Editorial Comment: New Cabinet must work towards rapid progress – The Herald

THE new Cabinet appointed by President Mnangagwa yesterday has, as expected, a high level of continuity and whether ministers are in the same post, have been moved around a bit or have been moved up from the ranks of deputy ministers, they all have a very good idea of what the President expects.
There are no “L plates” in this Cabinet, so the new Government should be able to move swiftly for what is quite an ambitious agenda. The President would have briefed each Minister privately when he called them in to ask if they would serve.
The split in three ministries all make sense and are basically part of the streamlining of Government. The last veterans of the liberation war will be reaching retirement age during the life of this Parliament, and so their needs become different and more distinct from serving members of the defence forces and new policies will need to be implemented to offer them worthwhile and productive lives as they get older and to cater for what will be growing special needs.
Youths were always a bit of an anomaly in a Sports and Arts Ministry. The stress on youth matters these days means that the minister and permanent secretary responsible for youth need to link up with all the economic and development ministries, as well as run their own training programmes, to ensure that suitable policies are drawn up and implemented to create worthwhile futures for young people. 
In many respects, the changes move the Youth Ministry into the group of production related ministries, that ministry now having to look at how to incubate the businesses created by youths and ensure that there was an adequate flow of skills into these businesses.
Environment and Tourism were another pair with only a little bit in common that are now split into a ministry that has to cope with the environmental changes and policy and regulate the economic activities of the productive economy so it can grow without wrecking the country, and a ministry that is part of that productive economy.
All this reflects President Mnangagwa’s continual stress that Zimbabweans must be productive, with the Government largely ensuring that the infrastructure for a production-driven economy exists and that Government policies make it every easier for people to enter and flourish in the production-orientated economy.
There have been some artificial divisions between the formal and informal sectors, and between small and very small businesses on one hand and large companies on the other hand. 
Most of these divisions fade into insignificance when the true issues are addressed, and those are what standard and quality of living each Zimbabwean enjoys.
It does not really matter if someone works for someone else and pays income tax monthly through PAYE or is self-employed and thus pays income tax quarterly. 
The crucial point is that they earn enough to pay income tax, in other words they have joined the ranks of the middle-income groups and thus come to the attention of Zimra.
A lot needs to be done over the next five years. Our National Development Strategy will be moving into its second phase very soon, building on the achievements of the first phase but also looking at where perhaps a different approach might be needed to get even better results. 
This will require input from all ministries, those that are helping the productive sectors and those that provide critical social services from education and health to a crime-free environment via the police and courts.
And it all needs to fit together to make sense and to work.
There is Vision 2030, the medium term goal of growing Zimbabwe into an upper-middle income country, and while that is still seven years and a few months off, by the time the present Presidential and Parliamentary terms end, it will be just over a couple of years away, and by that time we need to be a lot closer to the goal, perhaps 80 percent or more of the way there. 
This means that the rapid economic growth of the last five years has to be accelerated, and accelerated in ways that benefit everyone, not just a super-rich elite resting on the labours of a poor majority, colonial style. 
What it must mean if it means anything is that just about everyone must be in the middle-income socio-economic groups and above.
So we need to keep the pressure on the small-scale farming sector to continue converting subsistence or near subsistence farmers into business people earning reasonable incomes, and maintaining a decent standard of living.
It means we need to keep on providing opportunities to those young artisanal miners equipped with a shovel to move into more productive mining with access to machinery. It means we need to work out how new industries can open, and many may be small, but still need adequate premises and access to power and water.
To show how one policy can create many more openings, think about the major housing drive now in progress. Flats and houses do not just appear out of thin air. 
Someone has to manufacture materials, someone has to manufacture fittings, and we note that our industry needs to manufacture more and import less, someone has to do the building. 
The cost of a house is largely the cost of all that labour and investment that turns a few simple raw materials like clay and sand and sinter into the home.
It means the State health services must continue to improve while remaining affordable and eventually cover just about everyone. It means that the public education system must be accessible, affordable and good. It means that people with special needs can be looked after.
The President and his office are the central co-ordinators of all this effort, and that is one of the reasons why Cabinet has to meet every week so that everyone knows what everyone else is doing and the policies and progress can thus all fit together. The President provides the vision and the drive.
Sifelani Tsiko Agric, Environment & Innovations Editor Teukai Kapembeza, 50, of Chikangwe in Karoi is one of the many gender champions who have been engaged through the joint UN-EU Spotlight Initiative to eliminate violence against women and girls in the country. Working to resolve domestic disputes and eliminating violence against women and girls in Karoi […]
Ranga Mataire Group Political Editor IN one profound statement, ANC’s secretary general, Mr Fikile Mbalula, last week relegated the opposition CCC to the dustbin of political renegades, when he branded them imperialist puppets. Speaking soon after meeting ZANU-PF counterparts in Harare, just after the harmonised elections, Mr Mbalula, in his typical blunt, bold and straight […]
Obert Chifamba Agri-Insight FOR centuries, humans have gathered around fires listening to riveting folklore, sharing songs and above all, just connecting with one another.  In many ways, fire has easily become the foundation of human civilisation with traditions being passed from one generation to another while mankind enjoyed the warmth of the fire.  Today, humankind […]
Receive news headlines directly to your inbox, daily!

Zimbabwe Newspapers (1980) Ltd is the oldest newspaper publisher and commercial printer in Zimbabwe.
© 2023 Herald. All Rights Reserved.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *