Zim-Asset: Kudos to Govt for walking the talk

The past few weeks have witnessed renewed and spirited efforts by the Government and other key stakeholders to bring impetus to economic rejuvenation.

Of course, there is no denying that too much energy has been expended in politics, in its various forms, shapes and sizes but I have been excited by current developments where we have seen Government launch or relaunch initiatives to grow the Gross Domestic Product.

Of note is the manner with which the Office of the President and Cabinet has moved into higher gear to ensure effective implementation of the economic blue- print – the Zimbabwe Agenda for Sustainable Socio-Economic Transformation (Zim-Asset).

Ministries are now expected to submit weekly programmes and strategies through which they will implement Zim-Asset within their spheres.

This is exactly what the doctor ordered. Increased accountability will ensure better implementation, something that has been lacking in this country over the years as we launched one policy after the other.

We need to keep a check on the deliverables and assess distance covered so far. I hear a mid-term review of Zim-Asset early next year.

We hope by then a lot of ground will have been covered so the economy can move forward. This programme demands that all hands be on deck if it is to impact the economy tangibly.

The four clusters of Food Security and Nutrition, Social Services and Poverty Eradication, Infrastructure and Utilities, Value Addition and Beneficiation need a more targeted approach through the respective ministries and Government departments.

These interventions are critical and we hope the President’s Office will keep the momentum and ensure all respective ministries, departments and other arms of Government are performing to expectations. Any deviant behaviour should be dealt with decisively.

Just as a refresher, the Food and Security Cluster is set to create a self-sufficient and food surplus economy and see Zimbabwe re-emerge as the “Breadbasket of Southern Africa”.

It seeks to build a prosperous, diverse and competitive food security and nutrition sector that contributes significantly to national development.

This cluster’s programmes are aligned and informed by the Comprehensive African Agricultural Development Programme (CAADP), Draft Comprehensive Agriculture Policy Framework (2012-2032), the Food and Nutrition Security Policy, the Zimbabwe Agriculture Investment Plan (2013-17), SADC and COMESA Food and Nutrition Frameworks.

Furthermore, the thrust of the Social Service and Poverty Eradication Cluster is to enable Government to improve the living standards of the citizenry for an empowered society and growing economy.

The near collapse of public service delivery, deterioration in public infrastructure, increasing poverty and massive skills flight from most public institutions experienced in the last decade, makes it critical for the Government to implement programmes that enhance service delivery by all public institutions.

The Infrastructure Cluster is focused on the rehabilitation of infrastructural assets and the recovery of utility services in Zimbabwe. These services relate to:

◆ Water and sanitation infrastructure

◆ Public amenities


◆ Energy and power supply

◆ Transport (road, rail, air and marine)

Under the Value Addition and Beneficiation Cluster, Zim-Asset states that one of the focus areas of the plan is to ensure that all primary commodities across sectors create more value through processing and beneficiation, given the country’s abundant mineral resource base.

◆ The full operationalisation of the Chisumbanje Ethanol Project

◆ Operationalising the New ZimSteel Project

◆ Establishing diamond cutting and polishing centres

◆ Establishing agro-processing projects (apiculture, processing and canning of fruits and vegetables, oil expression, leather products

◆ Strengthening of SMEs and co-operatives to be viable tools for poverty eradication;

◆ Intensifying the implementation of biofuels.

A fortnight ago, the Office of the President and Cabinet held a workshop to formulate a communication strategy as it seeks ways and means to ensure everyone from the grassroots level up is reading from the same page.

These initiatives should bring results.

Land audits

Government has also moved in to undertake land audits to determine the use and abuse of productive land.

The message coming out of Government is that those that have not used their land productively will have part of it taken away and re-allocated to others while those with bigger farm sizes than stipulated will have them reduced.

This should translate into better and more productive land use, benefiting the economy ultimately.

Zimbabwe is an agro-based economy hence the need to ensure every inch is used put to productive use.

The latest message coming out of Government clearly states that it no longer has time for those that hold onto land as a mere status symbol while doing very little or nothing to feed into the country’s breadbasket. Many farmers presently hold onto vast tracts of land which they have been unable to cultivate due to a myriad of reasons that include inadequate funding, lack of expertise or just sheer negligence.

If implemented as planned, the land audit will transform Zimbabwe’s agricultural landscape and set a solid foundation from which the country will restore its breadbasket status.

Chinese Investment

Vice President Mnangagwa was in China last week to follow up on deals signed a few months ago when President Mugabe went to that country on a State visit.

VP Mnangagwa also sought to invite the Chinese to play a more active role in the economy. He came back with a wider smile indicating that the visit was fruitful.

The Chinese has always warmed up to opportunities and this country and we can only hope that it is in this spirit that we will see the Asian complement local efforts to grow the economy.

We have never doubted that country’s sincerity. The relationship between the two date back to the liberation struggle.

Indeed, our political independence needs to be buttressed by a growing economy that puts food on the table for the generality of Zimbabweans.

As soon as he touched down in Harare, the VP moved swiftly to cut the red tape for investments from China. He said it was critical that these be processed expeditiously for progress’ sake.

The creation of an Investor Roundtable to handle investments from China is plausible indeed.

We sincerely hope that the entire investment approval system for investments from China. He said it was critical that these be processed expeditiously for progress’ sake.

The creation of an Investor Roundtable to handle investments from China is plausible indeed.

We sincerely hope that the entire investment approval system will be transformed for all investors so that the country attracts and secures a significant amount of investment.

Indeed, increased accountability, adherence to good corporate governance tenets and other initiatives undertaken in recent weeks will surely yield results for this economy. Let’s keep at it.

An enthusiastic Zimbabwean based in Cape Town, South Africa, Mr Benny Tarwireyi, has some advice:

“Sis, I read a wonderful article you wrote this morning (July 2), about Zim-Asset, keep it up. You see, all of us need to stop running this race for prosperity that we are doing. We need to relax, go back to the basics, we are still in one Titanic called Zim- babwe.

“We must all take care of it otherwise if we don’t the whole ship sinks beyond recognition. This thing of competing against each other must stop. The top people must respect the people at the bottom . . .

“My ideology is that Zim Diaspora can help revive Zim agriculture and economy , if land gets availed to us.

“This drought that we have today shouldn’t happen when some of us are holding large sums of money that we would invest in large-scale food production.

“Our Government must call Diasporans to form co-operatives, partner with existing farmers who do not have funds to optimise production.

“Training can be made available after paying a fee. Diasporas can fund the whole project. This I’m 100 percent sure can solve all our national problems. A good agrarian system can result in very successful industrial- isation.

“We are sick and tired of hearing South African whites here mocking our land reform. We can make things happen.”

In God I Trust!

◆ My email: [email protected]; WhatsApp: 0772129972

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