The affordable education loan option
By Basildon Peta
A confidential report prepared by Zimbabwe's Ministry of Economic Development paints a grim picture of a government in chaos, torn apart by infighting and clueless about how to end the six-year-old crisis.
The report, seen by the Independent Foreign Service, highlights the dysfunctional nature of the government of President Robert Mugabe.
It is also of immense significance as it demonstrates that there are members of the government who are realistic about the causes of Zimbabwe's crisis, in sharp contrast to Mugabe's knack for blaming an array of external enemies.
The report acknowledges the lack of co-ordination among critical government departments in Zimbabwe and the overall lack of commitment to end the crisis.
The report was prepared by mandarins in the Ministry of Economic Development for the National Security Council, a powerful committee of police and army commanders, a few selected cabinet ministers and Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe governor Gideon Gono.
The council is chaired by Mugabe and has replaced both the cabinet and the ruling party's Soviet-style Politburo in the government's decision-making processes.
The report, entitled Memorandum to the National Security Council on the National Economic Development Priority Programme, criticises the Mu-gabe government's "business as usual" approach in the face of an escalating economic crisis underlined by inflation in excess of 1 000 percent, 85 percent unemployment and widespread hunger.
The report is a virtual admission of opposition charges that the Zimbabwe crisis is one of governance and not of land redistribution and sanctions as Mugabe regularly claims.
The report acknowledges that sanctions imposed by Western nations are only partly to blame.
Mugabe claims the sanctions are Western retribution for his efforts to redistribute white-owned land to blacks.
"Lack of urgency to resolving the crisis (and the government's) 'business as usual' approach, lack of effective policy co-ordination and implementation, lack of an over-arching monitoring mechan- ism, mistrust within the government which is resulting in conflicts over turf, mistrust between public and private sectors, lack of commitment and above all the absence of shared national vision among stakeholders, have exacerbated the economic situation," the report noted.
The report says a massive brain-drain is also to blame for lack of progress in ending the crisis.
The report implies that the infighting in Zanu-PF over Mugabe's successor was also hurting policy formulation and consistency in implementation.
There are two factions vying to succeed Mugabe.