President Emmerson Mnangagwa yesterday launched the Tripartite Negotiating Forum (TNF) Act, a piece of legislation which is expected to be the pillar of social contract among government, labour and business to discuss issues affecting the economy.
Over the years the relationship between these parties has been that of mistrust and acrimony, and that cannot take this country forward. For many this economy is already showing signs of slowing down. Inflation is climbing, rolling power outages have become the order of the day and fuel supplies are erratic.
The International Monetary Fund projects a negative growth of 2.1 percent due to effects of drought and Cyclone Idai which ravaged most parts in Manicaland.
President Mnangagwa said partners to the TNF should be transparent and hold each other accountable for their respective duties and responsibilities. That is a good starting point but this should go beyond talk.
With signs of recession clearly visible, the implementation matrix of the TNF will thus become the game-changer. In 2015, after a period of recovery (2010 to 2014), Zimbabwe’s economy began a downward trend, that saw a decline in gross domestic product (GDP) growth due to a drought and fall in commodity prices; an expansionary fiscal policy that led to a growing fiscal deficit; rising vulnerability and poverty because of weather and financial shocks; and acute foreign currency shortages dampening demand and supply.