“We must make politics attractive to best minds" – Mutambara

ACCRA, GHANA – The Deputy Prime Minister of Zimbabwe, Mr Arthur Mutambara says the flippant shifting of focus by African governments must cease if the continent is to see any significant development.\r\n

He said the practice where new governments changed the direction of the country only helped to retard the countries’ development.

Citing Ghana, he said, former President Jerry Rawlings, upon coming into office changed the direction of the country, and his successor, J.A. Kufuor did the same, only for President Mills to do same.

That kind of attitude and behavior, he observed robbed the nation of the much needed continuity and a common vision that everybody must be working towards.

Speaking to Joy FM’s Super Morning Show host Kojo Oppong-Nkrumah, Mr Mutambara said Ghana, and all other African countries for that matter, must have a vision that is shared by all political parties, businesses and civil society organizations.

That, according to him, is the only way there can be a concerted effort at promoting development on the continent.

He said the unbridled criminalization and vilification of politics in the continent must abate to attract the best brains into the sector.

“We must make politics attractive to the best minds in Africa. The quality and calibre of politicians must improve,” he charged.

Mr Mutambara also emphasized the need for a holistic rebranding of the continent as precursor for national branding efforts by respective countries.

“You will never be respected as a Ghanaian so long as Zimbabwe hasn’t done well as country. We are talking about 21st Century Pan-Africanism where… the prosperity of Ghana is meaningless without the prosperity of Zimbabwe, the prosperity of South Africa is meaningless without the prosperity of Nigeria,” he added.

He said African governments must work proactively towards value addition in order to break the cycle of exporting primary products.

Touching on efforts being made by the Global Political Agreement to put that country back on its feet, Mr Mutambara said inflation of half a trillion has gone down to three per cent.

“Our shops now have goods, the only challenge is that people don’t have the money to buy, but at least we now have the supply side in terms of goods,…we are making sure that our schools, our universities are open, the infrastructure is in place, the fees are affordable, our schools are now functioning, so we are making progress. On land, we are making sure that we move from land acquisition to land use, to make sure that we move on productivity, food security, and self-sufficiency,” he explained.

Mr Mutambara said while power sharing government was not the best, in the interim, it united the people of Zimbabawe in pursuit of what is good for the country and the continent at large.

Power sharing, for him, is not a solution but it is necessary to create the conditions for free, fair elections.

Mr. Mutambara is in Ghana to attend the ongoing Africa re-branding meeting in Accra.