Economy growing despite cash crisis: Mnangagwa

HARARE - Zimbabwe's economy is growing, despite the myriad problems — including a deepening cash crisis — dogging the country, Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa told the National Assembly on Wednesday.

He said the growth is driven by a better than expected agriculture season and a boost in mining activity.

“The growth of the economy is not determined by the length of queues in towns, although, that could also be indicative of constraints and problems in an economy,” Mnangagwa said, in reference to a cash shortage that has that has forced masses to spend hours on end in long bank queues.

“What determines the growth of an economy are the statistics that are gathered in relation to various sectors of the economy as they grow.

“In this particular incident, the major growth was registered in agriculture and mining. These two sectors of the economy have been able to drive the growth of the economy,” he said.

However, Mnangagwa’s remarks drew criticism from MDC vice president Thokozani Khupe who questioned his optimism given that the Global Competitiveness Index report ranked Zimbabwe at 126 out of 139.

“Vice President, you also spoke about agriculture yet there are several other pillars of the economy which determine whether an economy is performing or not like the technological, infrastructural development, health and primary education,” she said.

“So, how then are you saying this economy is performing without looking at all these pillars of the economy?” Khupe questioned.

Mnangagwa retorted: “ . . . the issues that the honourable member is raising are issues of fact that we have challenges in all those sub-sectors of the economy.

“I have not said that every sector of the economy is registering growth — I have not said so.  I indicated the areas which have registered growth and impacted on the overall picture of the economy in a positive manner — that is what I stated.”

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