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Nothing to show for economic recovery’

Shakeman Mugari

THERE is nothing on the ground except the inflationary slowdown to show that the economy is recovering as claimed by government and the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ), a local economic consul

tant, Peter Robinson, has said.

Robinson told delegates at the sixth annual congress of the Zimbabwe Association of Accounting Technicians (ZAAT) in Kariba last week that the economy would continue to bleed under the current regime.

His presentation also indicated some shocking statistics on how the economy has declined over the past six years.

Robinson took a swipe at the country’s policies and piecemeal measures put in place by Reserve Bank governor Gideon Gono, which he said were inconsistent.

“Dual interest rates are inconsistent with what Gono characterised as the RBZ’s number one enemy – inflation,” said Robinson. He said the recently introduced productive sector facility was likely to result in speculation and excess consumption.

“For example, borrow at 30% (50%) from the productive sector facility and buy TBs at 160%.” He also told the delegates that the RBZ was exercising too much control on the foreign currency exchange rate on the auction floors.

Robinson said foreign currency auction systems work well where there is liberalisation and external support.

“Governor Gono’s auction is a lot more controlled than an auction,” he said.

“This tight control of the forex market has made exports unviable, leading to the closure of most companies.” He also said government’s claims of higher foreign currency inflows were “false” and the inflation numbers unbelievable.

Robinson added that there was no grain of truth in government’s claims that exports had also increased, citing companies like Colcom and Cafca whose exports have shrunk by 52% and 87% respectively.

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