The 17th Zanu-PF Annual National People’s Conference was a resounding success as it came up with resolutions likely to propel the national economic development agenda anchored on the Transitional Stabilisation Programme (TSP) and austerity-driven 2019 National Budget, analysts have said.
The conference was held in Esigodini, Matabeleland South Province, and ended on Saturday. It dealt with both political and economic issues.
Speaking to some sections of the media at the conference venue on Friday, Finance and Economic Development Minister Professor Mthuli Ncube was upbeat that the conference endorsed the Budget proposals and adopted the TSP as part of a raft of measures to achieve Vision 2030.
“They also urged us to follow the recommendations and make sure that they are implemented. That is very important and that is very pleasing. But there are a lot of overlaps within the other recommendations of the party with what we see in the Budget, the TSP and Vision 2030 such as, for instance, making sure that we live within our means and remove price distortions by making sure that we support the productive sector so as to support job creation,” said Minister Ncube.
Most of the measures suggested to provide a quick fix to the economy came out loud during the conference, chief among them the need to deal with profiteering, foreign currency shortages, address concerns of the productive sector including the mining and agriculture sectors.
Some punitive measures including withdrawal of licences, which is the last resort for those defying Government directives, were also proposed.
Analyst Gift Mugano concurred with Minister Ncube that it is critical for the country to deal with activities leading to budget deficit.
He said the Esigodini conference showed commitment to deal with the scourge.
“The minister proposed to review penalties and fines on people who are abusing State funds under the Public Finance Management Act. In 2018 we had $2,3 billion budget deficit and he put in place those measures and the party has endorsed it. People can now go behind bars for abuse of State funds. Which is a radical measure, which has never been put across before,” said Mr Mugano.
“Devolution is going to lead to economic stabilisation in that every province will have capacity to export their localised resources, which will help address the trade imbalances. Each province should use what they have to attract surplus. This will help create employment and the ministers responsible for the provinces will be accountable and their work measured by their exports,” he added.
Analyst Tafadzwa Mugwadi said the conference had rejuvenated the party and was ready to implement its programmes under the stewardship of President Mnangagwa, whose pro-business policies have earned him worldwide acclaim.
“The most salient highlight of the just ended Zanu-PF Annual National People’s Conference was not only that it was President Mnangagwa’s inaugural conference as President, but also that it was one such conference that placed focus and attention on the economy. It was refreshing to witness conference deliberations more deeply embedded in day-to-day socio-economic challenges facing our society than factional contestations which characterised previous conferences,” he said.
Mr Mugwadi said this showed a Zanu-PF back on track.
“The way in which delegates deliberated on solutions to the current unjustified price hikes and distortions coupled with artificial shortages illustrated that indeed the mass party is now back on track and now dealing with issues affecting ordinary citizens,” he said.
Another analyst, Mr Langton Mabhanga, said Zanu-PF scored big when it suggested to decentralise the economy and effectively allow inclusive participation of rural communities towards economic development and subsequently leading to their emancipation.
“There lies a reasonable scope for economic transformation. This essentially means that we are to deal with issues of productivity in the rural agricultural activities in Zimbabwe, mining and tourism, you name it. The move will also deal with intensification of knowledge to farmers in the rural areas.
Political analyst Goodwine Mureriwa said the conference had been a resounding success and had set the tone for the country’s development.
“The theme of this year’s Annual People’s Conference resonated with the position that has been taken by the President of focusing on the economy and growing the economy especially after Zanu-PF won a resounding mandate during the July 30 harmonised elections.
“As the governing party, Zanu- PF has to fulfil the promises it made when campaigning and this can only be achieved when there is unity of purpose and less politicking. It is therefore encouraging that the President emphasised the need for unity, exemplary leadership and hard work in achieving the goals set by the party to uplift the people’s livelihoods,” he said.
Source : The Herald