A powerful vision inspires action of all sorts, it pulls in the necessary ideas people and resources and creates the necessary energy and momentum for its achievement. Our imagination fuels such vison and leaders who fail to imagine or to inspire and to create excitement and commitment to the creation of an imagined future reality are not required as we attempt to fundamentally transform the socio economic of conditions of our country.
The struggle for a politically independent Zimbabwe was one such powerful vision which inspired and called to action millions of people. Almost everyone did what they could do from where they were because it meant something to them even if they would not directly benefit or see its fruition. Many of our heroes and heroines died trying.
To this day we have not seen anything like it because our national vision has failed to galvanise and excite. A national vision that is not shared but imposed by a select few will not work or last. Unless a vision unleashes energy and emanates from the innermost values it cannot generate the necessary excitement and commitment towards its realisation.
Our current national vision was fashioned by politicians and not by the generality of citizens and since then, it remains their vision. There has been no effort to ensure that citizens not only understand what exactly it means to them personally, but whether such a vision is actually attainable. There is much doubt around the sincerity of its achievement and this has made it sterile political rhetoric.
It is therefore obvious that under REST we need a new exciting vision which brings together our diverse skills and characters to create a new economy in which everyone has a part to play and also benefits. Such a new vision needs to talk about renewal and transformation of both social and economic conditions in an inclusive manner and the emergence of a new developmental economy. It must talk about a structural transformation which results in new broad economic opportunities for all citizens in an environment which respects both their ambition and dignity. It needs to talk about a new nation arising through its prodigious endowments in both human and natural resources. It must be apolitical, clear, universal and simple to understand and commit to. Our new vison cannot belong to any particular grouping, class or organisation, but must belong and be embraced by the generality of citizens of Zimbabwe.
On the issue of shared values, these should provide an ethical compass while providing guidance on what is important to guide decision making and actions taken towards the achievement of agreed objectives. Values identify the principles which define and drive behaviours and create the necessary boundaries. Shared values bring citizens together even during hard times, they define who we are as a people. Integrity, accountability, transparency and fairness are the cornerstones of any government which seeks to get citizens to support its initiatives and lack of these continues to derail our economic recovery.
The prerequisite for successful economic transformation under Radical Economic Structural Transformation (REST) are:
– An acceptance that the current economic structure has failed to and cannot meet the growing and diverse social and economic needs of citizens.
– An acceptance that current “solutions” are not addressing those needs and that we need a different approach to and a re-think of economic recovery and transformation.
– An acceptance that we require a new social impetus driven by a new vison and shared values which can galvanise citizens into positive action.
It is upon these that REST will seek to address fundamental structural transformation involving:
1. Economic policy and sectoral strategies especially the productive sectors of the economy.
2. New fiscal and monetary policy measures to unlock potential.
3. National and provincial economic governance structures and policies to unlock growth.
Next we will look at the need to restructure our GDP and why that is necessary.
Vince Musewe is an independent economist and you can contact him on firstname.lastname@example.org