Mugabe sweats as economy dies

HARARE - With Zimbabwe’s economy continuing to implode amidst rising poverty levels, heightened job redundancies and crippling power cuts, Zanu PF insiders say President Robert Mugabe is caught “between a rock and a hard place” as he battles to control the deadly infighting within his party and reaches out to the West for fiscal support.

But one of the well-placed sources who spoke to the Daily News yesterday said the frail nonagenarian and his close lieutenants were like “rabbits confused by light” as they cluelessly pressed “the wrong buttons” in the desperate hope of stumbling upon an economic turnaround.

“They are like rabbits caught in the lights of a speeding oncoming truck and are furiously pressing all the wrong buttons, hoping for an economic miracle.

“I really feel for reformists like (Finance minister Patrick) Chinamasa who realise that Zimbabwe’s political leadership needs to swallow its pride and work with the West to save the country, even as we talk rubbish about looking East, as there is nothing there in the East for us.

“But then there are hardliners like (War Veterans minister Christopher) Mutsvangwa who think money grows on trees and are resisting engagement with the West, the IMF (International Monetary Fund) and the World Bank, incredulously believing that this is akin to selling out to the West, as if the East is helping us,” the senior Zanu PF official said.

Speaking at a recent IMF breakfast round-table discussion in Harare, Mutsvangwa said he did not understand the logic behind the Bretton Woods institution’s “sudden interest” in Zimbabwe.

“You come here and make us believe that you are interested in helping us make things better. If that is the case, why have you not put in a word with your masters. We need capital not discussions. Do something about our debt situation then we will start taking you seriously,” he thundered.

Mutsvangwa also dismissed Chinamasa’s efforts to engage the West, describing the rapprochement as nothing else but “regime change wrapped as a present”.

But a senior government official told the Daily News that although Mutsvangwa had insisted on being part of the delegation that is being led by Chinamasa and that is currently in Europe, he had been stopped from accompanying the delegation by “someone at the top” — hinting that either Mugabe or Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa had hauled him in over the coals.

In the meantime, analysts say the inconsistencies in government over economic issues were a reflection of its brutal wars as the ruling party’s myriad factions battle to succeed Mugabe.

Academic Ibbo Mandaza said the conflicting views were sending mixed and confusing messages not only to potential investors, but also to ordinary citizens, to the detriment of the country and the economy.

“Chinamasa, however, seems to have had an upper hand and Mutsvangwa, and the people he is representing on the left, are being dismissed as less important. This is a reflection of how the party is fractured. The party is splintered and there is lack of unity in the whole movement,” he said.

University of Zimbabwe political science professor Eldred Masunungure also said as gung-ho as Mutsvangwa was, he was now “a not-so-significant factor to be considered”.

“The financiers are aware of the ideological differences, and I don’t think they will pay too much attention to Mutsvangwa because he is not a central player in the issue. The person they are concerned with is the minister of Finance. The key thing is, does the Finance minister have the support of the president?”

“However, all this is a clear reflection of the on-going factional fights. We are likely to see an escalation of the fights and contradictions if the succession issue is not resolved soon,” Masunungure said.

In the meantime, the African Development Bank (AfDB) recently announced its willingness to support the Zimbabwean government to clear its $601 million arrears with the continental lender.

However, an executive director with the AfDB, Sibry Tapsoba, said such support was still awaiting the bank board’s approval.

“The total amount of Zimbabwe’s arrears to the African Development Bank is $601 million. The resources that we are putting aside will clear the African Development Bank arrears only,” Tapsoba said.

On the hand, Chinamasa is on record saying Zimbabwe was poised to take the “painful road” and repay everyone it owed money before accepting fresh funding from international capital markets.

“We are indebted to everyone we have done business with ... of course, no one will want to avail funds to us with such a status so we are not going to accept anything until arrears are settled,” he said, adding that the country’s debt repayment arrears stood at $1,8 billion.

The finance minister also said multilateral institutions were, however, welcome to inject capital into the private sector, as clusters such as manufacturing and banking were in “dire need of new capital”.

Comments (12)

tbh......, Mugabe doesn't give a toss about the economy....., anenge achingomhanya ari mu air conditioned ZIM1 yake achitoshaya kuti muri kuchemei... ("..marobhwa here...")

Chando! - 28 September 2015

this country needs to unite, I read powerful comments everyday of people with great ideas and share the opinion the economy is downrocketing

karen - 28 September 2015

uyu haambogaya as long as ari panyanga. is afraid of the 30,000 he murdered in matebeleland!!!

josphat mugadzaweta - 28 September 2015

Very soon they will be going door -to-door demanding money from relatives of all those in the diaspora. Only those with Zanu-PF cards will be spared. Mbavha (huru yadzo Obert Mpofu) is right away checking details on the exit register for names of all Zimbabweans who left the country. Vakaromba nyika ikaparara zvino hapachisina chokuba. Vava ketevera avo vakasiya nyika yavo yechipikirwa kuenda mhiri kutsvaga zvingararamisa mhuri dzavo. Zvose zviri kutaurwa in the name of Zimbabwe but the truth is they want more money to line-up their pockets. Ndiri kuri yambira dhara iri rinonzi Obert kuti yaratanga iyi hariiwini !

Masamba Akareyo - Tanganda - 28 September 2015

Mugabe's madness was evident with his announcement of an extended Cabinet. The man is so out of touch with reality one wonders how normal man carry on singing praises to such a shameless and totally clueless leader. What makes it worse is that all his followers are too stupid to back just one of them to take over. Instead they clammer to idolise such a clueless leader because they are too jealous of each other. Imbeciles to say the least!!!

SHIBOBO - 28 September 2015

The AU nominates and appoints Bob as their head in recognition of what? A leader who is responsible for literally ruining a healthy economy, creating 90% unemployment, eliminating opposition and behaving like a little Hitler? In spite of the poor state of our economy ol Bob goes without nothing. Still likes fancy Western style suits with a colorful silk hanky in his breast pocket? He tries his best to emulate British Royalty and the way they speak English? His favorite activity is to jet around the world masquerading as Africa's foremost intellectual endowed with brilliant leadership skills and a grand champion who single handed defeated white supremacy and rid the continent of stinking white colonials? If ever there was a fraud, he is it.

Truth Be Known - 29 September 2015

Mugabe is not bothered, never has been. He is living it up in Manhattan right now with his wife and hangers on.

Galore 123 - 29 September 2015

Have you noticed that when the despotic Zimbabwean Sultan sweats profusely that his black hair rinse washes out and his glued on hair slides around his bald scalp.

Annabel Gerry - 30 September 2015

While the 91 year old 's black hair rinse washes out the grey hairs are showing!

Guest - 30 September 2015

first step ngatibvisei fear yema security force hatichada nhamo mhani ana mutsvangwa variku defender ma assets avanavo avo dus y vasingade look west policy lets all raise for the better life yevana vedu akomana js imagine mabasa arikungopera madhiri hasi ku fya lets raise mafia tofa nenhamo takasvinura

mukanya - 1 October 2015

at times i feel Zimbabweans are cowardly then can stand up for their cause,they threatened by white recolonisation stories and rush to vote for the very people who are making their lives miserable

tafataona - 1 October 2015

Kufara kwandanga ndaita nekuona Mugabe and dies in one sentence

Sabhuku - 2 October 2015

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