Zim needs a sound development policy

HARARE - A policy is a declaration of an intention of an organisation or institution.

These are rules and regulations which will set terms of reference for an organisation.

Government must come up with a proposal to come up with a sustainable development policy which engineers growth.

This document must involve all stakeholders, government, private sector, CEOs, business class, legislature, politicians and of course citizens.

The initiative 

Once all participate in this initiative, then there should be policy round tables, breakfast meetings, mass public opinions, articles and also publications in the Government Gazette. All politicians despite which party they come from, must participate in the development of this country.

Mining Sector

The mining sector has a potential of contributing to the Gross Domestic Product of this country with at least 76 percent. Most investors and multi-national companies are avoiding taxes.

There must be a tax policy which should include all investors. All foreign companies should remit those taxes as a way of contributing towards the national fiscus.

There are so many leakages in the mining sector. Foreign firms should employ at least 80 percent of their labour force from the locals and this will benefit the country because even those workers will contribute to the development of this country towards taxes.

They must contribute towards community infrastructure development, roads rehabilitation, electricity etc and this must be enforced into an Act of Parliament.

China Investments

We welcome China’s decisions to pour $60 billion into Africa but I have a few questions that Africa and China should answer, before we mortgage our countries to this upcoming giant.

First of all China has become a giant and a threat to USA and Britain and of course other economic players globally. What is Zimbabwe going to benefit from these investments? What is Africa going to benefit? The deals should be made public before signing. Who should facilitate the deals and who is involved?

How big are the mega deals? Do these deals have a time frame or are they going to expire? $60 billion is a lot of money but then what are we going to benefit. I believe before we sign these deals the government must involve legal experts, economists, bankers, legislators, to avoid losing our precious minerals.

Yes we need cash injection but the Chinese should not just get our resources on a silver platter.

Investment Laws

We need a strong investment policy which attracts Foreign Direct Investment and engineer growth. Our empowerment laws should be relaxed. Both sides should benefit the investor and the country. This law should be tightened.

Local firms should employ at least 80 percent of our people and 60 percent of top managerial staff. They should buy material and resources from locals. They must bank their cash with our local banks and promote circulation of cash.

State Enterprises

These are good institutions which can promote growth if there is proper management. These institutions are currently bleeding because senior positions are occupied by unqualified personnel, which is very unfortunate.

Government must audit all State companies and remove all ghost workers and employ people who are qualified. Politicians should also not meddle in the affairs of State companies.

Industry has literally collapsed

Zimbabwe urgently needs cash to inject into the mainstream economy. We need at least $2,5 billion to kick-start the economy.

The reason why there is a serious shortage of cash is because we are not manufacturing anything and we have a situation whereby the country has more imports than exports, upsetting the country’s balance of trade.

Industry is dead and the informal sector is flooded, which would plunge the country into serious crisis.

The articulation of the formal and informal sector

Zimbabwe has the highest unemployment rate in the region standing at 94 percent. The crime rate, starvation, poverty levels have increased and have reached catastrophic levels as the government also struggles to pay its workers.

Size of Parliament must be reduced

Zimbabwe is a small country but we have a big Parliament. For what? We don’t need such a bloated Parliament, since we don’t have economic activities taking place.

We don’t even need a Senate in this country because it is draining a lot of the country’s resources. We just need 95-100 MPs only.

For one to become an MP there must be a proper vetting process that includes ensuring that the candidate must have a first degree from a recognised university, probably in the area of development and this will improve the quality of our State institutions.

* Muzamhindo writes in his personal capacity as the Director of Developing Communities Project responsible for Policy formulation and Community Development. He can be contacted at tinamuzala@gmail.com

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