Monday, June 1, 2020

With all plans now laid, Masisi should show the will to deliver

A sluggish national economy, uncertain world economy and a restive ruling party were always going to hinder a smooth landing for a President who is just coming in and still struggling to find a correct footing.

But President Mokgweetsi Masisi needs to be bold in his decisions.

Addressing meetings forever will not bring jobs.

He needs to point to actions of change on the ground.

So far the change in Immigration Policy, which allows visitors to apply for visas upon arrival is a big and welcomed step.

We need multitudes of such big steps.

Given what he is up against, Masisi should appreciate that he does not have a lot of time on his hands.

People are hurting, economically, and that inevitably makes them impatient.

The ongoing tussles mark the changing face of our politics. But amid all the political battles, it is important for Masisi not to lose the bigger picture. He is first and foremost the Head of State.

And on that he should be consistent.

His foremost priority should not be to the ruling party’s tribal instincts, but to the nation.

Admittedly he has to win an intra-party contest for him to continue as Head of State.

But that contest while deepening inner party democracy should not in any way divert and/or derail him.

At least in the immediate term, Masisi should aim to create both the investor and markert confidence.

Both are in short supply after a decade of concerted hostilities and runaway cronyism.

Masisi has spent a good amount of his early months in office laying the ground, reversing some acidic past policies and also mending bridges.

Creating a predictable business environment takes time.

Reassuring foreign investors takes even longer.

But there is no short cut.

The starting point is to create predictable policies that allow for fair competition among market players.

That should be followed by adherence to the rule of law. And then fight against corruption.

The rule of law is important to assure investors that their investments are safe.

Fighting corruption is important for transparency and also making plain to investors what costs of doing business are so that they can plan and also make projections, especially on returns.


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Sunday Standard May 24 – 30

Digital copy of Sunday Standard issue of May 24 - 30, 2020.