CABINET yesterday approved Government’s economic blueprint, the Zimbabwe Agenda for Sustainable Socio-Economic Transformation (Zim Asset) that will spearhead the turnaround and development of the economy over the next five years. Zanu-PF’s supreme decision-making body outside Congress, the Politburo, last week adopted Zim Asset with suggested amendments that were incorporated before the document was passed to Finance Minister Cde Patrick Chinamasa who presented it in Cabinet where it was adopted yesterday.
In the wake of the Cabinet endorsement, the blueprint is now ready for immediate implementation and President Mugabe is expected to launch it soon.
Zim Asset is aligned to Zanu-PF’s winning election manifesto, President Mugabe’s inauguration speech and his address to the First Session of the Eighth Parliament where he laid out the legislative agenda for the next 12 months.
The blueprint has brought a positive vibe in Government where for the first time in years, there is clear congruency between the party and Government, whereas in previous years it appeared the left hand did not know what the right was doing, and vice versa.
The synergy manifests in the clear progression of the blueprint from the Politburo to Cabinet as Zanu-PF operationalises its resounding mandate by translating its poll promises into tangible, life-changing policies for socio-economic transformation.
Zim Asset, which will run from October 2013 to December 2018, was formulated by a team of senior Government officials led by Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet Dr Misheck Sibanda following consultations within Government ministries and departments, the private sector as well as non state actors.
“All the source documents recognise the continued existence of the illegal economic sanctions, subversive activities and interference in the country’s internal affairs by some hostile countries.
“This therefore underlines the need to come up with sanctions busting strategies and to put emphasis on reliance on local funding for the plan, hence Zim Asset’s focus on the full exploitation of and value addition to the country’s abundant resources,’’ Minister Chinamasa said.
“I humbly requested Cabinet to approve the economic blueprint to enable Government to immediately implement the plan to fulfil the people’s expectations in the aftermath of the landslide victory during the July 31st harmonised elections,” he said.
The blueprint projects that the economy will grow by an average of 7,3 percent, improve by 3,4 percent in 2013, 6,1 percent in 2014 and continue on an upward growth trajectory to 9,9 percent by 2018.
Minister Chinamasa said ministers, deputy ministers, heads of ministries, commissioners of the Civil Service Commission and senior Government officials enriched and refined the blueprint.
“I brought the document before Cabinet for formal approval and adoption as is the procedure for all Government policies and programmes.
“The approval paves way for immediate implementation of the economic blueprint by Government,’’ he said.
Zim Asset is cluster-based and reflects the strong need to fully exploit internal relationships and linkages that exist between various facets of the economy.
The four clusters are;
- Food security and nutrition;
- Social services and poverty reduction;
- Infrastructure and utilities; and
- Value addition and beneficiation.
‘‘Government ministries have been grouped under the different clusters so as to foster teamwork in driving the implementation process, ‘‘ Minister Chinamasa said.
Two sub-clusters were also developed, namely fiscal reform measures, and public administration, governance and performance management.
Fiscal reform measures anchors the need to put in place measures that will enable mobilisation of resources to finance the different priorities that are highlighted in the clusters; while public administration, governance and performance management is mandated to create a conducive environment and to build capacity to formulate, implement, monitor and evaluate the economic plan.
Zim Asset, Minister Chinamasa said, was set out in matrix form to ensure the institutionalisation and mainstreaming of the results-based culture in the public sector in conformity with the results – based management system adopted by Government.
‘‘Under this arrangement, initiatives identified under each cluster will be implemented immediately to yield rapid results in the shortest possible time frame (October 2013-2015) with the other deliverables targeted up to 2018…
“In order to ensure that the plan is fully funded, the following, inter-alia, have been identified as financing mechanisms; tax and non-tax revenue, leveraging and mobilisation of domestic resources, issuance of bonds, accelerated implementation of public private partnerships, mobilisation of remittances from the Diaspora, securitisation of State Assets, re-engagement with the international and multilateral finance institutions and other financing options, such as the BRICS,’’ said Minister Chinamasa.
He said the Office of the President and Cabinet would be the lead agency in the monitoring and evaluation of the implementation of Zim Asset.
He said at an Extra-ordinary Zanu-PF Politburo meeting to discuss Zim Asset, it was agreed to constitute a small committee that would also monitor the implementation of the plan.
“It is pleasing to note that, in order to create momentum for the implementation of the plan, the Politburo agreed to formulate the Zanu-PF Annual National People’s Conferences’ themes around Zim Asset, starting from the forthcoming 2013 one.”
Zanu-PF’s 14th Annual National People’s Conference is scheduled to be held from December 10 to 15 in Chinhoyi, Mashonaland West province.