Zimbabwe: The way forward
Zimbabwe is buffeted by lack of cohesion, lack of strategic planning, buffeted by inconsistencies, incapacitation to deal with the current problems, and as we speak we have a serious crisis emanating from policy problems. The bottom line is our country is in a state of Paralympic and the obligation to institutional reforms is in a bad state.
Honestly, for the past three years, the Government awarded a tender to Sakunda Holdings to bankroll the Government on Command Agriculture and Zimbabwe Government spend almost 9 Billion USD and today we read headlines ” Government to import maize from Uganda ?” Is this true? Who would believe such a bizarre where over 9 Billion is spent on a non– existing project? What happened to Command Agriculture? What happened to the 5.9 billion released by the treasury between 2017 & 2018? No receipt or voucher and today the same person is now in the process of importing maize from Uganda? I think it is important for the Government to give an update review on what happened to the 9 Billion USD before any talk on importing maize. With 9 Billion we could have imported maize that could have lasted for the next 20 years or even more with grain in stock for reserve.
Public Accounts Committee Chaired by Tendai Biti who is also the lawmaker for Harare East, made apparent several attempts to have Tagwirei summoned before the committee and his efforts have been fruitless. Not even a single official from Sakunda has reported to Parliament for public appearance.
This is where the problem of Policy inconsistency comes in when someone receives money from the treasury and he is failing to account over 9 Billion United States Dollars ( USD).
This is the same person who has been contracted to purchase Government vehicles amounting to over 500 million USD. We have Dema project which is lying idle, the Government of Zimbabwe lost over 1.3 Billion which went into the drainage without any trace. We have procurement of fuel amounting to over 900 million USD. We have purchase of Fredda Rebecca mine, Jumbo mine, several mines in Midlands province, we have mines in Mazoe which were purchased without proper mining policies in place.
My simple question is if a single person can buy such properties, vast of land, grabbing almost all state projects without proper Investment laws, Mining policy x taxation laws, not even a single deal has been declared public and the nature surrounding all these deals have been made public. My simple question is who owns Zimbabwe? Is the state captured or we have a serious policy crisis?
A few years ago, we had a Head of State who owned over 13 farms, mines, properties within and outside the country, and this was only made public after his death. What about those who are in charge of the current instruments of power? Some have estimated Mugabe’s wealth to an estimation of about 30 Billion USD with villas, properties in Durban, Dubai, Malaysia and other parts of the world. This is the same man who preached the gospel of one man one farm, lest he had over 13 farms around the country.
The fact remains the same, our country has been looted and it is dry. What is the role of the opposition? What is the role of civil society in all this mess? What is the role of researchers and policy-makers in Zimbabwe?
Not even a single has the parliament of Zimbabwe discussed the nature of all these days. Muthuli Ncube who is responsible for the country’s purse has never uttered a word on all these deals.
Today we are reading about Belarusians who have taken over Manicaland land in exchange of over 300 buses. Imagine, I can’t believe this. Honestly, I can’t believe this? What about courting these investors to come and open industries for car assembly and increase productivity? Honestly buses? We have become a laughing stock to the whole world. Look at the nature of the buses? Look at the state of the buses. It’s so sad. Where are the policymakers in the office of the President and cabinet?
Can you believe this? In exchange for land and minerals? There could be proper framework and investment laws to deal with this. They should have come to open car assembly or targeting the manufacturing sector by opening lines of credit to the private sector. All f these deals were never disclosed to anyone. What if the country has been mortgaged to the Belarusians? Do we have any guarantee of the safety of our minerals, vast land and other treasuries in the near future? What about the future generation of this country?
One of the key projects is the construction of the new parliament in Mt Hampden. This project is good but how much did it cost? Is it possible that the Chinese will simply donate this project to Zimbabwe for free? Is this possible? I thought the Consolidated Revenue Fund ( CRF) or the Parliament of Zimbabwe should be responsible for the approval of such projects with the subject to review.
Way forward :
- Policy Review for all national projects
- New mining policy
- A proper Investment law
- Agriculture Policy Review
- Nature of deals must be disclosed
- The oversight of the Parliamentary role must be increased
- A proper economic framework to address leakages
- Public officials must disclose their assets to the public
- State Procurement Board Is now dysfunctional
- Institutional Reforms is key in public sector
- Review of Public Policy
- Public Accounts Committee must be funded by the treasury and broaden its oversight role
- Nature of domestic and external debt must be disclosed
- Corruption as the root problem of our economic turmoil
- Lack of foresight and he incompetence to deal with several inconsistencies
- Economic strategy is key
I’m willing to participate in the proper crafting of the National Development Policy for Zimbabwe. !!!
Tinashe Eric Muzamhindo is the Policy Advisor and Researcher and he is also the Lead Thinker for Zimbabwe Institute of Strategic Thinking
( ZIST) and he can be contacted at [email protected]