New Zim: A roadmap for transformation

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The events of the past week mark the beginning of a new Zimbabwe. The military have led by example. Regardless of the outcome, Zimbabwe will be a better place. The hopes and aspirations of so many Zimbabweans who have long suffered will be realised.

Ritesh Anand

There is hope and anticipation as we enter a new era. As the sun sets on the President Robert Mugabe era a new dawn begins. Zimbabwe shall suffer no more. I have long said that Zimbabwe’s greatest assets are its people. Highly educated and spread across the world. It is their collective mindset and work ethic that will transform Zimbabwe.

As the world waits in anticipation for the outcome of the military intervention, I turn my attention to building a roadmap for a better Zimbabwe. Our focus should be on restoring investor confidence both domestic and international.
The first 90 days are critical and will set the path for next decade. The new leadership has a great responsibility to set Zimbabwe on the right path. Change starts from within. Our vision should be to build a better Zimbabwe. An empowered and happy nation. A country in which we can prosper and achieve our dreams and aspirations.

Bond notes

Restoring investor confidence starts with the removal of bond notes. This ill-advised measure to inject liquidity has clearly failed. The introduction of bond notes led to a crisis in confidence and capital flight. Removing the bond note will go a long way in rebuilding confidence.

We should go back to using the scarce United States dollars left in the economy and focus on attracting new money through trade and investment. Locals should feel confident to bring back their dollars from abroad or under their mattresses. Price stability should be restored and prices need to adjust downwards.

Multilateral support

Government should work closely with multilateral institutions like the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF) to secure emergency financial support package for Zimbabwe. This maybe difficult given our outstanding debt but a plan can be put in place to receive support. The Lima Plan should be accelerated and our status should be restored.

Investment drive

Zimbabwe should embark of an aggressive investment drive to attract foreign direct investment (FDI). Having a clear economic plan could attract significant foreign investment. There is a significant amount of capital waiting to be invested in Zimbabwe.

We need to create a conducive environment to attract investment. I have written about this extensively in previous articles. I believe that the new government should work quickly to create the right environment to attract investment, including the setting up of special economic zones and technology centres.

Diaspora

Over the last two decades many Zimbabweans have left the country for “greener” pastures. The reality is that many have dreamt of coming back home to help rebuild their motherland. I am one of them.

I have always dreamt of a better Zimbabwe. The moment has come. Government should encourage its people to return home and become part of the dream. We all have a role to play in rebuilding this amazing country.

Corruption

Government should focus on eliminating corruption. Corruption has permeated every fabric of society and has destroyed our economy. We should adopt zero tolerance to corruption. The fish rots from the head.

It is imperative that the new leadership adopt zero tolerance to corruption. Former rouge ministers and officials should be brought to account and have their day in court. Zimbabweans have long suffered in their hands.

Fiscal discipline

There is need for fiscal discipline. The lack of fiscal discipline in recent years has led to inflation and unsustainable debt. We need to adopt an “eat what you kill” attitude and not spend more than we earn.

Government needs to find a way to settle over US$1,8 billion Treasury Bills issued over the last two years. Focus should be on cutting non-recurrent expenditure and savings channelled towards infrastructure development and job creation.
No more false promises of two million jobs, but rather the creation of an economic environment where people feel empowered to thrive! Our collective skills and experience could fast track the recovery.

This week marks an “inflection point” in Zimbabwe’s history. It is the day many of us have dreamt of. Our time has come. This is our opportunity to rebuild our country and restore faith and confidence in our people.
I am filled with hope and anticipation. The path to recovery will not be easy and we will face many challenges. The first 90 days are critical and require the undivided support of the nation. No longer will we sit silent and allow our country to be destroyed.

The military have led by example. It is our time to show our support and have the courage of conviction that we can and will build a better Zimbabwe. The needs of many outweigh the needs of the few. We have a collective responsibility to build a better Zimbabwe. Our vision is clear and goals are set. Our time has come!

Anand is a businessman and former Zimbabwe Independent columnist.

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