In his strategy paper christened 10-Point Plan, former African Sun chief executive and businessman, Shingi Munyeza, proffered a mixed bag of advice to government. Some of the issues sound decent while others have no place in our economy. It was not head-on as some papers reported. Therefore, government should sift through the paper with a view to picking ideas that are compatible with the national vision.
By Rufaro Mufundirwa,Our Reader
Munyeza advised government to, among other things, cut its expenditure, commercialise some of the state-owned enterprises, move into the Rand Union and revisit indigenisation laws. He also expressed his reservations on the introduction of bond notes.
The need to cut on government expenditure cannot be overemphasised. Munyeza did not invent a wheel on this one.
That call has been on the lips of everybody with a modicum of economic appreciation. It is also the same prescription the International Monetary Fund gave to Zimbabwe. So government has a number of measures at its disposal which it can take to cut its expenditure without necessarily engaging in a deliberate retrenching exercise as suggested by the businessman.
Zimbabwe has to rid itself of bloated institutions such as parliament and cabinet which are some of the most bloated on the continent. The number of MPs is not commensurate with the population of Zimbabwe. With a population of not more than 14 million, parliament has a total of 350 MPs, some of whom, especially in urban areas, are duplicating duties of councillors. It is not known if the people are being represented better than in 2000 when they were represented by just 150 MPs. There are countries that have bigger economies and population, but are represented effectively by a small parliament.
This writer agrees with Munyeza on the issues he raised. However, the randification issue he talked about is a non-starter. I would prefer a regional independent currency in the mold of the European Union’s euro. Rand is South Africa’s currency and its adoption as a regional currency, as many suggest, will see the South African Minister of Finance being the regional minister who will control monetary policies of the region. As Zimbabweans, we need our sovereignty.
Munyeza added his voice to the chorus of resistance to the introduction of bond notes. So much has been written and said about the rationality of introducing bond notes. We expect enlightened businesspeople like the learned doctor Munyeza, to separate emotions from real issues for the sake of national interest. Who knows, may be the alcohol-selling pastor was a beneficiary of the system that the bond notes seek to end.
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