By Tafadzwa Muranganwa
A cross section of citizens has voiced its concern that President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s vision of Zimbabwe becoming an upper middle-income economy by 2030 is not inclusive.
The citizens drawn from civic organisations, labour unions, faith-based and community based organisations among many others were attending a Zimbabwe Coalition on Debt and Development (ZIMCODD) organised event on Tuesday dubbed ‘Promoting Active Citizen Participation in Zimbabwe’s economic reform agenda’.
In his opening remarks, ZIMCODD’s policy research and advocacy manager John Maketo said ED’s Vision 2030 is devoid of citizens’ inputs hence it won’t be pro-poor.
“Any national development policy should be inclusive with a social contract with those being governed.
“But what we are seeing is that the Transition Stabilisation Programme that is being touted as the first step towards realising the upper middle-income is actually impoverishing many ordinary people,” explained Maketo .
Under the Vision 2030, there has been the promulgation of the Special Economic Zones Act which will see the establishment of Special Economic Zones in different parts of the country but according to ZCTU’s national organiser Michael Kandukutu the act does not specify where the SEZ should be established and this is tantamount to increase labour abuses since under the SEZ labour laws are not obliged to be adhered to.
“The SEZ that the Vision 2030 have established through the Special Economic Zones Act , unlike the previous SEZ which had specified areas the president can even make the whole country SEZs which we know will be a bigger problem for protection of workers since under Special Economic Zones companies are not mandated to conserve best labour practises,”said Mr Kandukutu.
People with disabilities who face numerous challenges in this country believe if the government is serious in attaining the Vision 2030 it should domesticate the 2013 United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities to protect the rights and dignity of persons with disabilities.
“While government is talking about the Vision 2030 we as people with disabilities would want to see the government also domesticating the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities which was adopted in 2013,” asserted Centre for Disability and Development in Zimbabwe Director ,Mr Masimba Kuchera.
The elderly also voiced their concern on the neglect they are facing from the government and development partners who are turning a blind eye to their welfare despite making noise about the Vision 2030.
Margaret Mutsamvi, director of Economic Justice for Women was at length to explain how women continue to bear the brunt of the economic and political malaise hence there is the need to include women in the policy formulation .
“As women we are the most down trodden because at most times we are the hardest hit in economic and political woes as evidenced by the recent rape cases so it will not be fair to exclude us when crafting these policies,” argued Mutsamvi.
The Vision 2030 coincides with the campaign to end AIDS by 2030 and people living with the virus in the country are pessimistic that the government is on course to achieve this.
“Right now as people living with HIV we are faced with high costs of drugs and there are antiquated machines so we are not even sure the Vision 2030 which run concurrently with the campaign to end AIDS 2030 is achievable,” doubted Mr Charles Kautare, director of The Treatment, Health, Advocacy and Activists Trust(THAAT).
An upper middle-income are those economies with Gross National Income(GNI) per capita of between $3 896 and $12 055 and President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s administration is confident that this is achievable in 9 years time but most experts are doubting this.