Simba Makoni’s Election Manifesto
Independent Zimbabwean presidential candidate Simba Makoni says he wants the 29 March 2008 polls to be a “contest of ideas” that will pull Zimbabwe out of the current economic and political quagmire. If elected president, Makoni says he will launch a National Authority, a body that would be charged with putting the country back on the path of economic recovery. His “manifesto” speaks to Zimbabwe’s current state and proposes a new constitution that, among other things, promotes “National healing and reconciliation.” Full text follows:
THE ZIMBABWE OF TODAY
FEAR, STRESS AND TENSION
Zimbabweans are experiencing stress and tension because of the following :
a.. Poverty that affects over 80% of the population.
b.. Rampant unemployment especially amongst the youth.
c.. Dispersion and disintegration of the national and family fabric as Zimbabweans become economic refugees and live in the diaspora, many in conditions of deprivation and want.
d.. Spiralling inflation and high cost of living.
e.. The cash crisis which results in people having restricted access to their hard-earned cash.
f.. Massive decline in the condition and quality of education, health, housing, energy, water, sanitation, and other services.
g.. Transport problems nationwide and the parlous state of road network.
h.. Corruption and lack of accountability in the conduct of national affairs.
i.. Social and political polarisation of our society. Division between the people and leaders.
j.. Siege mentality in the state with the state resorting to violence to suppress dissent.
k.. Lack of respect for the law.
l.. Gross abuse of state resources which has contributed to the economic decline in Zimbabwe
m.. National institutions have been corrupted, privatised and politicized.
n.. Scourge of patronage and gross abuse of power and culture of “chiefdom”.
o.. Lack of a national vision and agenda on the basis of which all Zimbabweans could be mobilised for national reconciliation and revival.
DISEASE AND POVERTY
a.. The food crisis affecting the majority of Zimbabweans, resulting in malnutrition, vulnerability to various infections and dependence on agencies dispersing food.
b.. High HIV prevalence and mortality from AIDS.
c.. Lack of resources in hospitals, resulting in poor health care including many neo-natal deaths.
DECLINE IN CAPACITY AND POLICY FAILURE
There has been a decline in capacity and capability to deliver throughout the economy and society:
a.. Human capital erosion, attrition and lack of capacity to replace and produce new skills and capacities needed in different sectors of the economy.
b.. There has been failure in policy making and implementation, resulting in stillborn attempts to turn around the economy.
c.. There has been failure in leadership, resulting in short-term and ad hoc policies that have not yielded positive results.
THE ZIMBABWE WE MUST CREATE
NATIONAL RE-ENGAGEMENT AND DIALOGUE FOR ECONOMIC, SOCIAL AND POLITICAL REVIVAL:
a.. Undertake immediate and urgent tasks to:
a.. Resolve the food, power and fuel, water and sanitation problems.
b.. Restore health and education services.
b.. Determine national priorities.
c.. Develop a policy framework for economic and social renewal, in the short, medium and long term.
d.. Re-engage key national constituencies namely youth, women, workers, students, employers, rural and urban people with the state in national development.
e.. Implement gender policies to ensure equal rights and opportunities for both men and women.
a.. The youth offer a window of opportunity for future development. Special focus will be placed on the values and personal development of youth as the leaders of the future. A stronger emphasis on technical/ vocational training to develop skills will strengthen employment creation programmes.
b.. Develop a housing policy that addresses the needs of the poor and encourage the public and private sectors to institute house ownership schemes for their workers.
c.. Strengthen and accelerate HIV prevention programmes and increase support for HIV/AIDS victims.
d.. Strengthen the implementation of environmental improvement programmes.
REVIVING PRODUCTIVE CAPACITY
Land and Agriculture
a.. Affirm the necessity for land reform.
b.. Ensure transparent and equitable processes of land reform.
a.. Review the current land tenure systems as a means of rationalising and refining the land reform and stimulating productivity.
b.. Institute comprehensive rural development programmes to transform the communal areas.
c.. Revive agricultural production through programmes to ensure that agricultural inputs and other resources are available to farmers.
Industrialisation, Empowerment and Employment Creation
a.. Establish the key role of the state in facilitating and regulating rather than controlling industrialisation.
b.. Establish tax incentives and loans through the banking system to support industrialization and boost production.
c.. Generate greater national and foreign investment.
d.. Support the manufacturing sector as one of the major drivers of growth, employment and generation of foreign currency.
e.. Generate competitiveness and efficiency of the manufacturing sector.
f.. Improve the supply of raw materials for manufacturing.
g.. Establish frameworks for the diaspora to play an important role in support of industrialization as both active participants and investors.
a.. Restore the rule of law, particularly in the mining sector which is critical for foreign currency inflows through the sales of gold, platinum, diamonds, chrome and other minerals.
b.. Monitor transparency and accountability, particularly in the mining sector.
c.. Establish programmes to protect the environment in the mining industry.
d.. Support the beneficiation of minerals in Zimbabwe to create employment and grow the economy.
e.. Support the improvement and expansion of the information and communications technology industries as a key for technological enhancement and employment creation.
a.. Establish people-centred processes closer to grassroots to drive development.
b.. Investigate and strengthen empowerment mechanisms and tools for specific groups including women, youths, rural and urban dwellers
a.. Establish state policies and incentives for the private sector and non-governmental sector to facilitate employment creation
b.. Support the construction sector as a major player in employment creation across the country.
a.. Increase public works programmes to develop infrastructure such as dams, schools, clinics and roads as a mechanism for employment creation.
b.. Support housing construction as one of the main drivers of both economic development and employment creation.
The Financial Sector
a.. Examine and define the mandate of the Central Bank and its relationship to the state.
b.. Restore the autonomy of the Central Bank as a regulator.
c.. Remove different foreign exchange rates as a tool for doing away with the parallel market and removing distortions in the economy.
d.. Improve the relationship between the Central Bank and the financial sector.
e.. Restore the integrity of the financial sector.
f.. Place emphasis on micro-finance to create employment and grow the economy.
Education, Health, Housing and Other Services
a.. Provide better, more effective and more efficient services to the people.
b.. Restore government commitment to universal primary school education, affordable and good quality secondary and tertiary education in order to build up skills base.
c.. Restore government commitment to free preventive medical services and affordable curative services.
a.. Establish a top-up fund to finance policies and measures to attract and retain teachers, doctors, nurses and other skilled and professional personnel.
b.. Attract back skills from the diaspora to strengthen service provision.
The Public Sector
Strengthen the civil service and provide better conditions of service for more effective and speedy service delivery.
Remove patronage and corruption as pre-requisites for service provision.
a.. Revive and reinforce the capacities and powers of local authorities to deliver services efficiently.
a. Rationalize parastatals to make them more efficient and cost effective.
b.. Adopt privatisation measures where they would ensure more effective service delivery.
The Uniformed Services
a.. Enhance security and protection services for the benefit of the people.
NATIONAL HEALING AND RECONCILIATION
a.. Address national issues that separate and divide us as a nation and institute a process of national healing and reconciliation, including:
a.. Problems and challenges based on race and ethnicity;
b.. Rural and urban divide;
c.. Inter and intra party violence;
d.. The fuller integration of war veterans into society. War veterans are the victims as well as the potential agents of national healing and reconciliation.
e.. Replacing the state/party patronage system with rational and effective social security provisions for war veterans as part of the national social security system.
b.. Constitutional reform. A new people-driven national constitution will be developed after full consultation.
a.. Harness the key political and technocratic skills required for a representative and efficient government after the elections.
b.. Our mission is to:
a.. Restore people’s independence, dignity and confidence,
b.. Increase respect for our institutions and values.
c.. Project national interests before personal interests.
d.. Restore Zimbabwe’s standing within the international community.