HARARE - Opposition Mavambo/Kusile/Dawn (MKD) leader Simba Makoni says President Robert Mugabe and his cronies are holding the nation hostage, feathering their nest amid a deepening economic decline that has condemned Zimbabweans to extreme poverty.
A year after the 2013 harmonised elections which were controversially won by Zanu PF, economic experts say Zimbabweans are worse off than they were before the elections.
Analysts say the ruling party’s much touted economic blueprint, Zimbabwe Agenda for Sustainable Socio-Economic Transformation (ZimAsset), has failed to deliver and was pie in the sky.
The MKD leader told the Daily News on Sunday this week in a wide ranging interview that Mugabe does not want to address Zimbabwe’s deepening problems because he was benefitting from the crisis.
“The point is that Zanu PF does not want to solve the problems because the leaders are Zanu PF,” Makoni said.
“Jonathan Moyo called this normalising the abnormal, they are quite happy to call the abnormal normal because for them it is profitable and beneficial.
“This is why we believe there is need for a national joint effort, beyond politics, not just cooperation among political leaders, but cooperation among all leaders.”
The former Zanu PF Politburo member said the problem was not the ordinary Zanu PF members as they were also suffering.
“Where Zimbabwe is now, Zanu PF is incapable of taking it out of the doldrums, but even if it had the capability, Zanu PF doesn’t have the will to solve the people’s problems, because leaders in Zanu PF, and I make a very clear distinction, it’s not ordinary members of Zanu PF, are selfish,” Makoni said.
“Mind you, ordinary members of Zanu PF live in Chitungwiza and sewer lines are flowing in the areas inhabited by Zanu PF members, Zanu PF members haven’t got jobs in as much as non Zanu PF members have no jobs. They are selling trinkets, potatoes and tomatoes on the edge of Fourth Street bus station just like non Zanu PF. So the problems we are facing are not distinguished to members of this party or that party, they are covering all of us.”
Makoni said there was increasing need for a broad-based indaba that will not only consist of political leaders, but cultural, spiritual and civic society leaders to hammer a solution to country's deepening woes.
“Over the years, I have been calling for a broad based national consensus leadership — leadership that brings people in politics, civic society, professions, people in faith, traditional leaders together so that we can chart the way forward and solve the problems of the people,” he said.
Turning to the economy, the former Finance minister said Mugabe and his administration should be pragmatic and start implementing policies that will increase agricultural produce and revive industries.
“Mugabe knows what he needs to do,” Makoni said. “Chinamasa (Patrick) knows what he needs to do. We need to promulgate and implement, and put emphasis on implementing, correct policies that put Zimbabwe farmers back to farming, that puts manufacturers back to their factories. We need policies that enable Zimbabwe miners to produce minerals and market transparently, above board.
“We need policies that enable Zimbabwe traders to move goods from point of production to the point of consumption, policies that enable Zimbabwe power producers to produce without stoppage."
The MKD leader said Mugabe should also implement all the policies that government has promulgated if the economy is to be move out of the comatose state that it lies in.
“I would say let’s dust up all the plans we have. The latest is ZimAsset. Before that there was the MTP (Media Term Plan), before that there was the National Economic Development Priority Programme, before that was the Millennium Economic Recovery Programme, before it was Zimbabwe Programme for Economic and Social Transformation (Zimprest), before it was Esap (Economic Structural Adjustment Programme), before it Growth with Equity and the Transitional National Development Plan," he said.
“We make an industry of producing plans we have no intention of implementing. What do we do? Let’s implement them and then we will address the liquidity crunch.”