Zim Asset: Utopian pie in the sky

BULAWAYO - Political analyst Ibbo Mandaza has cast aspersions on a new economic blueprint that the ruling Zanu PF claims will spearhead the turnaround of the flagging economy.

Mandaza described the policy, dubbed Zimbabwe Agenda for Sustainable Socio-Economic Transformation (Zim Asset), as an ambitious political statement.

The 129-page blueprint was on the agenda of the just ended Zanu PF conference in Chinhoyi.

Speaking at the Leaders for Africa network conference in Bulawayo last Friday, Mandaza said anyone who took the policy seriously was out of sync with reality.

“Zim Asset is just a political statement,” Mandaza said.

“From where can you get that 7,3 growth next year. It is just a Zanu PF manifesto, it is just a political statement which means totally nothing. It has no relation to reality. It is largely a reflection of Zanu PF’s election manifesto. I don’t take it seriously,” Mandaza said.

The ruling party’s new economic blueprint Zim Asset proposes a cocktail of measures to revive the economy, including borrowing money from Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, a group of large emerging market nations collectively known as Brics, and setting up a sovereign wealth fund.

Zim Asset also looks at the sale of bonds, securitisation of remittances, re-engagement with international finance institutions and the creation of special economic zones.

The blueprint is meant to develop the economy in the next five years.

However, the country is currently under a biting liquidity crunch that has degenerated into a crisis as depositors are now failing to access cash from several banks.

“Towards an empowered society and a growing economy, from October 2013 to December 2018” is the motto for the blueprint.

Since the adoption of the multi-currency system in 2009, the country has battled a liquidity challenge, with the main sources of liquidity being domestic savings; foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows, Diaspora inflows, export proceeds and foreign lines of credit.

“My government has formulated a new plan,” Mugabe, 89, said in the foreword to the document, which details a five-year plan stretching to 2018 for the economy.

The plan is designed to “enable Zimbabwe to achieve economic growth and reposition the country as one of the strongest economies in the region and Africa.” Mandaza said Zanu PF needed to recast a new economic model if they are to turn around the economy “they have destroyed through a combination of mismanagement and illiteracy.”

“One of the biggest failures of the Zimbabwean government is (economic) illiteracy. Our leadership is largely economic illiterate including Mugabe himself. We need people who know what they are talking about,” Mandaza said.

He added: “So the issue is we have to make a deal with those who run our economy. We ruined our own economy so we have to go back to IMF.”

Mandaza said mining was one of the biggest revenue sources for the country hence the need to operate in a more transparent manner.

He said Zimbabweans must look beyond Mugabe for economic redemption.

“Mugabe is old he is very old he should have retired long ago,” Mandaza said.

“Mugabe will not be there forever so you must be thinking on the post-Mugabe era. Look beyond the current leadership most of them are old,” he said.

“We need a new leadership, generational change is necessary. For those of my age and older, we have failed even if we do not admit it. 

“Too often we cannot. There is no magic in our hands anymore. Every trick has been tried and failed, so we need change,” Mandaza said.

He said Zanu PF has got no capacity to turn around the economy after 33 years of rule.

“They are failures,” Mandaza said. “I couldn’t be part of them. It’s a pity you now all focus on Mugabe.
“You need to look forward. Infact, he is not even there. Is he? So prepare for the future and look beyond him.”

Mandaza said Mugabe was sorely to blame for the economic rundown that has characterised Zimbabwe for the last two decades.

“We can produce alternatives to the existing political structures,” he said. “We need to change the nature and content of politics.”

He said it was unfortunate that the country has to be led by illegitimate leaders after ballot fraud.

“Every election will have problems. The only way we can win elections now is by rigging,” Mandaza said.

“Who will vote for you if you have failed. Did you vote? I never bothered.”

He said it was difficult to break the cycle of fraudulent and violent elections that has become part and parcel of African politics.

Mandaza said economies in Africa have continued to under-perform due to an obsession with power retention by the ruling elite.

“You need to exercise your mind on the economic front,” he said.

“One of the failures of post-independence in Africa is the pre-occupation with politics at the expense of the economy,” he said, adding that very few African leaders have ever taken an interest in economics.

Comments (21)

Ibbo Mandaza...is always like that...to no solution,he always complain...and blaming the leadership of ZANU-PF...iBBBO Mandaza...it is too early to complain....

silungisani ndlovu - 17 December 2013

Zanu Pf has no Ideas they have now resorted to being the copycats of the ANC e.g discusing policies in a conference and the renaming of places. Come with ideas of your own. Your president is fast loosing his senses how can you conert un mined minerals into money.

chawasarira - 17 December 2013

Zanu Pf has no Ideas they have now resorted to being the copycats of the ANC e.g discusing policies in a conference and the renaming of places. Come with ideas of your own. Your president is fast loosing his senses how can you conert un mined minerals into money.

chawasarira - 17 December 2013

President Mugabe is economically very illiterate and very old. He should not be seen talking about Zimbabwean economy, his immage ressembles economic collapse.

Edzai - 17 December 2013

A very succinct synopsis of our current status as a potentially rich African country, Dr. Mandaza! Thank you for your wise counsel

Oscar Orange - 17 December 2013

A very succinct synopsis of our current status as a potentially rich African country, Dr. Mandaza! Thank you for your wise counsel

Oscar Orange - 17 December 2013

Dr. Ibbo Mandaza is aptly magnanimous when he says, 'For those of my age and older, we have failed even if we do not admit it.' This is what is lacking in African politics - to admit failure. Mandela was magnanimous when he admitted that his generation was good at fighting the apartheid system and not to govern consequently he passed on the baton (to the wrong and confused comrade Mbeki). In Zimbabwe we have a leadership focused and specializing on insulting tirades instead of solving econmic quagmire of their own creation. People want employment, the economy needs rejuvenation and infrastructure needs resuscitation as promised during elections. Yet the winning party, zanu pf, still cries 'we won' - and forgets to win to do what.

Nkosi Mambo - 17 December 2013

Silungisani how are you surviving? Don't you see the writing on the wall? Are you that blind or you are just a zombie you have lend somebody your brains? It is as clear as the summer sun that ZanuPf is a failure and a total failure in anything good but it is the best in all things bad ythere you cannot beat them and they spice it with blame blame you end up telling your neighbour that his goat stole your meat.

Maita Manyuka - 17 December 2013

Mandaza akangofanana naTsvangirai. they are both losers and don't want to admit. Akambojoina Mavambo zvikaramba. Zvino nyika yacho ichanaka ugonyara.

Chandokupisa - 17 December 2013

Mandaza you predicted the demise of ZANU PF in the 31st July election but nothing came out of your prediction. i have ceased to have trust in your "analysis". period

gumbo nkosiyapha - 17 December 2013

I believe there was a time, immediately after independence when the ruling class tried to ensure stability of the economy and standard of living for the populace. When I look at the people in charge of our government, I am not inspired. Ever since corruption became the order of the day and free for all looting started in earnest in 2000, the people are on their own. There is so much concentration on building own empires that doing anything for the country is secondary. Ministers, parastatal heads, politicians are becoming Lords while we are serfs. In the present crop of leaders I honestly see no one who is bothered about the people if not only to use them for their own selfish ends. Its like we really want to spite the colonialists by showing them that we dont care about your economics, education or civilisation, we are the jungle people, who have no order. We want to #### up the country so much so that the 'colonialists' will think twice about trying to recolonise such a basket case. Talk of cutting your own nose to spite your face. I dont think we understand the concept of a country, we are so stuick up in our little chiefdoms to care about anyone else

tsoka - 17 December 2013

@silungisani ndlovu don't be so blind! After 33yrs is it too early to complain? Come on whats wrong with you? You want people to complain after hundred years?

wakaah - 17 December 2013

@silungiso ndlovu, it's not only Ibbo who is complaining, the majority are but silently. I totally agree with him that Zim-Asset is just a ZANU PF political statement. Over the years they have deliberated failed to deal with the deliberate issues of corruption and their flawed indigenisation plan. It has resulted in dwindling foreign direct investment and stunted economic growth. Mugabe is now senile and just rants and raves. Economic illiteracy is what makes up this government & party. They still thrive on leberation war mantra and hogwash. If you think otherwise, I rest my case!

Chitoto Zvangu - 17 December 2013

A very succinct synopsis of our current status as a potentially rich African country, Dr. Mandaza! Thank you for your wise counsel

Oscar Orange - 17 December 2013

Whether or not Dr Mandaza ever joined Mavambo or not is immaterial; he is merely looking at issues and our problems straight in the face. As for his prediction about the outcome of 31 July elections, we all know about Nikuv. It is high time our leaders did some self auditing and introspection and once they admit that they have messed things up, that will be the beginning of a new leaf. As things are right now, they are burying their heads in the sand. At this juncture, one is also tempted to venture to say that the RBZ needs a new face altogether with fresh ideas and fresh thinking, and not someone who has previously been under the tutelage or influence of Dr Gono. Why not swallow our patriotism pride and perhaps even import from offshore so long as that person has the relevant skills?

Dopori - 17 December 2013

I absolutely agree with what Ibbo has stated. This is an illegitimate and economics illiterate regime comng up with crackpot economic policies. Mind you these are the same guys who engineered a world record rate of inflation a few years ago - 2008. Absolutely clueless.

Musona - 17 December 2013

Ibbo and those that agree with him, I do respect you right to your opinion but do not mislead people. Ibbo, as literate as you are, tell a particular instant at poling station where rigging took place and why did you not take the issue further. Ibbo draw chart of comparison between you and Cde Mugabe and please publish it in this paper. People like you worst energy in the wrong direction. It brings you into the lime light for debating exceedingly in bad faith.

dungas - 18 December 2013

Taura chokwadi Ibbo ,vane nzeve vanzwa,asingadi kunzwa hameno zvake ,tinovaziva avo vanonzvenga mumvuri yavo hameno kuti vachasvika riini ?Hama dzangu macdes akasunungura nyika zvakakwana ,izvi zve economy siirai vana Biti vanozvigona ,just check nenzwisa yavakatipa

Sinyoro - 18 December 2013

Ibbo is a bigger failure than zanu. What has he ever done for this country? He talks about things that he should know and yet he always goes off on tangents. The likes of Ibbo are useless for solving the governance and economic crises the country finds itself in because they do everything for money and to please their Western sponsors. He and his ilk should endeavour to be more patriotic and less mercenary.

Sikhosana - 18 December 2013

Thank Doc for bringing such a fair assessement. it is laways difficult to deal wth a person who knows that he doesn't know. who in his rightful mind can say Zanu Pf will solve these economic woes we are currently facing. Right now as we speak we are already experiencing problems which had receeded during the GNU era.

onyango - 18 December 2013

Mandaza, a fair assessor, thank you for your good analysis, for the brain washed green bombers, to hell with you

garwe - 18 December 2013

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