Who has ruined Zim's economy?

HARARE - President Robert Mugabe on Wednesday displayed his lack of confidence in the economy, which he presided over its demise, when he told the media that Zimbabwe will never equal the growth and scope of the South African economy.

“South Africa is more developed than Zimbabwe and is far larger than Zimbabwe. The balance of trade could never be in favour of Zimbabwe — we shall always have a deficit because we are smaller,” said the nonagenarian leader.

However, what the ageing leader didn’t tell the world is that Zimbabwe — then Rhodesia — was the first to have a television broadcasting station ahead of South Africa and trade was balanced between the two countries when Zimbabwe attained her independence in 1980.

It is interesting to note that last year, Zimbabwe had a $2,2 billion trade deficit against South Africa due to declining economic conditions in the country.

Presently, the majority of local manufacturers have resorted to importing raw materials from South Africa due to the decline in domestic raw materials supplies.

Additionally, Zimbabwe currently imports household and basic goods from South Africa as the local industry is still struggling to meet demand.

Statistics from the Zimbabwe National Statistical Agency from last year show that during the past few years there has been a marked decline in Zimbabwean exports to South Africa, while imports from that country have increased significantly.

Currently, the majority of Zimbabwean supermarket shelves are constituted by around 70 percent imported products mainly from South Africa and 30 percent locally manufactured products.

Manufacturing utilisation levels are currently constrained at around 40 percent, a situation that has been compounded since dollarisation by minimal liquidity in the economy, utilisation of antiquated machinery and poor utility services. It is important to note that since the Zanu PF government took over the reins of the country 35 years ago, Zimbabwe has witnessed a massive economic decline, breakdown of social services delivery, high unemployment rate, acute power and water outages among other things.

What’s surprising, however, is the liberation war movement’s resistance to hang on to power by whatever means when it’s clear that the party is clueless in resolving the mess that they brought upon the country.

On the contrary, Mugabe resorts to talk about the past each time he is confronted with economic problems — a clear sign of ageing.

What Zimbabwe requires at the moment are progressive leaders with a clear vision for the future. We can’t remain trapped in the past when other regional countries are forging ahead with great economic plans. 

Comments (1)

What the staff writer is missing who was running the Rhodesian economy? It was South Africa and therefore there was no case of Rhodesia and South Africa but an extension of the South African economy in Rhodesia. All Rhodesian companies were head quartered in South Africa. What this means is after independence South African support was withdrawn so there was no Rhodesian economy to talkabout. Therefore we Zimbabweans have to build our own economy rather that dwell on comparison of things that never were.

Jemedzo - 14 April 2015

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