Economic policies hog the limelight

ZIMBABWE might be heading for an overhaul in economic policies as different political parties contesting in the elections promised multifaceted measures aimed at addressing the country’s economic problems.

Gamma Mudarikiri
Own Correspondent

Zanu PF, MDC-T, MDC and Zapu have all given an outlay on how they will tackle the country’s economic crisis in their respective manifestos.

Zanu PF’s manifesto is centred on four key points: Indigenisation, empowerment, development and job creation.
The party promised raising $29,2 billion over the next five years by unlocking value from indigenised firms.

President Robert Mugabe’s party says this would be achieved by indigenising 1 138 companies valued at $14,3 billion. Zanu PF also promises to unlock value for empowerment and development by leveraging $1,8 trillion in mineral reserves, $7,6 billion in idle assets held by parastatals and $1,3 billion assets held by local authorities.

The party says it would set up a sovereign wealth fund for the warehousing of indigenised assets while on empowerment it will resolve the 1,25 million urban housing deadlock by constructing new houses on peri-urban farms.

On development, Zanu PF promises to allocate $5 billion of indigenised assets to the Infrastructure Development Bank of Zimbabwe for investment in physical infrastructure. This is expected to allow $20 billion worth of capital to be raised against these assets to rehabilitate roads, dams, railways, among other things.

The party is also targeting creating 2,265 million jobs across the 14 sectors of the economy as a direct result of unlocking resources from indigenisation and empowerment assets.

MDC-T has come up with an economic blueprint known as the Job Upliftment Investment Capital and Environment (Juice) which is expected to create one million jobs by 2018 and a $100 billon economy by 2040.

The party promised to resuscitate industries and to rehabilitate the railway system as part of industrialisation. MDC-T also promised the establishment of a sovereign wealth fund to ensure that all mining benefits realised are shared equitably in all the regions of the country.

The party said it would address the perennial water supply within the first 100 days of its coming into power.
It envisages expanding access to credit for home ownership, obligate national housing provision and allow private sector investment in the process.

The Welshman Ncube-led MDC promised to ensure a participative economic development and the stabilisation of the country’s international relations in order to create a market and attract investment.

The party promises the revival of industry and national infrastructure for full productivity. The Ncube MDC also promised to deliberate on a strategy to halt capital flight from Bulawayo and other towns.

The party said if it wins it would invest proceeds from the mining sector towards infrastructural development hinged on devolved agenda to equitably distribute benefits while a mines and mineral commission would be set to account for every transaction in the sector.

On service delivery, the party promised to improve access to affordable clean water, air and related environment as well sanitation facilities.

Zapu’s key strategies for economic development would include human resource development and technological development.
This would also include the industrialisation of the economy and unlocking value from land and water harvesting initiatives would be key in achieving sustainable agriculture growth for domestic and world food security.
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