Monday, 1 August 2016

Swiss Ambassador warn of dire consequences if Zimbabwe does not implement reforms. By Patrick Guramatunhu

“ZIMBABWE must combat corruption, facilitate a clear legal framework for investments and uphold the rule of law for the country to extricate itself from the current economic and political crisis, Swiss Ambassador to Zimbabwe, Ruth Huber, has said,” reported New Zimbabwe.

“Switzerland is also assisting with the alignment of laws to the 2013 Constitution, and facilitating dialogue platforms between stakeholders in the country around negotiation, mediation and consensus-based nation-building.”

Could not agree with the Ambassador more on everything except on the issue of aligning existing laws to the 2013 constitution, this is just a waste of time and resources.

The 2013 constitution grants excessive dictatorial power to the State President to hire and fire Zimbabwe Election Commissioners (ZEC), senior members in the Police, Army and CIO, Judges, etc. without any of the usual democratic checks and balances, for example. With all the best will in the world there is real very little anyone can do to stop the State President, if he/she so wished, appointing party loyalists who will in ZEC and all the other state institution who will  then turn a blind eye to corruption, vote rigging, etc.

Zimbabwe’s political reforms demands the implementation of the democratic reforms agreed in the 2008 Global Political Agreement signed by President Mugabe on behalf of Zanu PF and by Morgan Tsvangirai and Arthur Mutambara on behalf of the two MDC factions and SA’s President Thabo Mbeki on behalf of SADC as the guarantor. Sadly, none of the reforms were ever implemented during the GNU hence the reason President Mugabe was able to blatantly rig the 2013 elections and land us in this political paralysis and economic mess!

Only the full implementation of the GPA democratic reforms will extricate from the present political and economic crisis.

Unemployment has soared to 90%, up to 76% of the country’s population now lives in abject poverty and hopeless despair, etc. The strain of the economic hardship on people and nation is clear for all to see if the social bonds snapped the country will sink to civil unrest or worse. The elasticity limit of the people’s patience has been exceeded a long time ago, the risk of the country sliding into mindless violence and chaos is real.

“In order to convince our Head Office which shapes our position in the Boards of the International Financial Institutions (IFIs), we need to see concrete reform steps being approved and implemented,” said Ambassador Huber.

“This includes a commitment to combat corruption, to facilitate a favourable legal framework for investments and ensure the rule of law.”

Zimbabwe’s worsening economic situation is a ticking social time bomb and the need for the country to implement the democratic reforms and defuse the bomb is now the most urgent matter for this nation.

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