Tsvangirai raps Mugabe's economic stewardship

HARARE - Opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai has said President Robert Mugabe’s administration has failed to match up to his economic stewardship during the inclusive government era amid mounting economic woes.

Tsvangirai told eNCA that Mugabe’s “poor leadership” had reversed much of the progress Zimbabwe had made between 2009 and 2013 and prospects for recovery and stability look bleak.

The government bought itself some breathing room in a debilitating liquidity squeeze by introducing bond notes in November last year.

But the new “surrogate currency”, which together with US dollars have almost vanished from the open market as banks fail to dispense the currency to clients, has further eroded diminishing confidence in a government.

The cash crunch has forced people to spend hours at banks queuing for money.

“The reasons why we have a problem is that there is too much foreign currency, US dollars that are getting out of the country other than what are getting in,” Tsvangirai said.

“So, as a result, the cash-strapped government cannot learn. Unfortunately, we have a government that is operating as if there is no crisis but everyday they see queues, bank queues and all these things.”

Zimbabwe abandoned its own hyperinflation-torn currency in 2009 in favour of the US dollar, but a widening trade deficit, lack of foreign investment and a decline in remittances by Zimbabweans abroad have helped to fuel foreign currency shortages.

Tsvangirai said government must get food to millions of people to avert a famine caused by heavy rains that have battered crops, drought and chronic poverty.

More than 4 million Zimbabweans need food aid during this lean season because of the 2016 drought which also scorched crops in other southern African countries.

“Apart from that, I have gone around the country and I know the extent of the poverty that is out there, and the extent of the disappointment that is out there,” he said, referring to his one-and-half months tour around the country when he had engagements with Zimbabweans in meetings held under trees, in village huts and in the town halls, discussing national issues outside the narrow confines of slogans and party politics.

“I think every sector in this country has a grievance.”

He spoke as Zimbabwe’s economy has stagnated while its budget deficit has ballooned, adding to Mugabe’s problems as he faces unprecedented anger over cash shortages and falling living standards.

“You can’t have a government which far and wide has been condemned by all and sundry,” the former Prime Minister said.

“So the question is people are looking for an alternative, a viable option, and we tell them that during the inclusive government, we provided that leadership. There was some reprieve. People can talk about the heydays of the inclusive government in which education, money, was available but those were the days. Don’t underestimate the ability of the MDC,” Tsvangirai said.

Mugabe’s Zanu PF shared power with Tsvangirai’s MDC between 2009 and 2013 after violence-marred elections failed to give either leader an outright victory, with the economy rebounding after 2009, when the Zimbabwe dollar was replaced by multiple foreign currencies. But GDP growth has fallen sharply since 2013 when the GNU ended.

Mugabe blames sanctions for the decade-plus long recession.

Comments (1)

Tsvangirai might b only saying half truths,since it might b true that those who are functionaries to the economic rot are his supporters who might change attitudes only by his mere presence in government as of the inclusive government era.But thisz not to say Mugabe has never made an economic blunder or misjudgement when he never took on board those who had the stamina to stabilise the economy when he started his compulsory land reforms & his economy indiginisation activities which never considered those who had the grip & the control of the economy then & had the ability to stobilise the economy.Itz called misjudgement ,while itz true that Tsvangirai might to some extent solve the present scenario of the problems he might make another misjudgement of the reverse nature,which Mugabe was trying to prevent-that of economic domination of the locals by foreign capital

addmore gudo - 29 April 2017

Post a comment

Readers are kindly requested to refrain from using abusive, vulgar, racist, tribalistic, sexist, discriminatory and hurtful language when posting their comments on the Daily News website.
Those who transgress this civilised etiquette will be barred from contributing to our online discussions.
- Editor

Your email address will not be shared.