Stop misleading Mugabe

HARARE - The speech presented by President Robert Mugabe on the occasion of Zimbabwe’s 36th Independence Day celebrations where he glowed about the country’s “growing economy” shows that the veteran leader is — as has always been the case — out of touch with reality.

The Zanu PF leader on Monday went to town about how his former guerrilla movement and political outfit had implemented strong economic policies that had revitalised the country’s moribund economy.

“With respect to the manufacturing sector, I am glad to inform you that there has been a very commendable resuscitation of companies that had closed or were on the brink of closure. In addition, there has been the formation of completely new companies within the economy,” he said.

Mugabe added that the resuscitation “formation and expansion of these and other companies has greatly assisted us in preserving employment, creating new jobs, saving foreign currency and exchange, enhancing fiscal space and increasing production. However, reality on the ground shows that out of the promised 2,2 million jobs, not a single job has been created. On the contrary, hundreds of thousands of jobs have been lost since Zanu PF won the 2013 harmonised elections under controversial circumstances.

While it is good for a national leader to be optimistic, hopefulness must be based on tangible facts and developments. Sadly, there is nothing on the ground to show that the economy is recovering, and Mugabe must be made aware of this.

There is no point in telling the world that our economy is looking up when, looking around, all you see are acute signs of deterioration and collapse.

For the past few months, the government has been failing to pay civil servants salaries and bonuses with the national tax collector being forced to work around the clock to scrap income from companies through mandatory taxes. Local as well as external debts continue to balloon. Social services are suffering and Treasury is surviving from hand-to-mouth.

Needless to say, unemployment is shooting up as companies close on a weekly basis, while thousands of jobless Zimbabweans are pouring into the over-stretched informal sector.

What, then, does Mugabe mean when he says the economy is picking up?

Our message to Mugabe is that he should stop burying his head in the sand like the proverbial ostrich. He should ensure he receives correct and informed advice from his aides, rather than depend on people who are merely seeking to curry favour with him at the expense of the economy.

Comments (1)

Mugabe behaves like he does not live in Zimbabwe and he has just came back from mars where he went in 1985. Things in Zim are bad and he doesnt see it. Why does he not take a trip into Southerton, Belmont, Workington etc and see things for himself. He is too important to visit industries but wants to visit some shadowy meetings in India? What kind of president is too lazy to see whats happening in the country with his own eye? He is a fool that magogo!

Patrick Joao - 22 April 2016

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