Movement for Democratic Change legislator Eddie Cross says while Zimbabwe is open for business it must be careful that it will not be exploited.
He also differed with his Alliance partners who said they would they would join the Rand monetary union if they win the elections and said Zimbabwe should reintroduce its own currency.
Writing on his personal blog, Cross said: “We (Zimbabwe) were at Davos along with a powerful South African delegation. I think the team made a good impression, but I am concerned that the kind of message we were putting over was that we were now again open to being exploited by big capital – whether it’s Western or Russian or Chinese.
“We have to be careful about dropping our pants – we may get raped!
“When our team gets back home they have to face a number of harsh realities that need immediate attention if we are going to get back on our feet – diplomatically, economically and socially. These fundamentals are easy to identify, tough to rectify and we need help to do so. I would list the following for the Presidents attention:
- The Fiscal Crisis: my main advice would be not to fudge the numbers – our fiscal deficit is simply unsustainable and is our core economic problem. We have to curb expenditure and boost State revenues.
- The Cash Crisis: Stop pretending it does not matter. Our people need cash for transactional purposes and we need our own currency. The adoption of other currencies was a short term, stop gap solution to our own fiscal delinquency. We now need our own and should get on with its reintroduction.
- The Imposition of Exchange Controls: Let’s recognise that these are simply a means to shift real wealth and income from the productive (export) sector to the consumptive sector. If we allow this to carry on it will destroy our economy and perpetuate the corrupt consumptive society that Mr. Mugabe created.
- Lift all Import Restrictions: Import controls put power in the hands of corrupt officials, create shortages and force up market prices. They foster inefficiencies and lower the quality of all consumer and capital goods. Go back to an open economy and if you want to protect local industry, impose tariffs on targeted goods.
- Property Rights and the Rule of Law: If these are not restored and protected with immediate effect, anarchy and lawlessness will prevail. Might is not right and Mr. Mugabe cannot be allowed to retain the land that is rightfully that of Eaglesvale School in Borrowdale. You must give the new farmers secure, marketable title and pay compensation to the original owners.
- State Debt: We simply have to restore our reputation as a reliable debtor who pays his bills on time. If we do, our present debt which reflects only 70 per cent of our GDP will not be a burden and we will be able to borrow on international markets at very low interest rates. If we can get money on the same terms as China, we too can rebuild our economy and expand our industries – anything is then possible.
- Put our People back to Work: Zimbabwe has the best educated, hardest working and innovative people in Africa. That is why we have a future as a country, but they need to have the opportunity to work and Government needs to get out of the way. Create the right conditions and become a facilitator and not a controller and the people will do the rest.
- Return to Democracy: In 1980 we voted and gained our freedom under a majority government. Let’s do it again – but do it properly, do not be afraid of the people, they know what is right for them and for all of us.
“My final question for our new President is – can you get your act together to find solutions to the above? Can you deliver in time? Remember the Chinese saying – it’s not the color of the cat that matters – does it catch mice? And while you are doing it, do not catch the Davos Virus that seeks the welfare of the few at the expense of the rest of us.”