Lovemore Chikova Assistant Editor
Since he assumed office, President Mnangagwa has pronounced several new developmental concepts, some of which are already in the process of being implemented, while others are being refined in preparation for take-off.
These new concepts need Government and ruling party ZANU-PF officials at all levels of society to be active in explaining them to the people so that they are easily understood and implemented.
The officials are key to the success of such development concepts, so they should be geared for the task they have to undertake.
Without their cooperation and astuteness, the new developmental concepts will take long to implement and succeed.
President Mnangagwa has since pronounced the new trajectory that the country is taking to achieve; Vision 2030 of an upper-middle income economy.
He has also announced some of the reforms that are necessary to carry this vision forward and for its success. The burden now lies on the Government and party officials, who should mobilise people in their localities to fully participate in the success of the vision.
The new developmental concepts include devolution, a model expected to spearhead development at the local level.
Devolution entails apportioning decision-making powers to people at the grassroots levels, who will be able to chart the way forward in terms of economic development and prioritising developmental projects.
Although some countries have implemented this development model, it is a new concept in Zimbabwe that needs to be fully unpacked for the ordinary people to understand how it will benefit them.
The 388-page Transitional Stabilisation Programme (TSP) is another platform that Government is relying on for measures that will ensure a quick turnaround of the economy. The programme addresses solutions to problems facing the country and how these solutions should be implemented.
It is meant to cut Government expenditure, rein in the appetite to borrow, in a bid to boost savings and generate more exports.
The fight against corruption has been strengthened, with the swearing in of the new commissioners for the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) this week coming soon after the anti-graft body was given powers to make arrests.
There are lots of expectations that the fight against corruption will play a big role in changing many people’s attitudes towards Zimbabwe, especially foreign investors.
In line with attracting foreign direct investment, a lot is being done, including the setting up of the one-stop shop — Zimbabwe Investment Development Agency (ZIDA).
ZIDA is expected to make it easier for investors to bring their funds, new technologies and set up industries in the country.
There are also many other moves that have been instituted to facilitate the ease of doing business as part of the reform agenda being pursued by Government.
State enterprises are being reformed, with 11 of them lined up for privatisation, while some will be liquidated and others departmentalised under line ministries.
There is the re-engagement initiative that is being undertaken to ensure that Zimbabwe regains its status among other nations as a fast growing developing country.
The list of reforms and new developmental concepts being adopted is long, suffice to say the measures are meant to ensure that Zimbabwe reawakens as the economic giant that it should be.
The key to the successful implementation of these development concepts being initiated by President Mnangagwa’s administration are the officials who are entrusted with the responsibilities to implement them at various levels.
These officials include Government workers and the ruling party — ZANU-PF — leaders, who should ensure that the concepts are fully executed in their localities.
There should be harmony between Government and party officials for the developmental agenda to be successfully sold to the majority of the people.
Gone are the days when such officials used to haggle and compete against each other in a bid to prove who has much influence, or who is more important than the other. Of course, the party should always play a leading role in guiding the policy because any skewed implementation of the development concepts can lead to it being out of favour with the voters.
But this calls for a strong link between Government officials and party officials, and the spirit of working together will lead to the implementation of developmental concepts in peace and harmony as people pull in one direction.
It is these officials who should be at the forefront of implementing the developmental concepts, while at the same time fully explaining them to the people.
Without the programmes being sold to the people, there might arise a resistance because some would not be well-informed about the direction being taken by Government.
This entails Government building a strong communication strategy from the grassroots, which will ensure that the correct information reaches the people.
There should be an alternative source of information to which people can turn to when social media platforms start circulating incorrect tweets and posts about the developmental agenda.
This means that Government and party officials should consider themselves as information officers who are carrying the right message to the people.
The information should be correctly delivered to the people through coordination among all branches of Government and the ruling party.
Through integration among all those concerned, a coherent message that will put across the right information will be easily developed.
Officials should fully understand that without coordination, the job will be difficult for everyone.
In fact, the officials should take lessons from choirs that produce a top-notch harmony. You cannot sing willy-nilly in a choir and expect to have a harmonious melody that can entertain your audience.
Choir members have several parts they sing, but in most cases, the parts are soprano, alto, tenor and bass. The fact that a choir is made up of many members means that many people will be singing one part, yet it is almost unlikely that they will sing in disharmony.
So, the melodious sound produced by a choir as its end product is a result of people playing different parts, but through coordination and harmony.
There should be a good working relationship between officials at central Government office and all other Government offices in the provinces, districts, wards and other areas.
Government ministries and their subsections should also pull in the same direction in pushing forward the new concepts of development being pursued by President Mnangagwa and his administration.
It is important for officials at their different levels to constantly study the new development concepts being proffered to enhance their ability to help implement them.
This calls for upgrading in terms of their thinking and approach, learning lessons from why some past development programmes seemed to fail at the implementation stage.
A change of attitude is now required from all those entrusted with implementing the new developmental concepts because it is no longer business as usual.
It is time for the officials to make correct judgments when dealing with the people, and make sure that their choices and decisions are in line with the demands of the New Dispensation.
The honeymoon is literally over for Government officials at their different levels of work stations, as they are required to work extra hard to ensure the successful implementation of the new developmental concepts. Officials should resist being tempted by money, one of the aspects that is responsible for the corruption which Government is investing much to fight.
Corrupt officials tend to have an influence on the whole chain system of developmental programmes, hence inhibiting success in many areas.
The country now need clean officials who should be the hallmark of the new direction which the Government is pushing as the new developmental model.
Through the devolution development concept, for example, responsibilities will be delegated to the lower levels of Government and the ruling party.
These powers and responsibilities should be exercised correctly by the officials so that ideas flow from the bottom to the top and from the top to the bottom without any suspicions or hindrances. In fact, there is need for officials to completely change their thinking and approach to development, which was characterised more by politicking in the old dispensation.
President Mnangagwa has been emphasising that the game has since shifted from putting emphasis on politics to the economy.
Officials in Government and the ruling party should be able to expound this new position to the people in their localities to ensure that everyone has a buy-in to the new trajectory the country is taking.
The way they handle themselves in relation to the people should be guided by professionalism, and their thinking should be top notch when it comes to giving direction on the developmental concepts. There is no way President Mnangagwa can be expected to descend on every district, ward or village to explain the roadmap the country is pursuing for a prosperous future.
It is the duty of the officials to do that, and they should not disappoint in carrying out this noble task.
They should ensure that they carry everyone along, while they give proper guidance at their local levels.
The officials should be able to look hard at themselves and examine if they are in line with the thinking of the New Dispensation.
Those who are not should quickly change their views on development and align themselves with the new vision, and this entails changing attitudes. Once the officials put the interests of the State ahead of everything else in their daily assignments, it will be much easier to push forward the new developmental concepts.
In doing that, the officials should graduate to become strategic thinkers and thought leaders who are able to provide guidance at their local levels and help refine the development concepts.
They should be able and willing to provide solutions to problems in their localities to ensure that the implementation of the policies becomes smooth.
It should be clear to Government and ruling party officials that they are the backbone of the new policies being instituted under the New Dispensation.
Those who think they are unfit to carry out the tasks before them should excuse themselves to avoid derailing implementation of developmental concepts that will uplift the lives of the majority.