Government must act now!

HARARE - As the Zimbabwean economy sinks deeper into a recession, characterised by company closures, heavy losses by listed firms, deflation and deteriorating social and health services, it’s sad that the Zanu PF-led government has proven itself to be devoid of ideas and solutions.

We strongly believe that our leadership’s silence on the worsening economic situation is clearly because they have no clue on what to do to halt the decline and are therefore choosing to bury their heads in the sand and hope that when they raise their heads, the crisis would have disappeared.

Unfortunately there is no such thing as a miracle economy; everything has to be planned, with one grand vision that can be nationally agreed on by all opposition parties and the ruling party.

The government must come up with concrete plans not only to bail out companies but the whole economy. For instance, we must have an economic blueprint that aims to raise the standards of rural people, to ensure nobody travels more than a kilometre for clean water, make sure everyone has electricity, or a sustainable source of energy, and universal access to primary school education.

Zimbabwe must not be held to ransom by Zanu PF which no longer agrees on any plans because individuals have vested interests with their own partners and preferred outcomes.

Recent company losses and closures are due to such unclear policies that have discouraged investors — because investors also want predictability, that if they bring in their capital they will be allowed to expatriate so much and they will not be forced to sell some of their shares to indigenous opportunists.

Government must also ensure that the land that is being wasted by the top officials who were allocated farms that they are holding for speculative purposes or in trust for their children has to be put back into production by being subdivided and given to those who really need it and can use it.

By now it should be clear to everyone that to halt the economic decline, there is need for an immediate U-turn on destructive economic policies such as the Indigenisation Act.

The political leadership must channel their efforts in stabilising power generation and implementing investor friendly policies.

Parliament must begin to discuss and deal with corruption decisively, while government should sponsor high tech penetration to all electricity and internet into the rural areas, encourage a local industry to produce agricultural equipment.

There is also need to drastically reduce salaries for bosses in state-owned entities, while simultaneously incentivising the modernisation of plants in mining, and industrial production.

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