Moving from pledges to action

Norman Muchemwa
IN March 2018 Zanu-PF launched its “people’s manifesto” for the July 30 harmonised elections.

The document was at the cornerstone of the ruling party’s highly successful campaign, in which it emerged victorious with a two-thirds Parliamentary majority.

The manifesto was themed “Unite, Fight Corruption, Develop, Re-engage and Create Jobs”.

President-elect Emmerson Mnangagwa has his hands full in leading a Government that delivers on these pledges. Economic empowerment and keeping Zimbabwe on an investor-friendly trajectory that leads to economic growth and job creation as well as capacitating the agriculture sector are at the core of the pledges.

On land reform, the President-elect has pledged to the electorate that his Government will uphold the principles of this empowerment initiative, while investing in modernisation and mechanisation of agriculture.

The President promised that his focus would be on productive use of the land and issuance of security of tenure documents to beneficiaries of the land in order to allow for long term security.

Wider access to land, the President pledged, will be achieved through downsizing of farms and elimination of multiple farm ownership.

Government has already started to implement that measure through the appointment of Land Commission mandated to investigate dual farm ownership, unutilised land and abuse of State Land and making recommendations.

Other pledges made are the provision of support services in resettlement areas, including schools, hospitals, boreholes and extension services.

Facilitating access to finance by SMEs, artisanal miners and farmers as well as skills development and training has began to take centre stage.

Part of the manifesto which President Mnangagwa used as his campaign messages reads, “Under the new progressive dispensation and when re-elected, the Zanu-PF Government will robustly embark on transforming Zimbabwe to a middle-income economy by 2030.”

Zanu-PF’s vision for Zimbabwe, the President-elect has pledged, lies in re-opening Zimbabwe for business to achieve an inclusive, peaceful and united model modern African state in which wealth is created and prosperity is shared among all citizens.

On unity and peace — which President Mnangagwa has emphasised since November 2017 — the manifesto highlights, “Unity forms a firm basis and foundation for a conducive environment for fulfilling the people’s aspirations

“Ensuring that the National Peace and Reconciliation Commission is fully capacitated to execute its constitutional mandate and deal with pre and post-independence era conflict issues in order to achieve national healing and national consensus building.”

Corruption is a cancer that has negatively affected many sectors of the economy and for the past eight months, President-elect Mnangagwa has been preaching zero tolerance for graft.

Already, several bigwigs — including ex-Cabinet ministers — have been arrested on corruption-related charges.

Zanu-PF’s manifesto highlighted the need to, “Fight corruption in all its forms and create a corruption free Zimbabwe through capacitating democratic accountability institutions like Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission, Parliamentary Portfolio Committees, Zimbabwe Republic Police and capacitating citizens to report incidences of corruption.”

A lot of concrete measures have been put in place to fight corruption, including the setting up of a Special Anti-Corruption Unit in the Office of the President.

Quite significantly, the President-elect has made a commitment that his Government will deliver economic growth of at least six percent per annum over the period 2018-2023.

His Government, President-elect Mnangagwa pledged, will target US$5 billion annual FDI inflows and US$10 billion of domestic investments.

Promoting equity, gender balance and empowering the youths, women, people with disabilities and other vulnerable groups in line with the Sustainable Development Goals is also central to the pledges made by Zanu-PF.

The President-elect has been on an engagement and re-engagement drive to put Zimbabwe back on the international map.

His efforts have so far already been rewarded by over $10 billion in investment commitments to Zimbabwe.

Now that elections have come and gone, it is time for the pledges to yield results.

Zanu-PF Secretary for Information and Publicity Ambassador Simon Khaya Moyo says as soon as the new Government is in place, it will start implementing pledges made during the campaign.

“We have the President-elect, the President has to be inaugurated, after all these processes he has to appoint his Cabinet.

“Naturally, Government implements party policies . . . As you know, Government is a product of the party and once Government is in place, we have to look at the manifesto and pledges to ensure ministries have proper direction.

“We know what we want to achieve, we know our theme. As you are aware, we are fighting for unity, we are going to intensify on unity amongst our people. We are going to fight hard on corruption, and we will look at all aspects of development,” he says.

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