Government has been called upon to create avenues for social dialogue in the country through legalizing the Tripartite Negotiating Forum (TNF) as well as including community representatives to enable ownership of policies for economic development.
Speaking during a Socio-economic Rights workshop on Thursday, Dr Prosper Chitambara who is a Development Macro-Economist with the Labor and Economic Development Research Institute of Zimbabwe (LEDRIZ) said the fact the tripartite negotiating forum is not legalized means government as one party of TNF can chose to renegade on some of the agreements reached.
“To strengthen social dialogue, we need to legalize TNF as well as include other parties like the communities as represented by various sectors such as the disabled, churches, students among others to achieve collective responsibility,
“We should all have a role to play in the development of the nation,” said Chitambara.
He added that social dialogue forums have worked very well in other countries with the policies that emanates from such forums having ownership and buy in of the people.
The tripartite negotiating forum made up of government, business and labor in 2001 came up with what was called the Kadoma Declaration that identified politics as a key problem affecting development and not the economy. The declaration called on government to take the lead in addressing the country’s problems, including the country risk factor.
When the document was tabled for discussion and signing in January 2003, the government balked, refusing to sign the document. .
Chitambara called on the government to look into its expenditure pattern as much of government revenue was going towards salaries and allowances for government officials.
“Why do we need a bloated government, 350 members of parliament in a country with 14 million people and Deputy Ministers who are not doing anything,” said Chitambara.
He added that Zimbabwe’s current economic situation was due to mismanagement and lack of prioritization.
“We are where we are not because of sanctions but because of the wrong actions that we take,” he said.
Prosper ChitambaraSocial DialogueZimbabwe Congress of Trade UnionZimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU)