ECONOMISTS, academics, analysts and other ordinary Zimbabweans have to wait a bit longer for the launch of the much-trumpeted Zanu PF economic blueprint, the Zimbabwe Agenda for Sustainable Socio-Economic Transformation (Zim Asset), which the ruling party says will rejuvenate the country’s stagnant economy.
The ruling party believes Zim Asset is the panacea to the myriad of socioeconomic problems bedevilling the country, but the problem is that the document is not easily accessible, making it impossible to critique.
The document is neither on the Zanu PF nor government website. It also cannot be found in government offices, leaving people wondering what Zim Asset is all about.
It seems as though only Zanu PF politburo members are privy to the new policy document.
All other Zimbabweans not close to politburo members know about Zim Asset is what Zanu PF and some government officials have been parroting about the policy outline.
The government online website http://www.gta.gov.zw gives a brief overview of the new economic policy the Zanu PF administration will pursue in the next five years.
“The government intends to grow the economy that suffered a major knock from the illegal sanctions imposed by the West for over a decade by at least 9,9% in the next five years through value addition in various sectors. These projections are contained in the economic blueprint dubbed Zim Asset,” reads part of the overview on the government website.
“The policy document also says the government would mobilise local resources to liquidate the $6,1 billion external debt.
Zim Asset will guide economic transformation and development in the next five years, as the Zanu PF government sets key priority areas founded on uplifting both social and economic factors of Zimbabweans.
“During the plan period, the economy is projected to grow by an average of 7,3%. It is expected to grow by 3,4% in 2013, 6,1% in 2014 and continue on an upward growth trajectory to 9,9% by 2018.”
The overview says the document that has identified four key priority clusters namely — food security and nutrition, social services and poverty reduction, infrastructure and utilities and value addition and beneficiation – to drive economic growth.
Bulawayo Provincial Affairs minister Eunice Sandi-Moyo said she only had one copy of the Zim Asset policy document and people could look for it at Government Printers if they wanted it.
“I have one copy and this one is mine,” said Sandi-Moyo.
“I cannot give it to you. If you need a copy you can try Government Printers, I think they have them,” she said.
However, when Southern Eye contacted Government Printers division Print Flow in Bulawayo, an official said they did not have the document and they had never seen it.
The official said since it was a special policy document, it was probably being printed by Fidelity Printers.
“We don’t have the document despite the fact that we print for the government. Maybe the Zim Asset document is special and is being printed by Fidelity Printers,” said the official.
In the past, documents such as the Zanu PF manifesto and the new Constitution were made readily available to the public as soon as they had been drafted.
On Tuesday, Senior Minister of State Simon Khaya Moyo berated civil society and non-governmental organisations as well as academics for “deliberately side-lining” the government’s development agenda as espoused by Zim Asset.
Khaya Moyo wondered how they could discuss ways of improving the country’s economy and not mention anything to do with Zim Asset.
Khaya Moyo then threatened to deliver a truckload of Zim Asset documents.
However, Zanu PF secretary for administration Didymus Mutasa acknowledged that the Zim Asset policy document was not easily accessible and asked members of the public to be patient saying it should be made available sometime next week.
“We are working on that and the document will be launched next week and people should be patient as it will be distributed to them,” Mutasa said.