Home » Governance » Robert Mugabe – From Policy to Legacy [opinion]

UNDER normal circumstances public proclamations made by a head of state andor government for any given nation at a particular time gives direction as to what policies he would want to pursue.

Such public proclamations are usually followed up by the key state actors bringing their minds together mapping out strategies that will see the proclamations being actioned.

Thirty-four years into independence President Mugabe’s proclamations are no exception. The proclamations in the last decade have in fact transformed from policy to legacy to be bequeathed from one generation to the next. One such then policy, the Land Reform Program, is now the Land Reform Legacy. Hard on its heels is the indigenisation and empowerment program which is currently underway, setting the tone for the 2014 independence celebrations.

If there is indeed a period when President Mugabe could be said to have partly lost control of his ship it’s only during the period of the Inclusive Government where the western sponsored cabinet ministers in a bid to score cheap political points sought to derail the liberation movement’s people-centred policies as embodied in President Mugabe’s proclamations by not implementing his policies.

During this period, calls by President Mugabe to have the Bulawayo companies revived fell on deaf ears as the then Finance Minister Tendai Biti of the MDC-T, made sure that Distressed Industries and Marginalised Areas Fund (DIMAF) did not materialise. The same Biti made it a point that he did not avail funds towards agricultural inputs on time in a bid to discredit the Land Reform Legacy nor did he re-capitalise the Grain Marketing Board for the same reason.

Whereas, the Inclusive Government provided the opposition MDC formations a platform to fight Zanu-PF from within the corridors of government, their subsequent ouster through the July 31, 2013 harmonised elections, have relegated the opposition party to seek the same agenda using the private media print media and faceless online websites.

Thus the picture of a President Mugabe who has lost control of his ship that the opposition through the private media today seeks to portray is not only full of contempt but is a poor stunt that will not derail the progress this country is set to achieve in the post July 31, 2013 and as we celebrate the country’s 34th birthday for obvious reason that follows.

The July 31, 2013 Zanu PF resounding victory, came as a result of a well-organised Team Zanu-PF 2013. The victory ushered a new Team Zanu-PF in Government. While Zanu-PF, the Party led by the Politburo is taking a semi-back seat, Zanu PF in Government led by the Cabinet is all systems out to defend the gains consolidated by Team Zanu-PF 2013.

Equal to the task, President Mugabe, whom some wish he loses grip of his troops has proven once again that he is in charge, as amplified by developments in two key sectors of the economy namely:

Mining and transport and infrastructure development

In his inauguration speech at the National Sports Stadium in Harare on August 22, 2013, President Mugabe did not mince his words when he announced that, “the mining sector will be the centre piece of our economic recovery and growth. It should generate growth spurts across sectors, reignite that economic miracle which must now happen.”

In line with President Mugabe’s vision the Ministry of Finance has stepped up measures to unlock the real value of gold by re-introducing Fidelity Printers and Refiners as the sole buyer of gold. This will go a long way in plugging out all gold leakages that had become characteristic of this industry thereby improving revenue inflows into treasury. Zimbabwe is said to be losing nearly US$100 million on gold leakages per month as producers of gold and barons continue to finance the purchase of gold illegally and smuggle it into South Africa.

To this end Fidelity Printers and Refineries has circulated a reminder that, “all custom millers are gold buying agents of Fidelity Printers and Refineries,” and “are therefore reminded to confirm . . . registration as gold buying agents of Fidelity Printers and Refineries,” by April 30, 2014.

The registration has been decentralised to Bulawayo, Filabusi, Gwanda, Gweru, Kadoma, Kwekwe, Masvingo, Mutare and Zvishavane.

The plugging out of gold leakages will avail before the treasury additional resources which the country is in dire need of to fund critical sectors of the economy besides seeking credit lines which seem to be elusive.

To complement the Ministry of Finance’s efforts, the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development has to quickly come up with an updated factual data base of all mining operations obtaining in all the country’s gold rich districts at all levels.

We have to have a data base of all the existing stamp mills this country has and the tonnage they are processing. This information will go a long way in giving us an idea on what to expect from our mining fields per day.

It is also encouraging to note that works on the formalisation of artisanal miners is now in progress. Estimates show that Zimbabwe has at least 100 000 illegal gold panners eking a living around the country. The formalisation of their operations has a great impact towards the job market creation which Zanu-PF seeks to create.

The re-opening of Fidelity Printers offices across all the country’s selected buying districts is also a job creation opportunity in itself which has to be applauded.

In the same inauguration speech, President Mugabe highlighted the definite need for infrastructure development, a sign that Government is fully aware of how much trouble the country’s infrastructure is in. To this end Government through the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure Development as of January 2014 had identified 14 road projects for rehabilitation on a Build Operate and Transfer (BOT) basis.

As of April 1 2014 an Inter Ministerial Committee had been commissioned to carry out an adjudication of the bids for the fourteen results with the results expected anytime soon.

This development is also to see the recapitalisation of the Department of Roads which will see it re-open all its closed country workshops in the process creating tens of thousands of job opportunities.

Bulawayo is expected to roar back into life following the agreement by African Development Bank of South Africa to grant US$450 million dollars towards the recapitalisation of the National Railways of Zimbabwe. The re-awakening of the NRZ will also contribute heavily towards the growth of mining especially in the coal mining sector.

In a bid to resuscitate the fortunes at Air Zimbabwe the same Ministry is in the process of augmenting its domestic routes at the same time re-opening its regional and international routes. To this end the airline by the first week of April 2014 had invited tenders for the lease-in of two, fifty seater Embraer aircraft on a wetdry lease basis.

The improved road infrastructure will also contribute to the growth of the mining sector through easy access.

Notwithstanding the foregoing, two key sectors, on promoting small and medium business enterprises the responsible ministry is courting foreign investors — mainly from India and South Africa for the purposes of forming partnerships with the former. The partnership with foreign investors is meant to promote growth and development of SMEs business in sectors such as manufacturing, flea markets, carpentry and engineering in line with the indigenisation programme.

Source : The Herald