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  • Zimbabwe's Elections 2013 - Index of Articles

  • What do Zimbabweans think about the two parties' manifestos
    Youth Forum
    July 25, 2013

    At the beginning of this month the two major parties, Zanu-PF and the MDC launched their party manifestos for the 2013 harmonized elections as they both fight to win the support of the electorate. The two parties seem to have a different creed so we have extracted some parts of the two parties’ manifestos so you help us make an assessment.

    Zanu-PF’s signature tune throughout the document revolved around indigenization and economic empowerment. Zanu-PF believes that Zimbabwe’s prosperity and economic transformation will come through indigenization and that young g people and the rest of the Zimbabweans can look forward to the creation of jobs, economic empowerment and revitalization of the industries through indigenization.

    “Only the Indigenization and People’s Empowerment reform programme can meet the goals of the people. There’s no other alternative. Therefore, Zanu PF will unapologetically intensify the implementation of this programme over the next five years in order to meet the goals of the people.”

    Although it does not utterly dismiss the concept of indigenization, the MDC crusades on the basis of devolution of power and what it terms the JUICE (Jobs, Upliftment, Investment, Capital, Environment) strategy which is an economic plan to transform the economy.

    “The MDC economic plan, presented in our JUICE strategy (Jobs, Upliftment, Investment Capital, Environment), will elevate Zimbabwe into a stable, growing and inclusive economy based on the rule of law. We will, from our first day in office, mobilize financial and technical support to kick-start our economy. We will commit to supporting entrepreneurship, agricultural productivity and re- industrialization through cluster-based development. We are blessed with beautiful and fertile land that must be cultivated and responsibly managed to ensure it provides for future generations.”

    As Zanu-PF nourishes the idea of sovereignty, independence and patriotism in every sector, it shuns the immersion of the western countries in Zimbabwe’s economy, noting that these countries have led to the country's economic meltdown. Conversely, the MDC welcomes international investment with intent to normalize Zimbabwe’s relations with the international community and the repositioning Zimbabwe as “ready for business” via investment.

    While both parties realize the need for policies to reduce poverty amongst the youth, the need for employment creation, and the importance of youth participation, the MDC echoes the need to depoliticize the Zimbabwe Youth Council and the Youth Development Fund, enhancing entrepreneurial and leadership skills. Zanu-PF on the other hand is committed to fostering a youth that is patriotic, has a proud sense of belonging and is prepared to defend the national heritage and to create jobs through the indigenization programme.

    The Zanu-PF manifesto reads: “These initiatives will create 2,265 million jobs across key sectors of the economy and contribute to export earnings, food security and to the fiscus among many other benefits including urban housing, and construction or peril-urban farms acquired during the land re- form exercise”. MDC manifesto reads, “The MDC plan is aimed at uplifting all citizens in all corners of the country and will create 1 million jobs by 2018 and a $100 billion economy by 2040. We will, from our first day in office, mobilize financial and technical support to kick-start our economy”.

    The two parties have also reflected on some of their achievements in their time of power with the MDC speaking about how they revived the economy and led to 4 years of economic growth following 10years of economic contraction, reducing inflation to a rambling 231million per cent to less than 10%. At the other hand, Zanu-PF brags about bringing independence and leading the liberation struggle. It also goes on with the issue of the land reform programme and how it has brought the economy and the land into the hands of the Zimbabweans.

    These are just but a few highlights of the parties’ manifestos. There is more to be unpacked but looking at these few, what do Zimbabweans think about what the two parties claim they will achieve? Do these manifestos address the main issues that need attention? How relevant are they in addressing the challenges that are being faced by the Zimbabwean youth? Are these manifestos economically, socially and politically viable?

    Meanwhile the Youth Forum encourages every registered voter to go and vote on 31 July. Your vote your right, it is you who can make that change!

    Visit the Youth Forum fact sheet

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