via ‘Zanu PF infighting blights economic recovery’ – DailyNews Live 20 August 2014 by John Kachembere
HARARE – Political and economic experts have said dog fights for power have taken precedence in Zanu PF, while the ailing economy has been left unattended to.
Recent events in the ruling Zanu PF’s Youth and Women’s League congresses, including kidnappings, vote buying, subplots and counter subplots, have revealed a party taking its eyes off economic recovery efforts.
Infighting pitting two major factions — one reportedly led by Pice President Joice Mujuru and the other by Justice minister Emmerson Mnangagwa — have exploded out in the open. The intensifying warring has remained a top concern as the economy enters a period of deep recession.
Political and economic experts said the fights for power had taken precedence in Zanu PF, at the expense of the struggling economy.
The country’s economy — is sliding back into recession due to an acute liquidity crunch, lack of cheap credit lines and massive power outages.
Economist John Robertson said it would require a strong leader to reverse the current contraction in the economy by implementing good policies that are investor friendly and encourages growth.
“What we have seen from these warring factions is their urge for political office without any clear economic policies to take the country forward,” Robertson told the Daily News.
In its 2014 first half economic analysis, economic think-tank Econometer Global Capital, said Zimbabwe’s economic growth averaged just 1,8 percent and it was due to worsen in the second half of the year.
“An average of two medium-sized corporates, five small enterprises and 0,5 large corporates close shop every month in Zimbabwe with smaller towns the most affected by de-industrialisation,” the Econometer’s report says.
Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa, tasked to find $27 billion needed for economic revival, was recently forced to slash his 2014 economic forecast from the ambitious 6,1 percent figure to 3,1 percent due to declining aggregate demand in the country.
Opposition MDC policy chief Eddie Cross said the combination of deflation or prices declining, and negative growth in the gross domestic product (GDP) was creating serious problems for all sectors of the productive sector.
“The impact is especially severe in industry and commerce and if nothing happens to halt the decline in the near future, we can expect bank and company closures to continue,” Cross said.
MDC organising secretary Nelson Chamisa said the nation had been stymied by the fractious and internal fissures within Zanu PF and this was arresting energies to resolve fundamental issues.
“The crisis in Zimbabwe is a crisis of governance. We should resolve the unanswered question of governance and legitimacy,” he said.
In an attempt to buy time and to pacify the increasingly agitated populace, Zanu PF is now calling on Zimbabweans to “endure” the crisis while the economic blueprint, the Zimbabwe Agenda for Sustainable Socio-Economic Transformation (ZimAsset), is being implemented.
Zimbabwe needs long-term capital to upgrade its factories, roads and power stations.
Meagre local savings mean this must come from abroad. But with the Indigenisation policy looming large and scaring away potential investors, this might take longer than earlier anticipated.