via Economy a disaster Mnangagwa tells Chinese – The Zimbabwean 15 July 2015
Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa expressed his government’s unhappiness with the economy during a recent visit to China.
Speaking on CCTV Africa’s Talk Africa programme, Mnangagwa admitted that the Zimbabwean economy was performing poorly. “We are unhappy with every aspect of the economy,” he said, adding that there was need for a broad-based approach to resuscitate it.
The vice president said the economy, particularly in agriculture, manufacturing and industrial capacity utilisation, was lagging behind by between 15 and 16 years. He said capacity utilisation was around 20 percent and the government had to embark on legislative reform thereby creating a “need to re-tool industry in order to be competitive and also so that we are part of the general globe”.
In typical Zanu (PF) style, he blamed the economic doldrums on restrictive measures imposed by the west some 15 years ago over human rights abuses, electoral fraud and a poor governance record.
Mnangagwa acknowledged that little progress had been made on the nine deals in transport and communication, energy, telecommunications and infrastructural development that President Robert Mugabe signed when he went to China almost a year ago.
So far, most of the projects are at the tender stage, he said, while work had commenced in the development of Kariba South hydro-power initiative. “Because of the size of the deals, they can’t come to fruition overnight,” said Mnangagwa.
He revealed that the Communist Party and the Chinese government had agreed to a cooperation agreement whereby the Asian country would help set up schools to train Zanu (PF) members in Zimbabwe, while some related workshops would be conducted in China.
There is fear that the schools could be used to train party militias ahead of the 2018 elections.
According to the vice president, who China reportedly favours to succeed Mugabe, there will be an exchange programme involving the deployment of Chinese experts in the office of the president and cabinet (OPC).
“We want to follow the path taken by China in developing the economy,” added Mnangagwa, signalling his government’s resolve in developing its Look East policy.