By Dr Masimba Mavaza | As 2021 draws to an end, as business starts to wind down for the Christmas holidays, and the New year is beckoning, many Zimbabweans find ourselves looking back on the past 12 months, its opportunities, and challenges for our personal lives. Our lives have become from one pillar to another. Many have lost relatives and many have lost jobs and businesses have failed to rise. From big wins or losses to concerning or promising trends, it’s important to take time to reflect in the year you’ve had and the year ahead for your country. After all, whilst 2020 was a conundrum of uncertainties, 2021 brought with it post-Pandemic challenges; hybrid working negotiations, more lockdowns, resuming of travel, mass talent shortages across multiple sectors.
Often when we consider the word ‘reflection’, it can conjure up notions of looking back or in the past, rather than looking ahead to the future. But when it comes to your country and your political party looking back is crucial to moving forward towards the future.
Reflection not only provides your business an opportunity to identify what went well in the year previous and what to replicate in the future, but also where it may have experience difficulties or challenges it struggled to overcome, providing you with a view on how you could improve on these factors.
As a government it is good to identify the weaknesses as a country,what you did well or did not do well, to ensure you improve for the benefit of your performance, productivity and reputation amongst stakeholders.
Reflection: Top Tips to Use It
It isn’t enough to simply take time to reflect, ignore what was identified and move on. In fact, philosopher Confucius summed it up well, “Learning without a reflection is a waste. Reflection without learning is dangerous”.
The purpose of reflection is to seek out the opportunities and challenges you’ve faced as a business, understand their impact on your business in the past, and use this learning to improve for the future.
THE CHIEF MURINYE SYNDROME.
Zimbabwe and ZANU PF has shown the world that it is transparent and indeed it has moved to another level in the democratic world.
Chief Murinye broke into the limelight when he used his time at a funeral speech to rebuke the corrupt government officials surrounding the President.
Many people expected the President to punish Murinye. But to their utter surprise The president took notes.
Murinye exercised his constitutional right.
The president does not punish people for telling the truth.
Emerson Dambudzo MNANGAGWA is a transparent man who takes criticism without a grudge.
He is the lion and the crocodile put together. He showed his maturity by accepting what Murinye said and he is looking into every allegation.
ZANU PF as a party did not condemn Murinye. They applauded him for telling the truth.
Contrary to what MDC A tells people. ZANU PF is transparent and it does not strive in corruption.
Chief Murinye gave Zimbabweans a broader insight of what is called democracy.
THE COMMENTS OF THE VICE PRESIDENT.
The Vice President commented largely after being briefed by Chief Charumbira. The briefing misled the honourable VP and indeed his comments were in order as per the briefing.
Only that Chief Murinye is not the Villain. He is our hero and he did what is expected of all chiefs.
Chief Murinye gave constructive criticism which ZANU PF has always encouraged. Thus his speech though taken out of context by many it was befitting especially at a funeral of a senior civil servant who was not corrupt an example of what a true patriot should be.
Whilst reflecting on the past year’s successes and big wins can be a positive, it’s crucial that we do not shy away from considering what perhaps didn’t go to plan, or what our weak spots are as a country, in the sights of our people stakeholders and international world.
Not only does this show a sign of strength that Zimbabwe is willing to recognise failures, but will also allow us to become transparent and honest as a country to better understand difficulties and where we can improve on it. it’s important that Zimbabwe takes learnings from this and communicate it effectively through our entire nation. Whether we decide to do this through a top-down approach from management, or business-wide, communication is key to ensuring our reflections are put to the test.
By communicating what went well or did not go well, out colleagues who are lost can identify how their contribution affected the country and where they fit within the grand scheme of these reflections. In the case of weaknesses or what did not go so well for our country communicating this to the nation will ensure we are aware of this failing, how this impacted business, and how they can identify how they as a nation can improve on this in 2022.
The world bank reported that Zimbabwe’s economy has shown signs of recovering in 2021 mainly boosted by higher agricultural production, improved capacity utilization in industry, and stabilization of prices and exchange rates. GDP rebound to 5.1% after a two-year contraction. The strong rebound is anchored by a better 2020/21 rain season, boosting agriculture, electricity, and water.
Stabilising prices, increasing investment in public infrastructure bolstered domestic demand.
Growth is expected to strengthen further in 2022 as the negative impacts of COVID-19 subside, rain levels remain good, and implementation of policies outlined in the National Development Strategy accelerates. Good vaccination progress is likely to boost tourism, trade, transport, and other sectors that were negatively affected by pandemic disruptions.
Continued implementation of disinflation policies and fine-tuning of the foreign exchange auction market are expected to keep average annual inflation at two-digit levels in 2022 and 2023. Annual inflation stood at 50% in August 2021 down from a high of 838% in July 2020 following the introduction of rule-based reserve money management, a foreign exchange auction, and relaxation of dedollarization.
Zimbabwe received equivalent of US$961 from IMF SDR allocation, with an immediate impact of boosting gross international reserves which were critically low.
Improved economic environment eased social conditions although poverty levels remained high. With a significant proportion of households experiencing reduced or no income since the onset of the pandemic and the coverage of social assistance programs remains low. The number of people living below the international poverty line is expected to be 6.1 million in 2021 and to marginally decline in 2022, supported by expected economic growth and relatively lower inflation.
Project preparations are underway for the Health Emergency Preparedness Response Trust Fund to contribute to the National Vaccination and Deployment Strategy in response to a government request.
Following a decade of positive progress in human capital indicators, the pandemic has led to some deterioration in outcomes. Immediately after the onset of the pandemic, less than 30% of school-going children in rural areas engaged in education and learning compared with 70% for urban children. With the easing of lockdown and reopening of schools, most children are attending school. However, the pandemic continued to keep some children out of school, with teacher absenteeism being the primary reason (Zimstat, Rapid PICES phone surveys July 2020 and December 2020-March 2021).
The economic challenges and extraordinary shocks caused by the drought, cyclone, and the pandemic provide opportunities to press forward with measures to protect lives and livelihoods, and support Zimbabwe’s longer-term recovery. The NDS, sets out an ambitious plan to support the recovery. Zimbabwe’s domestic policies need to continue supporting price stability and the optimal use of public resources, especially given large financing needs to prevent a deterioration in human capital.
Reflection is key to improving on the year ahead – but checking in on what was identified during this period of reflection is also crucial. By monitoring areas identified as strengths or weaknesses within our country, this will provide us the opportunity to ensure maintenance or improvement of these elements is continuing to take place throughout 2022, and that what we have learnt from our reflections of 2021 is making a difference.
FOOD ON THE TABLE
Zimbabwe has targeted to attain food security by 2022 and to increase household income by 100 percent by the year 2024.
Apart from eliminating food imports that are resulting in a bloated import bill, the government has also targeted 40 percent value addition, to create about 1 million jobs and to increase total exports by 60 percent by the year 2024.
In addition, the government has aims to transformed about 18,000 small-scale farmers into agricultural entrepreneurs.
The ambitious targets follow the launch of the Agriculture and Food security system Transformative Strategy (AFTSTS) last year with the aim of accelerating agriculture production, productivity and growth.
We must realise that the agricultural sector is one of the key sectors in Zimbabwe’s quest to achieve an upper-middle-income economy status by 2030.
The government has developed a tobacco value addition transformation strategy to create a conducive environment for tobacco growers and the industry at large to boost output.
“This tobacco value chain transformation strategy enables the intensification of tobacco production by enhancing transparency and fair tobacco marketing, reform, restructuring and rebuilding of existing institutions in order to optimize tobacco value chain financing,”
Zimbabwe had a record maize this year since the Land Reform Program of the early 2000s, with over 2.8 million tonnes delivered to the Grain Marketing Board (GMB).
Economic growth and development cannot be achieved without the availability of appropriate economic and social infrastructure. The need to improve the quality of infrastructure services in Zimbabwe is, therefore, the cornerstone of the Government of Zimbabwe’s policy, strategy and programs to promote sustained and shared economic growth in the country. This has been articulated by the Government of Zimbabwe
The roads have been rehabilitated. The Harare Bulawayo Road is near completion with Beitbridge Masvingo Road under construction. Several roads in towns have now been resurfaced and potholes are disappearing very fast.
Hospitals are being rebuilt and renovated as schools are being improved. Each day Zimbabwe is moving a step further towards success.
Many companies have reopened and life is now normalising.
The President has moved in to solve the Chinese problem with villagers. Unreasonable village evictions was stopped.
After a long time Zimbabwe has a listening president.
As we move towards 2022 we can only marvel at the good work the president has done and Zimbabwe is on the mending track.