HomeOpinion & AnalysisColumnistsPeople-centred development tonic to Zim’s transformation

People-centred development tonic to Zim’s transformation

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IN his book, The Governance of China III, Chinese President Xi Jinping said the people were the greatest strength to governance, the creators of history, and the fundamental force for determining the future of the country.

BY LAZARUS SAUTI

He also said the Chinese government came from the people, had its roots in the people and served the people.

“People are a vital force in championing development. We are, therefore, addressing the most pressing issues essential to our people’s immediate interests to stimulate and achieve political, economic, socio-cultural, and eco-environmental development,” Jinping said.

“We always put our people first, base our efforts on their interests, listen to them, draw on their wisdom, and ensure the principal status of Chinese.”
China has lifted over 700 million of its citizens from poverty because of its people-centred developmental programmes.

As the Zimbabwean government is pushing towards attaining an upper-middle income economy by 2030, it should not only strengthen the system of governance but also fight poverty and inequality, and also put in place measures to ensure public wellbeing.

The government should constantly improve the wellbeing of Zimbabweans through productive investment, the creation of decent employment, the equal distribution of resources, and the promotion and protection of fundamental human rights and freedoms.

The biggest problems facing the Zimbabwean society today include violation of human rights and the widening gap between unbalanced and inadequate development and the ever-growing expectation of Zimbabweans for a better life.

Despite abundant natural resources, the country remains one of the poorest States in Africa, with an unemployment and underemployment rate of around 95%.
Because of this, most Zimbabweans are living below the international poverty line of US$1,90 a day.

Systemic corruption and mismanagement are also worsening the country’s economic crisis.

To fight corruption and close the inequality gap, the government should commit to the principle of serving Zimbabweans wholeheartedly over and above promoting sustained, inclusive, and fair socio-economic growth, job creation, productive investment, and trade.

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the UN’s global development network, which promotes technical and investment co-operation among nations, also said people’s wellbeing and their quality of life are an important measure of whether “inclusive development” is attainable.

“People must be at the centre of human development, both as beneficiaries and as drivers as individuals and in groups,” UNDP noted, adding that states must empower their citizens with the tools and knowledge to build better communities.

For Croatian diplomat, politician, and law scholar, Ivan Simonovic, human rights should be at the centre of all people-centred governance and development initiatives because they set minimum standards to encourage better decision-making and pro-poor outcomes.

Simonovic urged States like Zimbabwe to improve democratic institutions, enhance accountability, transparency, and good governance, and fight corruption.

“The response of the government on political, socio-economic, and gender challenges should be credible and coherent, with human rights as the baseline,” he said.

As Jinping clearly noted in his book, the government should be close to people, and work vigorously by their side through thick and thin to realise, safeguard, and develop their fundamental human rights, freedoms, and interests.

Zimbabweans are suffering because of poverty, unemployment, and inequality — evils that feed on each other — and the government should make genuine efforts to address these concerns and warm people’s hearts.

In his book, A Fine Madness, writer Mashingaidze Gomo noted that Zimbabwe and other African States urgently needed policies that generate decent jobs which pay enough for people to survive and thrive.

Decent jobs are conducive to social cohesion and inclusion and participation are essential to sustained, inclusive, and fair development.

Gomo added that running a resource-rich country like Zimbabwe was a momentous responsibility and as such the government should fully commit to the people and never fail them.

Focus should be on poverty reduction, crisis prevention and recovery, people-centred governance, and environment and inclusive development.

More so, government leaders should put aside their interests and devote their all to stimulate Zimbabwe’s political, economic, and socio-cultural development as well as enhance the quality of development to better meet the growing expectations of Zimbabweans in all areas.

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