I have just been thinking on how to make ZIMASSET work without support from the international western markets seeing that our political leadership seems to be throwing stones at the West.
After much thought I realized that we actually have enough resources to fund the economic recovery. For example Botswana as a country partners with De Beers to form Debswana and so funds flow directly to the Treasury. And yet Zimbabwe licenses companies to mine and exploit natural resources while giving the nation only a small royalty. I would recommend that Zimbabwe considers having the state partner with international investors and local entrepreneurs to exploit natural resources. For example create fewer companies to exploit diamond resources which would include a tripartite shareholding structure that includes government, local entrepreneurs and international investors. This would release significant funds into eth Treasury. However government is not good at business it should be mostly an investor by leveraging the natural resources for equity but leave the local and international investors to manage the investment and the business. The government should be a facilitator and NOT interfere in the running of the business apart from a board.
Another source of revenue is to remove multitude of middle men that government uses. A few examples are worth noting: In the recent Air Zim debacle it is clear that the former CEO asked that since we are in a USD economy there was no need for an insurance broker to fatten the bill as the Airline could make payments directly to the international insurer. But somehow this was not done and it cost the country lots of middlemen fees. When the RBZ was buying cars for doctors and various entities in the hyperinflationary era it used middle men when it could have cut costs by simply procuring directly. Lots of other government agencies have similar procurement systems that allow for lots of briefcase middle men who fatten the bill and costs tax payers lots of money. This is causing a significant haemorrhage to the economy. I remember a time during the RBZ forex auctions, the professional organisation I belong to had access to concessionary exchange rate funds for purchase of materials and then made these available at very low rates to the members. When a government department with professional colleagues was asked why they would not purchased these low costs consumables we were told that its because they need the suppliers to be registered. Why on earth would the government make available funds to a professional organisation at concessionary rates and yet have government agencies source the same materials through middle men who were pricing the same product at ten times more? Of late there are unconfirmed stories doing the rounds in Harare that people are making money by buying ivory or some such products from National Parks and then onward sell to Chinese businesspeople. Why would government need middle men to sell national stocks of ivory? Is it possible that out of economic self interest the government does not want to improve its national procurement systems and streamline it for effectiveness because there are interested parties who benefit from the process? I propose that we cut out most of these middle men. This also creates an environment conducive to and facilitative of corruption.
Lets make Zimbabwe work through sharpening our processes. Until we are willing to do that most of the pronounced policies including ZIMASSET become just theoretical. I am looking at other areas that we could improve revenue generation for the Nation. Any other ideas?
My view is that if we the people will not make meaningful suggestions and just wait for government and various policy makers nothing will happen. Zimbabwe is full of intellectuals who should be contributing to the national prosperity.
I recommend that my readers will read this article: http://www.iharare.co.zw/opinionyou-lazy-intellectual-african-scum-if-you-consider-yourself-smart-please-read-this/