Will diesel ooze from rocks?

HARARE - It is hard to believe the new cabinet composed of the same leadership with the same old governance philosophy that Zimbabweans had come to know, will this time deliver.

It is the same people who at one time were clueless and reckless when confronted by unnumbered and almost unprecedented economic and political challenges.

How will they deliver anything on election promises given the glaring fact that the same problems continue to exist?

Ignore the so-called young Turks who seem to have been apportioned a significantly small part in the kill — probably to embrace, reflect and resemble the same antiquated viewpoint.

Without risking being tagged cynics, doom merchants and worry guts, the politically-literate among us would be compelled to ask; has anything really changed?

Has the yesteryear approach been discarded to the corridors of history where it rightfully belongs?

Are the policies going to be formulated based on reason and systematic calculations and not on emotions and the need to woo voters?

Surely one cannot expect to solve problems with the same mentality that created them in the first place.

This would naturally entail that a different but well-thought out political and economic path has to be charfed by the same people who had deliberately or unwittingly chosen to do otherwise previously.

But expecting a new approach from these would be like expecting that fuel can ooze from the rocks as some among them believed.

It is indisputable that the new government is faced with many challenges that have to be decisively and intelligently dealt with as a matter of urgency.

The interrelatedness and connection of these issues obviously demand inventiveness, sensitivity and tact, since failure to thoughtfully and cautiously tackle one area can lead to negative results in another.

For example, despite the stated objective of correcting economic imbalances amongst the locals, the Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment policy has had serious unintended but inevitable ramifications on the need to attract the much-needed Foreign Direct Investment.

The same can be said about how the ill-considered handling of critical sectors such as mining and agriculture has impinged on efforts to develop the national economy and address perennial problems of hunger and starvation.

Apart from the impressive economic growth figures inspired chiefly by the introduction of the multi-currency regimes, nothing has really changed in Zimbabwe.

Wrenching poverty, poor service delivery, a hugely compromised education system, endemic corruption, influx of sub-standard products, incessant power cuts that are heavily disturbing the long overdue industrial take-off and inferior infrastructure persist to today.

Incontrovertibly, the solutions to these looming and complex, yet solvable socio-economic problems would not be sloganeering and public recitations.

The government will launch the Zimbabwe Programme for Socio-Economic Transformation (ZIMPEST) 2013-2015, built around the Zanu PF’s manifesto, with indigenisation, empowerment and employment creation as its guiding pillars.

It remains to be seen how the words articulated in the party’s manifesto will translate into material benefits for the general populace and create employment given the fact that the Indigenisation policy has not in the past, endeared well with investors.

Accordingly, economic development will be set in motion once policies that encourage the same are formulated and executed.

A shift in thinking and approach to policy-making would be needed if meaningful results that are always clamoured for are to be witnessed.

This shift would inevitably demand that we would seek and embrace those countries that will come to do meaningful business with us on an equal basis and not “shame” and chase away what is desperately needed.

Economic transformation would come about as a result of careful planning and religious follow-up on the set objectives otherwise we would implicitly be accepting as gospel truth, the myth that “fuel can ooze from the rocks”.

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