'Mugabe's Zanu PF fails to rig economy'

HARARE - Analysts have warned that Zimbabwe is facing an imminent economic implosion due to chronic mismanagement by President Robert Mugabe’s ruling Zanu PF, that is being exacerbated by the former liberation movement’s seemingly unstoppable factional and succession wars.

At the same time, the main opposition is rubbing it in by reiterating its post-2013 election claims that while the nonagenarian and his party are allegedly “grandmasters at rigging elections” they had “proven beyond doubt that they can’t rig the economy”.

These sentiments come as life gets harder for most Zimbabweans, and as the country’s economy gets more and more informalised, to the point where critics now derisively describe Zimbabwe as “a country of degreed street vendors”.

Economists say average incomes in Zimbabwe are now at their lowest level in 60 years, with more than 76 percent of the country’s families now surviving on less than $200 a month — well below the poverty datum line of more than $500.

So bad has the situation become that hundreds of thousands of desperate street vendors across the country are openly defying a government directive to vacate congested and over-traded city centres, while illegal settlements are mushrooming everywhere as unemployment and poverty ‘Zanu PF fails to rig economy’ levels are skyrocketing.

In clear signs of looming national unrest, many ordinary Zimbabweans have lately been attacking law enforcement agents at the slightest provocation, while fed-up prisoners at Chikurubi Maximum Security Prison revolted against poor prison conditions last March.

Analysts and the opposition say instead of finding desperately-needed solutions to deal with the country’s myriad problems, Zanu PF is obsessing on its “useless infighting” which has seen the brutal purging of many of its senior officials, including former Vice President Joice Mujuru and her perceived allies — on untested allegations of plotting to oust and kill Mugabe.

Opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai told MDC members at the weekend that the 2,2 million jobs that were promised by Zanu PF were “just an election gimmick to garner votes” and that with an unemployment rate of about 90 percent, millions of Zimbabweans had no choice but to resort to street vending to earn a living.

“The only viable solution is to create employment as opposed to threatening vendors on our streets with gunpowder. They simply want jobs and not bullets! This is a ticking time bomb and a threat to national stability,” he said.

Prominent economist John Robertson told the Daily News yesterday that since the succession debate had taken centre stage within Zanu PF, the country’s economic performance had nose-dived.

He said the party was “holding the country hostage” while its bigwigs continued to savage each other with reckless abandon and without forging a progressive path forward for the long-suffering country.

As a result, Robertson said, the country’s poor were getting poorer as national problems mounted and pressure grew on central government.

“There are major shrinkages in all sectors of the economy, from mining to agriculture and manufacturing. Businesses are going bankrupt. We cannot be a country where we are consuming more than we produce.

“We are struggling and have some bad luck in falling gold and platinum prices. However, the bad luck was made even worse by government interference in the maize prices last year. This has made us look for maize elsewhere,” Robertson said.

He added that apart from the imminent food shortages, the government was also failing to honour its wage bill and run the country properly.

Academic Eldred Masunungure said it was now very clear that the public knew that “we are going in the wrong direction”.

He added that it was also self-evident that the country was going through “a transition phase from the old order to a new dispensation whose outcome is unknown”.

“It is now very imperative that we try and steer the transition away from the chaotic 2008 situation to a better one. The inflexibility in the country reflects the confusion in the country which is symptomatic of a country that is nearing collapse.

“A key question to ask is whether what is happening to the vendor situation is going to result in any major policy changes that will lead to a better economy. We should also ask whether having new leadership in our political parties will translate into a better situation,” Masunungure said.

Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition spokesperson, Mfundo Mlilo, said social service delivery in the country had declined precipitously since the 2013 elections.

He said the pointers were very clear that Zimbabwe “is in a crisis situation which reflects a broader economic and social calamity”.

“The issue of vendors cannot be solved unless government addresses the issue of the collapsed economy that has forced desperate people to disregard orders,” Mlilo said.

Respected analyst Pedzisai Ruhanya said Zimbabwe was headed in “an unknown direction” — a situation that had been caused by Zanu PF’s dodgy policies.

He said the current power struggles in politics “should not only be petty power grabs but must also serve the needs of the general population”.

“There is a clear lack of leadership in Zimbabwe and the country is in a generally disastrous direction and we need to shift the focus to transforming the economy through creating a conducive environment for foreign direct investment.

“But Zanu PF has no capacity to remove Zimbabwe from its current economic situation. What is now needed is a new leadership that can revive industry and the various institutions,” Ruhanya said.

University of Zimbabwe economics lecturer Albert Makochekanwa said there was no seriousness by government to turn around the economy.

He said the government continuously talked about promoting local production yet still allowed the market to be flooded with imported goods.

He said if the government promoted local companies, many of them would not have closed shop and unemployment would not be at its current high levels.

“Judging by what is happening, things could turn for the worse. Government preaches ZimAsset but they are not implementing it and are showing no appetite to do so.

“Government is simply not doing its part in trying to turn around the country’s economy and unless there is a radical change, there will be no end to the economic turmoil,” Makochekanwa said.

    Comments (35)

    here is the zimbabwean goverment's last play. they are going to introduce the zimbabwean dollar. it has already been printed and is sitting in fidelity at the moment. they dont know how to introduce it hence why they are dumping the old zim dollar out of cerculation it at the moment. you cannot introduce a new currency without destroying the circulation of the old one. They are struggling to fund activities and mugabes trips hence why they want to go back to printing. This will be the end of zimbabwe because after august the zimbabwe goverment will not be able to cover the civil servants salaries

    petros - 30 June 2015

    The opposition and academics are all lost and missing the plot. Zanu pf has no intention to fix the economy whatsover. So it has not failed but it does not want to. Poor people are easy to manage and can easily be enticed during election time. A well functioning economy will see thousands from diaspora returning and those people are not Zanu pf. These just some of the reasons but there are many more. Zanu pf will never fix the economy.

    Anonymous - 30 June 2015

    and then some morons are busy singing some undue praises of rwavhi Mugabe!

    josphat mugadzaweta - 30 June 2015

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    CARTRIDGE GALLERY - 30 June 2015

    I cldn't agree more with u anonymous, mugabe is reluctant to sort out this mes. Wither the beloved nation!!

    Terex - 30 June 2015

    Indications are that there is no willingness on the part of the ruling party to accept responsibility for the situation we are in coupled with their unwillingness to relinquish power. It seems they will never care what level we go down as a country for as long as they have the power to call the shots. Another 2018 farce is about the corner and they will throw all that they have to stay put. Let the Lord God lead and all will be well in terms of patience and resilience.

    itai mazvi - 30 June 2015

    A new revolution is by the corner, all those who served in RGMs gorvenment are learned but uneducated lot whose worry is personal agrandisement. Life was far much better under Smith which makes the second chimurenga invain. Many lives were lost for fews benefit. aluta continua

    El-Dodo - 30 June 2015

    Guys,guys remember the outcry from these guys is SANCTIONS. At the end of the day the ordinary man will continue to suffer and still believe ZPF will honestly pull them out of this mess.God help us all.ZPF will never turn around this country even if the sun were to rise from the west,they have failed dismally and continue to loot this country dry.So help us MIGHTY GOD.

    Simple Minded - 30 June 2015

    Guys,guys remember the outcry from these guys is SANCTIONS. At the end of the day the ordinary man will continue to suffer and still believe ZPF will honestly pull them out of this mess.God help us all.ZPF will never turn around this country even if the sun were to rise from the west,they have failed dismally and continue to loot this country dry.So help us MIGHTY GOD.

    Simple Minded - 30 June 2015

    morgan also want the economy to fail so that he can find proof for he earlier prediction that 'you cannot rig the economy'. the sad thing is that he just like zanu pf officials is not affected by the failure of the economy. he is resident in a zanu house and feeding on donor monies. so it suits him as much as it suits mugabe and crew.

    zvirozviyedzwa - 30 June 2015

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    lovemore - 30 June 2015

    Wanting the economy to fail is not the same as letting it fail. Wanting someone to die is not the same as letting someone to die. As much as I don't like Morgan please put the blame on the right people. Wishes for Morgan are not horses so he is not riding.

    Changamira - 30 June 2015

    Could the titanic be sinking yet the captain cares less to do something about it even those who are supposed to assist are from doing so. What has happened to leadership or doesn't anyone in team zanu know the meaning of leadership. While the majority are wallowing in poverty team zanu is busy fighting for positions. Honestly what could be more important that fixing the breach in the economy. their reluctance or unwillingness to do so means they are benefiting from this mess. What a big shame.

    pride - 30 June 2015

    second line should read far from doing so

    pride - 30 June 2015

    ZimAsset is a dead project. It was a ZANU pf project written by J Moyo without telling the public how and who was going to fund it. The first rule for any project is to secure funding or identify the funder. Only one paragraph is trying to plain how ZimAsset was going to be funded . There are no takers for this project and therefore it's as good as dead. No normal investor will invest any money in Zimbabwe as long as the current leadership is in control of government . Yes Zimbabwe is lacking leadership and it's time to change direction .

    Dzasukwa - 30 June 2015

    It would surprise everybody for a nation ruled by one and very old person to have all its problems fixed. Mugabe no longer have the brains to fix the modern day challenges of the nation yet he doesn't want to take advice from his own Ministers, like Chinamasa who is supposed to be running the country's economy. (Sic)

    Ziziharinanyanga - 30 June 2015

    i don't see the difference @changamira. morgan is not my enemy as such. its just that i don't find depth in him. if he kept to his word especially regarding terms of office he would have won my support. but i don't see where morgan is different from zanu. he purges those of a different mindset to him. he doctors the constitution so he can do a handiende. there is no democracy in the mdc as long as morgan lingers around. better to retire the guy asap.

    zvirozviyedzwa - 30 June 2015

    So who do you think is right as you always insult Morgan ? Your Mangoma perhaps ? .

    Diibulaanyika - 30 June 2015

    Away with Mugabe regime, enough is enough. We want new leadership and new government. Lord have mercy

    John mark - 30 June 2015

    Civil Servants Salaries should be cut off by at least fifty percent and all that money must be given to the industries for productive jobs. Property Rights must be restored and than and not before that Economy can recover.

    Emperor - 30 June 2015

    Pamberi neZanu(PF)..Ongafuniyo..pezesa nyaya yacho

    changara - 1 July 2015

    The situation we now find ourselves in was and is totally predictable. Surviving politically and ignoring basic common sense to the detriment of the economy has been and continues to be the priority - add to this cocktail is gross mismanagement, incompetence and massive corruption rendering this State virtually irreparable regardless of who now takes over. With all this malicious and very bitter faction fighting going on we are fast descending into an ugly war zone controlled by vicious war lords. It is almost unavoidable now?

    Thomas Chipezeze - 1 July 2015

    Pasi ne zanu bcoz i do not want to drink sewage water , i d not want to go to hospitals which do not have medicine , I do not want to see zimbabweans going to other countries where they will be reffered to as kwerekweres bcoz they are running away from zanu , Pasi ne zanu bcoz i do not want a party that rules through tribalism and under mines other tribes in this country . Pasi ne zanu bcoz it is a gukurahundi party which killed 20 000 unarmed women and children . Pasi ne zanu bcoz it threatens people in reserves and farms that any one who does not vote for it will be beheaded .Pasi ne zanu bcoz its leader is an idiot . pasi ne zanu bcoz all those who support it ngama zanga ..

    Diibulaanyika - 1 July 2015

    I don't know mangoma. i have heard about him but i don't know him. I have a problem with all people who refuse to pass the baton to another like morgan is doing. i believe zimbabwe has many successful individuals who are capable of taking over from those in control now. morgan would have shown how democracy works since he claims to be from a party that embraces democratic principles. but alas, the guy is not a democrat. he is a handiende type.

    zvirozviyedzwa - 1 July 2015

    Mention them who are those why do you hid them . They is no doubt that you are Mangoma fan bcoz you always repeat what he has been saying when he wanted to destroy mdc t . You are his supporter vuma baba are you ashamed ?

    Diibulaanyika - 1 July 2015

    Unemployment - i am not sure how the unemployment rate is calculated in Zim. What I read is that once unemployment gets to 80% at least 6 out of 10 people will be going hungry day in day out and deaths will be day in day out. I have a brother who works at Siyaso in Mbare selling rods and he makes an average of $2000 per month - is he considered employed or unemployed? Just help me varume.

    masara masara - 1 July 2015

    People you must know the difference btwn a vendor and a businessman , all the people who you are seeing on the city streets are business people who closed shops were they were paying rent , they are on the streets because for this time they are getting over 200% profit , no rates to pay , no rent to pay , how on earth can a vendor have goods worth 5 000 to 7 000 on the floor , real vendors are the ones who sell bananas , apples , cigarattes and sweets , the other guys you are seeing are real business man . These so called economist are prophets of doom , us we are on the ground mixing with then zvirikuto fire imi muchiti mavendor . Real vendors are struggling coz they don't have the capital . Mugabe and his Zanu pf are thieve , murders , abductors , rapist , as long as the name Mugabe is still being said in Zim politics we must forget about economic changes , it will keep on nose diving til hameno , Mugabe doesn't care about the citizen , he just cares about his family and jumping in a plane and run away from Zim problems for a while , its like as a father you are seeing that you child is dying then you arrange a trip , it clearly shows how coward you will be . So as long as Mugabe is PRESIDENT forget about living a descent or good life , like what someone said its easy to control poor people than rich people . On Morgan's issue , a leader will have to lead the war till you win it , you don't have to change leaders in the battle field , that is why you see eve in soccer , the captain is not substituted even if the team is losing unless when he / she is injured . I think we must judge Morgan if he rules on his own with his part that is when you can say he failed blablabla not thus time . Politics is a process whereby what you want someone opposses so don't judge the donkey by its fitness till the race is finished . Icho , charira , kupiko . ikokok

    Mudhara - 1 July 2015

    i am assuming that you could possibly be one of them@diibu. however, think of the strive, nigel, mai mujuru, biti, makoni, just to name a few. in the mdc t, i think chamisa would do a better job of the presidency than save. give the guy a chance machinja. maitiro, chinja! chichinjai mudhara morgan. he did his part and its now time to move on.

    zvirozviyedzwa - 1 July 2015

    @Masara , how many of these are employed at Siyaso. My understanding is Siyaso does not have tables in excess of a thousand. Do you also mean to say even vendors are employed since they are earning something? lastly is $2000 revenue or profit?

    Big Meech Larry Hoover - 1 July 2015

    big up @Mudhara, no need to change the performing horse (Morgan ) which is being treated unfairly by the referee (Rita Makarau) and two linesmen (Mudede &CIO). Lets salute his bravery, he will make it. Ana Zvirozviyedzwa ngava chuze wekusupporter between Biti ,Mangoma ,Mutambara & Ncube... they are the ones who think are democrats when in effect they are not. MORGAN IS MORE.

    Big Meech Larry Hoover - 1 July 2015

    Please someone tell me why chimunhu ichi chisingafi? Chinenge chikwambo, pamwe chikwambo chaNehanda!

    Bingo wokwa Gutu - 2 July 2015

    @Diibulaanyika That kind of thinking is the reason why people end up supporting what they don't want. Why should you think that if someone does not support Morgan he has to support Morgan's enemy. Why is your mind so shallow? Why should it be imperative for someone to align themself with some entity. What ever happened to thinking freely?

    Ndosvotwa Mhani - 3 July 2015

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