By Nomusa Garikai| “The era of painful austerity measures is over and the country should brace for positive growth and productivity in 2020, the Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Professor Mthuli Ncube, said yesterday,” reported The Chronicle.
“The country’s economy is expected to register a growth of plus 4,6 percent in 2020, from a negative three to six percent this year.”
This is just wishful thinking, of course!
Both Mnangagwa and Professor Ncube have known all along that Zimbabwe would never pull itself out of the economic mess it was stuck in by its own shoe strings. And hence the reason they have invested so much time, sweat and treasure in attracting investors and financial support from the IMF and WB. Sadly, they have nothing to show for all their efforts.
“Zimbabwe is open for business!” has had no takers. The flood of investors President Mnangagwa was cocksure would answer his clarion call have not materialised.
President Mnangagwa has failed to end corruption and, most notably, failed to keep the promise to hold free, fair and credible elections and thus confirmed that Zimbabwe was still a pariah state ruled by corrupt and vote rigging thugs. No one wants to do business with thugs.
Professor Ncube’s austerity program was doomed to fail; it targeted the poor whilst doing nothing to stop the unsustainable criminal waste of resources from the gross mismanagement and rampant corruption.
The Zimbabwe economy has been in decline for most of the last 39 years. As a rule of thumb, the Zanu PF has never acknowledged responsibility for any of the economic decline. Each time the regime has acknowledged the economic decline it was only to give a myriad of excuses; the drought, sanctions (its hot favourite), etc.
The regime has, without failure, offered solutions galore to all the economic problems including the dreaded sanctions. Not that the people had any meaningful democratic say in who ruled the country, since the party has always rigged elections to stay in power. So when the desired economic recovery never materialise, the party got away with it. History has the habit of repeating itself.
Professor Mthuli Ncube promised that inflation with be less than 10% by the end of this year. At present it is 300 to 500% and rising!
The Minister said the projected growth next year would be driven by several factors.
“First of all, we expect better rains in the 2019/20 season because that will mean agricultural output will pick up again. It also means the power outages that you see will ameliorate because we can have more hydro-power when water in Kariba is up.
“But also, we expect the budget to be more supportive of growth. We have said the 2020 budget is about growth and productivity in the main and job creation, supporting competitiveness and of course making sure that we have shared growth.”
Ever since the chaotic seizure of the farms to give them to Zanu PF loyalists, mostly; the agricultural sector has collapsed and never recovered. The country would have done very well indeed if we produce enough to meet most of our food needs. It is rich to expect agricultural production to recover to its pre-farm seizure level to finance the economic recovery.
What budgetary support can the minister offer when the country’s economy has shrunk 3 to 6%, by the Minister’s own admission!
First we were promised economic mass prosperity and get mass poverty instead. And ever since we were asked to endure short term painful austerity for the sake of long term prosperity only for the austerity to last now 39 years and counting with nothing to show for it.
In Zimbabwe, where those in power enjoy absolute power to impose painful austerity measure insisting the measures will bring about economic prosperity. When the prosperity fail to materialise the whole sad story is brushed aside with no explanation or apology only to be replaced by fresh austerity proposals.
“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, …” Charles Dickens, A Tale Of Two Cities.
In Zimbabwe, where those in power are accountable to no one, we the people ever get is the worst of times, the age of foolishness, epoch of incredulity, season of darkness, etc., etc.! Until we curse ourselves of the curse of rigged elections the country will never know a day of wisdom and hope.
“The era of painful austerity measures is over!” said Professor Ncube. Speaking with the arrogant indifference of one who has never suffered any of pain, knows that he is lying and, most important of all, knows he will never ever be held to account for anything! – SOURCE: zsdemocrats.blogspot.com