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The continued discord in government plays untold havoc on the fortunes of a country.

THE recent muddle on civil servants bonuses where Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa announced that the 13th cheque would be suspended for two years before President Robert Mugabe vetoed the move a few days later is just but the latest in a series of illustrations of the discord in government.

Earlier in the year Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa, Chinamasa and Environment Minister Saviour Kasukuwere reiterated in different speeches at the commissioning of a water reservoir in Manicaland the need to engage the West but at his birthday celebrations in Victoria Falls a few weeks later, the incumbent was not as amicable to that line of approach.

Last year, Mnangagwa announced that government would relax the controversial indigenisation policy in 2015 to attract the much-needed Foreign Direct Investment (FDI). However, Christopher Mushowe in his inaugural speech as Indigenisation Minister contradicted this saying the country’s natural resources were far more than what foreigners bring in as investment, adding that foreigners were actually lucky that they get 49 percent because it is not cast in stone, it can be 99 percent to the locals and one percent to foreigners.

In yet other ambivalent circumstances last year Chinamasa and Minister of Information, Jonathan Moyo, spoke publicly that government would be reviewing the indigenisation laws, to which then minister of indigenisation, Francis Nhema, said there was nothing like that.

Furthermore, speaking at the burial of national hero Retired air commodore Mike Karakadzai in 2013, President Mugabe attacked the West for maintaining sanctions against Zimbabwe and threatened a clampdown on western companies operating in the country. Barely two days later, former vice president Joice Mujuru came singing a different tune saying Zimbabwe was keen to re-engage the international community including the West for political, economic and social co-operation because the southern African state is part of the international community and “it is our wish to remain a member of this family.”

The continued discord in government plays untold havoc on the fortunes of a country which has for more than a decade suffered debilitating economic demise at a time when the nation could benefit from consistent and coherent policy and communication.

Policy certainty, clarity and consistency on issues affecting Zimbabweans and on key programmes such as indigenisation and economic direction is therefore crucial as it brings sanity and predictability.

Inconsistencies are hampering the country’s prospects of an economic turnaround as it remains an albatross in attracting FDI.

It is becoming clear that there is too much politicisation of most government business at the expense of real issues.

The lackadaisical and extremely casual approach to otherwise very important policy matters goes to show that the ruling party does not take the people of Zimbabwe, in general, and civil servants in particular, seriously.

We have an administration which thinks that the down-trodden and poverty-stricken millions of Zimbabweans owe them a big favour.

Little wonder therefore that at least 85 percent of the people of Zimbabwe are classified as living in abject poverty since they subsist on less than US$2 per day.

Factionalism within ZANU-PF is also contributing to the ambivalent positions in government.

These factional divisions are palpable, resulting in no cohesion in policy formulation and coordination in the running of government business.

The continued infighting presents serious political and socio economic repercussions as they lead to policy paralysis.

Source : Financial Gazette