via Budget allocation contradicts Zim Asset – DailyNews Live 8 JANUARY 2014
Budget allocations to some ministries plainly contradict projections contained in the post-election Zimbabwe Agenda for Sustainable Socio-Economic Transformation (Zim Asset) blueprint which has been vaunted by Zanu PF as a panacea to most of the country’s economic deficits.
From a glance at some of the allocations, attaining deliverables proposed in the economic dossier seems like building castles in the air.
Of greater concern is the blurred direction the economy will take with regards to exploiting potentials of employment creation and empowerment which appear all but a pipe dream.
What Zimbabwe needs is an analyses of the current situation against a backdrop of the allocations in the wake of dwindled balance of payment support that government is desperately groping for.
Zim Asset promises a heaven on earth but after a pragmatic frankness as indicated by Industry minister Mike Bimha, there are dim prospects of industrial revival in the near future under current budgetary constraints.
Such a depressing, yet honest statement makes short shrift of the blueprint’s assigned ability to turn the country’s economic fortunes round.
Bimha rightly points out that there was little prospect of change in industry’s operational environment because factors which resulted in the current economic slump have not been resolved.
An underlying deliverable on which government gained support and popularity from youths is its projected intention to create employment.
But if subsistence trading constitutes a form of employment, then unemployment statistics retailed by government as pegged at 11 percent can be taken as genuine.
If selling fruit and vegetables at undesignated places in flagrant contravention of municipal by-laws is considered formal employment, industry’s estimated 80 percent unemployment rate becomes counterfeit data.
Hopefully, government is not fiddling the figures or rummaging for statistical excuses to cover an unavoidable spike in joblessness and deepening poverty which Zim Asset promises to remedy.
Bimha’s pronouncements dampen whatever hope the thousands roaming the streets in search of work had of getting a reprieve in the near future.
Apart from budgetary constraints, experience has shown that floundering Zimbabwean industries, need much more than the Distressed Industries in Marginalised Areas Fund (Dimaf) which was spread too thin on the ground to make a significant impact.
The economy needs much more than mere rhetoric and gloating.
It needs a greater hands-on approach and an acknowledgement that it takes more than self-serving blandishments to get it off the blocks and fulfil projections contained in the Zim Asset document.