Farayi Machamire 12 May 2017
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.”