FINANCE minister Herbert Murerwa reiterated the usual rhetoric to engage in dialogue with partners in the Tripartite Negotiating Forum (TNF) in his budget proposal yesterday
In concluding remarks, Murerwa said the country could be saved from collapse through the TNF partners.
“Confidence building, policy consistency and political commitment in policy implementation, re-engagement of partners within the TNF are also critical in fighting inflation and stabilising the economy,” said Murerwa.
The TNF, comprising government, labour and business, is ideally meant to lay the platform for dialogue that culminates in a working relationship for economic prosperity.
The social partnership however collapsed in April this year with labour and business blaming government for dishonesty and insincerity in dealing with economic problems affecting the country.
“There has not been any progress at TNF. It has been mere talk without any tangible results because the government has not seriously embraced the other partners,” said Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries President, Anthony Mandiwanza in April.
This was after the government unilaterally re-introduced price controls on most basic commodities without consulting industry.
Lovemore Matombo, the president of the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions also described the TNF as dead and buried due to lack of commitment on the part of government.
A political and economic stalemate has hovered over the country since then, with government obstinately pursuing destructive economic policies and quashing any form of labour unrest.
Only a fortnight ago, a National Economic Consultative Forum (NECF) meeting in Harare exposed the confusion in government, with conflicting statements coming from cabinet ministers regarding the role of business in economic revival.
Information and Publicity minister Jonathan Moyo issued a statement denouncing the NECF meeting as being of “doubtful import and objectives”.
He accused the NECF of using Mugabe’s name, as patron of the forum, to convene their meetings.
It later emerged that Murerwa had worked with the NECF secretariat in convening the meeting and hoped that his colleagues in government would embrace other partners in the search for economic solutions.