Dr Nkosana Moyo’s Full Speech At The Launch Of APA Manifesto
Greetings and Protocols observed
A. Preamble: Thank you for taking time to come and hear how we in APA think about Zimbabwe’s way forward.
I am not going to follow the manifesto as laid out because I know you will go and pour over it later.
Instead, I will give you a broad rendition and framing of how we see the job at hand and the manner in which it should be addressed. In the process I will highlight the core elements of our thinking.
We as a country, confront a challenge or problem that requires a very systematic approach to solving it. So the framework that we have followed is precisely a problem solving approach.
Firstly we need to define the challenge or problem as precisely and as dispassionately as we possibly can. This is what we would term a diagnostic.
Secondly, we must respect the fact that situations come about because of prior action, or inaction for that matter. That will help us pin down the causal relationships.
Thirdly, having clarified the cause and effect relationships that brought us to where we are, we ought to be able to identify what factors we should manage out of the system in order to move in a different and more desirable direction.
Rehabilitating Zimbabwe is a project and so just like any other project, the sequencing of the solution elements is very important. The correct sequencing allows one to manage the necessary resources as economically as possible.
At best it even allows earlier elements of the solution to release resources for subsequent elements, which of course is the best place to be.
So then, let me share with you our view of the diagnostic, but I have a feeling that just like an artist, I will be using my perspective to give you a rendition of things that are quite familiar to you.
a. Broken economy: – Our economy is broken and our population, especially the youth has no means of earning a decent livelihood.
b. Very poor service delivery: – Services to the population, i.e. education, health, water and sanitation, general infrastructure are in a very poor state or completely non-existent.
c. A damaged national psyche: – Not surprisingly, due to the abuse that Zimbabweans have borne for such a long time, a time that goes all the way back to colonization and UDI, we as a nation have internalised abusiveness! We abuse each other in debate, in rendering services such as at boarder posts, in hospitals, at the passport office, in fact at most government points of service delivery and most visibly in the way we drive on what is left of our roads.
d. As most of you will know, we are what is referred to as a pariah state. Something to be avoided, not desirable, not to be befriended, not to be associated with.
e. We have become a corrupt society: – We pay incentives, over and above the formal price, to get anything and everything done.
f. As a society we have a lot of substance abuse because of unemployment and idleness of the youth in particular.
In brief this is how I would characterize our country presently. I expect that we may have differences in some details rather than in the broad observations.
The next thing is to understand how we got here. In our view there is value in doing this, only if we are prepared to look at ourselves in the mirror and accept if our face is dirty so we can wash it. Clearly we will see no need to take remedial action if we are not able or prepared to see the shortcomings in what we have done.
The first thing to note is that all the ills or characteristics of malfunction of our country emanate from the failure of the economy. Sadly, though although consequential on the failure of the economy, some of these ills have now evolved into stand-alone problems such that simply getting the economy to turn around and grow will not automatically resolve the other challenges. They will need to be addressed and resolved in their own right.
It is our view that there are three things that got us here.
These are: –
b. Nepotism, cronyism and patronage.
c. An inability to introspect
Corruption has deprived our nation of huge amounts of resources. As I pointed out in my debate with Ambassador Mutsvangwa, if you did a lifestyle audit on most people who have served in government to date, most of them would fail the test. They have lifestyles and assets that cannot be matched to their official incomes.
I am sure I do not have to dwell on this point except to point out the obvious; these huge leakages have deprived the country of vital resources that would otherwise have been used for investment and development.
Of equal import is the lack of meritocracy and performance management in our public sector. People get jobs, up to today in case you had not noticed, on the basis of who they know, who they are related to and who they have done favors for.
I hope you appreciate that in these circumstances there can be no performance management. You typically do not let go of your relatives and friends when they fail to perform in their jobs as we have seen ad nauseam!
Nepotism, cronyism and patronage have led to the country being run like the private property of the ruling families.
Lastly in terms of the factors that have brought us here is the inability to introspect. As I wrote and as you can imagine, rewrote this presentation, I found myself searching for some of the characteristics of successful nations.
It occurred to me that successful nations have an ability to honestly self criticize.
I suspect that arising from the war of liberation, we have developed an oversized capacity for defensiveness, to the point where we have become incapable of acknowledging our mistakes. The trouble is that as we hide those mistakes from others, we also hide them from ourselves so we cannot correct them!
Performance management fundamentally depends on the ability to review and adjust and correct mis-steps.
D. Way forward
Understanding where we are and appreciating how we got here, makes it easier to tackle the task of structuring a way forward. I hope we can all agree that the root problems have to be dealt with if we hope to rehabilitate our country.
Our biggest challenge is that we have become experts at paying lip service to most things. We get into agreements with each other and with the world at large, which we constantly fail to honor. I start with this observation because a manifesto is a promise, and yet we are now so used to promises that mean absolutely nothing, starting with a constitution we do not consider to be binding!
As The Alliance of the People’s Agenda, APA, we promise the following: –
• We will as APA stand by, firstly the constitution and secondly our promises to the people of Zimbabwe.
• We will make sure that institutions of state are not conflated with party political interests and identity.
• We will have a zero tolerance stance towards corruption.
• We will always deploy the best talents that the country has at its disposal, in other words meritocracy, in all positions of public service.
• We will practice total transparency in all situations that cannot be proven to compromise state security.
• We will not subscribe to state monopolies in the provision of any serve to the population.
• We will respect human rights in all practices.
• We will pay special attention to groups that tend to be overlooked, i.e. women, the youth and the disabled.
• Whilst appreciating the work and value of development partners, we will work to make Zimbabweans understand that developing Zimbabwe is, in the first instance, the collective responsibility of Zimbabweans. We cannot outsource that responsibility.
• We will subscribe to, and take seriously, the findings of the Africa Peer Review Mechanism.
Follow Zimbabweans, in brief, the above gives you an insight into what has guided the construct of the APA manifesto.
Thank you again for giving us time to share our thoughts with you.