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Tinashe Eric Muzamhindo: Both MDC and Zanu PF lack structural constraints

By Tinashe Eric Muzamhindo

Arrogance does not pay in politics. The biggest enemy of Zanu PF now is the mouths of specific spin doctors and bad mouthing.

Opposition leader Nelson Chamisa and President Emmerson Mnangagwa
Opposition leader Nelson Chamisa and President Emmerson Mnangagwa

The most important thing is to respond to a problem in a proper way. The more you increase arrogance on a specific problem which has clear political indicators is suicidal and detrimental.

In the event that a third force surfaces on the political arena, both Zanu PF and MDC will suffer a major setback in future assignments.

If you make a comprehensive analysis on the 2007 debacle, Grace Mugabe was a contributing factor on her husband’s downfall. Issues which needs clarity in Zimbabwe:

  1. Policy consistency
  2. Human Rights obligations
  3. Structural adjustments
  4. The need to address barriers
  5. Constitutionalism

Think Tank and Research

Zanu PF Government lacks depth in Research and think tanks which can address reality on governance, political ecology, leadership, information, political dividends. Lack of information on developmental issues is key to re-building the nation.

A think tank or policy institute is a research institute which performs research and advocacy concerning topics such as social policy, political strategy, economics, military, technology, and culture. Most policy institutes are non-profit organisations, which some countries such as the United States and Canada provide with tax exempt status.

Other think tanks are funded by governments, advocacy groups, or corporations, and derive revenue from consulting or research work related to their projects. The following article lists global policy institutes according to continental categories, and then sub-categories by departments within those areas. My suggestion is that there must be an establishment of proper Think Tank which must be bankrolled by State funds to provide Research, development, key information, advisory and strong recommendations on policy framework.

We have a Presidential Advisory Council which I feel has replaced a list of bootlickers and praise singers, singing for their supper. If you look at countries like Kenya, South Africa, United States of America, Uganda and Rwanda, they have established Political Thanks comprising of gurus, architects of master minders of politics and development to deliver the best for their country.

A call to Zimbabwean government and development partners to continue supporting a properly constituted think tank through a coordinated approach so that the think tank can better support Government initiatives in an independent approach and provide home-grown solutions to the country’s development problems.

For think tanks to better play their role, special attention needs to be given to building their long-term capacities and supporting them to remain independent in setting their research agenda in support of the socio-economic transformation of Zimbabwe.

This is best done through a coordinated approach if their needs are to be effectively addressed so they can contribute optimally to the country‘s transformation needs. Hence I call upon all strategic key stakeholders Government partners to provide the necessary political and financial support toward think tanks to coordinate and work with the think tanks on the proposed initiatives and strategies aimed at tackling policy implementation challenges in Zimbabwe.

Given the successes and the various solutions provided by think tanks so far around the world, I believe that our home-grown African think tanks, from independent minds, thought they do not exist, have matured to offer solutions to such challenges as policy implementation, paying special attention to dimensions around transformative leadership development, and development of critical skills and partnership building. We have so many academics in Zimbabwe, who have the potential to change the political and economic landscape.

Questions arise:

  1. Do we need such a bloated advisory council, particularly those who have conflicting positions, playing an advisory role and dealership with the Government at the same time?
  2. What has led us to be where we are today?
  3. Serious problems on Research, information and development
  4. We lack depth in key Government departments
  5. Policy clarity on Investment and Foreign Policy

Political advisor(y) – Chief Political Advisor

Both ED and Nelson Chamisa lack political advisory. Some of the political decisions being made by the two political contenders have negative implications on their political institutions. Offering political bans on the eve of SADC meetings and at the time when they are efforts of re-engagement with the International Community.

Mnangagwa must establish an office called “Chief Political Advisor, someone who will offer presidency with political solutions, someone who carries a political face before any crucial political decisions are made. What were the limitations on political strategy when Nelson Chamisa called for the demos countrywide? Was it the only solution?

Is he earmarking for a soft political landing, or advocating for a dialogue? Or complete removal of the current system? There were no clear indicators of what exactly was supposed to be achieved? For instance, conflicting statements regarding which approach to adopt, either radical or political settlement. Political Advisor falls under the broader career category of Political Scientists.

The information on this page will generally apply to all careers in this category but may not specifically apply to this career title. Study the origin, development, and operation of political systems. May study topics, such as public opinion, political decision-making, and ideology.

May analyze the structure and operation of governments, as well as various political entities. May conduct public opinion surveys, analyze election results, or analyze public documents.

Both Zanu PF and MDC lack political advisory, spinning of information, we lack the Jonathan Moyo of today, we need the Jonzo of today both in opposition and ruling party. One of the major contributing factors of the current problems we have is lack of spinning of information and good public relations. Lack of expression on key issues.

Policy Advisory

There’s often some confusion about the difference between an advisor and a policy analyst—and for good reason, because the two jobs often have a lot of overlap. However an advisor usually works on the periphery of actual policy making, and may have a more operational focus.

They are normally more concerned with the functional and operational side of policy, as opposed to the analytic ‘nitty gritty’ of policy. Generally the role of a policy advisor is to inform policy analysts on the various issues involved in policy making.

For example, the policy advisor might give advice on a particular program run by the government—was it effective? Were there problems?—which the policy analyst can then use to make their decisions. They may look at ways to implement policies when they have been approved by Parliament. A team of advisors may assist a single policy analyst to create a policy.

Day-to-day, an advisor could also expect to be involved in a similar range of responsibilities as a policy analyst—they may be expected to write reports, consult with various stakeholders, and spend a great deal of time reading and analyzing information relating to their sector.

They would normally be expected to have tertiary qualifications in relevant areas. Both Zanu PF and MDC needs policy advisor for policy consistency particularly on Foreign policy, mining, agriculture, taxation and public policy for institutional frameworks addressing challenges.

The office of “Special Assistance” to the President

The Special Assistant to the President is a role that combines administrative duties with representational duties. What matters more is your ability to handle a wide range of time-sensitive administrative responsibilities while positively representing an individual or collective decision of a particular office and the president’s office internally and externally.

The office of the President must be defended internally and externally, and this is what is lacking in Zimbabwe. Who speaks on behalf of Nelson Chamisa? Conflicting roles with that of the spokesperson of the party. How does the office of the President get protection from conflicting statements in the public domain?

On issues like foreign policy, alleged abductions, his personal position on human rights obligations and other policy alternatives? George Charamba played a pivotal role during Mugabe era when he was the spokesperson for the President, I remember during the 2008 controversial run off which Mugabe was nearly barred from attending an AU meeting and Charamba stood his ground to defend the President from such attacks. From both sides, the key aspect of “special Assistance” Is lacking, and their political institutions are vulnerable from attacks both internal and external.

Key issues affecting the nation needs the above mentioned offices:

  1. Human rights issues ( alleged abductions)
  2. Economic meltdown
  3. Policy clarity
  4. Investment Policy
  5. Maintenance Order Bill
  6. Disappearance of 1.6 Billion from the treasury without explanation
  7. Deep rooted corruption
  8. Development agenda
  9. Public relations
  • Political direction of this country

Tinashe Eric Muzamhindo – Doctor of Phil Cand. You can reach him on email: [email protected]