ZIMBABWE – PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe needs to reconfigure Zimbabwe’s governance structure and establish trust with citizens if the country’s socio-economic and political fortunes are to be turned around, a research paper by a local think-tank has said.
The Zimbabwe Democracy Institute (ZDI), in the paper produced last week, says the acrimonious struggles within the Zanu PF party were having a negative impact on the country’s economy.
At the epicenter of Zimbabwe’s economic and socio-political spectrum is lack of trust. The people do not trust the government.
The government does not trust the people. The private sector does not trust government. When levels of trust plummet, a low trust economy is a high-risk economy, ZDI said in its report.
It added that Mugabe’s government is likely barking up the wrong tree despite overseeing piece-meal changes to the labour law in the aftermath of a Supreme Court judgment that resulted in the loss of no less than 25 000 jobs.
The will to transform in the implementation of the Constitution, with particular reference to laws that impinge on people’s rights could be a starting point, said ZDI.
The paper said Mugabe needs to refabricate state institutions most of which are plugged by corruption and lack of financial support.
Government should transform national institutions and refabricate society laden with hate, intolerance, corruption, theft and violence.
Institutions such as the judiciary, constitutional commissions and other national institutions, should be reformed to sustainably carryout their mandate in a professional and impartial manner, said the think-tank.
The group added that the ruling party needs to resolve the emotive succession issue and make it clear who is to take over from 91-year-old Mugabe.
Zanu PF should address the succession question owing to its multiplier effects on governance and economic development.
The succession question is a seedbed of uncertainty and instability, which are major contributors to the current economic malaise.
Zanu PF is tormented by a succession battle and leadership dis-cohesion affecting the party, government and State, the paper said.
As regard the opposition, ZDI said while there seems to have been some kind of positive moves following the lull in the aftermath of the 2013 electoral loss, a new narrative was required.
It (opposition) must enunciate a superior counter narrative to that of Zanu PF. This narrative must address the question of the day, that of livelihoods, and rally the electorate behind it.
Opposition should consider genuine bottom up coalitions based on policy convergence not electoral pacts converged on the will to power, said ZDI.
It said the economy has entered a new model characterised by a high rate of informalisation, which is now bigger than the formal sector.
As such, there is need to design and support a new economic model that takes into consideration the new realities prevailing on the ground, for example, a combination of small-medium-sized companies and huge companies could provide solutions to the current economic challenges, the report said.