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Zimbabwe has potential to reach US$100 billion economy—Makoni

ZIMBABWE has potential to achieve a US$100 billion economy earlier than 2020, despite a ballooning external debt overhang and only requires right leadership and personality, a former finance minister has said.

Report by Moses Chibaya

The country’s external debt of over of US$10 billion has dented Zimbabwe’s access to international funding and is hampering development as the country cannot borrow to spur economic growth.

Former Finance minister and Mavambo/Kusile/Dawn leader, Simba Makoni said that the country was endowed with vast mineral and human resources that only require “right leadership and the right personality” to help turnaround the economic fortunes.

“We can actually achieve a US$100 billion economy before 2020 if we do the right things — it’s feasible in this economy,” Makoni said.

He said the chaotic land reform programme carried out by President Robert Mugabe in 2000 had immensely contributed to the meltdown that has characterised Zimbabwe’s economy in the past few years.

“In 2002 we produced 240 million kgs of tobacco before we had taken the land. We produced 2,4 million to 2,5 million tonnes of maize from the communal areas not from the commercial farms. We produced 350 tonnes of cotton from Gokwe Muzarabani, Chiredzi, Mwenezi and today there is completely nothing,” Makoni said.

“Let’s remove the impediments that inhibit citizens from doing things for themselves, don’t arrest business managers for running their businesses, and don’t take away the little money that has been hard earned by citizens from their accounts,” he said.

‘People now expect govt to provide everything’

Simba Makoni bemoaned the death of a spirit to work by most Zimbabweans who are now used to quick money, adding that there was need to encourage people to work.
“Commitment to work is one area that l have seen a big difference between who l call the old Zimbabwean and the new Zimbabwean.

The old Zimbabwean was proud to work for themself, the old Zimbabwean would wake up at dawn going to the fields, today the new Zimbabwean waits to be given by the government,” he said.

Eight years ago, government hounded some business leaders out of the country through flimsy charges such as alleged foreign currency externalisation.

Some of the business people that fled the country include James Makamba, James Mushore, Julius Makoni, Gilbert Muponda, Francis Zimuto and Professor Mtuli Ncube who is now a South African citizen and African Development Bank chief economist and vice-president.

During the hyperinflation environment, the central bank raided foreign currency accounts of non-governmental organisations and individuals to meet the country’s pressing commitments. The accounts holders are yet to be refunded.

The current size of Zimbabwe’s economy has been estimated at US$10,5 billion.

6 Responses to Zimbabwe has potential to reach US$100 billion economy—Makoni

  1. Stevejj5 April 28, 2013 at 11:36 am #

    I do not agree with the notion that Zimbabweans expect handouts from government sir!

    • Sir Nigel April 28, 2013 at 12:26 pm #

      I agree with @Stevejj5. Zimbabweans generally want to get on with lives without relying on anyone. They want the powers that be to enable them to do this.

    • Jongwe Rachembera May 5, 2013 at 10:20 am #

      True the government cant even hand out asprin to the sick in clinics or hospitals.

  2. Sir Nigel April 28, 2013 at 11:46 am #

    ‘Flimsy charges’?…..huh? Some of the guys who left actually stole depositors’ funds and ruined people’s lives. They would be guilty in any country. Let’s not politicise everything….

  3. Dambudzo April 28, 2013 at 4:10 pm #

    Mr Makoni is a one man show. He is control maniac, same as Robert Mugabe.Makoni runs everything in the part from buying toilet paper and even writing meeting minutes. Mr Makoni you need to trust people and delegate duties, stop controlling. Our history and futures are similar to Kenya. Our Arap Moi is Robert Mugabe,our Raila is Tsvangirai, our Kibaki is Makoni and our Uhuru Kenyatta is Nelson Chamisa. Tsvangirai , Ncube, Dabengwa and Makoni need to unite to win the elections. Our Kibaki , Simba Makoni who is acceptable to both major political parties should be the leader of our coalition. This is the only way our Arap Moi, Robert Mugabe is going to go

  4. The Future 2025 April 28, 2013 at 10:43 pm #

    Zimbos want a conducive environment to be able to work for themselves and provide for their families. Currently there is no political leadership and will to provide that. The policies being implemented are reactive & backward looking. I hope people will elect a new government that is future looking and have policies that addresses the needs of the people, so that people can be able to put food on the table.

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