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Adam Smith International

100 Days: An agenda for government and donors in a new Zimbabwe

Fragile States & Post Conflict Series

Adam Smith International

July 2007

SARPN acknowledges Kubatana Trust as a source of this document: www.kubatana.net
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Introduction

This paper sets out advice and guidance for you, the incoming President of Zimbabwe, on actions that your new government should take on coming to power. Our recommended actions are designed both to establish firm foundations for political, economic and social regeneration of Zimbabwe and, critically, to establish the legitimacy of your new government in the eyes both of the Zimbabwean people and the international community. Legitimacy is critical to the success of a new government both at home and abroad. Domestically, legitimacy reduces the risk of further political upheaval and increases the likelihood that potentially difficult reform efforts will be both successful and far-reaching. Internationally, legitimacy is a necessary pre-requisite to getting the volumes of aid and emergency assistance that will be required to kick start a sustainable government led programme of regeneration.

The paper sets out actions that should be taken or actively considered in the first 100 days of a new administration. The actions - taken together - form a comprehensive, strategic reform programme that will establish a reputation for competence and position your government as setting its own agenda rather than having its agenda set for it by external actors in general and the diplomatic and donor community in particular. The importance of appearing to be actively in control of your own government's programme, rather than passively receiving direction from outside actors, is a key factor in establishing legitimacy. To this end the programme set out here aims to provide thinking for all areas of government action and seeks to help:

  • Restore macroeconomic stability and resolve the severe monetary crisis which is an immediate threat to the lives of citizens and the security of their livelihoods;
  • Remove the causes of conflict between citizens and prevent new conflicts being created as a consequence of the transition of political power, through immediate actions and the establishment of longer-term processes;
  • Assess and understand all current government capacities, including central government institutions, identify gaps with desired capacity, and develop medium and long-term plans to fill those gaps;
  • Improve government capacity to provide security to all citizens without discrimination and to safeguard their rights under law through an impartial judiciary;
  • Increase access to basic health services, education and utilities, through improved government effectiveness and coordination of alternative delivery channels;
  • Win acceptance from the major political parties and civil society organizations by clearly communicating how a new constitution will be developed, and how government will respond to their needs and interests during the interim period before a new constitution is agreed;
  • Remove inappropriate restrictions on freedom of speech and access to information, both for individual citizens and the media;
  • Persuade citizens of the new government's commitment to the welfare of all sections of society, of its break with previous governments and of its greater legitimacy, by ensuring citizens are fully aware of the government's decisions, plans and achievements in all the above activities; and
  • Work towards bringing back much-needed human capital lost over recent years through the brain drain.
Clear communication of a 100 day programme and implementation of the actions contained within it would ensure the new government has the political space and capital to drive progress forward and to maintain its popular mandate.



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