How was the UZA manifesto developed? In what essential ways is it different from that of other parties?
Our manifesto is still in development and is being developed through citizens engagement. The first thing we did was to to ask the citizens of Zimbabwe what matters most to them and where do they stand on the issues.
We are for a much greater role for women than the window dressing role that other parties have historically subjected women to. Our Youth Policy also changes the dynamic, placing the youth at the forefront of leadership and policy making. Our policy documents will be rolled out over time as we gather and analyze the views of the people of Zimbabwe.
Your manifesto suggests a range of social programmes which would indeed make Zimbabwe a better place to live - an improved health care sector, free primary education, care for orphans and vulnerable people for example. However, these actions of course cost money. How would UZA make sure it does not succumb to the pressure to provide services that outstrip the government’s budget, resulting in government living beyond its means and further exacerbating inflation?
Zimbabwe has the requisite resources to look after its people. What makes Zimbabwe what is today is not lack of resources but the self-indulgence on the part of a ruling party and government that has skewed priorities. With the right priorities, Zimbabwe has the capacity to support a robust health delivery system and sound social welfare system. That is why we are seeking to usher in a new era of accountable and transparent government with strict observation of set budgets.
What do you think of the government's position on water supplies and other utilities? Would UZA encourage further competition by encouraging the development of other utility companies? Or would you retain government-operated systems?
UZA will not be an interventionist government. We will put the necessary regulatory policies in place and encourage private and competitive players to provide the best possible services for the benefit of the citizens of Zimbabwe. This will not just relate to the water sector, but also energy, transport, and others.
What policies will be put in place that will enable the country to fully industrialise and capacitate such companies as Sable Chemicals, ZISCO Steel, Unilever, ZIMASCO and others? Also, what role will the government play? Regulator, participator, distributor?
The country has potential if it focuses on implementation of the much hyped policies. Zimbabwe already has all the resources it needs to revitalize industries. Investors are waiting for an opportunity to chip in but they don't trust the current government, primarily due to its policy inconsistencies. The constant shifting of government policies has been a major stumbling block in the revitalisation of industry in our country. No serious investor will invest in a country where the government can change policies overnight and even threatens to take over companies.
UZA calls itself a citizens platform, how are the citizens going to be engaged, in what way and with what?
How will UZA citizens engagement, trigger change throughout Zimbabwe?
The citizens of Zimbabwe have been ready for change but they need leadership. We will rebuild Zimbabwe with the citizens by engaging the citizens. The people of Zimbabwe must be allowed to fully participate as stakeholders not as by-standers or minions. They must be heard and feel their input is valued. They must be allowed to actively participate in the transformation of Zimbabwe.
Is there a strategy in place, with tactics in play and control measures to help evaluate the efficay of the party's undertakings?
In any undertaking, but especially in politics there must be checks and balances and evaluation methods. Citizen engagement will bring added scrutiny to our Party's undertakings and at every juncture we will evaluate our strategies and assess our progress and effectiveness.
As UZA, what approaches will the party adopt in order to salvage, save and resuscitate the economy?
Zimbabwe is largely an agro-based economy; How will UZA put Zimbabwe back on the world map as regards agriculture?
Agriculture is the heart of Zimbabwe’s economy. A UZA government will ensure that Zimbabwean agriculture is restored to its full potential. We will make agriculture an attractive and lucrative business for the private sector and for small-scale farmers. Our main objective will be to achieve affordable and sustainable food supply and to work towards the eventual total elimination of chronic and seasonal food shortages.
UZA will pursue policies and programmes that make Zimbabwe self-sufficient in poultry and livestock production. We will support the breeders of goats, pigs, cattle, poultry and other livestock so as to encourage and ensure sufficient and quality supply of dairy and meat products for domestic consumption as well as exports for foreign currency generation.
The UZA government will encourage the commercialization of agriculture through private large-scale farm enterprises. We will also take measures to ensure that increased numbers of small-scale farmers develop efficiencies by providing training and incentives such as credit, machinery, technology and a ready market for their produce. We will also take measures to utilize efficient large-scale irrigation facilities and irrigation systems that facilitate agricultural production and provide water for livestock during dry seasons. Water bodies will be restored and protected and where necessary new ones will be constructed to boost capacity.