THE Zanu PF government sees the country’s moribund economy growing at an average 7,3% in the next five years as the former liberation movement battles to revitalise the economy crippled by serious liquidity constraints, power shortages and failing service delivery.
According to Zanu PF’s economic blueprint — Zimbabwe Agenda for Sustainable Socio-Economic Transformation (Zim Asset) — that was adopted by the politburo on Wednesday, the economy is set for a 3,4% growth this year, while further positive growth is estimated at 6,1% in 2014.
Zim Asset says the economy will then grow by an ambitious 9,9% in 2018 when the next elections to choose a new government are due.
The first phase of Zim Asset will be implemented from this month until 2015 while the second phase will be between 2016 and 2018.
Former Finance minister Tendai Biti in July revised downwards the country’s economic growth projection from 5% to 3,4% citing continued decline in production and an unstable political climate created by the elections.
In a frantic bid to resuscitate the ailing economy, the Zanu PF government will create a Sovereign Wealth Fund to source funding while plans are underway to engage development partners who offer technical and financial support.
There are also plans to re-engage international financial institutions and creditors.
But Zanu PF is optimistic a focus on key economic drivers such as mining, agriculture, transport, information communication technology, tourism and small and medium enterprises will turn around the economy.
The economic plan comprises four clusters — food security and nutrition, social services and poverty reduction, infrastructure and utilities and value addition and beneficiation. The blueprint hinges on debt clearance, implementation of projects such as the Chisumbanje ethanol project, New Zim Steel, diamond cutting and processing, strengthening SMEs and agro-processing as well as tax and non-tax revenue.
President Robert Mugabe’s administration expects to clear an external debt of US$6,1 billion and a housing backlog which stands at 1,25 million while priority will also be given to improving energy, roads, water and rail infrastructure.
Cabinet has already approved the Zimbabwe Accelerated Arrears Clearance Debt and Development Strategy and the Zimbabwe Acceleration Re-engagement Economic Programme with the aim of clearing internal and external debts.
The President’s Office will evaluate and monitor cabinet ministers’ performance, according to Zim Asset’s foreword by Mugabe.
“Zim Asset October 2013-December 2018 was crafted to achieve sustainable development and social equity anchored on indigenisation, empowerment and employment creation which will be largely propelled by the judicious exploitation of the country’s abundant natural resources,” said Mugabe.