The government of Zimbabwe has launched a 100-day plan that aims to lay the foundation for the rebuilding of the troubled country. Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai officially launched the plan at a ceremony in Harare.
Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara explained the plan was already underway.
"It is a management tool we are trying to use to implement ideas," said Mutambara. "So it is starting on the 29th of April and it is ending on the 6th of August."
The ambitious plan groups government ministries into five clusters namely Rights and Interests, Infrastructure, Social, Economic, and Security. Leaders of the new structures spoke at the launch.
They all noted that to succeed, the plan needs massive sums of money and since the country is virtually insolvent they called for international assistance.
But Zimbabwe also has a huge deficit in terms of observance of the rule of law and human rights.
The leader of the Rights Cluster, Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa spoke at length of the changes needed to remedy this. He mentioned a review of the tough media policies that have seen newspapers banned and allow the government a monopoly in the electronic-media sector.
Minister Chinamasa also called for the improvement of the justice delivery system and what he called the restoration of the rights of prisoners and respect for divergent opinions. But to all this he added a caveat.
"Freedom of expression and communication is a right which is enshrined in Section 20 of our constitution, but it is a right which is not absolute and which has limitations placed on it in the interests of defense, public security, public safety, public morality, public health among other considerations," said Chinamasa.
Prime Minister Tsvangirai expressed hope the plan would bring about genuine change for the people of Zimbabwe.
"This 100-day plan has the potential to change the culture of governance in Zimbabwe as it represents a ministerial commitment to delivery to the Zimbabwean people to which they will be able to hold individual ministers and government as a whole, accountable," said Morgan Tsvangirai.
But he criticized the continued violations of the rule of law and reluctance by what he described as residual elements of the old government to implement the agreement that brought about the present government of national unity.
He said the transitional government is the only alternative Zimbabwe has, noting that some of the differences between the parties that make up the government are close to resolution.