via Economy backsliding under ZANU PF government | SW Radio Africa by Tichaona Sibanda October 2, 2013
Two months after ZANU PF’s ‘overwhelming victory’ in the July elections, the Zimbabwean economy has slowed almost to a halt, according to analysts.
For most ordinary Zimbabweans fixing the economy is key. They are demanding a functioning economy that works under the rule of law. Economic analyst Bekithemba Mhlanga said the economy has remained stagnant because of poor politics that emerged from the disputed elections.
‘An economy will never thrive under an authoritarian leadership that is well known for its financial mismanagement. There is also the issue of poor infrastructure and bad policies, all these act as catalysts in slowing down the economy.
‘Government needs revenue to be operational but there is no money because there is a 90 percent unemployment rate, so few people are paying income tax,’ Mhlanga said.
Since the outcome of the elections, there has been pessimism from many quarters that the ZANU PF government would be able to get the economy heading in the right direction.
As the country faces its most serious socio-political crisis in five years, many Zimbabweans are also pessimistic about their lives and the direction of the country’s economy.
Harare based journalist Itai Dzamara told SW Radio Africa’s Hidden Story program that massive water shortages and power outages in recent weeks highlight the slide into economic, social and political disarray.
‘ZANU PF is clueless to what is happening in the country and they have no ideas how to put brakes on the cascading crisis. Just three months after the polls there is severe disillusionment with the new political establishment.
‘Zimbabwe is overwhelmed by high unemployment, endemic corruption and soon there shall be social unrest if the government remains paralyzed to the ever growing problems of water shortages and power cuts,’ Dzamara said.
Businessman and top MDC-T official Charlton Hwende said while it may be too early to judge the success or failure of President Robert Mugabe’s controversial win one thing is clear; there is mounting dissatisfaction in Zimbabwe.
‘The Zimbabwean people feel betrayed, ZANU PF lied to people that they will fix the economy and empower them. Those electioneering words created unprecedented expectations, but there has been nothing coming from ZANU PF.
‘They promised salary hikes for civil servants, they promised the rural folk with farming inputs and today that hasn’t been forthcoming from the government that used lies to rig the elections,’ Hwende said.
He added: ‘That election victory to make things better has made it worse. The government is only focused on consolidating power, when it should be ensuring economic recovery.’
ZANU PF has tried to deflect the mounting criticism it is facing by blaming sanctions imposed by the United States and other leading European countries.
However the US embassy in Harare on Wednesday issued a statement via twitter saying sanctions only apply to fewer than 120 ‘Zimbabwean individuals’ unlike in Iran where the restrictive measures are nation based.
‘After the U.S. government first applied targeted sanctions in 2003, bilateral trade between Zimbabwe and the U.S. doubled over the next five years. Zimbabwe had stopped servicing its debts and was therefore unable to borrow from the World Bank and IMF before the U.S. imposed sanctions,’ the US statement said.
The embassy in Harare added that in reality, Zimbabwe cannot borrow from the IMF, World Bank, or African Development Bank because it stopped servicing its debts to those institutions more than 10 years ago.
This terse statement seeks to debunk the myth by ZANU PF that ‘the U.S. blocks Zimbabwe’s access to multilateral loans.’