ZimAsset dead with corruption

via ZimAsset dead with corruption November 25, 2013  NewsDay

Last week, World Bank director for Poverty Reduction and Economic Management in Africa Marcelo Giugale made telling, but obvious remarks at an AMH Conversations dialogue held in Harare under the theme Leveraging Minerals for Shared Growth.Under a story headlined Mineral revenue can reduce poverty in Africa, Giugale said: “Government should identify the poor by name and share with them the revenue.”

He said the system had worked well in Mexico and Iran, where revenue from the sale of oil was distributed among the poor. He gave concrete and current examples.

Giugale said: “Natural resources differ from tax. Nobody sees what comes from the industry apart from government and the extraction company.

That’s most true in the case of Zimbabwe where, during the tenure of the inclusive government, the Finance ministry, being nominally in the hands of the MDC-T, did not get any meaningful remittances from diamonds. That is why different figures of production and revenue were being mentioned. That is why then Justice minister Patrick Chinamasa confidently declared that there was money to hold the July 31 harmonised elections despite protestations by then Finance minister Tendai Biti that Treasury coffers were empty.

Continued Giugale: “More natural resources mean more corruption.”

Indeed, grand corruption seems to be the order of the day in the diamond mining sector. This month none other than President Robert Mugabe himself, addressing his own Zanu PF party top brass, spoke of secret midnight landings and takeoffs at airports by syndicates smuggling diamonds and other precious minerals. This is the “natural resource curse” which Guigale warned against.

The natural resource curse (also known as the paradox of plenty) refers to the paradox that countries and regions with an abundance of natural resources — specifically point-source non-renewable resources like minerals and fuels — tend to have less economic growth and worse development outcomes than countries with fewer resources.

This happens for many reasons, including a decline in competitiveness of other economic sectors, volatility of revenues from the natural resource sector due to exposure to global commodity market swings, government mismanagement of resources, or corrupt institutions.

All the symptoms of the natural resource curse are evident in Zimbabwe. The country is now a net importer of maize, the staple grain, and industrial exports have disappeared, resulting in massive unemployment as factory after factory closes.

Without the political will to tackle corruption head-on, the much-heralded Zimbabwe Agenda for Sustainable Socio-Economic Transformation (ZimAsset) is as good as dead in the water and Zimbabwe will plunge into a banana republic whose economy is solely dependent on one fluctuating export whose price is determined elsewhere.

This is not a strong and sustainable economic foundation.



  • comment-avatar

    Erudite telling report. Zimass is failed blueprint already

  • comment-avatar
    Joboringo 10 years ago

    Remember i told you i will die with my zimbabwe youwill burry me in same grave&cost some years to startup a rebuilt

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    papa zulu 10 years ago

    I totally agree with the writer that ZimAsset shall remain a pipe dream.For it to be successful genuinely committed and selfless leaders with people at heart are needed.I understand Saudi Arabia has a similar or even a better approach to sharing national resources and in their case its oil..Firstly corruption is not condoned.Any offenders face execution.The Sheik has an impeccable character.There is a board that furnishes him with quarterly reports on the management of oil including sales.Every citizen is at least a second class.In Zimbabwe it seems diamonds are not a national resource but meant for a few.Stringent monitoring and transparency is needed and make diamonds a national resource and not to be left to some dubious companies.

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    Bruce 10 years ago

    Mpofu and partners assets should be nationalised, they were financed from proceed of diamond. Any forensic auditor can prove it. Just a clue, the net worth of Mpofu and partners before discovery of the minerals and his appointment to the post of minister of mines can be determined easily by looking at his companies and deed office or Zimra records. The net worth now is open too. Then a statement of growth can be established, his salary and dividends from ligitimate companies equal his net worh now. Any differences is money sourced elsewhere. They should account. that will point to the diamonds, gold and abused t &s for these numerous trips.