‘Incompetent’ ZANU-PF government wasting Zimbabwe's resource potential

‘Incompetent’ ZANU-PF government wasting Zimbabwe’s resource potential

via ‘Incompetent’ govt accused of wasting Zim resource potential | SW Radio Africa by Alex Bell on Thursday, March 13, 2014 

The ZANU PF government has been accused of wasting Zimbabwe’s resource potential, through corruption, bad legislation and incompetence.

The accusations, voiced by numerous observers, come as the Robert Mugabe administration is under pressure to halt the rapid decline of the economy that has continued despite Zimbabwe’s wealth of resources. A lack of transparency and accountability, along with the prevailing corruption problem, means the extractive sector is not benefitting the economy or the country.

For example, the completion of the long-awaited Zim Diamond Technology Centre (ZDTC) hangs in the balance due to suspected corruption, a problem already widespread in the diamond sector.

Located in Mt. Hampden, the ZDTC allegedly will house up to 500 factories, each able to employ 200 diamond cutters and polishers. It has been touted by ZANU PF as a having the potential to employ over 100,000 Zimbabweans, making it not only central to Zimbabwe’s mineral’s beneficiation plans, but also key to the ZANU PF’s economic recovery plan, ZimAsset.

But according to the Financial Gazette, the end of the already overdue project is unclear, with the contractor, architects, engineers and quantity surveyors of the building, among other professionals, taking the ZDTC owner, Lovemore Kurotwi, to court. Kurotwi, a retired army colonel and reportedly a nephew of the late General Vitalis Zvinavashe, has failed to pay almost $5 million in fees and interest.

Farai Maguwu, from the Center for Natural Resource Governance in Zimbabwe, said Thursday that the country’s economic woes could be solved simply by “sorting out” the mining sector. He disagreed that ‘incompetence’ was a problem, saying corruption and bad governance were the main issues

“There is a serious governance deficit in the country, which means that in the extractive sector, there is a free-for-all. It is chaotic and we need to stop all mining activities and find out who is doing what. On corruption, we need the political will to stamp it out,” Maguwu told SW Radio Africa.

Meanwhile, cash opportunities that are readily available to the financially strapped government are not being harnessed. It was reported this week that despite “huge” pressure on Zimbabwe to relax a law that bans exports of unprocessed chrome ore, a move that could help attract millions of dollars into the fiscus, Mines Minister Walter Chidhakwa has said this probably won’t happen.

“It’s not going to be easy for us to relax the ban. To open the window for ore exports when we have said we want beneficiation, we will be sending a message that there is no need for value addition. It might discourage investors willing to go into value addition,” Chidhakwa was quoted by Bloomberg as saying.

The ban on chrome ore exports in 2011 was done to try and force local companies to process the chrome on home soil. But it has led to some producers, such as the Harare-based Zimbabwe Alloys Chrome Ltd., shutting down mining operations completely because of the country’s inadequate smelting capacity.

Economist Masimba Kuchera said the ‘beneficiation’ argument is not benefitting anyone, because the country does not have the capacity, ability or financial means to start local refinement of raw minerals.

“It’s true that any economy that engages in beneficiation will get more for its resources. But it’s an issue of capacity. A ban on raw exports without the infrastructural capacity will not support anyone. You need the infrastructure, you need stable electricity supply, and water supply, and these are things that are just not there,” Kuchera said.

The Finance Ministry meanwhile is still looking for multi-million dollar loans to shore up the failing economy, with the tradition lenders refusing the hugely indebted country more credit. But this is not proving successful, and even Zimbabwe’s ‘friend’, China, has reportedly refused a bailout.

Last November, China pledged to give Africa some $1 trillion in aid over the next 12 years, and the just elected ZANU PF government said it would be receiving about $30 billion of this. But this cash-injection seems doubtful and even Mugabe’s spokesmen have been steadily downgrading the size of the financial ‘loan’, from $30 billion to $10 billion, to $3 billion, and then last month, to $400 million. A Chinese ambassador last week then moved to rule out any direct financial aid.

“We don’t normally provide budgetary support to other countries but we try to help Zimbabwe in our own way,” the Chinese ambassador to Zimbabwe told reporters.



  • comment-avatar
    Reverend 4 years

    Just make your factories out of mud huts, because it doesn’t seem you got too many diamonds left and you do not want to spend money on pink elephant factories do you? How embarrassing to be so stupid!

  • comment-avatar
    Yodaddy 4 years


    I’m searching for a certain fellow. Aug/Sept 2011, BYO train depot. I am white, and my accent gives me away as American. I on night train to VFA waiting for departure, he in casual business attire on platform. As my buddy and I watched the travelers going to and fro along the platform, this fellow came by on the platform, paused, and asked where I was from, and if I were enjoying my visit, and what I thought of his country. We chatted at the window for only a minute or two, but he seemed a reasonable, friendly, and intelligent fellow. As he departed to continue on his way down the platform, he said something surprising. My buddy and I could only look at one another and laugh. We laughed for a long time. I even mention the event to audiences now and then. Even from our brief chat, I think he’s a guy who would make comments on a web site such as this. If you’re that fellow, what did you say as you went on your way?

    • comment-avatar
      Katsi-yatota 4 years

      ya I am, I said both Mugabe and Obama are the same. they must go and burn the the same hell hottened 7 time the normal furnace.

  • comment-avatar
    Nyoni 4 years

    Plain useless cant get off their bums no good at anything worthless idiots. Other countries would have sacked them long ago for incompetence.

  • comment-avatar
    Mseyamwa 4 years

    Government trying to do makeover on a frog. No amount of lipstick will the Zim economy into a beauty. What is needed is hard work. The electiricity shortages will not support any meaningful value addition activity. Starting one might lead to more wastage than gain. Processes are likely to be disturbed in the middle and resources will then be lost. But instead of directing resources there, our leaders use the same to oppress and repress and always pocket the remainder. The point is lost on them that if the economy functioned well then repression would not be necessary and they could become legally rich through legal business. All modern technology relies on power, as long as it comes in trickles no amount of investment in tech will turn sny thing around. The tech will rust from inefficient usage.

  • comment-avatar
    The Truth. 4 years

    You voted for the gukurahundis since 1980, what is new today? Why did you not vote for PF ZAPU?

    Please keep quiet and live with the consequences!!

  • comment-avatar

    Last week we did a tour in Zim rural.We were so ompressed by the villagers” hard work in Chiweshe Rosa irrigation scheme.Sd though, no help is coming from the gvt.Another great project just across the river from Rosa, a thriving pig factory, exporting meat direct from Chiweshe.To some I might sound off topic, but truly the sons and daughters of Zim have clear direction.They know what they want.If someone from Chiweshe can export meat to SADC countries,its asuccess story.Those are the people who need not apply for land.Land committee must just hand pick them and allocate them land.What we see is corruption al over.People”s hard works are up to nothing with the current gvt.
    I appeal to all concerned people of Zim.Zim is not urban areas only, let us help the rural hardworkers to realise the fruits of their hard work.To buzz them to polling stations and then neglect them after elections is pure abuse.The opposition must now start exploring into the rural areas, get to the souls of the people, heart to heart.Go to Malipati, Mt Selinda, Chidodo, Chadereka, Chikafa, and connect with the people.
    I believe we can do our best if we put humanity first and work hard to make the poor’s dreams come true.Thank you Chiweshe community, and many more agricultural success stories like Rupike in Nyajena,Mapanzure.
    Lets shun corruption , youths lets vote, adults think about the future of your blood.

  • comment-avatar
    Joe 4 years

    Look it’s politicians who speak with a forked tongue in all countries. Running a country should be apolitical. I vote we demand we want a board of trustees to run Zimbabwe and if they go not perform you fire them. No bloody voting that can be rigged.