Finance and Investment Promotion Minister, Mthuli Ncube, has stated that Zimbabweans should embrace the current favorable economic conditions, emphasizing that the country’s economy is thriving.
Speaking at the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Zimbabwe (ICAZ) convention in Bulawayo, Minister Ncube highlighted the positive economic growth rates over the past three years: 8.5% GDP growth in 2021, 6.5% in 2022, and an expected 6% for the current year.
Minister Ncube urged people to enjoy the economic prosperity, despite concerns about inflation and past currency weaknesses. He noted that many goods on store shelves are now locally produced, with 80% of items being domestically manufactured, a significant increase from previous years.
He also reassured the public that the current multi-currency regime would remain in place, allowing consumers to choose from various currencies. Minister Ncube discouraged speculation about currency issues, given the multiple currency options available.
However, the National Consumer Rights Association criticized Minister Ncube’s positive assessment, describing it as disconnected from the reality faced by ordinary citizens. They argued that while the government touts economic growth, millions of Zimbabweans continue to struggle with unemployment, poverty, and hunger. They urged the government to address the real-life challenges faced by the population.
In June, the Consumer Council of Zimbabwe (CCZ) reported that a family of six required ZWL$1 million per month to meet basic survival needs, reflecting a significant increase in living costs. The country is grappling with economic challenges, including a weakening currency, rising inflation, and price hikes for essential commodities, all of which are straining workers with low incomes.
Economic analysts also noted that the high inflation rate is affecting real growth, investment, and capital inflows, contributing to economic uncertainty in the country.