Zim-ASSET is serious business

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IF you read any newspaper in Zimbabwe today or watch television, or listen to conversations in bars, buses, schools, you are going to hear people discussing the Zimbabwe Agenda for Sustainable Socio-Economic Transformation (Zim-ASSET).
It’s good that all the people in the country of ours are seized with the Zim-ASSET programme.
But is everything smooth sailing about Zim-ASSET?
Are MaZimbabwe on the same page about what needs to be done to implement Zim-ASSET successfully?
In this article we would like to highlight some of the shortcomings that are likely to undermine the success of Zim-ASSET as well as what needs to be done if the Zim-ASSET programme is going to succeed.
Zim-ASSET stands for the Zimbabwe Agenda for Sustainable Socio-Economic Transformation.
This is a plan which was crafted by the Zimbabwe Government to run from October 2013 – December 2018.
It is aimed at achieving social equity anchored on indigenisation, empowerment and employment creation.
It is built around four strategic clusters – food security and nutrition, social services and poverty eradication, infrastructure and utilities, and value addition and beneficiation.
Let us now look at the shortcomings that have come up as we began to implement this Zim-ASSET programme.
The Zim-ASSET programme is a serious undertaking which seeks to uplift an economy which was deliberately battered by Western imperialist nations after our land reform.
The Government, the private sector and people in general should not trivialise Zim- ASSET by embarking on small projects such as building tuck shops ‘zvigayo’ etc and then say “ah tell you what!
“We are now busy implementing Zim-ASSET.”
Some people are even embarking on dodgy undertakings bordering on the criminal and when confronted they say, “please don’t disturb us.
“We are busy implementing Zim-ASSET.”
These people are busy taking advantage of the friendly climate created by the Zim-ASSET programme to engage in corruption and crime.
The other shortcoming is laziness and a culture of non performance in both government and the private sector.
During the last decade because of sanctions when many industries closed, a culture of laziness and non-performance has entered the blood of our people who traditionally are well known for hard work.
Yes, laziness, poor performance, sloppiness, have sadly and suddenly become accepted.
Now, if we are to seriously implement the Zim-ASSET programme and achieve success the above vices must be discarded forthwith.
We must all wake up right now and go back to work.
We must go back to our wonderful culture of hardwork and competence we have always been known for.
Lastly on the shortcomings, is arrogance, and ‘mukundo’ or ‘chisabhuku’.
Here you have a situation in both the Government and private sector where the people that are supposed to drive the Zim-ASSET programme forward are behaving as if they know everything.
These ‘know-it-alls’ don’t want to engage in meaningful conversation with stakeholders.
Instead they behave like bull elephants who simply destroy everything in their path telling everyone to do as they are told and stop asking questions.
This kind of arrogance is unacceptable in Zimbabwe.
The Zim-ASSET programme will never be implemented successfully with this kind of attitude.
Never.
The Zim-ASSET programme realises that not all the projects that must be implemented between now and 2018 can be done all at once.
And so there is need for prioritisation.
It is our submission that besides making sure that Zimbabweans have food on their tables, the area that needs urgent attention is infrastructure development.
Zimbabweans used to enjoy some of the best roads, railways, etc in the Southern African Development Community region until they were destroyed by sanctions and sabotage by our enemies.
Today our entire infrastructure is in a sorry state, and yet as we all know the country’s economic backbone is the infrastructure – the roads, railways, electricity installations, telephone lines, cities and towns etc.
The infrastructure provides the vital economic arteries.
And it is our argument that the Zim-ASSET programme can only take off successfully if it is premised on a vibrant infrastructure base.
We need the electricity to power the industries back to life and we also need the roads and railways to move the goods and services to all corners of the country as well as externally.
It is therefore vital that in these early days of the Zim-ASSET programme our main focus should be to source money to address the infrastructure problem that is currently hanging around our necks like millstones.
We can as the Zim-ASSET document says ‘judiciously’ use our natural resources to source the money.
Speed is now of the essence in this regard.
The Zim-ASSET programme is serious business.
There should never be jokes around it.
Anyone who jokes about Zim-ASSET is like the foolish ‘mukuwasha’ who makes sexual jokes with his ‘ambuya’ (mother in law).
It is taboo!

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