RELOOK at 2018 Zanu PF Conference Resolutions

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President Mnangagwa
President Mnangagwa

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate, but that we are more powerful beyond measure in as much as more light has been taken by a little trajectory of partial darkness. As a Zimbabwean very much interested in the good governing of my country and the clear vision for what tomorrow must present, I have read the minutes of the ruling ZANU PF has to how they project the future of my and our beloved country.

By Linda T. Masarira

I have therefore taken it upon my self to give a brief analysis of the main points presented at their congress. May I highlight that this is my personal opinion as a Zimbabwean, and not a representation of any political party, activism agenda or any of the like. Suffice to say, some comparisons will be made to other political parties and social structures, however, this analysis still represents my personal thoughts.

First and foremost, I would like to applaud the communications and information department for availing the summary of the ZANU PF conference resolutions as they are of national interest. I am in agreement with some resolutions and have serious reservations with some of the resolutions which I will critic laying objective facts with reasons presented therein.

  1. Politics

Politics is not a game of angels and it therefore remains a game of who gets what ,when and how, more so, as usual a continuous struggle over scarce resources(positions, power and absolute power) From my point of view, I don’t think it is necessary to be endorsing 2023 presidential candidate less than four months after the incumbent President ED Mnangagwa was sworn into office. It shows that there is something wrong with the way we do politics as a country as the same traits are manifesting in the MDC Alliance which gives a clear indication of how Zimbabwean politicians have the same thinking and more of political ignorance. Allow me to expound; Presidential candidature should be premised on merit, delivering promises made, good governance and clear developmental issues acknowledged. This politics of personalities and patronage and clientelism has brought us thus far and it’s a recipe for disaster and immature political sight. As a nation, it is time to advocate for at least an ideology on service delivery and good governance in addition to a result based approach, rather than a personality.

On restructuring their party and issuing electronic membership cards, that is a very good move for them. Any serious political party should start preparing its structures now for 2023 elections. In translating their constitution to all local languages shows an effort by ZANU PF to be holistically inclusive and if opposition is serious should consider doing the same otherwise they will be singing the rigging song again in 2023. The communication to the rural grassroots is essential to winning elections, as this has been a trend in Zimbabwe. Those who have ears have heard.

On their Secretary for Information and Publicity resolution, they copied MDC-T strategy which follows the same idea. The art of war advises that you study your opponents and it seems ZanuPF is keeping their eyes on the ball. There needs to be discipline on conveyance of official party position vis a vis personal opinions that is a very strategic move that will strengthen ZanuPF and will therefore weaken other political parties as it is the ruling party.

Audit party investments and look for new investment opportunities is also an applaudable point. That is where all opposition parties have lacked, they have no investment and always wait for donor funds to run their parties.

Any serious party that wants to contest ZanuPF should consider investing and making their own money rather than wait for donors who will call the shots and compromise our sovereignty and patriotism. Opposition should learn from best practices and invest; the art of war still refers here.

Establishment of own radio and television service that is smart and very strategic and the MDC-T is working on a similar project. If the ruling party manages to establish radio and television stations it is only fair that they should open up the airwaves to all interested parties/citizens/organisations in the country. Democratization and opening of the air waves should be guaranteed to all who have the resources and capability, albeit with sound oversight regulatory authority. It would be interesting to note how the national broadcaster ZBC will be cast in this play.

  1. Economics

I believe there is no sincerity to zero tolerance to corruption as we continue to see cosmetic arrests and acquittals. ED must be wary of going down as a failure if he fails to ensure punitive measures on those who are involved in corruption thus has failed him to walk the talk. Anti corruption drive must be non partisan, ZACC should not be used as a tool in ZANU-PF factional fights and aimed at corporates or citizens perceived not to be toeing their party line. Zimbabwe has to stamp out corruption and ensure that studies in ethical conduct are introduced. There is need fir a paradigm shift of mindset of all Zimbabweans to be responsible and ethical people with integrity. Zimbabwe needs responsible and accountable tax paying citizens, then tax revenue can cascade to capital, social and development projects.

Desperate situations call for desperate measures. His integrity will be judged by his ability to deal with the criminals surrounding him and that would make him a real politician not a political baby sitter. I would advise him to make unpopular moves of arresting all corrupt officials and have them sentenced and recover the externalized funds. That way he will gain favour with the fence sitting masses. We yet to see the legacy being restored as criminals are here, there and everywhere…

Farming inputs should distributed to all deserving farming citizens and organizations on a cost recovery basis not the current opaque and biased distribution. More transparency is required and funds to be revolving for continuous disbursement and growing the recipients’ to revive the agriculture sector.

Rehabilitation and modernization of all irrigation facilities in the country was long overdue as our country is primarily an agro based economy. I pray that this process will be expedited as we are already in the farming season and we have a lot of arable land lying idle yet we are failing to feed the nation. It is ironic that we have to import wheat, soya, etc. yet we have very fertile underutilized land. Transparency and fair distribution of farming inputs is a bit vague a point. Do they have the evaluation and monitoring framework of the distribution in place would be the first question I would ask?

Markets are very important. There is need to liberalize agricultural marketing and come up with commodity exchanges where market forces will prevail. More focus should be on land redistribution and productivity at this juncture. Government should prioritize removing price and market distortions in all sectors of the economy. The state should regulate and enable capital to flourish.

Ease of doing business to who? They need to make the company registration process easier and faster and increase the minimum threshold of the 2% electronic tax which has brought immense suffering and price hikes. Business is not only about foreign investors, but also the empowerment of local business folk.

NRZ yippee yay!  That I agree with 100% and as you may know, the parastatal is close to home for me and remains a part of who I am. There is no way you can revive Zimbabwe’s economy without reviving and rehabilitating NRZ. NRZ has always been the backbone of Zimbabwe’s economy until they looted its USD coffers in 2008. Air Zim should be privatized because government of Zimbabwe has no capacity to recapitalize it. All other loss making parastatals should be weaned off.

Community based tourism I love and even had it in my manifesto for Harare Central Constituency this last election period. Its good for empowerment of communities, job creation and development. Seems ZANU PF has been doing a lot of homework lately and I hope it’s not all talk with no action as I have witnessed countless times before.

They should also focus on reengaging the locals as they have a lot of untapped organic intellect and solutions on what needs to be done to resuscitate our economy.

  1. Historical

Focusing on historical issues as a resolution is not inspiring for a country in an economic crisis like ours. The ruling party is either oblivious of or incapable of solving the problems people are facing. A historical resolution at a time of economic stagnation is typical of narrow nationalism in response to economic failures.

I agree with the establishment of a liberation war museum, although I must highlight that history must not be eroded by propaganda and hegemony or pushing party agenda instead of recognizing everyone involved, despite their political orientation. The war of liberation was fought by different communities and all citizenry effort during the liberation struggle must not be jaundiced by the Mugabe/ ZANU-PF spin.  It’s critical to document the liberation heritage accurately and have the  museum  functioning as a tourist site and aiding in history education.

We can never run away from who we are. I am a proud African who feels we neglected our way of life as Zimbabweans and adopted too many foreign ways of worship and thanksgiving.

Svikiro dzenyika dzofanirwa kutendwa ndokuti Nyika ichenurwe.

Everything of historical value to this land should be repatriated from the original Zimbabwe bird, the museum of London is making millions through tourism with our historical artefacts and bones of our spirit mediums which Zimbabwe should have been making.

  1. Local Governance

Devolution of power is long overdue; it’s important to give credit where it is due. Government must make frantic efforts to harmonize the operations of the informal sector and local authorities by regularizing and formalizing the informal sector for the benefit of the SMEs who then can be assured of stable operations at the same time as this will enhance the revenue collection mechanism and gives room for the market to settle the economy from this sector which is key in boasting the treasury.

The Ministry of Local Government in conjunction with local authorities should draw up the framework for regularization of the informal sector and ensure implementation by all Local Authorities and should desist from absolute corruption hence with. It is critically important to have  proper and smarter devolution, decentralization and deconcetration of power. All stake holders must  have input. Layers of local governance need proper delineation and resourcing. Certain tax collection and rates collection by functions must  be fully devolved to councils to fund local development with top up from the centre on a transparent calculation and allocation basis

The question is when will the separate Provincial Councils be commencing their work? Why is it limited to Harare and Bulawayo when it is a constitutional provision for all provinces in Zimbabwe? How will the metropolitan council operate via a vis the City and Municipal councils in the conurbations. There is need for statutory and regulatory clarity. Transparency after the capacitation and public accountability of the funds availed is key on how they were used and visible development on the ground.

  1. War Veterans, Women and Youth

Zimbabweans respect War Veterans, but they are now a major drain on the fiscus, their sense of unbridled entitlement needs to be curbed. For how long will the nation be held hostage and beholden to war vets.

The subject of War Veterans is becoming a tiresome one in all honesty; War Veterans have been beneficiaries of farms since the land invasion era. Zimbabwe is for every Zimbabwean and war veterans should stop abusing their war veteran status to keep on benefiting yet there are millions of youth who are productive and energetic who have no land and want to venture into farming. Allocation of land to war veterans may mean another mayhem and disruption of precarious agricultural sector. Another typical policy of appeasement at expense of sound policy.

War veterans should be considerate to the plight of suffering Zimbabweans and stop being greedy and selfish by wanting a life time benefit for a job that was done in patriotism. Their demand for the continuous payment of the job they did to liberate the nation will eventually dilute the concept of patriotism thereby making their involvement in the liberation struggle more of a paid job than patriotic nature. No one is more Zimbabwean than the other and I would suggest equitable distribution of land to women, youth and the vulnerable in society.

Zimbabwe ndeyedu tose iyi !

War vets went to fight for all Zimbabweans present then and the future which is now US and they should not deny us our pieces of land so that we also plug into the economic agenda of the country.

The 50/50  representation resolution, I agree with it 100% as it was long overdue. After alignment we expect implementation. What is the need of Proportional Representation if I may ask? I know I will get a lot of backlash by women in politics for this point, but before the usual tirade of insults first hear me out; Section 17 of the constitution expressly states that gender balance should be observed by all organs of the state, agencies of government at every level, private sector, etc. and section 2 of the constitution clearly states that, ” any law, custom, practice or conduct that is inconsistent with it is invalid to the extent of the inconsistency.”

Women should be pushing for full implementation of section 17 and 56 of the constitution and not crying for proportional representation which is grossly abused by political leaders and which they use to divide women in political parties and allocate those seats to their girlfriends or bootlickers. Women should be united on this issue of proportional representation seats as they have never benefitted the women’s struggle or cause.

I am against the extension of PR seats as it is an oxymoron to advocate for gender equality and at the same time crying to be given special and preferential treatment in the guise of affirmative action. Had it been my choice I would prefer to have those PR seats for people with disability, youth and activists in different fields of expertise.

The National Youth Service program should not be a ZANU PF indoctrination machine but a program to teach youth on the importance of patriotism and developing ones country. Investing in national pride should not be a tool mechanised by politicians but rather an effort in promoting national pride without connotations of political affiliation.

I applaud the resolution of developing a special fund for students with disabilities, though I feel that as the ruling party they should also ensure that they build schools that are disability sensitive with disability access and education materials.

1.5m people in Zimbabwe live with disability and their needs must be prioritized. It could start by simply installing wheelchair ramps at all national education institutions. Ensuring availability of braille books and sign language at primary level could also be a good start.

Conclusion

In conclusion, ZANU PF seems to have clear objectives from a party perspective than at government and national level therefore making Zimbabwe for ZANU PFs rather than for Zimbabweans. l begin to think that maybe our problem is centred around the implementers. ED must focus on reshuffling or firing obstacles in the form of idle, useless, incompetent or corrupt personnel to take this country forward.

Zimbabwe needs an Office of Budget Responsibility and proper Fiscal Studies and Evaluation Office and mechanisms. We have so much potential as a nation to break all the barriers which are limiting economic growth if there is sufficient political will to restore Zimbabwe’s status as the breadbasket of Southern Africa.

I see much energy on Party investments and upgrade of their systems and my fear is whether the very same leadership will strike a balance between Party business and government development because without doubt I am sure for the party they always deliver and now they should deliver to their electorate and the people of Zimbabwe as the ruling party.

I believe that constructive criticism should be a positive starting point for us as Zimbabweans in rebuilding our nation. In my reorientation as a personality advocating for development and peace building, I reserve the right to express my ideas in an effort of building a Great Zimbabwe for us and future generations. I look forward to comment and feedback that aims to develop our motherland.

Linda T. Masarira

Pro Development Activist

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