Where are the 2,2 million jobs?

HARARE - Exactly a year after the 2013 harmonised elections which were controversially won by Zanu PF, Zimbabweans are now worse off than they were before the polls.

Analysts say the much-touted economic blueprint, the Zimbabwe Agenda for Sustainable Socio-Economic Transformation (ZimAsset), has failed to deliver and remains “academic” and a “pie in the sky”.

Random surveys have also revealed that most Zimbabweans, including some Zanu PF Members of Parliament and Senate do not even know what ZimAsset is about, let alone how it will help the suffering millions of Zimbabweans.

Stitched up by the Zanu PF-led government after last year’s plebiscite that extended President Robert Mugabe’s rule, ZimAsset was poised to deliver more than 2,2 million new jobs which the liberation movement promised during the election campaign as well as fire recovery and growth of the country’s economy.

Other promises in the economic blueprint include 250 000 low income housing units, 310 public schools and 300 clinics, but struggling ordinary Zimbabweans have seen little, if any, of the promised million new jobs with company closures continuing — pushing the unemployment rate to over 85 percent.

Actually, the opposite is happening. An estimated 40 000 graduates from universities and other tertiary institutions are resorting to vending to make ends meet while access to health care has become a dream. In the meantime, Zanu PF officials are busy engaging in a vicious power struggle as different factions fight to replace the 90-year-old Mugabe.

The economy, which Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa predicted would grow by 6,1 percent this year, has hit a bad patch with the government being forced to reverse its economic growth forecast for 2014 to a measly 3,1 percent.

Substantive economic recovery witnessed during the days of the unity government when Mugabe shared power with MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai has vanished.

Economic recovery also remains elusive although government says it is too early to expect positive results.

Recent revelations by Industry minister Mike Bimha that more than 624 companies across the country have retrenched over the past four years and a significant number have closed shop, rendering hundreds of thousands people jobless, are quite chilling.

“Most companies that had shown signs of recovery since the hyperinflationary era, have either closed or are significantly downsizing, shedding many jobs in the process,” he said adding that more and more companies were being liquidated, while others are being placed under the care of judicial managers as low economic activity persists.

“In 2010, about 141 companies retrenched while the number increased in 2011 to 171 companies which retrenched. However, statistics in 2012 show that about 147 companies retrenched but in 2013 there was an increase of
18 percent to 165 companies which retrenched,” said Bimha.

This comes as a report from the National Social Security Authority revealed that at least 10 firms have been closing every month since the beginning of this year. This translates to 60 companies having closed shop so far and the figures could get to 120 companies by the end of the year if the situation remains as it is.

A liquidity crunch in the economy has seen domestic companies failing to recapitalise to deal with competition from cheap imports.

According to the Master of the High Court’s roll, scores of companies are each month applying for judicial management, liquidation and voluntary closure as provided for by the Companies Act. The act provides that a company may be placed under judicial management if it is unable to clear its debts or when it is likely to collapse.

The Master of the High Court’s roll shows that some of the affected companies from across all economic sectors include Zimbao Mining Ventures, Infinity Asset Management, Rusape Service Station, Central African Shipping Agencies and United Methodist Publications and Stationers Foundations.

Others are ambulance service provider Mars Zimbabwe (Pvt) Ltd, Road Construction company Gulliver Consolidated, multi-industrial concern Phoenix Consolidated Industries, KM Financial Holdings and several holding firms such as Apex holdings and Shaefur investments.

Big companies that have retrenched staff include Zimplats, Unki, Bindura Nickel, Mimosa, Spar Supermarkets, Dairibord, Cairns Foods, Olivine Industries and PG Industries.

Economic and political experts say the five-year economic blueprint, ZimAsset, which was extracted from Zanu PF’s election manifesto and modelled along China’s development programme, was very flawed and thus difficult to implement.

Tsvangirai, in his personal reflections memo last month, said the southern African country was desperately in need of political dialogue to salvage the economy from total collapse.

“The government simply has run out of ideas, even in the wake of shrinking revenue collections as a result of a diminishing tax base. The purported economic blueprint, ZimAsset, needs funding to the tune of $27 billion, and this at time when we have failed to fund an annual budget that needed around $4 billion,” he said.

“The ZimAsset programme, supposedly the panacea to our economic success, has failed to attract any funding whatsoever,” added Tsvangirai.

The Welshman Ncube-led MDC says it is irked by the manner in which the Zanu PF government has failed to deliver on its election promises, a year after winning a two thirds majority, whittling down the opposition’s parliamentary presence to nothing more than a footnote.

National spokesperson of the Ncube-led group Nhlanhla Dube said the party’s national standing committee which met in Bulawayo recently, deliberated on a raft of economic and political issues that are currently handcuffing national progress.

“It was sadly noted, that a year has lapsed after the national harmonised elections and that Zanu PF has not in this period fulfilled a single promise it made to the electorate prior to elections,” Dube said.

He said Zanu PF has proved unequivocally inept with regard to governmental responsibility in the critical areas of jobs, health, anti-corruption, education, public transport and real economic empowerment.

Economic commentator Tawanda Zviroto noted that by choosing to point at sanctions as the core cause of Zimbabwe’s economic ills, in ZimAsset the government produced a policy document that does not address the problem.

“Failure to diagnose the cause of one’s illness will result in the prescription of wrong medication. Zimbabwe’s biggest problems for decades have been and remain over-expenditure by central government and corruption in both public and private sector.

“Any proposal to revive Zimbabwe’s economy which fails to recognise these two areas cannot be taken serious,” he said.

Comments (27)

ZimAsset is a monumental failure. There are no jobs&therefore no economic growth to talk about. Instead of relinguishing power,the president works to consolidate it & upgrade his family politically.That's the stupid drama at ZANU PF. The once revered revolutionary party has become ''PERSONAL''property. WHAT A SHAME!!!

MAREHWAREHWA - 4 August 2014

These fools in Zanu will never admit failure, right now instead of producing a document that would counter the "so called sanctions" and having seen its failure they go back to their usual sanctions song. They do not care an iota as they have access to best medical facilities elsewhere then claim success for the siamese separation. This is where you see that Zanu is very unpatriotic and never was in any case; selfish people nxaaaaaaaa

Qawe laMaqawe - 4 August 2014

It's the height of gullibility and rank idiocy for anyone to accept the lies that ZanuPF was going to create over 2,2 million jobs when companies which were created by whites are closing down daily. Black people have never been business-orientated at all. Blacks do not trust other blacks to sell them reliable goods or expect fellow blacks to provide reliable services. You cannot have educated but poor black people leading big companies because they will steal from these companies to keep up with the Joneses. Also because of our extended family tradition we tend to be nepotistic. The only jobs which ZanuPF can create are for thugs to roam about the country intimidating vulnerable villagers to support their party not productive jobs as we know them. This is what they meant. How can sane people expect ZanuPF to create over 2 million jobs when they engineered a world record rate of inflation? This ZanuPF regime is proposing closing once viable parastatals not creating more! Creating jobs is easier said than done in practice. What these idiots in ZanuPF do not understand is that if you chase away the whites who created the factories in the first place you end up with people with no jobs at all. These idiots do not understand that to make a business thrive - you have to put money into the business all the time in order to make a profit. Educated but poor people cannot run businesses - they only end up stealing to keep up with the Joneses. Economic equality is not possible; indeed, some measure of inequality is essential for the spirit of envy and keeping up with the honest Joneses and so on that it is a valuable spur to economic activity. The essential measure of inequality we had were the rich whites. We all wanted to be as rich as the whites but by honest means but some in ZanuPF think holding political office is the quickest route to untold wealth.

Musona - 4 August 2014

What is happening now in Zimbabwe was tried by Julius Nyerere in the late 1960s to 1970s as some form of crude socialism called Ujamaa which failed, and is going to fail here. Everyone else has moved away from this communist/Marxist socialism except Cuba and Mugabe thinks he can defy the laws of economics. ZimAsset - crackpot policy which is never going to work in a country which is so corrupt as Zimbabwe.

Musona - 4 August 2014

I think it is wrong for MDCT activists and sellout supporters to claim prematurely that our party has failed. The targets in the manifesto were not aimed at a period of twelve months. That interpretation is just being mischievious by those who support sanctions which are causing an uphill task to create the jobs. The process of sanctions removal will take time if look at the signs of change in EU , when the US appears to be digging in as they lick the wounds of regime change failure in Zimbabwe. ZANUPF will continue its trajectory despite the satanic sanctions. Foolish crtics of ZANUPF know that even if MDCT had won , it was going to take long turn around the economy becoz of how the sanctions have damaged our economy.

Cde Mzvinavhu(Prof) - 4 August 2014

next time vote wisely. never be fooled by false promises.

tobias - 4 August 2014

Cde, even if we were given 20 billion dollars debt free, we would still be in the same situation if not worse. ZANU PF does not have the people at heart. What kind of people are comfortable seeking medical attention overseas while the povo can barely afford a Panadol? How can anyone expect people who behave in this way to make good on such an outlandish promise? Unfortunately ZANU PF's track record speaks for itself so this will never happen even if ZANU PF was to rule for a 100 years. The people despise ZANU PF for it's murderous, deceitful and corrupt ways...and by the way I'm not MDC either. Your sanctions excuse is tired, clearly ZANU PF has ways of circumventing them when it comes to replenishing it's fleet of luxury Western vehicle models, but not when it comes to fixing the mess it created in the economy.

mukwerekwere - 4 August 2014

@to ZanuPF blind follower Muzvina - greatest nonsense. Some of us know Southern Rhodesia before much much more stringent UN Trade sanctions in 1965 to 1980. Despite these UN trade sanctions the country was the second most prosperous economy in Africa. At no point did we ever hear Smith complaining about sanctions. Mugabe inherited Africa's most prosperous economy in 1980. It was not Mugabe's economic genius which made this country the second most prosperous in Africa but the whites. Mugabe knows sod all about the economy. A few years ago Mugabe said “…there was no way a country can go broke or bankrupt”. He castigated Leonard Tsumba for cautiously following “textbook economics”. Mugabe is the current holder of the world record rate of inflation. Not Africa's record rate of inflation, but the world's record. Is ZimAsset “textbook economics”? Only a few days ago Mugabe speaking through his spokesman, Manheru, thinks what he calls “Rhodesian Industries should collapse” - he did not say what he is going to replace the Rhodesian Industries with. Mugabe was a primary school teacher who never worked in industry and knows sod all how industry is connected to the country's economy. Mugabe also said the people who are claiming there is unemployment are wrong because those with pieces of land are, in fact, employed. On the 17 Jun 2014, while in Bolivia, Mugabe said, "The sanctions are getting defeated domestically and to the extent that our allies are supporting us internationally". And the US Ambassador Bruce Wharton response to this was “Zimbabwe's political and economic problems were self-made and not related to the sanctions”. On the 28 April 2014 Chinamasa said, “No one wants to lend Zimbabwe money anymore because we have defaulted in the past. Whether we go to Zambia or to Malawi, it's the same thing because we are indebted to these countries. We are on our own and we have to be more innovative”.

Musona - 4 August 2014

ZANU PF will rig elections again next time we have elections in Zimbabwe and they will win again and they will promise 2.2 million jobs again and there will be no jobs at all even if they win elections.

Pfocho - 4 August 2014

zim Asset what a shame!!!!!!!!!!!!!!?

zvazviri - 4 August 2014

People must learn to appreciate please. Look Zimbabwe has achieved what most countries have failed to do to its people. Majority of the people have been turned to budding business man/ business woman. everyone is selling airtime at street corners , selling green vegies, lea markets,selling car parts, selling sadza, etc. That is real empowerment .And the country has managed to do away with imperialist factories, industries, shops etc. Almost a third of the population are now owning farms ( kikikikikiki!!!!!!!) What else do you want in life.

kujo - 5 August 2014

Since when have we ever read meaningful comments from an idiot called Cde Muzvinavhu?It's very clear that ZANU PF is always a lying party & the current poverty in people is caused by this cruel rubbish called ZANU PF.Honestly who can rejoice that his university graduate child has been economically empowered by selling airtime at street corners?There has been all sorts of vending during Smith's time .Can we therefore say Smith had already empowered those black vendors? Please don't fool people.Tuckshops, street vending, fruit&green vegetable misika were the order of day during Smith's rule.The trend has actually been intensified by job losses now. In fact,this evil monster called ZANU PF has caused untold suffering to the povo.

JAKUCHICHI DONGAWATONGA - 5 August 2014

what are people talking about. china is soon giving us $4b wow.

s - 5 August 2014

Zanu Pf party yemadhongi.

Musorobanga - 5 August 2014

This ZIMASSET thing reminds me of a story I heard when I was a child of people in some Kingdom who promised to climb up into the heavens and bring down the moon for their King so he could wear it round his neck. When they failed on their task, their excuse was that they had run out of scaffolding. That's the same as is happening with our leaders who promise us heaven on earth only to come up with stupid excuses such as the tired one about sanctions.

Dr Know - 5 August 2014

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GALLERYCARTRIDGES - 5 August 2014

Let's take a hypothetical situation that if this land not been COLONISED by the whites from Britain in 1890 would we be having (1) more jobs OR (2) less jobs OR (3) no jobs at all? Also let's take a hypothetical situation that if this land not been COLONISED by the whites from Britain in 1890 would we be having (1) more EDUCATED PEOPLE or (2) less EDUCATED PEOPLE or (3) no EDUCATION to talk about?

Musona - 5 August 2014

Nxaa! why waste time crying over spilt milk. he he pamberi nejongwe, he he morgan has many wives, he he we will empower you. my foot! Chamareza lost interest in these fools at shake shake building long ago, that is why i was one of the first members of zum. You see, Chamareza realised long ago that the revolutionary party is a political master/champion. These guys are political geniuses, but they are the biggest economic fools/idiots. You remember how one Rotinha Mavunga took one Didymus Mutasa & company to a rock in chinhoyi to get diesel from a rock to solve our fuel problems? Imagine a whole grown minister of presidential affairs going to snuff bute on some rock in an attempt to solve the fuel crisis. This same minister advises the president daily. Maiiwe zvangu, then people go on to vote for zanu on the back of zim asset. Hamusati masvuurwa, muchati baba takatadza nomuridzo. Zii zvako Chamareza!

chamu chavunnduka - 5 August 2014

This article is highly MISLEADING, UNINFORMED & SHALLOW and not surprisingly peppered with half-truths, distortions and downright lies!! [1] the 2.2 million jobs are supposed to be a 5-year project, so how do you demand them after only ONE year??!! [2] yes, we have heard, ad nauseum, about company closures and people losing their jobs, but to balance things in an objective manner, can we also hear of people who have got new jobs??!! Don't tell me there are none coz I know Lobels is actually expanding in Byo; New Zimsteel is re-opening; David Whitehead is also re-opening; etc [3] The state of the economy is made to look like it's the fault of ZPF but isn't it an open secret that the MDC-T cried, begged & grovelled for sanctions to be imposed on Zim??!! Is it also not true that that party of puppets & sell-outs hoped that the economic difficulties would make the electorate abandon ZPF and jump straight into their waiting arms en route to State House??!! When the American Secretary of State warned BEFORE the enactment of ZIDERA that sanctions would make the Zim economy "SCREAM" was he implying a breath-taking economic recovery or what??!! [4] The writer of the article displays total bankruptcy of ideas & decency by quoting Chematama as a source/commentator on economic matters!! This is no different from expecting a mosquito to help you treat malaria!!

ZVOKWADI - 5 August 2014

@Zvokwadi, kunyora chirungu chakadai may not reflect hungwaru (intelligence).

Peter - 5 August 2014

Zvokwadi , you have said the facts. Unfortunaterly the MDCT stoogies of the West are every misguided and will never form a govt in Zimbabwe.

Cde Mzvinavhu(Prof) - 5 August 2014

Zvokwadi , you have said the facts. Unfortunaterly the MDCT stoogies of the West are every misguided and will never form a govt in Zimbabwe.

Cde Mzvinavhu(Prof) - 5 August 2014

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