‘JOB CRE­ATION TOP PRI­OR­ITY’

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Business Chronicle - Busi­ness Ed­i­tor

THE Gov­ern­ment is “not afraid” to en­gage on job cre­ation as it re­mains on track to­wards ful­fill­ing its prom­ise of trans­form­ing the econ­omy through the im­ple­men­ta­tion of its in­di­geni­sa­tion-ori­ented poli­cies, a Cab­i­net Min­is­ter has said.

Ad­dress­ing jour­nal­ists at the Bu­l­awayo Press Club last Fri­day, the Min­is­ter of Higher and Ter­tiary Ed­u­ca­tion, Sci­ence and Technology De­vel­op­ment, Pro­fes­sor Jonathan Moyo, said any at­tempts to de­rail Gov­ern­ment pol­icy im­ple­men­ta­tion would fail.

He said na­tional pol­icy, as en­shrined in the five year­blueprint — the Zim­babwe Agenda for Sus­tain­able So­cio-Eco­nomic Trans­for­ma­tion (Zim-As­set) — has suf­fered an on­slaught from the coun­try’s de­trac­tors and op­po­si­tion who are bent on frus­trat­ing progress.

“These peo­ple who keep on say­ing where are the 2,2 mil­lion jobs, we will let the jobs count for them­selves. Be­cause we have the three years be­hind us, the two years now must be of pol­icy ori­en­ta­tion and that is why at­tempts to de­rail will not suc­ceed be­cause every­body is now wiser,” said Prof Moyo.

He said the lat­est wave of vi­o­lent demon­stra­tions by op­po­si­tion par­ties and their ap­pendages were a ma­jor hur­dle to suc­cess­ful eco­nomic pol­icy im­ple­men­ta­tion.

Prof Moyo said this, to­gether with the “Joice Mu­juru fac­tor” that re­sulted in the fir­ing of rogue Zanu-PF mem­bers who wanted to top­ple Pres­i­dent Mu­gabe in the run up to the 2014 congress, were also a ma­jor set­back.

“We now can­not con­tinue with the spirit of the last three years where span­ners are thrown into the works to pre­vent the im­ple­men­ta­tion of the Pres­i­dent’s pol­icy pro­grammes, we can’t. We want every­body to un­der­stand that it is to­tally un­ac­cept­able. We can­not con­tinue hav­ing peo­ple who know that we want in­di­geni­sa­tion to be the driver of job cre­ation and they as­sas­si­nate in­di­geni­sa­tion and say where are the jobs when they know that jobs are di­rectly re­lated to the in­di­geni­sa­tion pol­icy and that the in­di­geni­sa­tion pol­icy has been ar­rested. We now must al­low the Gov­ern­ment; al­low the Pres­i­dent’s pol­icy pro­gramme for the re­main­ing pe­riod be­fore 22 July 2018 to be im­ple­mented,” said Prof Moyo.

He said ex­pe­ri­ence in the last three years had made Zanu-PF wiser and re­newed its com­mit­ment to hard work to en­sure suc­cess­ful turn­around of the econ­omy and ful­fil­ment of prom­ises made to the elec­torate in the run-up to the 2013 polls.

“But there is now a need to be very clear that the man­date that the Pres­i­dent was given was not sim­ply about the num­ber of votes but to gov­ern and im­ple­ment a pol­icy pro­gramme and those who do not like that pol­icy pro­gramme, tough luck. This is a pol­icy pro­gramme for the coun­try in­tended to ben­e­fit ev­ery­one re­gard­less of their po­lit­i­cal af­fil­i­a­tion. So, this is what is be­fore us go­ing for­ward. We have got to im­ple­ment pol­icy, we have to be pol­icy ori­ented and we know what the pol­icy pro­gramme is,” Prof Moyo said.

“For­tu­nately be­cause of the ex­pe­ri­ence of the last three years there have been some ad­just­ments and we are now very clear that hous­ing is on the top pri­or­ity go­ing for­ward, We are also now very clear that SMEs are the way to go. The econ­omy has mu­tated into these.”

He scoffed at ex­ag­ger­ated re­ports on com­pany clo­sures, which he said have de­lib­er­ately given a wrong im­pres­sion about the eco­nomic sit­u­a­tion in Zim­babwe.

“Peo­ple have been telling us about com­pa­nies clos­ing. In fact the story of com­pany clo­sures in Zim­babwe is quite amaz­ing be­cause we get the im­pres­sion we have had an un­lim­ited num­ber of com­pa­nies and they keep clos­ing in their thou­sands and have been do­ing this since 1999,” said the min­is­ter.

“I think we have got to be rea­son­able and un­der­stand that out of the clo­sures of some of these com­pa­nies there are new for­ma­tions and largely in the form of small and medium en­ter­prises and there is se­ri­ous job cre­ation.”

Prof Moyo said the on­go­ing hous­ing de­vel­op­ment ef­forts and sup­port for SMEs have a game chang­ing ef­fect on the econ­omy whose re­sults would si­lence crit­ics.

“Some peo­ple are go­ing to cry be­cause we will do hous­ing, it will add to jobs that are be­ing cre­ated. Al­ready there have been mas­sive pro­grammes and projects on the hous­ing front by in­di­vid­u­als but now there will be a sys­tem­atic pol­icy pro­gramme and the same with SMEs in­clud­ing in our sec­tor of Higher and Ter­tiary Ed­u­ca­tion Sci­ence and Technology De­vel­op­ment. Lots of young peo­ple are com­ing up with en­gi­neer­ing and tech­no­log­i­cal so­lu­tions and ap­pli­ca­tions. Agri­cul­ture, there will be just a mas­sive de­vel­op­ment. Agri­cul­ture cre­ates mil­lions of jobs. So you see, we are not afraid to en­gage on the job cre­ation is­sue,” he said.

Pro­fes­sor Jonathan Moyo

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