Feasibility of MDC's million jobs plan

HARARE - United Nations’ International Labour Organisation (ILO) in its Global Labour Framework index of 2013 stated that there has never been a worldly youth unemployment rate like the one being currently experienced.

The report notes that of the 73,4 million young people, 12,6 percent are expected to be out of work in 2013, an increase of 3,5 million between 2007 and 2013.

This is a wake-up call for all governments and serious political parties.

ILO’s report means any responsible government together with social partners have to address the crisis now.

This can be done through unveiling strategies that focus on growth and jobs and through policies and programmes that prioritise young people.

Young people matter in that they tend to face more difficulties in the labour market, especially those who are lowly-skilled.

It’s against this backdrop that the MDC’s unique policy conference has been done coincidentally with the recent unveiling of ILO’s 2013 employment and unemployment trends published a few days ago.

There is therefore critical need for the MDC to separate political rhetoric and populist policies from pragmatic and rationale policies.

To this day Zanu PF has never said anything about employment creation. In what ways will the indigenisation model be effective in transforming the lives of all the graduates churned out of colleges every year? How does the party’s empowerment model level up to the educational thrust of the country?

The most causative factor towards the demise of Zanu PF was seeking populism where there was none and devoting much time on fantasy, illusions and soothsaying to the extent that they believed a rock could excrete diesel.

Populism and unrealistic measures plunged the party’s popularity to shocking levels, triggering the people to vote half of its Members of Parliament out in the June 2000 parliamentary elections.

It was through unrealistic engagements that Zanu PF indulged into the so-called land reform, all to please its supporters and spruce up its waning popularity.

Had Zanu PF been a little bit sober in terms of its policy formulation and implementation, it would not have faced eternal rejection of its leadership.

Now the party has forced itself to become the contemporary political baggage of our time.

MDC’s recently launched national policy has tried to come out with some enticing packages that appear appealing to a populace that has been subjugated to battered policies.

So within the deliverance of the employment package in form of a million jobs, the MDC should desist from Zanu PF attitude of being extremely  allergic and averse to criticism.

As MDC leader who is also prime minister, Morgan Tsvangirai said in his inaugural opening address of the conference, “Policies must be realigned to the needs and responses of the global economy.”

If Tsvangirai’s words are to be regarded seriously there is, therefore, need for critical reflections on the feasibility of a million jobs.

In what ways will the MDC government deliver a million jobs at a time the global unemployment levels precisely for the youths have increased slightly?

How best can the MDC separate the million jobs package from Zanu PF’s empowerment rhetoric?

There is no doubt that the empowerment package of Zanu PF has lost its leverage and had its gloss fading away even before the full policy gathered momentum.

Architects of Zanu PF’s empowerment policy exposed a high level of craft incompetency and craft illiteracy when the scandals of the scheme were exposed by the Daily News.

The empowerment deals which even President Robert Mugabe has echoed dissatisfaction have since manifested in the Nieebgate scandal, named after the shady handling of the deals by the National Indigenisation Economic Empowerment Board (Nieeb).

Nieebgate became similar to the infamous Rudd Concession where king Lobengula on being duped by the concession seekers ended up giving up his sovereign right of being fully in charge of his territory by granting to the concession seekers, “everything that you may deem necessary.”

As a result, majority of Zimbabweans are against the taking over of companies under the Zanu PF-driven empowerment, which has frightened away potential investors. According to a recent survey by Afro-barometer, a research project that measures public attitudes on political, social and economic matters in sub-Saharan Africa, the majority of Zimbabweans preferred an empowerment programme that created employment as opposed to grabbing shares in foreign-owned companies.

Official data from the Zimbabwe Statics Agency (Zimstats) indicates that the unemployment rate is at 10,7 percent while independent reports indicate that over 80 percent of the population is jobless. Majority of people earning a living are within the informal sector.

So it becomes a poor model of empowerment when Zanu PF created areas like Mupedzanhamo and Siyaso in Mbare, because these centres circulate a lot of unrealised money without remitting revenue to the government.

It is not the empowerment that people should cherish as it creates jobs but without remittance of tax to the government and thus a worthless venture in the economy.

The million jobs which the MDC has promised is in the first place a realisation and response to the major unemployment challenge the world is facing at a global scale.

Youth unemployment has constantly dominated global discourse.

At the World Economic Forum on Africa held in Cape Town some time in 2011, there was broad consensus among policymakers that urgent measures need to be taken to create significant new jobs and that this responsibility called for a tripartite partnership involving governments, business and labour.

The MDC has seized this opportunity in light of the global unemployment predicament by proposing to come with measures that harness and create jobs. It should be categorically stated clearly without fear or favour in this respect that Zanu PF under Mugabe has dismally failed to create employment for the past 33 years.

For a party that has been blinded by a dark thick envelop of hate and sins of erstwhile colonisers, employment creation — which is what people need at the moment — has remained a fable.

Zanu PF has been good at exporting many of the talents our country was endowed with. The very same Zambian farmers where we are now purchasing our maize are former Zimbabwean farmers, exported by Zanu PF.

To this day Zimbabwe does not even have a meaningful industrial plant that can manufacture something as little as a tooth pick, we have to import it.

We can not manufacture even our own sovereign national flag!

All the expertise that we had has virtually been exported by Zanu PF, ranging from teachers, lecturers, engineers, doctors, nurses, intellectuals and even worse of it garden boys and house maids.

We are looking forward for the one million jobs, where the bulk of youths will be employed to reconstruct our roads, rebuild our tuck-shop-infested CBD, restore the cleanliness of our country.

We can not wait for the day when our industries will be productive again, when we will miss going to South Africa and any other country for that matter to purchase basic commodities.

But in its endeavours the MDC should rely on policies that are realistic and whenever they hit a brickwall, they need to humble themselves by swallowing pride and package something better for the people. - Alexander Rusero

Post a comment

Readers are kindly requested to refrain from using abusive, vulgar, racist, tribalistic, sexist, discriminatory and hurtful language when posting their comments on the Daily News website.
Those who transgress this civilised etiquette will be barred from contributing to our online discussions.
- Editor

Your email address will not be shared.