Eight out of ten score for fire-fighting govt

mutambara_mugabe__tsvangirai.jpg_2.jpgAnalysts sum up first 100 days
The new government has stopped the downward slide of the economy, but has a long way to go when it comes to positive growth, according to political analyst

We can't say it is stable but, in terms of the fire-fighting role that
the government has, I would give them eight out of ten for that because
it has really stopped the downward slide that the country was going
throughIn terms of growth, of course, it's no more than two out of ten
because we haven't seen anything tangible to say that the economy can
actually grow in any big way, mainly because the government does not
have sufficient cash resources to make these things work.

The Hot Seat interview, which also included Professor Brian Raftopoulos, took as its theme the government's first 100 days.

Magaisa said the real achievement of those first days was the re-engagement with the international community.

When you see Minister of Finance Biti going to Washington, talking to
the administration, the US administration, Congress, the IMF, World
Bank, coming to the UK to speak to the British government – these are
things that Zanu (PF) has not been able to do for the past ten years or

Raftopoulos said that the sticking points had turned out to be the
battle over the ministries, the battle over which portfolios fell to
particular ministries, the continued detention of abductees and the
sense of continued obstructive behaviour of the more retrogressive
elements of the security wing of Zanu (PF).

But I think we've also seen a kind of new hope that emerged in the 100
days, a sense that something else was possible and the beginning of, at
least the first steps of accountability of the ruling party, within
parliamentary discussions, over discussions on the Reserve Bank, the
discussions that are taking place around the media and of course the
very controversial discussions that are taking place around the
constitution, he said.

On development assistance, Magaisa said the government would fail unless there resources were made available.

While, of course, it is important to get that external assistance I
would also challenge the government to try and look inward as well, he

We are a poor country in terms of the resources that we need as of now
but we do have immense natural resources in the country and enough
potential to try and regenerate. We don't want to get to this point
next year still begging for money without planning for it. We need to
be working on things like agriculture, try and stop these things which
are causing disruption on the farms, try and see how the parastatals
like Zisco Steel, Hwange and many others can be productive and bring in
foreign currency into the country.

On the rule of law, Magaisa said the government deserved only a nominal score of two per cent.

The attitude has not changed, the personnel have not changed, the
security of individuals is not guaranteed and you've got some very big
people, people who are closer to Mr Tsvangirai like his security
advisor, like his former personal aide Gandhi Mudzingwa, Chris Dhlamini
and journalist like Manyere. These are people who continue to suffer
under the old rules and we see that there's no change in attitude and
we saw this week as well with Mukoko and others who were re-arrested or
re-detained rather in a case that was quite ridiculous, he said.

But you can see that the MDC is obviously having problems because it
doesn't have control of the military or the security structures of the
State which Zanu (PF) has steadfastly held on to. There are some good
people there in the judiciary who have to be commended, but there are
also elements which will continue to refuse to change.

On constitutional reform and consultation, Raftopoulos said there
needed to be more effort putting in to briding the gap between civil
groups like the NCA, ZTCU and ZINASU and the current process.

There's clearly a huge gulf that exists and I think that there needs
to be much more effort put into trying to rebuild that process, he
said. The real danger is, if this process continues and you get these
kind of divisions within the broad democratic movement, it only plays
into the hands of the regressive aspects of Zanu (PF) and, if the worse
happens and you get another no' vote, I think that can only hurt the
democratic movement in this current context.



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