By Costa Nkomo
PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa’s 2030 upper middle income economy vision remains a pipe dream for as long as the state is currently trapped in a range of problems that include corruption, poor social service delivery and captured key state institutions.
These sentiments were expressed by University of Zimbabwe lecturers at the Public Accountability Multi-Stakeholder Workshop in Harare Wednesday.
University of Zimbabwe lecturer Dr Sandra Bhatasara said reflections on the ground about social services delivery, coupled with the rampant corruption as often revealed by the Auditor General’s reports, were all potential obstacles to realising the ambitious vision.
“If you look at social inequality, most of our social indicators are in bad state. Health, education, water and sanitation, the Auditor General’s report and the amount of leakages especially in relation to social service delivery.
“Unless we are talking about simply getting to 2030 but without really caring about those we are leaving behind. My understanding will be that we are talking about social inclusion.
“Everyone should get to 2030 on the same level but with the current situation, a lot of people will not be able to get there and the 2030 vision remains a pipe dream.”
Bhatasara added rampant corruption and continued leakages of public resources were a huge problem standing in the way for the country to attain an upper middle-income economy.
“The grand misappropriation of public resources where we are seeing leakages, looting and fleecing of public resources is the major obstacle.
“The bottom line comes to what is happening to state enterprises which are not adhering to elementary principles of public finance.”
Speaking at the same event, University of Zimbabwe lecturer Barbra Maiwasha slammed what she called state capture of the country’s key institutions like the judiciary and parliament.
She said the institutions have since ceased to be effective in terms of providing an oversight role to guard against the abuse of public resources.
“The root cause of the public finance management problems in Zimbabwe are right now lack of strengthened institutions.
“Those key decision-making bodies do not have that strength. It seems that some of these institutions are under siege because we don’t have them being independent to execute their mandate effectively.”
The workshop was organised by civil society organisations that include Zimbabwe Coalition of Debt and Development (ZIMCODD), Transparency International Zimbabwe (TIZ), Oxfarm among others.
It was held under the theme “Strengthening Economic Governance and Public Accountability in Zimbabwe: Enhancing Civil Society Collaboration”.