4 January 2013

Zimbabwe: 'Elections Should Be Held Without Fail'

The country should hold the harmonised elections this year without fail to protect and ensure the economic gains attained so far are consolidated and put Zimbabwe back on recovery path, political observers have said.

They argued that there have been so many outstanding issues that have been allowed to spill into other years unresolved.

Most of these issues revolved around the matters contained in the Global Political Agreement and some of them had serious consequences on the country's economic planners and industrialists' long term strategic plans.

Speaking to The Herald yesterday, political analyst and Tsholotsho North legislator Professor Jonathan Moyo said the country was tired of the so called outstanding issues.

"We now need a Government that represents the people, acts on behalf of the people in terms of everyday life - bread and butter issues. We want to see the people being able to feed themselves.

"We need social services in urban areas with regard to schools. The quality of education in this country has gone down. Minister David Coltart has killed the education system.

"The same applies to the health sector. There are attempts under the MDC-T Minister (Henry Madzorera) to make the country's health sector a humanitarian issue. He has brought disaster to the sector," said Prof Moyo.

He said the people wanted to see real employment creation in 2013.

Prof Moyo said the "awkward Government of self indulgence, where people create posts for girlfriends . . . create positions for individuals should come to an end".

He said the people were tired of the Copac and the GPA issues, which he said wanted them buried.

"The people want a Government that acts with some policies not theoretical ones that are imported from other countries. The people want a Government that promotes home-grown policies. The people want a Government that implements its own policies," he said.

Commenting on the constitution-making process, Prof Moyo said; "If these people perform a miracle consistent with the views of the people at the 11th hour, as Zimbabweans, we are a forgiving lot, we will forgive them and accept the new constitution. However, it takes an optimistic person to expect these people to do that in a month or less. It is practically impossible to do that".

Anther political commentator and University of Zimbabwe lecturer Dr Charity Manyeruke said there were so many outstanding matters that needed to be solved this year without fail.

She said one of the issues was the provisional Government that should come to end this year for one political party to take over running of Government.

"We need a definitive Government which makes concrete decisions and policies and implement them. In the current set up everything is temporary . . . we want that corrected this year," she said.

Dr Manyeruke said the Government had made a huge milestone in terms of broad based economic empowerment policies.

"What is now outstanding is an economic empowerment targeting individuals in a sustainable manner. We want a Government that mobilise resources in order to achieve this goal," she said.

She said the Government took long to empower the people through the land reform programme, adding it was now high time that more financial resources were made available to farmers to ensure productivity on farms.

"The farmers need support . . . we need more dams to be constructed as well as the setting up of some irrigation schemes. In view of climate change, we need to support the farmers at Government level. For example, the United States government and the European Union have clear policies that support agriculture," she said.

She concurred with Prof Moyo that the constitution-making process was long overdue and was supposed to be finalised this year to pave way for elections.

"The constitution-making process should be concluded so that there will be order in the country," she said.

Dr Manyeruke said it was also high time that the country consolidated women empowerment to ensure sustainable development in all sectors of the country.

She called upon the people to shun donor dependency and come up with home-grown solutions to the country's problems.

Another political observer Dr Eldred Masunungure said most of the concerns Zimbabweans wanted solved hinged on politics and the GPA charter that guided political direction in the country.

He said many people wanted the country issues raised in the GPA to be concluded so that the country moved forward.

"The people want the constitution-making process to be finished and they are looking forward to seeing the principals coming up with a compromised document this year. If that happens, all other things will fall in place - the referendum and the elections," he said.

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