Will new Cabinet revive economy?

HARARE - President Robert Mugabe’s appointment of his cronies into Cabinet has left some experts predicting doom and gloom for the economy.

While the veteran leader might be celebrating that he has consolidated his political hold on the country by appointing his comrades — some who have been with him in government since independence — the same cannot be said of the economy.

The country’s economy is agriculture-based and the appointment of a failed minister like Joseph Made to this key ministry will ensure that agriculture will remain rooted in the abyss.

It is Made who a decade ago, reportedly flew around in a helicopter assessing the crop situation in the country, and reported to Cabinet that there was a lot of food in the country when actually what he had seen were tree leaves not crops.

Zimbabwe’s agriculture, once rated among the best in Africa, turned into a basket case under the supervision of Made. Only recently government was forced to import 150 000 metric tonnes of maize from Zambia to avert hunger in the country — when Zimbabwe used to export the commodity all over Africa.

We also strongly feel that the appointment of Patrick Chinamasa to the Finance ministry will not only reverse the gains brought in by the former minister Tendai Biti, but will also not instil confidence in the economy.

Biti made serious inroads toward integrating Zimbabwe back into the international market, made progress in reducing our external debt and helped bring modest foreign direct investment.

The economy is currently at crossroads with this year’s growth forecast already slashed to 3,4 percent from the initial target of five percent due to lack of industrial activity and falling metal prices.

We were all hoping that some technocrats from the private sector would be invited to drum up investment from the Western countries.

Chinamasa has been there before and maybe we need to give him a chance.

However, Mugabe appears to have turned his back on any possibility of rapprochement with the progressive world by appointing a Cabinet dominated by hardliners who obstructed political reform in the inclusive government formed with the MDC following the disputed elections in 2008.

It really boggles the mind whether Ignatious Chombo, Dzikamai Mavhaire, Josiah Hungwe, Obert Mpofu, Nicholas Goche, Olivia Muchena and David Parirenyatwa — who critics accuse of destroying the southern African country’s economy over the last 14 years — will bring anything new to government through their key ministries that they have failed to do in the past 30 years?

Political analyst Philip Pasirayi aptly summed it up when he said that the new Cabinet was nothing short of “jobs for the boys”, rather than a team appointed based on merit.

Comments (1)

What do you mean, dominated by hardliners? People who have no clue what is expected of them are not hardliners, there is a name for them which can not be printed in a family paper but that word does not even begin with the letter 'h.' And as for your headline..is this a trick question?

gutter poet - 12 September 2013

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