‘Zim sliding back to 2008 chaos’

THE country is slowly sliding back to the political and economic turmoil experienced just before the inclusive government due to high political intolerance by the ruling Zanu PF party and militarisation of different sectors, Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition (CiZC) has said.

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BY OBEY MANAYITI

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In a report titled Forward to the Past: Democratisation Stagnation and The Consolidation of Securocratic Zimbabwean State released this week, CiZC said the government needed to make clear and unambiguous policies especially to avoid inconsistencies that have been hurting the economy.

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The report said several appointments of senior army officials in senior government positions as well as country representatives outside Zimbabwe might be viewed as rewarding them for the partisan conduct during the execution of their duties as senior military officials.

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During the inclusive government, the opposition MDC-T was vocal demanding the security sector reform, but the National Security Council that was established at that time to include opposition leader, Morgan Tsvangirai, was rendered useless.

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CiZC said there was need to renew calls to have the security sector reformed.

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“In light of the continued militarisation of state institutions, security sector reforms (SSR) must be brought back onto the national agenda and in doing so, it is imperative that civil society and other democracy actors sharpen their analytical tools to enable them to have a better appreciation of the legislative and institutional mechanisms that relate to the security sector,” the report reads.

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“During the power-sharing government era, the debate on SSR assumed a more political nuance, which betrayed a limited understanding of the concept, resulting in hardening of attitudes against it by some of the security sector actors,” the report added.

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CiZC said it was also imperative for domestic, regional and international actors to pile pressure on the government so that it carried out political and economic reforms that would generate sufficient confidence for real investment.

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“Zimbabwe has experienced a steady reversal of political and economic progress achieved under the 2008-13 power sharing government as evidenced by the stalling of the political reform agenda and the economy’s slide into distress,” the human rights group said.

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“Policy ambiguity and incongruence in the current government have weighed heavily on the recovery process, thereby inhibiting much-needed foreign direct investment. The failure by the government to implement the new Constitution and the consolidation of a securocratic state are major red flags that dampen prospects for a democratic breakthrough.”

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CiZC said funding partners must continue to support civil society and other non-State actors in their push for political reform and in playing their monitoring and oversight roles.

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Several sectors of the economy have, on countless times, failed to perform owing to unnecessary and untimed government interference. – NewsDay