Zimbabwe: To Achieve Productivity, Leadership Is Key

9 December 2019

Lawson Mabhena News and Politics Editor

Securing a stable economy, middle-income status and restoring the country's breadbasket status are among the key objectives outlined by the Zanu-PF leadership under President Mnangagwa.

To achieve these economic goals, production has to be increased significantly.

And to achieve productivity, leadership is key.

African nationalism cannot fail because of lazy and selfish individuals.

All over Africa, political gains made under the nationalism project are being translated to economic gains.

This is because the nationalism project is under heavy scrutiny.

The politically liberated now want to be economically liberated, and you cannot blame them.

Born-frees are now adults, parents, grandparents and pensioners.

They long for the sweet taste of economic development.

They were born and live in the richest continent in the world. They breathe the cleanest air, eat the most organic food and till the most fertile land.

They wake up to the most beautiful views and belong to the rich cultures of the genesis of human life.

Now is their time and they can't wait any longer.

They no longer want to be left behind by the world.

Africa must not be left behind.

Zimbabwe must not be left behind.

Public office holders need to be on their toes now more than ever.

They need to deliver as the era of self-entitlement is over.

High-ranking individuals who perceive themselves as deserving of unearned privileges, wealth and honour should come under the spotlight this week during the 18th Zanu-PF Annual National People's Conference.

The conference starts tomorrow in Goromonzi and all eyes will be on the revolutionary party as the nation waits to hear what the policy direction of Government will be.

After winning the mandate to lead the country during the July 2018 harmonised elections, Zanu-PF has the herculean task of turning around the economy, creating jobs and laying a strong foundation for the achievement of an upper-middle income economy by 2030.

Officially opening the 334th Session of the Zanu-PF Politburo in Harare last week, President Mnangagwa said the conference must provide appropriate policy direction to Government and outline achievable goals in line with Vision 2030.

He said to achieve the targets of Vision 2030, armchair leadership would not be tolerated.

The President said servant leadership was the hallmark of the Second Republic and those not willing to work for the people had no place in the new dispensation.

"Our conference must proffer the appropriate policy direction to Government and outline achievable goals.

"We will not tolerate armchair leaders. The culture of the Second Republic is servant leadership.

"Those who are not prepared to fold their sleeves and work for the party, bad luck. We must remain a listening party," he said.

On the same day, Wednesday, Finance and Economic Development Minister Professor Mthuli Ncube warned that beginning next year, executives and board members of State enterprises and parastatals would be fired for poor performance.

The Corporate Governance Act which was signed into law by President Mnangagwa on June 8 last year, is part of Government's reform agenda to improve transparency and good corporate governance and will see State enterprises and parastatals being ranked according to performance.

"Vision 2030 is being implemented through the Transitional Stabilisation Programme (TSP) and will be followed by two five-year plans covering the periods 2021-2025 and 2026-2030.

"The vision can therefore not be attained if public entities do not play their part as enablers of economic growth.

"It is therefore important that good corporate governance is instilled in public entities in order to ensure that good governance systems are put in place for the good of the country," Minister Ncube said.

The assessment of public office holders is the right message as the curtain comes down on the TSP.

Tangible economic gains must be achieved next year and this can only be done by a focused leadership.

The Zanu-PF conference must support the party's First Secretary -- President Mnangagwa -- as he instils a new work ethic in public office.

People must be held to account.

Those who have failed must make way for others; there is no shortage of human resources in Zimbabwe.

The new work culture should see new technologies being introduced to stimulate production in mining, agriculture and manufacturing.

Investment must be made in innovation and local tertiary institutions must live up to their names. The National University of Science and Technology (NUST), Bindura University of Science Education (BUSE), Harare Institute of Technology (HIT) and Chinhoyi University of Technology (CUT).

These are the institutions that should lead us to the future.

Strong anti-corruption controls will be needed to ensure graft does not undo the gains of the TSP.

The Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) will need to be on steroids.

Corruption is one of the major pitfalls in post-independence Africa.

Chancers have been hijacking the nationalism project for personal gain. And they have been getting away with it.

Only action and not words will stop corruption.

The Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Services (ZPCS) is itching to rehabilitate high-profile criminals.

The Political Actors Dialogue(POLAD), launched by President Mnangagwa, must also come in and bring all Zimbabweans together in rebuilding the country.

We have been polarised for too long. Tribal and political hate have been a major cog in undermining African nationalism.

Talking to each other as Zimbabweans is paramount.

We must respect each other in spite of our differences.

After all, we all want the same thing: a prosperous Zimbabwe.

Zimbabwe needs to break from the past if the country is to become an African nationalist success story.

All "servant leaders" must be prepared to fold up their sleeves as the President has said.

This business of hiding behind factional politics must come to an end.

Delegates to the conference must assess the work done by all ministries.

Are ministers delivering in line with the Zanu-PF manifesto?

If the answer is no, then the import is that Zanu-PF is not living up to its election promises.

With one year to go, the TSP must not fail.

Zimbabwe must not fail. Nationalism must not fail.

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