Saturday, December 24, 2016

What’s Next After Zanu-PF Conference
Dr Masimba Mavaza
Zimbabwe Sunday Mail

The 16th Zanu-PF Annual National People’s Conference in Masvingo closed after a week of intensive and fruitful deliberations.

Participants should be congratulated, especially those who prepared presentations at short notice and those who attended for the party, not for their pockets.

It should be stressed that all conference deliberations, no matter how brilliant, will remain paper unless efforts are made to implement them.

Therefore, it is critical for all the relevant authorities to stay fully engaged and support policies and resolutions conference has come up with.

In my view, discussions around priority areas of action were fruitful.

Here, I highlight some key points.

Productive capacity, as the main focus of the country, needs to be given high priority not only by agencies whose core mandate is closely related to the enhancement of such capacity but also by all other stakeholders.

It was encouraging to hear that many departments and organisations already have made commitments to streamline imports and prioritise local production.

With respect to the inclusion of issues relevant to production in domestic forums, it is important that the ministerial meeting on agriculture has already included concerns and contributions to action regarding productive capacity, which will, hopefully, be replicated going forward.

But this is only going to happen if Government, especially its relevant departments, stays on that path.

We also heard that major work with respect to the Harare-Masvingo Road will start in March 2017.

Broader market access and economic growth has been made despite global crises.

We need to intensify our efforts in these and other areas, and implement conference resolutions in order to attain such ambitious objectives.

It is also very clear that implementation of conference resolutions is closely linked to economic processes, and so is good governance at all levels, which facilitates implementation of economic policy.

Thus issues related to good governance were highlighted not only in the dedicated session, but are also relevant in all other priority areas for action.

Sharing experiences and lessons learned was mentioned throughout the week.

This is a crucial part of meaningful implementation, follow-up and monitoring of the economy, and should be done more intensively at all levels.

With a view to ensuring full engagement of all stakeholders, Zanu-PF discussed a comprehensive roadmap for implementation, follow-up and monitoring of the action programme regarding United States cash shortages. Mainstreaming the economy to suit national development strategies is one of the most urgent tasks at hand. The party needs full support in this respect.

Building on the country experiences, the implementation and follow-up component needs to be strengthened, involving all relevant structures.

Establishment of a working group on the indicators to monitor the implementation of the objectives, goals and targets of the party is also necessary.

With respect to monitoring and evaluation, a more inclusive and participatory process, coordinated by the Office of the President, with substantive input from the whole system and beyond, is needed. The President called on agencies to have focal points, and the party was supposed to set a list of sustainable deliverables.

This would have also been a useful instrument for monitoring, at different levels.

Specific follow-up measures, which include establishing a taskforce to work on the terms of reference for the joint gap and capacity analysis with the aim of setting up a workable live economy, would have been achieved.

In addition, the party also needs to keep the momentum of engaging all stakeholder groups.

It is important that conference resolutions be implemented so that we achieve that much-needed economic turnaround.

Conference should not be a mere event but a proper barometer of our work.

The survival of the party must justify the calling of a next conference.

After the conference, something must be seen to be happening.

A complete turn and good fortune must be witnessed.

A conference must yield fruits and must be a focal point of progress.

The way forward should be to walk the talk and reach the destination.

The lies of “a dying economy” should be viewed with scorn.

A total turnaround should be seen after conference.

That’s the way to go.

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