gross domestic product (GDP). The public and publicly guaranteed debt stands at $15,9 billion while the private sector debt stands at $2,5 billion.