Fight Inequality Alliance (FIA) a network of organisations that seeks fair distribution of wealth, power, opportunities, social status, access and control of resources in Zimbabwe says the country’s participation to the World Economic Forum (WEF) is a waste of time and resources.
The Forum, an annual meeting offers world leaders an opportunity to “take stock of the state of the world and shape partnerships and policies for the crucial period ahead” kicked off yesterday in Davos, Switzerland.
FIA castigated President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s attendance to the summit saying it does not advance the interests of the country.
“Whilst Fight Inequality Alliance- Zimbabwe acknowledges and appreciates the need for Zimbabwe to engage the international community in pursuit of national objectives and agendas, it is deeply concerned that the country’s participation does not advance the interests of ordinary Zimbabweans but rather deepens inequalities through domestication of the ideas and policy choices that further entrench poverty.
“History tells us that Zimbabwe’s participation at such forums will be driven by the need to attract foreign direct investment under the Zimbabwe is Open for Business Mantra. What is however worrisome is the quality of investors we attract since we have had cases of multinational corporations violating the basic principles of business and human rights with impunity.
“Furthermore, the World Economic Forum has proved to be a platform to consolidate financial and corporate power at the expense of the suffering masses worldwide. We therefore contend that Davos is yet another congregation of elites meant to share ideas and propose policies which favour the corporate world and maximise profits,” said FIA in a statement.
The Alliance called on the Government among other issues to share and clarify with citizens the purpose of the visit and the number of delegation to the summit.
“If Zimbabwe is to participate at the WEF, the government must have clarity of purpose which must be shared with citizens. This also includes sharing with the general public the size of the government delegation to the World Economic Forum. Taxpayers cannot be funding public officials who have no meaningful contribution at the Forum.
“The government must also commit to ensuring that the rich and political elites pay their fair share of taxes and reduce the burden of taxation from the poor and marginalised. This must be done through instituting measures including introduction of a wealth tax which is a moral measure for wealth redistribution in society and conducting lifestyle audits to recover proceeds of crime and those accumulated through tax evasion,” the Alliance said.