What is Zim-ASSET? Part Two

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LAST week we noted that the first challenge Zimbabweans face in relation to the Zimbabwe Agenda for Sustainable Socio-Economic Transformation (Zim-ASSET) blueprint is the lack of knowledge on what exactly Zim-ASSET is.
The second challenge is the language in which the document is written, what is Zim-ASSET?
There is a need to re-produce the document in our own indigenous languages, inga wani takaudzwa kuti masanctions kutemerwa zvirango zveupfumi.
This will enable the people to take possession of the project and identify with the party’s programmes of indigenisation, empowerment and employment creation as they understand more about the document.
The third challenge is on the implementation proper; those who are assigned to drive the implementation programme must be people who are willing to serve the people of Zimbabwe not those that are bent on corrupt activities or those who may not be corrupt, but have no willpower, have no energy, have no vision to have the goals of Zim-ASSET come to fruition. I propose a supervisory board as what used to happen during the schools’ inspectors days.
For instance, if a tender is floated, the best person to do the job must be awarded the tender not those that would have paid consideration fees to individual members of the tender board.
In other words, there must be zero tolerance on corruption.
As a country, we are yet to see chief executive officers who have turned to be inmates of corruption.
If this problem is not tackled in an effective and efficient manner then the Zim-ASSET is likely to fail.
An example is the infrastructure development cluster in relation to Community Ownership Share Trust.
It is important that the Trust be used to develop infrastructure as envisaged by the Zim-ASSET and the scope of forming the Community Ownership Share Trust.
It will be a sad thing that areas where the resources are mined are left undeveloped as has already happened in Marange–Zimunya where virtually no infrastructural development took place in spite of the fact that Marange diamonds have been mined and served the nation. This is a classical example of squabbles among ministries which hinder progress.
This must not be condoned in the implementation of Zim-ASSET
The fourth and final challenge that I want to discuss is the absence of set of rules and time frames as to what should be done.
The implementation of Zim-ASSET seems to have been delegated to line ministries some of whom we have witnessed enormous failures and corrupt activities.
As a people, we must not continue to bury our heads in the sand and say our ministries have performed well.
In as much as they have been trusted by the President to do work on his behalf they have failed him and the people and therefore they must be exposed.
Time frames will help us to measure the progress of the implementation of our sanction busting project.
On food security and nutrition it must not only be adequate for us to sing “kana mvura ikanaya gore rino tinozadza matura” while that is a song of hope and determination, there is a need to further interrogate the whole environment that is related to food production.
In the current scenario, there is a need to examine whether there is adequate seed, fertilisers, draught power, a balance between the growing of cash crops such as tobacco and food crops and the pricing systems, among other things.
However, there is also a need from a deeper examination on factors affecting the security of tenure to finalise the land issue.
While the new constitution guarantees the irreversibility of the land reform programme, the implementation of the Zim-ASSET must provide us an opportunity to right some operational wrongs that were occasioned during the implementation of the land acquisition programme.
The newly settled farmers must have security of tenure and this can happen only when one of the provisions of the land acquisition act is fulfilled, that is the issue of fair compensation.
As this happens there is a complete invalidation of title deeds that are still in the hands of the former owners of the farms.
According to Justice for Agriculture Commission the total amount of this compensation is about 8 billion dollars.
This may sound huge, but it can be mobilised and factored as part of Zim-ASSET.
Zim-ASSET must help the country to settle some of these disputes.
I am not the devil’s advocate as some may want to think, but I am only looking at the future.
It is my strong belief that this issue must be tackled, dealt with and finalised while President Robert Mugabe is still in office.
2008 taught us some life lessons.
Some may also argue that we have already lost billions of dollars through sanctions, but the fact remains that we still have an obligation to pay fair compensation and this may be hidden sticky issue that banks are not saying when they negotiate for acceptability lease documents.
There is need to approach this matter with an open mind and holistically. On the implementation of the Zim-ASSET programme, the authorities must be tough on whipping implementer into line.
I am not comfortable with the trust that is given to certain government ministries, if one reflects on what the friction that happened among certain ministries during the just ended GNU government operations, for instance the clashes between the then Ministry of Youth and Indigenisation and that Ministry of Mines, banks, the Ministry of Environment and that of Tourism, the then Ministry of Mines and Ministry of Industry and Commerce where policy was being guided by ministries and personal feuds.
Conclusion
As I was reading Naomi Klein’s book ‘The Shock Doctrine’, I was tempted to think that most of our economists are from the Chicago School that is bent to serve the capitalist interest as some of them have always scorned at every effort that the Government put in order to improve the standard of living of ordinary Zimbabweans.
Let us be wary of such economists.
The police, the judiciary and the prison services must be the key to the implementation of Zim-ASSET and these institutions must display a solid stony face of the government that is not tolerating any corrupt activities and must be responsive to the public’s outcry on corruption and obscene monetary considerations.
There should be no sacred cows in the enforcement of the provisions that deal with corruption and other vices that may impede the smooth implementation of Zim-ASSET.

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