Ministers must tell Mugabe the truth

HARARE - Thoes who listened to the live television coverage of the official opening of the Zanu PF annual people’s conference last Friday must have felt very bad at the unrealistic position ministers were painting of the Zimbabwean economic situation.

In an address to delegates attending the party’s jamboree in the country’s oldest city of Masvingo, Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa, by far one of the soberest minds in Zanu PF, said that Zimbabwe’s economy is on the mend.

This position contradicts the picture the same minister painted only last week in his national budget statement when he reviewed the country’s growth target to a mere 1,4 percent down from initial estimates of 2,7 percent.

Perhaps more surprising was the catalogue of challenges Chinamasa then said were dogging the economy.

There appears to be a deliberate attempt on the part of most of President Robert Mugabe’s ministers to try and paint a rosy picture of things when the situation on the ground reflects the exact opposite.

Zimbabweans are very awake to the challenges affecting the economy, with joblessness, cash shortages, corruption and general economic mismanagement taking toll on the crisis-weary population.

At independence in 1980, Zimbabwe’s vibrancy was the envy of many with the late former Tanzanian president, Julius “Mwalimu” Nyerere, describing it as a “jewel” that Mugabe was supposed too guard jealously.

Today, the country is a mere shadow of its former self.

The situation since the controversial July 31, 2013 elections has continued to worsen, with hundreds of companies closing shop owing to the liquidity crunch and tough operating environment, thereby throwing thousands of jobs on the line.

The 2,2 million jobs Zanu PF promised in the run-up to those polls have remained pie in the sky.

The famed Zimbabwe Agenda for Sustainable Socio-Economic Transformation (ZimAsset) has continued to choke from funding inadequacies.

Foreign Direct Investment has dried up following the country’s controversial empowerment law — the Indigenisation Act — which prescribes that foreign-owned companies cede 51 percent of their stake to locals.

The deadly factional and succession squabbles within the ruling Zanu PF have continued unabated with Mugabe seemingly unwilling to douse the flames threatening the very existence of the party.

The wars have deprived the leadership of time to focus on issues that can improve the lives of the generality of the population, although Zimbabwe is a resource-rich country.

Many voices have shouted themselves hoarse, pointing out that the trajectory the country had taken would not lead us anywhere.

The ruling Zanu PF is clearly rudderless and the leaders must just resign en masse.

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