Source: Economy on rebound: Mugabe – NewsDay Zimbabwe April 19, 2016
PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe yesterday stunned even his most ardent supporters, when he declared that the economy was on a rebound, with several firms reopening for business, in spite of evidence to the contrary.
by Everson Mushava/Obey Manayiti
In a speech to mark Zimbabwe’s 36th Independence Day anniversary, Mugabe claimed his government had managed to turn around the economy and create jobs for the impoverished citizens, remarks, which exposed him for being out of touch.
“My government is determined to translate political independence into meaningfulness, by attending to the socio-economic needs of our people,” he said.
The resuscitation and formation of companies, Mugabe said, had created employment, savings in foreign currency and exchange, and enhanced fiscal space. He also claimed that several financially-troubled parastatals such as Air Zimbabwe and National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ) had come out of the woods.
His remarks came as NRZ employees have embarked on a strike demanding payment of their outstanding 18 months’ salaries, while tens of thousands of workers have been retrenched. Zimbabwe’s trade deficit widened in the first three months of the year, indications of a contracting economy.
The veteran leader said his government was re-organising the mining sector, including consolidation of State ownership of the diamond mines and the strategic management of gold and gold products.
“This has started showing improved results, with gold output now 20,2 tonnes, rising expectedly to 25,5 tonnes by the year end,” Mugabe said.
He said his government, which has been struggling to pay civil servants, was determined to improve the well-being of government workers so they could earn salaries above the poverty datum line.
“Progress has been made in the development of social infrastructure in health, education and housing,” Mugabe claimed.
“Today, as we celebrate our 36th Independence Day anniversary, let us re-dedicate ourselves to serve Zimbabwe at all times, always striving for peace, respect, tolerance and goodwill towards others, and to tirelessly work for unity and development of our beloved country, Zimbabwe.
“One of the greatest tributes we can pay to Zimbabwe is to shun corruption, regionalism and nepotism. We should always remember that we are one people, united by the bond of Independence.”