By Sij Ncube
HARARE, September 9, 2015 – ZIMBABWE is virtually stagnant in its quest to attain democratic and economic progress nearly two and half years after President Robert Mugabe’s controversial re-election, a latest independent civil society report card on the Zanu PF administration has revealed.
In its damning report card on Mugabe’s administration titled: ZimGov Barometer (1st Edition) released Wednesday in which Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition evaluated political, economic and security governance, the non-governmental organisation ranked the government lowly.
The report faltered Mugabe’s reluctance to roll-out wide-sweeping electoral, media and constitutional reforms despite the enactment of a new constitution which on paper guarantees various freedoms, including freedom of assembly.
“Judging by events of the past two months (15 May to 15 July) under review, Zimbabwe is virtually stagnant and on the verge of backsliding in its quest to transit to democracy and economic prosperity,” reads part of the report-card.
“This is because the Government performance in pushing for positive reforms has been slow.”
The report blames the present economic stagnation and melt-down to what it says is the lack of confidence in the economy because of policy inconsistence, uncertainty and a legitimate crisis for the government, partly borne out of a controversial general election.
The economy will continue on a free-fall in the absence of a radical reform process to address the security of investors and investments and the crisis of legitimacy of the state against a tainted record of human rights violations, it said.
On political governance, Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition said Mugabe’s government has not demonstrated serious commitment toward the alignment of old laws with the new constitution, noting that there are over 450 pieces of legislation which urgently need to be realigned with the constitution.
“It seems unlikely that the government of Zimbabwe will complete the reform of legislation before the end of its tenure in 2018 – a situation that may see the country going for the general elections with piecemeal reforms. However, this will also depend on the pressure that civil society and the citizen in general will put on the government.
Bad governance, corruption and lack of accountability constituted a tripe crisis in the past two months. The report notes that corruption has been a major blight on the country’s economic standing. Transparency International rates Zimbabwe at 157 out of 177 in its corruption perception index and the Auditor General recently revealed that bad governance and corruption cost the government $180 million in public funds.
“We argue for a strong case for a public leadership and governance model based on constitutional principles and other values for tried and tested African values such as unhu/Ubuntu in so far as they relate to public leadership and governance,” said the report.
But Mugabe’s critics are adamant the Zanu PF leader has not political wherewithal to deal with corruption within his administration, noting that only the “small” fish have been hauled before the courts for graft.
The stalling of meaningful political and economic reforms has been attributed to a tug of war in Zanu PF between hardliners and moderates which is continuing unabated despite purge of former Vice President Joice Mujuru and others suspected of plotting to kill Mugabe.