Zimbabwe’s economic collapse alarms business

via Economic collapse alarms business – DailyNews Live by Ndakaziva Majaka  20 MAY 2014

With the carnage within commerce and industry escalating at a rapid pace, organised business has added its voice to growing calls for political dialogue in the country as the only solution to Zimbabwe’s deepening economic crisis.

Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries (CZI) president Charles Msipa told subscriber-based financial news provider Business Live this week that the only “way out of our situation is a political solution”.

This comes as the country’s economy — which had recovered noticeably from a decade-long meltdown during the country’s coalition government between President Robert Mugabe and former Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai — is hurtling towards a mega recession last witnessed in 2008.

Since the country’s disputed elections last year, both local and international investors have withdrawn from the economy in droves, which has seen hundreds of companies shutting down and tens of thousands of critically-needed jobs being lost.

The economy has since this year slid into the much-dreaded deflation zone, with some FROM P1

analysts significantly slashing the country’s 2014 economic growth prospects from the government’s overly optimistic 6,1 percent forecast, to negative territory.

The manufacturing sector is particularly depressed, with official capacity utilisation slumping from 44,9 percent in 2012 to 39,6 percent in 2013.

Msipa said: “Everyone should do their job, politicians must swallow their pride and industry must work on economic solutions so that we save the country,” he said.

Msipa said the dialogue was crucial and had to happen soon.

“No matter how much the ministers and industry work hard, this problem requires input from all leadership quarters,” he said.

His remarks came amid growing calls from the country’s opposition in particular for political engagement and drastic changes in government’s attitudes and policies.

Apart from Tsvangirai himself calling for this kind of necessary dialogue, former finance minister Tendai Biti also told a recent Sapes Trust Policy Dialogue forum that Zimbabwe was in a crisis that required political dialogue.

“The reality of our situation is that Zimbabwe is in a crisis and a deep structural crisis. Crisis of legitimacy, crisis of leadership, crisis of confidence, a structural economic crisis underlined by depression … they are all coinciding in one place,” he said, adding that “those in leadership need to… come up with a solution,” Biti said.

Official statistics from the Labour ministry indicate that although the number of people who have been retrenched went down from 4 007 in 2012 to 2 376 in 2013, the real situation on the ground is much worse as more companies continue to collapse and to retrench employees.

According to the CZI, the manufacturing sector alone requires about $8 billion for working capital and equipment upgrades, among other pressing needs — funds that are simply unavailable in this market.

As if to ram the point home about the dire state of the Zimbabwean economy, Msipa’s observations came as diversified and “old money” group, Meikles, made the staggering announcement yesterday that it was shutting down its upmarket Greatermans Store and replacing it with Pick n Pay Supermarkets with effect from the end of June this year.

Most Zimbabwean retailers are finding the going very tough due to the prevailing acute liquidity crisis, which is coupled with low disposable incomes.

Retailers also face stiff competition from cheaper imports mainly from China and South Africa.

Greatermans, located in the Harare central business district, and which sells clothing and furniture, has been a major retail player in the country for many decades.

Late last year, Meikles announced plans to make forays into the lower end of the market as part of its strategies to boost revenue and unlock shareholder value in the deteriorating current business climate.



  • comment-avatar
    Roving Ambassador 8 years ago

    Ist within Saouth Africa’s interest for our economy to fail.They can now and get everything for mahala. One end is the Chinese and the other the South African. Remember the cigarette story,one end burning, the other bitten, that’s Zimbabwe for you. Suffer continue.
    Thank you ZANU.

  • comment-avatar

    Meikles is owed USD100 million by The RESERVE BANK OF ZIMBABWE(RBOZ).
    No wonder they cannot operate properly. When a country’s central bank RBOZ withholds funds belonging to a private sector company what can you expect. Next MEIKLES might go broke.
    End result will be the South African companies will come into ZW and buy up ZW assets for nothing !
    This is why it is in South Africa’s interest for ZW to fall apart first before they will make a move.

  • comment-avatar
    WAKE-UP 8 years ago

    and it all started by stealing the 1st farm without compensation ,u could have paid in zim dollars and refunded in forex, which would have created the biggest economic boom Africa has seen , THE SNAKE (CHICKEN? ) IS EATING ITSELF

  • comment-avatar

    Just watched a channel 4 video of Mugabe and disgrace entering a very expensive private hospital in Singapore which,by the way,has a first class cancer clinic.Disgrace and the bodyguard tried to stop channel 4 from taking the pictures bit failed.Carry on suffering Zimbabweans you only have yourselves to blame.Stand up and be counted.

  • comment-avatar
    John Thomas 8 years ago

    Business has been predicting this outcome we are living with for very many years. It is the logical outcome of the policies that have been followed. ZANU can never solve the problems. Not ever. They must go then the situation can start to be resolved. This is the only discussion. Everything else is ZANU propaganda.

  • comment-avatar

    If you see yourself as a public figure running away from reporters or having problems being photographed then know you have overstayed your welcome. Remember in the eighties the first family had no problems with reporters, why now?

  • comment-avatar
    Mlimo 8 years ago

    Gleneagles hospital is ultra expensive.

  • comment-avatar
    Realist 8 years ago

    Still wondering why Biti can pretend to be level headed yet he goes on to defend Gono on his RBZ corruption charges. Also wonder why Gono was quick to nominate Biti as his defense counsel in the on-going feud with Kereke. Biti was Gono’s boss during the inclusive Govt period. Talk of conflict of interest or perhaps Lords of Corruption!

    • comment-avatar
      Don Cox 8 years ago

      “why Biti can pretend to be level headed yet he goes on to defend Gono”

      A lawyer has to defend people who he privately knows are guilty. Otherwise no accused could have a defence lawyer.

  • comment-avatar
    Mdidi 8 years ago

    Where are the ZANU Pf youths who were campaining day and night, who were also used for multiple voting during rigging? I am sure they are very comfortable wherever they are.

    Tshana nyamazana yami…

  • comment-avatar
    Saddened 8 years ago

    Many of the same business people are complicit in the ruining of our beloved country and benefited hugely. They chose not to speak out when it really mattered and are now reaping what they sowed. What must be must be!

  • comment-avatar
    Nyarai 8 years ago

    There is no other way. The PRINTERS must run none stop guys the Zim dollar is BACK.