HomeLocal NewsEconomic revival promises ring hollow

Economic revival promises ring hollow

 TWO months after President Robert Mugabe and his Zanu PF party secured a contested landslide victory, the country is showing signs of plunging into a deeper economic morass as evidenced by the continued collapse of service delivery systems including health, fuel supply, electricity, water as well as the liquidity crunch.

 

Elias Mambo

Although Zanu PF secured power on the back of promises to revive the economy through a populist theme “Indigenise, Empower, Develop and Create Employment”, there is very little on the ground to show for it so far.

 

The country is experiencing nationwide power cuts severely impacting on the domestic and industrial sectors. Water shortages, high on Mugabe’s to-do list, are worsening; there is a scarcity of drugs in public hospitals and clinics; and shortages of fuel in some towns while business continues to struggle.

With a 60-year-old water infrastructure, Harare is only managing to produce 450 mega-litres per day from Prince Edward and Morton Jaffray waterworks, against a daily demand which, due to the current high temperatures, has jumped from 900 mega-litres per day to between 1 200 and 1 500 mega-litres.

The water crisis is set to worsen before it improves as five pumps at the Morton Jaffray Waterworks were decommissioned last week to facilitate refurbishment by the Chinese, with the city council warning long-suffering residents they should brace for even more erratic water supplies for the next three years as refurbishment continues.

 

Industry’s capacity utilisation has reportedly slid by 5,3 percentage points from 44,2% in 2012 to 39,6% this year. Last week, a severe shortage of critical drugs hit Masvingo General Hospital, compromising health delivery to thousands of residents.

 

The hospital failed to dispense basic drugs such as antibiotics and pain killers, forcing patients to turn to private pharmacies and clinics which are too expensive for the majority.

 

Besides the shortage of basic drugs, Zimbabwe is also struggling to supply anti-retroviral drugs at public health institutions, compromising the health of more than half a million people living with HIV and Aids, thus forcing patients to switch to drug combinations which endanger their lives. Fuel queues resurfaced last weekend in Zvishavane, Chinhoyi and Kadoma.

 

It seems Zanu PF is already reneging on its lofty election campaign promises.

The party’s secretary for youth affairs Absolom Sikhosana was quoted yesterday as saying government would not be able to create the two million jobs in five years Zanu PF promised ahead of the July 31 polls, but was quick to blame the non-delivery and a plethora of challenges afflicting the country on sanctions.

“We are going to create jobs …, but if you followed our strategy in our manifesto, you have got to accept we will not be able to create as many jobs as we would have loved to due to the imperialists continuing with their sanctions regime,” Sikhosana told journalists at the Zanu PF headquarters in Harare.

 

In its election manifesto, Zanu PF promised to create 2 265 million jobs in the next five years as part of an economic growth initiative based on the empowerment and indigenisation drive.

Public policy and governance manager at the Institute for a Democratic Alternative for Zimbabwe, Jabusile Shumba, said the main problem is that the Zanu PF manifesto is inimical to economic growth.

“With the policy direction highlighted in the Zanu PF manifesto, there is a tendency by the market to react negatively thereby reinforcing the crisis,” Shumba said.

 

University of Zimbabwe political science lecturer Professor Eldred Masunungure said the mood in the country is that of trepidation. “The inclusive government set policies towards a certain trajectory which brought sanity to Zimbabwe, but now the majority of people are crippled by fear of the unknown,” Masunungure said.

 

“People cast their eyes back to 2008 and relive the experiences of that era, hence there is fear as social services are declining. The coming in of a new regime, known for its own shortcomings, is bound to create uncertainties in all sectors (of the economy) coupled with the elections results that were not generally accepted across the political divide.”

Masunungure added that the current situation is a reflection of instability due to the policy direction that Zanu PF said it would take in its manifesto.

However, Zanu PF spokesperson Rugare Gumbo said the current crisis will be resolved soon and the reason for the decline of services could be sabotage from those on the losing side of the July 31 general elections. “Yes, there is generally a decline in services, but we hope things will change soon as investors gain confidence in the Zanu PF government,” Gumbo said.

“There is also the possibility of sabotage from those who generally feel the poll results were not favourable to them because you can ask yourself why a sudden change in electricity availability when we used not to have such problems. One cannot rule out sabotage,” he said.

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9 COMMENTS

  1. This is hardly news. What else did you expect from a ZANU PF “victory”? The problem with you Zimbabweans is that you put too much faith in miracles. That’s why Bob secured a very miraculous victory right under your noses!

  2. Its not zanupf to blame its us people of Zimbabwe who have accepted to be idiots. We have used fear factor yet we are going to be afraid for the rest of our lives. Daily we see us having a go at Tsvangirayi, no matter how ugly we are told he is at least he was trying his best to save us but idiotically we looked at his zip than at the future of Zimbabwe and entrusted it into the hadns of zealots.

  3. We are going to be virtual beggars by the time we get to 2018. A lot of people have not fully comprehended the implications of a ZanuPF re-election through dubious means. Tsvangirai was spot on when he said they rigged the election but they wont be able to rig the economy. Morgan has been fighting a lone battle for change while all the opposition figures attacked him instead of supporting him.

    ZanuPF is today asking business to help them fulfill their silly election promises which clearly shows even Mugabe understands he is living on borrowed time.

  4. In every situation, GOD is saying something. Whenever we go before HIM, please hand over Zimbabwe’s current state and ask HIM, “When is the expiry date of our problems as a nation”. Worry not, He is watching us all. HE hold the key to our lives. Emmanuel (Matthew 1:23).

  5. How about some lighter look at hr Zim situation, which situ has remi nded me of the late Wasu Dr Munyama’s popular joke still share d by embibers at drinking holes. It went thus ” kana usina kupfuura nekwaTsambe( St Augustine High) hauzikufundaba”.i.e. If yu were not a product of the then Manicala nd high school oasis of quality educ, it meant yu’re uneducated. That was QED of educated mumanyika. But across the nation if yu could not speak the English language eloquently it meant yu werent educated. But overally the popular expectations from education was ‘good living’, solution to individual’s basic economic problems. I prefer to hold on to this(good living)last definition of education above and declare that maZim hatizikufunda ba, so long majority ichiri dazzled nema low level basic survival & fair play challenges. Until we’re identified as land of solutions instead of land of problems, let us all humbly admit hatizikufundaba.

  6. I thot zhanu declared they don’t need the u.s. y are they still dwelling on the removal of the so called sanctions?? We have the chinese so we should be sorted and all should be well.

  7. I now love Zimboz, at long last we are coming to our senses. We will have no country to talk about by 2018 and our so called media houses and our ananlysts, haa, marara chaiwo. If the dictator smiles at them once, maiwee, they praise him the whole year and start demonizing Morgen, but be warned, Morgen is with us the pipo. Zanu yakaora kare kare.

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