ZIMBABWE – MDC President Morgan Tsvangirai today chaired the third MDC shadow Cabinet meeting of 2014 which discussed various issues affecting the economy and the people of Zimbabwe.
The Alternative Cabinet noted the problems facing ordinary Zimbabweans who have no money in the pockets and are struggling to put food on the table.
Among the major issues discussed in the five-hour meeting of today’s Alternative Cabinet were corruption , which has become a key issue in all the sectors of the economy, the floods in Masvingo that have displaced thousands of villagers and the low pass rate as reflected by the Ordinary Level results.
On corruption, the Cabinet noted that this had become cancerous and has now seriously affected all sectors of the economy. The Cabinet was directed with coming up with a corruption index, to which very Minister was tasked to present a report at the next meeting on how this scourge had affected all the sectors and areas under their purview. Cabinet was directed to come up with a corruption index Department by department and sector by sector.
The MDC Cabinet recognised and lauded work of the MDC in the inclusive government on corruption in the public sector, particularly the Prime Minister’s Office.
During the time of the inclusive government, the Prime Minister’s Office spearheaded the development of a corporate governance framework for parastatals and State-controlled entities which was adopted by Cabinet but is not being implemented.
The meeting also noted that parastatals were an avenue for Zanu PF to finance their electoral campaigns and factional wars and there was no way the same party would have truly embraced the corporate governance framework for the country’s public entities.
The MDC Alternative Cabinet resolved that the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission must be capacitated to adequately execute its Constitutional mandate without undue influence as happened when it was stopped from investigating three Zanu PF Cabinet Ministers. Instead, it was the ZACC commissioners themselves who were arrested by the police.
The Cabinet called for the immediate arrest of all those who have been implicated so far. It called for the setting up of a Commission of Inquiry, led by a retired judge, to investigate this dangerous scourge that has negatively undermined economic development in the country. Cabinet noted that there was endemic corruption in the country beyond the issue of obscene perks and salaries to the extent that it needed further and deeper investigation by a Commission of Inquiry.
On the floods that have displaced thousands of people in Masvingo, Cabinet said the government had a responsibility to make sure that all Zimbabweans affected got proper accommodation and compensation in the case of all those who had lost property due to the floods.
On education, Cabinet noted the low pass rate of around 20 percent in the 2013 Ordinary Level examinations.
It was resolved that government had to investigate and address all the factors that continue to cause the low national pass rate. These factors include the pathetic working conditions of teachers who are among the civil servants that government has only this month failed to pay the salaries agreed in January with their representative unions.
The Alternative Cabinet also congratulated the national football team. The Cabinet lauded the performance of the Warriors who last month reached the semi-finals of the CHAN continental football competition held in South Africa.
The MDC Alternative Cabinet meets on Thursday after every two weeks.
Hon. Nelson Chamisa
Alternative Minister for Communications