In defence of poor Maziwisa

Psychology Maziwisa

Psychology Maziwisa

Last week a discussion forum was held in Harare featuring prominent youth leaders under the theme, “Zimbabwe: The Task At Hand – A View from Young Professionals”.

Among the speakers were lawyer and political activist Fadzayi Mahere; businessman Shingi Munyeza; media personality Ruvheneko Parirenyatwa; politician and activist Jealousy Mawarire and Zanu-PF legislator Psychology Maziwisa.

There was nothing, really, to write home about this particular discussion. Except, though, that the one big talking point is how Psychology Maziwisa has been excoriated, sniggered at and roiled over comments he made about how the ruling Zanu-PF party has fared in its 2013 election promises regarding the provision of 2,2 million jobs.

The fallout has been sensational and social media platforms have been awash with comments regarding how Maziwisa made a less than decent job in presenting Zanu-PF’s balance sheet.

Here is what Maziwisa, a former deputy director of information in the ruling party, said: “Okay, can I run through this very quickly, 2,2 million jobs, yes we promised that. But you see what people tend to forget, and I want to say this on record and I hope it’s the last time we are saying this as Zanu-PF, we did not say we were going to create 2,2 million formal jobs.

“We said we were going to create 2,2 million jobs and when you define what a job is, it includes casual jobs. So for example, you can use the word job in this way, ‘I gave him a job to wash my clothes.’

“And that sentence is grammatically correct. We have created millions of jobs in the informal sector. In fact, we have exceeded the 2,2 million jobs. We are now, at the last count, including the informal jobs at over three million jobs.”

Laughter. More laughter. Rolling laughter at poor Psychology Maziwisa! People poked fun at him, which the social media blow-back has but just amplified.

There is no doubt about it, Maziwisa was not convincing at all. In fact, he was complacent and did not do his homework properly, perhaps assuming that his audience would be of the intelligence ordinary among the old folk in his Highfield constituency who would be so beholden to him as to take anything at face value because of eternal gratitude for packets of rice and beans he beneficently extends to them.

This audience did not owe him anything. In fact, the audience was hostile to a Zanu-PF representative, as is oft the case in these particular settings. Those familiar with the venue and dynamics at Ibbo Mandaza’s Sapes Trust in Harare will quickly relate.

And Maziwisa is not a Professor Jonathan Moyo, or a Nick Mangwana, the Zanu-PF UK chairman who lives in the belly of the beast and acquits himself admirably well. Which is to say that the criticism and sniggering that Maziwisa has endured is largely unfair not least because it is coming from well-known opposition quarters who do not want to hear about Zanu-PF policies.

The youthful MP is also known to be quite a soft target for ridicule. For the record, two months ago Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa said Government had actually surpassed that target (We’ve created over 2,2 million jobs: Mnangagwa, NewsDay, May 22, 2017) and did not receive such widespread ridicule.

Said VP Mnangagwa: “We have surpassed that. Look at the jobs created across the industries and those created through Command Agriculture, they are more than two million jobs and we will be creating more.”

It will be noted though that the issue of 2,2 million jobs itself has been a political hot potato for the ruling party and not many of its officials have summoned enough intelligence and astuteness to confront it. But it shouldn’t take much, really to put the figure in its proper con- text.

First of all, and in reference both to the Zanu-PF election manifesto and Zim-Asset, this figure was never meant to be the number of white collar jobs that Government would create.

Maziwisa’s interlocutors at Sapes – and the rest of the young and probably miseducated youths that have been poking fun at Maziwisa – expected white collar jobs to give force to their unrequited academic qualifications. Which is a fallacy. Zim-Asset is anchored on production and manufacturing – and all the dirty jobs that come with such processes in agriculture, mining, manufacturing and so on; and more so in the small and medium-scale sectors that are largely informal.

These are the jobs that run an economy like ours. White collar jobs don’t.

If one were to look at Zim-Asset itself it predicated main employment sectors as follows:

  • Manufacturing
  • Finance
  • Agriculture
  • Tourism
  • Health
  • Education
  • Transport and Communication
  • Electricity and Water
  • Public Services
  • Construction; and
  • Other

Of these agriculture was projected to be the biggest employer over a five- year period, employing 600 000 people; followed by tourism (300 000); manufacturing (250 000); “other” (200 000); finance and education (tied at 180 000 apiece); transport and communication, and construction (90 000 respectively) and health (85 000).

These projections give us a total of 2 265 000 as the number of jobs that were supposed to be created by 2018.

There has been visible growth in most of the sectors above with agriculture being ever the biggest employer and farmers from different parts of the country increasing each year and set to do so thanks to the Command Agriculture programme.

Government has undertaken major construction projects such as the recently completed Tokwe-Mukosi Dam, Joshua Nkomo Airport in Victoria Falls; Plumtree-Mutare highway dualisation; Kariba South Hydropower stations; Hwange Thermal Power Station (5 and 6) as well as projects underway such as Mtshabezi Water Project and the dualisation of Beitbridge-Chirundu highway.

According to the World Travel and Tourism Council’s latest report, “Travel & Tourism Economic impact 2017 Zimbabwe”: “In 2016 Travel & Tourism directly supported 159 500 jobs (2,1 percent of total employment). This is expected to rise by 2,2 percent in 2017 and rise by 2,1 percent pa to 200 000 jobs (2.0 percent of total employment) in 2027.”

This is all in sync with the projections of Zim-Asset and tourism is a rising star in terms of providing employment and contributing to the wealth of the country.

Another specimen.

Mining: According to the Zimbabwe Chamber of Mines’ “Zimbabwe Mining Sector Growth 2011-2018” report: “The formal gold industry has created in excess of 11 000 direct jobs (25 percent) of total formal mining employment of around 40 000 and an additional 33 000 in indirect jobs.

“Further, the artisanal and small-scale sector is estimated to absorb in excess of 200 000 people.”

Still another specimen.

Manufacturing: According to the Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries the manufacturing sector is employing about 88 000 people at the moment and can easily reach “200 000 with the right support”.

Happily, SI 64, the Government’s regulations limiting imports, has driven capacity utilisation from 34 percent in 2015 to a projected 65 percent by year end.

These are all jobs. But they are dirty jobs that the youth in that room at Sapes do not think are jobs even when, ironically, they are the ones that drive an economy like ours. And it also is incumbent to point out that “Other” is a job sector itself and is employing lots of Zimbabweans in the informal sector.

This is perhaps what Maziwisa, rather tragically, decided to elevate at the expense of more convincing specimens. Yet we should not make the mistake, because of our education, of looking down on this sector.

Let us call it “Rese Rese”.

This Rese Rese sector is as legitimate an employer as any.

In the final analysis, we must also heed the fact that the United Nations body, International Labour Organisation and the World Bank put Zimbabwe’s unemployment rate at 5,1 percent. These statistics are scientific in their definition of employment and unemployment.

They do not care about snobbish and ill-conceived notions held by misdirected so-called future leaders.

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  • xyz

    Hiding behind a finger there Tichaona. Explain the drop in VAT collections by Zimra from $1.2bn in 2013 to $812m in 2016. If these 2.2m informal jobs were indeed created you would expect VAT collections to go up since VAT is a consumption tax. How is it possible that jobs can be created but do not contribute anything to the fiscus?

    • tee cee

      ontop of vat pay as yu earn yakadzika,ma companies are struggling to pay mataxs,so how can a companay wch is struggling to meet its obligations employ.

  • Kuta Kinte

    As long as you have admitted that bad roads, hospitals, schools are all attributed to sanctions – fine. We are here on our mother Zimbabwe to create our own development vector as determined countrymen. This syndrome of waiting for Mr Smith to open a firm so that tozoita vana mabharani is not what those in developed countries did to be where they are now. Let us work with a purpose to develop our own everything.

    • FlyboyX

      You try too hard bra, You president chronic corruption and his penchant to create loyalty by not punishing corruption is why we are here. There are ministers in government whose name I cant mention because the CIO at your paper will protect them (typical) who are
      1) If 15 Billion was not stolen, we would have beaten sanctions and hospitals roads and schools wouldn’t be in disrepair.
      2) If land reform was done properly and fairly, then audited for use, we would have beaten so called sanctions but guess how many land audits have not see the light of day. I guess it was a case of n’anga inobata mai. How many farms does he have by the way and oh by the way, they just took the mazoe dam for themselves…and u try to convince us sanctions??
      3) Your President just bought Ford Rangers and Range rovers which are well over US$50000 a piece for the military cabal that keeps him in power and teachers and nurses haven’t been paid. Is that necessary expenditure. You know what Magufuli did ? He cut down such expenditures by his government, now that’s a leader.

  • Kuta Kinte

    You have also not said anything of substance. Obviously his brains are much bigger than those of a squirrel, if not bigger than yours and show that you have better ones by arguing intelligently than forwarding a scalar group of words.

  • Antitraitor

    Ndizvo zviya zvataitaura kuti vanhu vakaita sewe vanongoda kupinda pa company yemuridzi ane ganda jena then moyo mbuuu.

  • Jdam540i

    Its very sad, indeed to the very extreme that we have some among us who seem so desperate to cling onto this mis-informed view that this issue of jobs is in itself an absolute count or inference that should ultimately annoint or not annoint one political party over another.

    Zimbabweans, surely we are better than this. Firslty, there is something missing in this whole discussion – some tiny little detail. When the 2 million jobs were mentioned, what was the timeline implied over which they were to be created? If it was implied that the relevant period was between 2013 and 2018, has anyone bothered to put Zimbabwe’s economic developments in that period in a context that does not blow holes in the much avowed ‘literacy levels of Zimbaweans’ in general?
    Some will argue that since that projection was made there has been reported job losses elsewhere. Fact.
    However, that preceding point does not in itself justify jumping all over the place sebenzi ranhonga pito. Its evidence of downright lack of appreciation, let alone knowledge of the workings of the economy, let alone ours which has structural and financing limitations.
    Has government done well to create opportunities for growth? I would say yes.
    For those pedantic about details please do not be lazy. Research on your own and see for yourself, instead of spending time looking for these useless fora that quite often are thronged by spent forces who have nothing to offer the country.
    Its funny that those in the opposition ranks have for so many years now ran around with some tired repetitive slogans that do not even begin to say anything about changing people’s material conditions.
    Besides, economics, which all this is about is in itself an immitation of science. You honestly think any politician would have said ‘all things being equal , we will create 2 million jobs in the next 5 years? Anyone who thinks remotely closely like that is indeed a burden to Zimbabwe – their thought process has the potential to make the already shooting economy a lot worse.
    Granted, there are limitations and challenges under current conditions. But for anyone to go to town over this 2 million jobs argument , which in itself has not been qualified by even the so called fundis who gathered people together for that forum says a lot about the laziness that has crept into Zimbabweans. Sad to know that among those in attendance were doctorates and other specialities like law and the rest of it. If this is the best we can produce in terms of analysis and rationalisation of the economics of Zimbabwe, surely our degrees are not worth the paper they are written on. Absolute and fatal joke!
    Leave those debates and start doing something for the economy you are busy trying to analyse, with such reckless lack of depth. To imagine that some of the attendees are actually vying for parliamentary seats in the 2018 election makes me sick indeed!

    God help us!!

  • Gamba ReManyika

    You a re making it worse Tich. We had dismissed Maziwisa with the contempt he deserves but you have done a poor job of ‘defending’ him. You can revel in your figures but the reality on the ground does not say the same story. We can only move forward if we look ourselves in the eye and seek to correct where we failed. Arrogance never built a nation. Let’s always think PEOPLE in whatever we do. This is the reason why we sacrificed our prime years in the bush… we were thinking about black African PEOPLE in Zimbabwe. It pains some of us to see that their lot has not improved and actually getting worse under our watch.

  • RejectedStone, Cornerstone

    Mabasa echiGardenboy nanaNanny ega ega. 2,2 Nannies for every one of your kids scattered muma small houses. Ndoo zvamunogona chete izvozvo. Zanu inorwara chaizvo.

  • kk

    Maziwisa’s argument was actually much better than this sordid rumbling defence thereof!

  • Tarubva Chibva

    When REAL FREEDOM comes, we shall ask those of Tichaona Zindoga’s ilk to account for their actions

  • Hacha Duke of Enkeldoorn

    Tich – obviously you are a journalist and not a politician. Surely which politician would be so dump to the extend of standing on a podium and promise “rese-rese” in the hope of being elected? Are you saying President Mugabe sold “rese-rese” to the electorate? When we talk of jobs we are referring to the jobs that we WANT to work and if you have no ability to give us those kind of jobs you have no right to run the country. Its as simple as that and I hope you understand that clearly. And when we are referring to JOBS we are not saying we all want to be employed by somebody else. We mean that we want to use the ideas that we mastered at school to create employment for ourselves and others. What we want from this government is for it to create the environment where we can set ourselves up in business specifically the following;
    a) Ease of entry into business i.e. no cumbersome red tape, prohibitive requirements and critically NO CORRUPTION. Zimbabwe has very cumbersome processes for setting up the simplest of businesses and at each stage there is someone waiting for a bribe.
    b) Lines of credit – we are poor school leavers and the only thing I bring to the economic world is my business idea. Someone out there should be prepared and have the confidence to give me the start up capital. Currently banks are not giving anything to anyone who is not formally employed. When the Government sources funds for youths to start businesses they deploy the money on partisan grounds to people with no capacity to run businesses. What happened to the youth fund is instructive.
    c) Clear Government Policies – you will agree with me there Tich that this is a disaster area.
    d) Markets – both domestic and international. The markets in the west are closed to us yet they are the consumptive markets. The eastern markets are not consumptive – rather they are desperate to dump the very same products in Africa.
    e) Certainty – we want the confidence that our business will be there tomorrow. The current Government is as fickle as a sex worker. Ignorant Ministers can close a whole industry in one day. Oppa Muchinguri killed the nascent quail bird industry with one careless interview.
    f) Less taxation – our businesses pay so many taxes such that if they were all to be written in clear letters on your shirt Tich you would need five shirts to list them all. The tax collector also behaves like a vicious pit bull out to close businesses at all cost.
    I may go on and on listing what is wrong but I know that no one wants to own up that Zimbabwe is not conducive for employment creation. Our people are going elsewhere to set up businesses and they pay taxes to other governments not ours.

  • SpongeBob

    Haaaaya kkkkkkkkkkkk

  • FlyboyX

    SO I guess civil servants shouldn’t ask for their salaries?

  • Eddy

    Cde, you also seem to be lagging on understanding the dynamics of entrereneurship. The government has the responsibility of creating the right environment for business to flourish, support small businesses (the Chinese have done that and now they are all over) and promote competition etc. however if government support is along partisan lines, loans are given to people who are not even interested in business – check loans not repaid in the past few years. I support you on using brain but let us also be more realistic because the environment has to be enabling if we are to develop a vibrant business sector. Or maybe you think all the businesses that have been shutting down are white owned…some of them are our own***

  • FlyboyX

    I actually created four jobs today:
    1) 1 cleaned my car
    2) cleaned my house
    3) did my laundry
    4) cleaned my office
    so its + 4 now according to Maziwisa

  • Wasu

    a sane decent human being should have a certain level of shame that stops them from walking naked in the village courtyard. this is beyond pathetic. we know you have to sing for your supper Tichaona, but spewing this drivel and actually going home to sleep soundly, with wifey and kids saying ‘baba wauya kubva kubasa’….. shame, i really feel sorry for your mother. poor woman, and to think she had to carry this poison for nine full months. Mwari wangu!

  • tee cee

    kkk this is a disgrace trying tojustify on somethng wch is senseless,hapana 2 million jobs dzaka creatwa everyone knows it instead pple have lost jobs

  • chibaba

    I do not see how quoting projections extracted from a failed document [zimasset] is going to ease the baffled questioning from the sensible mainstream population about the allegations this guy maziwisa so confidently made, and now this reporter so blatantly amplifies.
    Based on your article there is absolutely no quantifiable statistic showing actual job growth and subsequent reduction in unemployment. Let it be known that Economics does simply dictate when a lot of people are earning as you say in their respective occupations, there should be disposable income increase; there should be an increase in the saving function; hell there should be positive effect from output per unit of labor input (labor productivity), hours worked (intensity), the percentage of the working age population actually working (participation rate) and the proportion of the working-age population to the total population.
    Economic progress comes primarily through trade, investment, better ways of doing things, and sound economic institutions of which the government is doing little to heighten.

    Lets look at only 2 excerpts from your article.
    1. You state education to have grown by over 180 000 jobs over the 5 year period. This is false. there was a hiring freeze imposed that we know of so well and the ministry only now got some positive response in as far as hiring 7 000 new teachers is concerned.
    2. On Unemployment, C. Mweembe from NANGO said the organisation had taken the 95% estimate from the CIA World Factbook, an online database of country information and statistics published by the US Central Intelligence Agency. The website listed unemployment estimates of 80% (2005) and 95% (2009) for Zimbabwe, but does not provide references for the data. The site also cautions readers that: “[T]rue unemployment is unknown and, under current economic conditions, unknowable”. In the same vein, World Bank website lists Zimbabwe’s unemployment rate at only 5%. It bases the figure on data compiled by the International Labour Organisation (ILO). But closer examination reveals that this “modelled estimate” draws on data that is a decade old. According to the survey, most of the 5.4-million Zimbabweans worked in the informal sector (84%), with only 11% (606,000) in formal employment. But only about a quarter of all those counted as employed received some form of financial compensation for their work.
    In conclusion the data is more unrealiable than the hopeless people walking in the streets of Zimbabwe.

    I will not talk of more of your insinuations.
    I guess the error here is the assumption that people do not research widely on actual occurances on the ground and that we take your word as The Herald as fact……… no we don’t.
    It would have been better to leave maziwisa’s claims as that; mere claims and not try to enter the fray with projections that will never be realised. Do not pat yourself on the back for a situation that came to be as a result of an acute dearth in oppotunity and mass disenfranchisement.

  • Eagle eye

    Animal farm

  • Moe_Scyslack2

    It’s fat bwoy Tichaona. Forgive him he ate too much gango kwaMereki. Now he’s passing hot air/gas.