BVTA condemns actions of BCC police in injuring a vending minor and victimisation of the mother in Bulawayo Issued by

 

Bulawayo Vendors and Traders Association (BVTA)

BVTA strongly condemns actions and the heavy handedness of the Bulawayo Municipal Police that led to a 15 year old minor suffering a broken arm during their violent raids on vendors whose only crime was selling eggs to raise funds for schools fees on Friday 19 August 2016 and subsequent seemingly counter accusation of the mother for assaulting a female municipal two weeks after.

We categorically state that this kind of behaviour is a violation of people rights and inhumane treatment that has no place in the modern society.

BVTA would like to unequivocally remind the Bulawayo City Council authorities of Section 53 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe that says; no person may be subjected to physical or psychological torture or to cruel inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment and the same vein to remind them of the rights of arrested persons.   BVTA further posits that the actions of the municipal police are in violation of Section 19 subsection (2c) of the Constitution that states that the child must be protected from maltreatment, neglect or any form of abuse.

BVTA also notes that BCC municipal police violated the United Nations Convention of the Rights of the Child.  When adults make decisions, they should think about how their decisions will affect children. It also further violated Article 19 that says that children have a right to be protected from being hurt and mistreated, in body or mind.

BVTA calls upon the Bulawayo City Council to investigate the violent conduct of their municipal police officers and prosecute all those who have taken law unto themselves to injure and maim vendors who are involved in genuine means to earn a living.

We are also aggrieved by unwarranted seizure and confiscation of vendors and informal traders’ goods and generic brutalizing and harassment of informal traders and vendors especially defenseless women and girls.

We also abhor the subsequent arrest of the mother in spurious charges of assaulting a BCC female police detail two weeks after the injury meted on her daughter.

BVTA believes that dialogue between BCC and vendors and informal traders is a sure way to find alternative means to address the problems faced by vendors in the city.

Bulawayo Vendors and Traders Association (BVTA), is a membership organisation that represents the vendors and informal traders by engaging in policy research and advocacy to ensure that the rights and interests of vendors and informal traders are promoted and facilitated.

Bulawayo Vendors and Traders Association (BVTA) can be contacted on:

Office 406 Fidelity Life Building,

Fife Street & 11th Avenue

BULAWAYO

Mobile Phone : +2638644210108

Email: bulawayovendors @gmail.com

 

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It is a lie that resources are scarce.

A lie is a lie no matter repeated a million times it will remain such.  People have been fed with lies that resources are scarce.  Many instances I find myself into heated debates on this subject and I still insist that resources are not scarce. These experiences have motivated me to express my views and look at what scholars have argued and put across on this subject. It will attempt to further investigate the correlation of mainstream economics and the accumulation of wealth at the expense of others. I strongly believe and will demonstrate that the dominant economic ideology on scarcity of resources is not true.

Let me look at the definition of mainstream economics first. It is defined by Davies et al. (1996) as a study of ways in which people make the best use of scarce resources. Robbins (1932) defined economics as the science which studies human behavior as a relationship between ends and scarce means which have alternative uses. In my understanding it means making priorities on limited resources to achieve the best results. I do not agree that resources are scarce because this economic system was born out of capitalism which is based on accumulation of wealth. This free market economy leads to few people to control means of production and as result have a skewed distribution of resources. Smith (1776) sees the unregulated market as an impractical ideal that puts the concepts of freedom and anti-protectionism at the service of vested wealthy interests, allowing the rich to attack labor laws and other protections of the working classes.

I agree with the above postulation because if the market is left to regulate itself it creates artificial shortages (speculative tendencies) in order to maximize on demand of commodities. Wages will be diminishing or stagnant whilst profits are increasing for the owners which create class divisions, those with power over and wealth  and the powerless who are in need. Galbraith (1970) raises an interesting argument that firms continue to expand the system of needs by telling consumers to expand bundle of goods to be happy through advertising created by the owners. This leads to high consumption of commodities and promoting artificial scarcity. This system to me makes it very difficult to have an egalitarian society which in my view is an aspiration of the masses. Karl Marx points out that people today in a capitalist society are enslaved by the very things capitalism produces (like toys and entertainment), which keeps them from seeing that capitalists take all the money. This means that this ideology occupies the mind of the people through persuasion by ideological structures i.e. media and societal norms.

In contrast to the above postulations neoclassical economists argue that human beings have infinite needs, where nature provides them with finite quality of resources one day they will diminish.  It is further augmented by submissions that scarcity is part of human conditions rather than a product of today`s wealth society.  However on the contrary there is no enough empirical evidence for me to agree with this, besides assumptions and assertions on natural resources depletion i.e. that the next World War will be on water for example journalist Solomon (n.d.) argues that water is surpassing oil as the world’s scarcest critical resource. In order to give credence on scarcity of  resources neoclassical economists have created a notion that the market has “an invisible hand “that allocates scarce resources  among compelling ends by adjusting prices so that supply and demand are balanced. This means that market forces regulate themselves to minimize competition for scarce resources. Let me point out that there is nowhere in the book where Adam Smith spoke about the invisible hand of the market. It is a creation of neoliberal and neoclassical economists to support uneven scale of resource allocation (capitalism), the invisible hand is not there at all (Stilgitz, 2002) and (Smith, 1776).

A historical glimpse of this economic system gives hindsight and credence to the fact that resources are not scarce but are in the hands of a few. This modern capitalist system originated in the 14th century due to conflicts between the land-owners, agricultural producers and the serfs after the collapse of slavery. It is premised on the accumulation of wealth by owning means of production which are land which gives rent, capital for profits, labor for wages and entrepreneurship for profits. The accumulation of wealth led to high production of goods and services which resulted in massive economic growth. This system gave rise to new innovation to introduce new ways of calculating and tabulating economic growth i.e. GDP and GNP.  Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is defined by Brezina (2012) as the monetary value of goods and services produced in a nation during a given time period, usually within a year. Gross National Product (GNP) as the market value of all products and services produced in one year including remittances or business establishments beyond the borders. To me these are myopic and flawed indicators of development because they pay attention to work done in exchange of monetary value ignoring reproductive work done by a marginalized class of people for example women in the society. This means it deems the services provided free by family and community. It ignores informal economy, corruption, rule of law, and the natural environment as of no value because they are un-priced and lie outside the mainstream market economy.

This system has manifested itself as capitalism ideology. The free market economy is a market where the price of a good or service is determined by supply and demand, rather than by governmental regulation, has led to hegemony of classes in the society by owners of the means of production. The society has three classes (high income – owners, middle income – managers and low income- peasants and workers). This is a result of cliché of industrial owners who influence decision making at political and ideological structures. These mighty institutions as indicated by Gramsci`s Dynamic model, a tool that shows how overtime structures of society operate and interact, is created by political structures to force the powerless and peasants to accept the whims of the powerful. It is a conception of hegemony that is an ever-evolving set of political, economic, ideological, and cultural processes by which the dominant social sectors elicit consent from the popular sectors (Hope and Timmel, 1984) and (Hall et al., 1986).

These summations conclude that these are forces that use persuasion and force to make peasants and marginalized groups to cow to the capitalistic economic ideology. Gramsci (n.d.) supports this summation by postulating that man is not ruled by force alone, but also by ideas, as observed by Marx who says the ruling ideas of age have ever been the ideas of its ruling class. This means that gate keepers or leaders are controlled by owners who have money to influence these economic ideas that create an unequal distribution of wealth.  The model also shows us  that owners of corporations are not usually present in countries where they have investment interests.

These dynamics in decision making on reproduction, production, consumption and distribution are reflects political economy which explains how political institutions and the economic system—capitalist, socialist or mixed influence each other as well as income distribution. Simple put the study of the relationship between mainstream economics and existing political structures. It helps us to understand policies and forces that influence income distribution in an economy to ascertain whether it improves the wellbeing of the people or not. It helps us to understand the influence of power in resource allocation to community and country. In contrast to mainstream economics which focuses on quantitative indicators of economic growth whilst political economy considers qualitative indicators of human development in relation to policies promulgated by political structures.

Countries must adopt alternatives to measure economic development and social indicators. These help in policy planning and making of decisions for example Genuine Progress Indicator (GPI) is concerned with resource depletion, pollution, long term environmental management, damage, housework and non market transactions” (Cavanagh et al, 2002, p203).  The quality of life indicator looks at health, family life, community life, political freedom and gender equity. This help us to understand whether decisions made by the powerful ruling elites benefit the poor and understanding the impact of artificial scarcity.

It is my humble conclusion that resources are not scarce but the scarcity is a result of a dominant free market ideology, which is perpetuated by dominant political structures and ideological structures.

By Michael Mdladla Ndiweni

Twitter: mdladlaspeaks

Email: mikejnrsind82@gmail.com

Despite the dire situation of young people, hope is still not lost

Overtime young people have been ostracized and their voices not heard in decision making bodies and in socio- economic and political spheres centrally to their personal development and that of communities.

Statistics indicate that the majority of the Zimbabwean youths are not partaking in development initiatives in their communities.  For example COPAC (2012) declares that 22, 58% young people participated in the constitutional making outreach meetings. Youth Forum (2011) adds that from the previous general election held in 2008 statistics indicate that a paltry 18 % of the youths aged between 18-30 years turned out for the elections.  This is incredibly low in view of the fact that youths make up about 66% of Zimbabwe’s total population. In essence statistics show that less than 10% of youths managed to participate in each province, a massive indicator of apathy. This gives a hind sight that perhaps there is correlation between participation and having the economic muscle. It suggests that young people will be occupied by other activities that are inclined to survival and bringing food on the table and participation becomes a luxury than a right.

Literature available cite the causes and synopsis of this situation as the payment of gratuities to war veteran which raised inflationary pressures, the government’s involvement in the conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo, the implementation of the necessary but chaotic land reform programme, economic distortions caused by price controls and the misalignments of the foreign exchange rate and the collapse of respect for property rights and entrepreneurial freedom. Researchers have proved that the situation of the youths is dire and needs urgent attention. According to the Labour Force Survey of 2011 in Zimbabwe, unemployment rates were highest for the youths, those with secondary education and higher education.

After the advent of the economic down turn as alluded above, the wealth turned into the hands of a few political correct individuals, usually owners use proxies such as the political elite to manage their wealth and as a result they become the core of decision making using power associated with controlling wealth and means of production. This then alienates young people who do not own the means of production to take part and participate in mainstream decision making and economic activity.  This explains the predicament of many youths in Zimbabwe.

Limited meaningful measures have been adopted to prepare youths to meet their challenges in life and to resist the temptation to be used. This situation has led to many youths to be indoctrinated with dangerous ideologies thus eliminating independent and critical thinking of youths on developmental issues and finding alternatives to make their lives better.  Whilst others become willing pawns in order to earn means of survival. Politically, youths have been abused as pawns to perpetrate politically motivated violence and few youths are groomed to assume leadership positions in communities.

Young people have resorted to illegal gold panning, forced to illegally migrate to neighboring countries to look for jobs, some become hard core criminals i.e. armed robbers, drug dealing, human traffickers, stock theft as means of economic survival.

Social values have been lost as relationships in families are strained due to disintegration, teen pregnancy increase, abuse alcohol and drugs, prostitution, HIV infection and early or arranged marriages. All these vices have affected youth development at individual, family and at community levels.

Despite all these challenges hope is still not lost for the youths; scores of young people still toil day and night to earn a living. I think to retain their lost dignity due to their situation, lost values and broken social fabric, robust initiatives must be adopted to facilitate active their participation and bring about positive change in the lives of the youths.

Academics have suggested that entrepreneurship and self-employment has been identified as a source of new jobs and “economic dynamism” that can improve youth livelihoods and economic independence in developing countries for young people with limited resources, life and work experience. This then calls for supporting policies to create an enabling environment for young people with ideas to thrive that contribute towards sustaining their livelihoods.

There is need to shift from modernization mainstream economic  theories  to People centered development theory as an alternative to increase the participation of young people in decision making processes and increase their economic participation that will improve their livelihoods. This paradigm shift must be not be done for political expediency but sincere empowerment of young people regardless of one`s racial origin, ethnic inclination, political orientation and preferences.

Youths should be made equipped with knowledge to understand the constitution that gives them power to demand their socio – economic rights from the duty bearers. Support must  be provided by the state and non-state actors for example entrepreneurial skill development, support with seed capital and more important the government and other arms.

By Michael Mdladla Ndiweni

Matabeleland region never enjoyed the fruits of independence

The Matabeleland region has been a victim of well-orchestrated strategy of alienation, subjugation, under development and economic strangulation. This can be traced back to the first 7 years after the independence, period 1980 – 1987. The Zimbabwe economic history began with the transition to majority rule in 1980 and Britain’s ceremonial granting of independence. The new government under Prime Minister Robert Mugabe promoted socialism, partially relying on international aid and sang equality for all. The new regime inherited one of the most structurally developed economies and effective state systems in Africa. The government propagated a whole range of new economic policies, introducing a minimum wage and virtually eliminating the right to fire workers, total spending on education nearly tripled (from Z$227.6 million to Z$628.0 million), as did government spending on healthcare (from Z$66.4 million to Z$188.6 million), between 1979 and 1990, The new government maintained much of this intervention such as restricting the use of foreign currencies, whilst increasing taxation and government spending to reduce poverty and inequality.

Matabeleland suffers vindictiveness and lags behind from the onset
Despite all this rapid growth experienced by the country, Matabeleland remained stagnated and plagued by indiscriminate violence against citizens, crimes reported during early 80s to mid-80s by some journalists, medical practitioners, missionaries were such as arbitrary searches, destruction of essential infrastructure, looting of shops, rape, torture and massacres and also denial of family members to bury or mourn their loved ones as the prize for defiance was death. A study by the Swedish government revealed that the period between 1980 – 1989 Zimbabwe had 4500 primary schools, a number of high schools and colleges all over the country and the majority of these were in Mashonaland regions, one will argue that it is a reflection of demographic figures in Zimbabwe but empirical evidence proves that there are no colleges in Matabeleland region in particular in the northern parts of the province. It further gives credence that Matabeleland did not benefit from the rapid growth experience a few years post-independence and even up to date.
Inherited debt, lack of foresight and its implications
Moreover at Zimbabwe’s birth in 1980, the country inherited a $700 million debt from the Rhodesian government of Ian Smith. The loans had been used to buy weapons in the 1970s, breaking UN sanctions. The new government came under international pressure to take on the debt, whilst being promised over $2 billion by western governments for reconstruction and development. This debt grew through the 1980s due to drought, questionable development loans, and ‘aid’ loans from western governments tied to buying exports, including military aircraft. By 1990, to keep paying the debt, Zimbabwe had to take out bailout loans from the IMF and World Bank. In return, the economy was liberalized and public spending cut. Growth slowed, a trade deficit was created and poverty and unemployment increased. The government could have focused on beneficiation and value addition to produce primary products and created jobs than to get loans to purchase military aircrafts and falling for economic structural adjustments programmes.
The lost plot and betrayal
Between 1981 – 1989 the Zimbabwean received 14 banks loans and four Infrastructure Development Aid credits, totaling to US$ 657 million, US$51million towards agriculture, what comes to mind is the drought of 1982 -84 what happened to the loan if people starved with such huge sums of aid meant food and agriculture. The other US$136 million was meant to support the rehabilitation and expansion of exports. US$ 141 million was channeled to the transport sector and again I wonder if the region benefited from the funding since many roads and transport infrastructure has not been developed since independence. In my view I think this where the government lost the plot to believe the British. This also speaks to complicit of the British in Gukurahundi massacres. One begins to suspect that parts of the loans were used to fund the militia announced by the then prime minister to combat malcontents in Matabeleland regardless of the claims made by the then minister of state who told parliament that North Korea had given Zimbabwe a grant of 12.5 million pounds towards purchase of military hardware. Perhaps these are loans that are still hanging on Zimbabweans people necks that came guised as grants and have ballooned into billions of dollars. My conclusion is that loans that were taken by the government did not benefit the region; instead it appears they were used to fund the war against defenseless citizens. Up to date the region still suffers from underdevelopment and it is feeling the pinch of the debt that never brought positive change to their lives. For example schools and other infrastructure were destroyed during the period under review when loans and development aid was flowing to the Zimbabwean government.
Display of dwarfism, wrong turn and foolishness
The government of Zimbabwe was also fooled by the UK which gave ‘aid’ loans and tied Zimbabwe to buy products from British companies such as General Electric and Westinghouse. I find this as absurdity at its highest level that the government was that drunk to accept such an offer and it even borrowed money to fund planting of tress from the World Bank, so that local people could use cheaper wood rather than expensive coal, what if the government had borrowed to increase coal production. And having planted the trees the government discovered that locals already had plenty of wood. What a sick joke is this. The UK backed further loans for the Zimbabwean government to buy British made Hawk aircraft and the government accepted, which were later used in the war in Congo in 1998 which also contributed in the destruction of the economy. This proves beyond reasonable doubt the cluelessness of our government since independence, some decisions did not need advice from a rocket scientist not be made. It is just exhibition of foolishness and lack of foresight albeit with such high literacy rate that Zimbabweans flaunts everywhere. Interestingly since 1980 Zimbabwe has been lent $8 billion but repaid $11 billion. Despite this it is still said today to have a debt in excess of $7 billion, from loans for structural adjustment to Land Rovers and planting trees. In addition, research by various organizations indicates that the Zimbabwean government has been in default on most of its debt owed to the rest of the world, currently estimated to be around US$7 billion. Like seriously, to be a country notoriously known for defaulting when it is richly endowed with natural resources and even alluvial diamond that were discovered lately, how embarrassing.
It is our time to be the beacons of hope
This is the moment for people in Matabeleland to converge and begin to find lasting solutions to socio- economic and political problems that are bedeviling the region. There is need to work together and create opportunities for the young generation to empower themselves and take the region forward since the old generation has failed. Skills development will be useful for the youths to create their own jobs and have their own wealth. Matabeleland business people both local and beyond the borders must find ways support with seed capital so that youths do not end up being used by selfish politicians and other soulless infidels whilst begging for capital to start their initiatives. There is also the need to identity ways that can support the education for those that have the potential to be game changers in the communities. And lastly civic education on socio- economic and political rights remains an integral tool for critical conscientization.
By Michael Mdladla Ndiweni
I write what I want – let’s get talking

Social indicators show governments` failure to deliver basic needs.

Accessible and affordable education
An assessment using social indicators in my view proves that the government of Zimbabwe has indeed failed to meet basic fundamental human needs. For example in the education sector, the Public Service, Labor and Social Welfare committee was informed in July 2014 by the principal director in the ministry that for BEAM the education ministry got $15 million instead of $73 million and the allocated budget assisted 83 000 against the targeted 250 000 vulnerable children. 167 000 children did not get support or access education and your guess is as good as mine on the fate of all these helpless children. The Committee was told that 75 percent of the more than two million people are in need of food aid and the government failed to provide assistance. I do want to talk about tuition fees paid by many young people at universities , education is now a privilege for the few not a right and some are even failing to supplement their ordinary due to unaffordability and others also it is lack of access as schools are sparsely populated.
Accessible and affordable health care
The healthcare has also failed to deliver accessible and affordability health service delivery. Giving birth in a government or municipal health facility costs between US$30 and US$50 per night and many people struggle to raise such huge amounts. These costs are prohibitive, leaving some women to give birth outside the health system and everyone knows the risks. In 2012 Parliament was informed that the maternal mortality ratio was 790 per 100 000 live births, compared with 390 per 100 000 in the 1990s. In the rural areas health facilities are sparsely populated, pregnant women walk long distances to receive pre-natal services and the chronically ill and the sick are also in the same predicament.
Clean water and sanitation
The conditions that allowed the cholera epidemic to flourish persist in Harare’s high-density suburbs and just a few weeks ago a cholera outbreaks was reported in Chiredzi district leading to temporary closure of port of entry. On 05 March 2015, 8 cholera cases were reported in Mudzi, Beitbridge and Chiredzi. Cities like Bulawayo and Gweru continue to face perennial water shortages and every year are marred with water shading. The government has not done anything meaningful to find a lasting solution to this problem save for efforts made during the inclusive government and other projects have stalled like the centenary Matabeleland Zambezi Water project.
Rights and protection
Various reports asserts that although cases of politically motivated murders have not been reported in 2014, but suspicious abductions and disappearances, torture and intimidation has been recorded raising fears from an ordinary persons to express themselves and exercise their political rights as the constitution guarantees those rights in chapter four. There are ongoing serious human rights abuses, including the selective application of the law, for example wanton land seizures from black indigenous locals in Matabeleland South guised as the land redistribution. There is also tight control of electronic media especially the public media. The government continues to stifle independency of the media and depriving citizens’ uncensored critical information on performance of government and its excesses.
Corruption levels
A massive corruption scourge continues to hamper meaningful development in the country as billions of dollars leak behind the scenes in the illegal sale of diamonds, other precious minerals and shady deals by some government officials. Zimbabwe was ranked 156 out of 175 highly corrupt countries in 2014 Global Corruption Perception Index released by Transparency International. The political will has lacked from government to strengthen the Anti-Corruption Commission to fulfill its constitutional mandate.
Economic Activity
The informal has increased and no clear policy has been promulgated to deal with it. Threats deal with vendors from the central government and local governments have been an order of the day. The sector is ever increasing, many people are now into vending and trading imported cheap products. The government has failed to put measures in place to produce primary products. Income levels remain low and the largest employer the civil service has a ballooning wage bill of over 80% from total revenue and disposal incomes continue to dwindle as government has failed to make meaningful salary adjustments.

By Michael Mdladla Ndiweni

People’s lives threatened by shameful state of roads

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Recently I visited Emaphaneni communal lands in Kezi in Matopo district. The road network in the area is in dire bad state. I witnessed narrow bridges that are falling off, the roads have been turned into gulleys and in some areas roads are now small streams due to rains that have eroded the roads. It was terrifying to watch water overflowing over the bridges and people attempting to cross. The question that came to me is where is the rural district council as they are mandated to construct and maintain drains and bridges, I hope revenue collected is not all used to pay hefty salaries for top management at the expense of service delivery as has been revealed the past weeks and the trend over last four years in some parastatals and local authorities. Is the ministry of local government, rural and urban development, department of Civil Protection Unit are seem to be oblivious and waiting for communities to be cut off or befallen with a catastrophe before they act on this dangerous development. One community member intimated that sometimes people are made to sleep on river banks waiting for the rivers to cease the overflow to cross the bridges.

Authorities must be reminded that in the event that there is total cut off of communities there will no alternative ways to transport the sick to clinic and hospitals, no accessibility for people in urban areas to send food to their loves ones. Children suffer the most as they not able to go school and worse with recent results that showed some schools in Matabeleland South fairing badly in grade seven final examinations. This could be one of the reasons that teachers do not make it to the schools on time due to inaccessible roads as water will be overflowing over the narrow bridges and obviously they will not risk their lives.   

It is embarrassing that there still areas inaccessible 34 years after independence and self determination, children still have to be escorted to schools to cross rivers; powers that be must be ashamed of this archaic ways. The country is richly endowed with resources and must not rely on development aid from foreign missions but find home grown solutions to revamp our road networks. The solution does not lie only in reviving the notion of District Development Fund (DDF) and engaging international organizations but harness local available resources from local investors and refurbish the roads and other related infrastructure. Over the years a number of reports have been recorded citing communities that have been cut off, people losing lives whilst attempting to cross flooded rivers, every year during the rainy seasons but nothing is being done in order to deal with these perennial problems. The government must implement sustainable strategies to curtail the problem of poor roads in rural communities. I think we can do better as country.

  

Corruption will sink ZimAsset

Sunday Southern Eye Newspaper 09 February 2014
By Michael Mdadla Ndiweni

The recent weeks have seen massive media blitz in publicizing the Zimbabwe Agenda for Sustainable Socio-Economic Transformation (ZimASSET) economic framework as a panacea to the declining economic growth. It gives hindsight of what has occurred in the country leading to the economic quagmire that the country is slowly sliding back to. The economic blue print gives a synopsis of various challenges that has marred economic sectors and as result slowed or stunted growth. It fails to acknowledge corruption as an ‘asset’ in the hearts and minds of many Zimbabweans employed in these sectors. Corruption as an ‘asset’ in many hearts of Zimbabwean in my view will scuttle good intentions of ZimASSET because the whole society is deeply entrenched in corruption. More painfully it has come to the public domain that mostly is organized and structured corruption, hence need for meaningful strategies to deal with it. I think that what will make ZimAsset work is for ZANU PF led government to have short term, medium and long-term not just a wish list as outlined in the blue print.
The economic recovery plan asserts that source documents recognize the continued existence of the illegal economic sanctions, subversive activities and internal interferences may undermine the economic recovery plan. On the contrary I think local imposed sanctions by top earners will continue to prejudice the government millions if not billions of dollars, under what I will it call financial terrorists and economic saboteurs, who appear to have been authorized to embezzle funds to suit their personal aggrandizement.
Corruption is only acknowledged in the transport sector but it is rampant in agriculture, local government, energy, environment and natural resources and others. The “Quick win” would be to arrest and bring to trial all corrupt government officials if this is not done the whole plan is doomed to fail. Let me point out the dangers of corruption. Corruption inhibits social, political economic transformation as sought by ZimASSET. Corruption depletes national wealth and also undermines economic development by generating considerable distortions and inefficiency and as it funnels scarce public resources to uneconomic high profile projects at the expense of the much needed projects such as schools, hospitals and roads, or the supply of potable water and impoverishing the entire population. In the private sector, corruption increases the cost of business through the price of illicit payments themselves. In political sphere, corruption impedes democracy and the rule of law as public institutions and offices lose their legitimacy when they misuse their power for private interest. Corruption reduces interest of political participation, lead to political instability, reducing the transparency of political decision making and sustaining political patronage.
The secret service`s arm of white collar criminal activities seem to be complicit and some sections of the society must be forgiven for calling for its disbandment because it failed to dictate or expose these illegal local imposed sanctions by senior government employees who are enriching and growing their pot bellies at the demise of the state overtime. The public media is commended for the expose` of obscene salaries and ZANU PF`s intentions to revive the economy by coming up with this robust document. However it is very saddening to observe that listed blitz interventions do not have rapid strategies to deal with corruption, inferences are made to strengthen government institutions and combat corruption but it is not convincing the way it is outlined in the economic framework.
I think the point of departure in the short-term to medium term is that for the coming two years ZANU PF must build people`s confidence to the government in light of salary gate revelations in reviving the economy.
• They must arrest and put on trial all authors, sponsors and beneficiaries of scandals in various government departments.
• They must not leave a stone unturned. There are allegations of corruption that are still pending of the embezzlement of $6 million by the former chairperson of the minerals board but update no action has been taken.
• They must empower the Anti Corruption Commission to carry out its constitutional mandate without fear or favor. If this is done it will build confidence from the general populace that the government is sincere and serious about leading a sustainable economic recovery plan.
• The last two years before 2018 the ZANU PF led government must be to rally the general populace behind the economic recovery plan. Otherwise with the current shocking levels of corruption the ZimASSET will just be a pipe dream and a remain a wish to many Zimbabweans, as more economic plans will follow it as has been the norm over past years, Esap to ZimPREST, to NERP to MERP, to STERP now ZimASSET.