Where are these men taking us?

HARARE - Zimbabwe is descending into economic and social chaos and the government’s only response has been to shout populist slogans and people are now questioning where the current Cabinet is taking the nation to.

The response by President Robert Mugabe’s government to revive the country’s stuttering economy was in part familiar: more bluster by ministers around the much-hyped economic blue print, ZimAsset, which  has failed to kick-start the moribund economy, and more scapegoating of sanctions.

The government’s policy framework document, covering the period between 2014 and 2018, ambitiously seeks to grow the economy by 6,1 percent this year, 7,3 percent growth next year, create value of $7,3 billion from the indigenisation of 1 138 companies across 14 key sectors of the economy,  and unlock as much as $2 trillion in the economy.

It has been dismissed as utopia by analysts.

“ZimAsset is just a political statement,” political analyst Ibbo Mandaza said.

“From where can you get that 7,3 percent 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.”

Amid a desperate need for an economic bail out, Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa last month returned empty-handed from Washington after being denied funding by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), whose team is expected in Zimbabwe next week to review the government’s economic policies.

Chinamasa looks clueless and does not even know what economics is yet he holds the key to the most important ministry in Zimbabwe.

Chinamasa should be the face of economic prosperity but analysts argue that he cannot even run a rural bottle store, let alone an economy on its knees like Zimbabwe’s.

Even Mugabe’s key economic allies have deserted him, with Chinese envoy Lin Lin ruling out budgetary support to Zimbabwe.

“We don’t normally provide budgetary support to other countries but we try to help Zimbabwe in our own way,” Lin Lin told the Daily News last week.

In the seven months following Zanu PF’s  landslide victory in the July 31 elections last year, economic growth projections have dramatically receded, more companies have collapsed with thousands of jobs lost, while the general standard and quality of living has sharply deteriorated.

According to the Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries (CZI) manufacturing survey, local industries are currently operating at below 40 percent of capacity utilisation, while the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions says more than 9 000 people have lost their jobs since the beginning of the year following the closure of 75 companies, despite Zanu PF promising to create 2,2 million jobs in its manifesto.

Civil servants, who make the bulk of the country’s formally-employed staff, continue to live in abject poverty after Public Services and Labour minister Nicholas Goche failed to award them a salary increment. Actually, they were awarded an increment only on their payslips but the new salaries are not reflecting in their bank accounts.

Hospitals and schools are in a sorry state.

While millions of Zimbabweans, including the employed, are failing to access basic medical attention, Health minister David Parirenyatwa is hamstrung with lack of funding, with hospitals grossly understaffed, nurses struggling to get jobs while qualified doctors are earning a pittance of $283 per month.

The last time Parirenyatwa was minister of Health, at least 4 000 people died of cholera under his watch and he is back again in Mugabe’s Cabinet.

Corruption continues on a steep rise, and Zimbabwe’ economy is ruined by instability with widespread scarcity of foreign currency rapidly deteriorating standards of living throughout the country.

Zimbabwe’s unravelling should be a frightening sight to neighbours such as South Africa, which has supported Mugabe even as he wrecked what was once southern Africa’s second richest country.

Analysts say what is needed now is pressure on the government to change course and open negotiations with opposition leaders.

With the next scheduled elections years away, Zimbabwe needs to forge a political compact behind measures to arrest the collapse of the economy, analysts say.

Opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai, who has supported that course, has little leverage and analysts say it is time for Zimbabwe’s neighbours to use their influence, before the chaos becomes uncontainable.

Pedzisai Ruhanya, the director of Zimbabwe Institute for Democracy, said Mugabe’s government “lacks legitimacy” domestically and internationally and therefore is hamstrung on implementing any meaningful economic transformation.

“The best way to address the problems the country is facing is to have credible governance and economic policies as well democratic political processes,” he said.

“The current problems clearly indicate huge deficits around these issues by the ruling party. Moving ahead, the country needs to return to democratic legitimacy premised on credible, free and fair political and electoral processes that will result in a legitimate and undisputed government.”

As the crisis has deepened, divisions within the ruling party have increased — as has internal disagreement within the opposition.

Without a stabilising force in Zimbabwe, both major political groups appear to be unravelling, putting the government’s viability at serious risk.

The World Bank this week said the mining industry has potential to attract $12 billion in investment over the next five years if the impoverished country gets $5 billion to recapitalise the sector, but warned investment levels remained very low outside the large-scale mining sector.

“This amount is less than half the potential of absorption of new investment by existing projects,” the Bretton Woods institution said.

But the institution said high exploration and exploitation fees, which are ranked among the highest in the world, could stifle growth.

Despite heading the Agriculture portfolio in the past 14 years, Joseph Made has watched as new farmers continue to destroy Zimbabwe’s pride as the bread basket of the region.

Made is floating and also does not know how to handle the key post but Mugabe seems to trust him.

The greatest undoing is the nationalisation of land by government under the unbankable 99-year leases, which farmers cannot use as collateral in securing loans from banks.

The World Food Programme says more than 2,2 million people need food aid to avert starvation.

Zimbabwe is entering its 13th successive year of serious food shortages. The country which once exported food and was southern Africa’s bread basket is now a regional basket case.

Last year, the country had to buy more than 300 000 tonnes of maize from South Africa and Zambia to avert food shortages.

Despite these imports, shortages of essential foods continued and the country’s hospitals are full of children with starvation-related diseases such as kwashiorkor.

Meanwhile, power cuts are affecting large parts of Zimbabwe, as Energy minister Dzikamai Mavhaire gropes in the dark. 

The power outages are adversely affecting households and businesses. Mavhaire, is better known for urging Mugabe to quit as President than his prowess in the energy sector.

Major industrial customers have been asked to reduce their energy usage, and while larger businesses have switched to generators; many smaller enterprises have no back-up supplies.

Meanwhile, potable water has become a rarity, with the degradation of the water supply and sanitation systems becoming one of the root causes of the cholera outbreak that claimed 4 000 people in 2008 and is feared could rebound.

There are not sufficient safe sources of drinking water, and the new minister Savior Kasukuwere seems clueless about how to mitigate the crisis.

This has become an incredible breeding ground for diseases.

And local government and rural districts are collapsing under minister Ignatius Chombo’s watch.

The banking sector has not been spared the country’s rapid economic meltdown since the July 2013 elections, with seven banks being placed under surveillance by the central bank.

Then there is the minister of Tourism, Walter Mzembi, who after a good start, is now concentrating on bootlicking Mugabe.

He cried when he saw the picture of a young Mugabe and recently, at Simba Chikore’s bachelor’s party, took praise-singing to new levels.

But Mzembi forgets that tourism is supposed to be the third biggest foreign currency earner in the country after mining and agriculture.

Francis Nhema at indegenisation started well but has faded into oblivion as he seems not aware whether to turn right or left.

Walter Chidhakwa at Mines started well and

seems on the right track but as long as mining does not bring the earnings the nation expects, then he is destined to fail. 

Mike Bimha at the ministry of Industry has been a monumental failure, companies are closing down daily, people are losing jobs and he is not visible.

Obert Mpofu has a huge portfolio at Transport but all he has done so far is hire new boards but there seems no end in sight for Air Zimbabwe, National Railways of Zimbabwe, Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe and many other parastatals under him.

Dewa Mavhinga, Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition chairperson, said the crisis the country is entrapped in “manifests in a virtually bankrupt government, a collapsed economy and international pariah status”.

“Government has failed to understand that its bad attitude towards human rights, transparency and accountability negatively impacts on the economy and on Zimbabwe’s economic relations with the international community,” Mavhinga said.

With Zanu PF still railroading its controversial empowerment policies, which have spooked investors, Mavhinga said populist policies were “self-defeating”.

While the country is endowed with rich natural resources such as diamonds, corruption is flourishing in the landlocked nation and analysts say unless Mugabe gets tough on graft, the country will continue to bleed.

“Prudent and equitable use and distribution of the resources Zimbabwe has will go a long way in improving the economic situation even before one talks of extending a begging bowl to the international community.

“For Zimbabwe to get its economics right, it must get its politics right,” said Mavhinga.

Comments (55)

it reads like a piece from the MDC-T information department!

godfrey gugo - 12 March 2014

Mvura ngainayi tidye mapudzi

Colonel - 12 March 2014

We need more of these bread and butter exposes Daily News that show how callous and unfeeling the kleptocracy that rules us is.

Kamba - 12 March 2014

Maiti kurima hakunetsi. Muchiti mombe tinadzo!! Muchiti madonza tinyawo! ........singing

Changamire Dombo - 12 March 2014

Godfrey, suppose it was from the MDC does that make it inaccurate or worth dismissing. As a Zimbabwean I believe this is another disease afflicting us, judgement based on party lines. Whether this is from whoever the bottom line is that it is true. May be you are better off but at this stage if Ian Smith alive and wanted my vote I would be tempted to give it to him. Ndaita mutengesi? Well my judgement is that I was and I bet most people (now out of a job and lost pensions) will agree with that life was much better under bad old Ian Smith, the farmer. Mugabe and his elk has sold and betrayed those who died in the struggle. All he has done for the past twenty years is to shout slogans and at Tony Blaire. What has Mugabe done lately that has improved the living standards of the ordinary Zimbabwean? We are now worse off than any country in SADC, we have become the beggars of the continent and all I hear is I liberated you, from what? Certainly not from poverty, oppression, starvation, unemployment, disease you name it.

Bingo Wokwa Gutu - 12 March 2014

Isu vanaJuwachuwa hatina basa nazvo isu. kana shungu. nobody is going to bring food on my table, so I just continue working for my family. Vamugabe is working for his family, Vatsvangirai is working for his family, even the writer of this story is also writing for his or here supper. Those whom you say are bootlicking are also singing for their suppers just like Chamisa is also bootlicking his boss. Its all for his supper, so whats wrong with that. Maida kuti Muzembi ati vaMugabe vakaipa kuti adzingwe basa. Munoda kuti Chamisa ati vaTsvangirai vakaipa kuti adzingwe sezvakaita Mangoma. Chandirai mhuri dzenyu vakomana. asvotwa ngaarutse

juwachuwa - 12 March 2014

These guys are taking us were we where in 2008,so asking something that you know to them zimbabwe is a private property that is why they do not pay tax,electricity council bills and earns more than anyone else while civil servants are told that there is no money.

DAVID - 12 March 2014

Juwachuwa, what is only being said is hard working is being affected by such elements. We all want fod at the table and we want to work hard but let us join forces and make sure we are all hard workers not hard looters.

maita - 12 March 2014

Vakuru vaiti "totenda dzanwa dzaenda ne benzi" Vamwewo vakazoti "mukasekerera benzi pa dhibha rinouraya tumhuru"

maita - 12 March 2014


JONSO - 12 March 2014

Look at Mavhaire, he looks clueless and an old man fit for a sabhuku, ko vana vose who went through the universities in and outside Zimbabwe vachazowana kupi mukana, midzimu kushaya pokupotera shuwa vanhu vachingoti i am a minister, kwete mhani.

Mavhaire - 12 March 2014

May the lord help to protect the poor while the rich are enjoying life.sure more companies are closing.What is a savival stratage for the poor?????

Servent - 12 March 2014

I only have one request to GOD.Please God The Almighty,TAKE Mugabe away from this earth.I have suffered!

chikata - 12 March 2014

If only these looting tin-pot dictators worked as hard as Juwachuwa wants them to then Zimbodia would not be in the sewer that it is in now.

Musorodamba - 12 March 2014

God rebuked kings and nations for their sake. He said touch not mine anointed and do my prophets no harm. Lets go and we will see what God has in store for us tomorrow.

When God is angry! - 12 March 2014

God bless and heal Zimbabwe..

Strive - 12 March 2014

taiti kudii musi wa 31.07.2014

joshua chimombe - 12 March 2014

Juwachuwa you are missing the point. 1. A fact well said whether from the pro or anti must be accepted that way we learn from our mistakes and find a way forward. 2. If you are in public office u have no choice but to be under scrutiny or else ship out. Singing for your supper while doing the wrong thing in the public office is unaacceptable.

Mafirakureva - 12 March 2014


joshua chimombe - 12 March 2014

I have to zone into Obert Mpofu. During the UNWTO he bought a luxury boat which he named King Lobengula. It is in Vic Falls as we speak. Where did he get the money ? Ur guess is mine. Diamond largesse. What is ZIMRA doing not following up on these thugs who loot public funds ? Where is the lifestyle audit for these looters ? Shldnt assets be matched with income ? How much do these ministers earn ? This country is just not working right through. all the systems are riddled with mafiosi style corruption. People need to explain their wealth. The councils are no better. In Bulawayo the mayor earns $9000/month whereas the Kenyan president earns $12 000/month ! Can't you see how bad that is ? Nobody raised an eyebrow because of the likes of Happison and Cashbet's absurd salaries. this country is run badly vakomana...

bollo billings - 12 March 2014

zimbabwe has become a cursed country. the devil is in charge through his agents who masquarade as national leaders. the blame should lie with us the people of zimbabwe who through timidity and fear have abrogated the duty to run the country to thieves and liars. all we can do is mourn and mourn endlessly under the false comfort of our homes. we are a deluded nation, and yes we are all deluded. we must wake up from our deep slumber and redeem ourselves from this yoke of bondage. let us rise up and restore our dignity!!

redemption - 12 March 2014

taiti kudii musi wa 31.07.2013

joshua chimombe - 12 March 2014

We ,ve a oneway ticket to hell with captain bob at the helm

joshua chimombe - 12 March 2014

a display of over-fed garbage dumpsite rodents. my foot.

crooks - 12 March 2014

Just check how much Money is flowing into Mozambique the you will realise that Zimbabwe you are playing. Mahumbwe amurikuita ayo and kuchafiwa. In Mozambique just one company invests in excesso of $5 billion, just one company, while in Zimbabwe you celebrate when you have total investments of $400 million. Kikikikiki that must be a joke. Zimbabwe is dead. While you are busy shouting at investors they are busy investing somewhere where its worthy it. Do you think Zimbabwe is the cake of the world to the extent that investors have to kneel before Mugabe as they plead for investment opportunities? No. In Mozambique, a stable country when it comes to investment, investors who bring $100 million and above are plenty and still many bring in excesso of a billion per year. Go to Angola again you will see a similar scenario. Zimbabweans you are playing and joking.

Exiled - 12 March 2014

Zim Asset is just a slogan, a meaningless slogan for that matter. mombe iyi inozni zimbabwe ichiri kukamika tumukaka, but before the end of next year inenge yongobuda ropa mukaka wapedzwa nana Happison, Geshem nana Cuthbert Dube. the solution to Zim problems is simple, we dont need those tired and useless guys on the pictures on top there.

baba va limbonga - 12 March 2014

An excellent coverage of lack of leadership and state of the economy by the Daily News. Please continue such coverage of issues. For example, we have municipal officials who are highly paid when residents drink contaminated water whenever it is available. Mugabe and his cabal have no clue of service delivery but populist statements to appeal to the gullible who think that a heroic African leader is the one who insults the West the loudest. We ask again where are the promised jobs when daily our fathers, mothers, brothers and sisters lose their jobs? The ghost industrial areas continue to be an eyesore when we were promised that these will be opened. Our relatives now come home in coffins from disused South African mines. It's time the current leaders of the country and their sycophantic cabal admit failure and let those who think can lead take over. There is no need for bloodshed every time for change of leadership.

Nkosi Mambo - 12 March 2014

the truth is that we have been in this situation before ,and educated as we are we fail to realise its the same round of problems coming back to bite..when we went to vote we in the urban areas totaly agreed that bob cannot take us anywhere,but they thot they could so whilst we laugh and say Tsvangirai predicts another GNU,let us be honest we where very very very better off than now and its just 8 months with Zanu things are bad what of 5 years ..These ZANU Guys have never been able to get our economy going without other people helping them,but can surely erode what other have built up,the gnu was a MDC-T economy and now all the benefits have been eroded buy new cars,unsecured lending ,goverment borrowing ..the same thing that destroyed our economy after the smith era..we have had enough ...........taneta vakoman kutsvika riini tichinyora mumapepa whilst they spend wilyy nilly 20,30 ,40 million cars, birthdays,weddings,bachelor parties..these amounts can buy 10 zimlisted companies..meaning if halfm of what bob used on his birthday was lent to a struglling company they would not close.........its time we stand up for ourselves can we safely say this country can give a future to our children????

chokwadi - 12 March 2014

bob kitsi

muchawaya - 12 March 2014

Well said Daily, its real these recycled guys are only taking us one way- 2008. I just wonder where the 1980s Robert went. These senior ministers have farms and have been stealing for long, why cant we gracefully retire them into their farms like sabhuku Chigwedere? If i were to award performing ministers obviously first prize would go to Jonathan Moyo. I think if he can be given better life changing portfolio like Local government or Transport or Health we will be great. David Pari is the worst minister- remember the cholera outbreak. Chihuri can handle a ministry better and so can Chiwenga based on their proven ability to keep our police and army in control despite challenges. Made Joseph - i just wonder how he got the doctorate. he must be Councillor Made because there is no phd evidence in his performance. Up coming stars like Temba Mliswa, will take us there if they keep challenging the status quo. President have totally failed, the salarygate was his opportunity to sweep the cabinet and publicly reposes all stollen assets and money. He did nothing because obviously he is a beneficiary of the rot. Mai Mujuru hameno, i respect her personally but in terms of taking us somewhere economically she doesn't have the ability. Chinamasa -clueless.

lee moyo - 12 March 2014

These men are not taking this economy anywhere as that was not the plan. The plan was for them to get political power by any means and they achieved that. Economic development is for citizens in the same way citizens brought in the Multi-currency regime excluding the Chinese, Indian etc. currencies. Citizens have 4BUSD worth of cars in Zimbabwe waiting to be sold. Citizens are growing tobacco and if only they could also grow maize and not wait for Made?

Okech - 12 March 2014

If anyone thinks that our economy will be revived by tthis goup of fools then they need their heads examined especially that this group is headed by a granny who was educated under a madiocre education system of the 1930 s. This is a curse to our nation . people are drinking sewage water in the capital city and waterborne sickness have become the order of the day . We are actually moving back to 1924.

Dibulaanyika - 12 March 2014

Madoda livumelani ukuya lapho lingafuni khona Amadoda la alisa ngaphi? nge nxa yani liba vumela.

mariyeti mpala - 12 March 2014

It sounds like the MDC have not learn't a lesson. "Economic implosion." Soon the GNU will be dangled in their faces, lord have mercy on us, then you will hear MDCT running like headless goats to act as saviors to join and enjoy the perks of power. What a useless bunch (MDC) only when the economy collapses will we seek a true solution to our problems.

Maranganyika - 13 March 2014

Oh by the way, the minister's you show are old and young recycled clueless looter's.

Maranganyika - 13 March 2014

This is what happens when we are led by grand dads, these guys are pensioners, they don't have any clue what's happening to ordinary Zimbabweans because they all leave comfy life styles. With that said, we can not expect MDC led by Morgan to take us anywhere, he lacks integrity and discipline, all the women stories on his neck. I would like to think Simba Makoni will better led us a nation, not sure if he is able to discipline hardcore cadres like Mnangagwa, Mphofus and Chombo. The whole ministerial lot just makes me wonder if they really humans and most of all Zimbabweans.

Mariot - 13 March 2014

we will go no where unless and until people godfrey gugo die or are removed from our community. godfrey our leaders are doing nothing. we are not even talking about zanu here. we are saying our leaders are dead wood. whether we are from zanu or not thats what we are saying. please tell me something godfery are these guys doing well. please be truthful. its unfortunate that we have too many people in this country who think like godfrey.

sammy - 13 March 2014

They are taking us to designer wear executive outfits to buy designer wear, they are taking us to swiss accounts to check on diamond loot. They are taking us us to boardrooms of corrupt officials to collect their stake. They are taking us to top of the range car dealerships to purchase expensive toys for flaunting. Occasionally, they also take us to Chikurubi Maximum Prison, to observe from a distance, ailing Zim economy doing time time there. But they never take us to our hosipitals because, the rot there does not meet their health requirements so they fly without us, overseas for eye and ear health check ups.

taps - 13 March 2014

Before I can answer the question, just analyze each of the faces above and tell me if any of them has an idea of why they are in government. Now, to the answer; do we know where we want to be as a nation being led by these people. Did we tell them, through the only power we have, the ballot, where we would like to be. We voted them into power and mandated them to lead us so lets wait for arrival.

Save - 13 March 2014


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We are in this situation because we allow it. Ukrainians showed us the way, just that Zimbos never learn.

Jerome - 13 March 2014

They are taking us to HELL.

Roland Dube - 13 March 2014

Once the pride of Africa a robust economy now just a basket case a beggar on the regional and international scene, nobody wants to see a Zimbabwean. Give this country to competent blacks if they are non give it back to the whites at least to administer it for us coz they did far much better.34 years of looting and plundering no power station ever built by the ZANU PF no infrastructure of any sort simple inherited and now we have reduced it to rubbish.

Roland Dube - 13 March 2014

matimadiyi muchamama muchasura chando kkkkkkkkk

mabhunu muchapera - 13 March 2014

Ana Pedzisai Ruhanya...You have been harping and barking netuma NGO twenyu

shocked - 13 March 2014

mr president if you dont act on your people now, the people will act on you and its coming faster than your day of passing on. help yourself dont be scared of the wrongs you did. people are ready to forgive you if you repent than continue in your pride which i think your young wife grace is encouraging you be keep.

see - 13 March 2014

In terms of economic groth and direction, the truth is that these guys are clueless, are on autopilot and are taking this once beautiful and prosperous land to its ruin. Rather it is imperative that we put our trust in God than in these politicians.

Maravhuza - 13 March 2014

Would satan have offered our Lord, Jesus Christ all this world and its governments if they were not his?

Coolage - 14 March 2014

hapana kwatirikuenda nevarume ava tirikutodzorerwa kumashure.

kazozo - 14 March 2014

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