Lloyd Gumbo Herald Reporter
THE Zanu-PF Politburo yesterday adopted Government’s economic blueprint that spearheads the turnaround and development of the economy over the next five years.Dubbed “Zimbabwe Agenda for Sustainable Socio-Economic Transformation (Zim Asset),” the blueprint is aligned to the party’s winning election manifesto, President Mugabe’s inauguration speech and his address to Parliament as he officially opened the First Session of the Eighth Parliament.
Zim Asset identifies four, but all-encompassing clusters which the Zanu-PF Government will prioritise from this month to the December 2018 harmonised elections.
The clusters are; food security and nutrition, social services and poverty reduction, infrastructure and utilities and value addition and beneficiation.
“It is a document which came up about two weeks ago after being done by the Office of the President and Cabinet,” said Cde Gumbo after the Politburo meeting.
“We decided to interrogate it to see whether it captured things which were in the (party) manifesto. We felt we needed to align party policies and Government policies.
“It is for that reason that the chairperson of the policy drafting committee, Professor Jonathan Moyo, (Information, Media and Broadcasting Services Minister) presented the revised document to the Politburo.
“It was agreed that the document is in line with the party manifesto and hence Government was directed to implement it forthwith.”
The foreword by President Mugabe says the 116-page detailed document running under the theme; “Towards an Empowered Society and a Growing Economy), was crafted to achieve sustainable development and social equity anchored on indigenisation, empowerment and employment creation that would be largely propelled by the “judicious exploitation of the country’s abundant natural and human resources”.
“This cluster approach will no doubt, enable Government to prioritise its programmes for implementation with a view to realising broad results that seek to address the country’s socio-economic challenges.
“Given the resource constraints, Government will come up with robust and prudent fiscal and monetary measures to buttress and boost the implementation of Zim Asset,” President Mugabe said.
Government ministries and agencies, he said, were expected to work together in championing the implementation of the blueprint.
President Mugabe said the Office of the President and Cabinet would play a leading and co-ordinating role as an overseer of the implementation process to ensure attainment of the set targets.
Zim Asset says as the country moves forward post-election, there is urgent need to put in place an economic blueprint guided by the Zanu-PF manifesto and the Presidential Vision as encapsulated in his inauguration speech on August 21.
“The blueprint will be focused on a people-centred Government that prides itself in promoting equitable development and prosperity for all Zimbabweans leveraging own resources.
“Additionally, the plan must ensure that there is sustainable growth and development of the economy by, among other things, engendering unity of purpose among the different stakeholders,” reads the 116-page economic plan.
It further says institutional structures and systems would be strengthened through the establishment of Results Based Government that seeks to optimise use of scarce resources allocated in order to reinforce the achievement of indigenisation, empowerment and employment creation agenda.
“This will be achieved through re-orienting Government ministries to formulate policies and programmes being guided by the Results Based Management system which focuses on clear organisational visions, mission, values, key result areas, goals and objectives which are translated into a framework of outcomes, outputs, strategies and resources.
“A wider consultative process within Government and the private sector and a review of previous national development programmes, greatly informed the formulation of this blueprint,” the document says.
The document identifies actions that would be taken by the Government to achieve its goals. To ensure food security and nutrition, Government would re-establish financial support for agriculture so that farmers increase production, productivity and product quality.
Government would also recapitalise and capacitate AgriBank and the Grain Marketing Board while the Presidential Input Scheme would also continue at household and community level.
“Social Services and Poverty Reduction, Zim Asset will ride on the opportunities of the Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Programme for the funding of public utilities in communities such as schools, hospitals, housing and other social amenities with the intention of creating employment for the youths and women thereby improving the standard of living of the populace.
“A robust infrastructure network and system plays a fundamental role in Socio-Economic Development of Zimbabwe. Government will rehabilitate, upgrade and develop the national grid, road and railway network, water storage, supply and sanitation buildings as well as Information Communication Technology related infrastructure.
“Accordingly, the Infrastructural Development Bank of Zimbabwe will need to be recapacitated to enable it to strategically fulfill its mandate in infrastructure development. The plan will in addition prioritise attainment of optimal generation of power, the production and use of bio-fuels as enablers for economic productivity and growth,” reads the document.
On value addition and beneficiation, the blueprint says, all primary commodities across sectors were expected to create more value through processing and beneficiation.
It says given the country’s abundant mineral resources base, Government expected the sector to contribute immensely towards the Gross Domestic Product growth.
The blueprint also sets short-term interventions whose results were expected to be immediately felt. On food security and nutrition, the document says Government would intensify collection of maize from Zambia and distribute to needy families.
Government would also provide food relief to vulnerable groups from GMB stocks while at the same time working out vulnerable groups and small holder subsidised agricultural input scheme for the 2013/2014 cropping season including the Presidential Input Scheme.
The document said Government would also set up an AgriBank concessionary funding facility for A2 farmers while a livestock drought mitigation programme for drier regions would also be put in place.
The intervention on the social services and poverty eradication cluster, would see Government execute “robust capacity development initiatives that address issues of recapitalising engagement and retention of skilled manpower among other measures”.
Revamping operations of State Procurement Board with immediate effect to ensure efficient utilisation of resources is one of the interventions targeting the social services and poverty eradication cluster.
Government would also protect vulnerable groups including removal of user-fees for selected population groups.
“Procurement of water treatment chemicals from local producers for all local authorities and Zinwa. Provision of land for housing and embarking on aggressive housing programmes,” reads the document.
On Infrastructure and Utilities cluster, Government would among other things undertake a national blitz to rehabilitate water supplies, sewerage systems, roads, health facilities and schools in all urban centres, institute measures to improve processes at the Registrar General’s Office by December 2013 and urgently attend to various infrastructure projects construction and maintenance of trunk roads and feeder roads through funding from Central Government and Public Private Partnerships.
Some of the short-term interventions in the value addition and beneficiation cluster would see full operationalisation of the Chisumbanje Ethanol project, the New Zim Steel project and establishment of a diamond cutting and polishing centre.
In its manifesto, Zanu-PF said at least US$7.3 billion worth of assets was projected from the indigenisation of 1 138 foreign firms in 12 key sectors of the economy.