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Mugabe flies out as Zim melts

President Robert Mugabe flew out of the country last week to attend the Group of 77+China in Bolivia, leaving behind a country in turmoil.


His junket to South America, which will gobble thousands of dollars, comes 10 months after Zanu PF got unfettered powers to rule Zimbabwe.

In its election manifesto, Zanu PF promised Zimbabweans heaven on earth saying it would create value of US$7,3 billion from the indigenisation of 1 138 companies across 14 key sectors of the economy. It said it would generate over US$1,8 trillion created from the idle value of empowerment assets unlocked from parastatals, local authorities and mineral rights.

It said its various initiatives would create 2 265 million jobs across sectors of the economy and “contribute to export earnings, food security and to the fiscus among many other benefits including urban housing, and construction on peri-urban farms acquired during the land reform exercise”.

But 10 months on, the situation on the ground remains grim — and is getting worse by the day, amid growing signs that the economy is melting down, piling more misery on already struggling citizens.

Analysts said it was frightful that the government appeared clueless as evidenced by contradicting policy statements, especially on indigenisation — the price of factional infighting in Zanu PF that has spilled into government.

An industrialist said in an interview yesterday that joblessness and informalisation of the economy had reached alarming levels.
He said there was need for foreign direct investment in infrastructure, manufacturing and mining.

“We are still talking about reviewing investment laws and speaking in different directions with no sense of urgency,” the industrialist said.

A local analyst said the economy has been contracting due to liquidity challenges. He said the move by government to shift civil servants dates was a sign that the situation is deteriorating and was likely to get worse.

“The solution from day one has been clear. We need to craft investor-friendly policies which are clear and consistent so that we may be able to attract capital. Secondly, just like the European Union has said, there is need for security of investments,” the analyst said.

“Government must promote and protect investments under Bilateral Investment Protection and Promotion Agreements (Bippas).”

Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) secretary general Japhet Moyo said the situation was dire for workers, 9 000 of whom have lost their jobs since last year.

In addition to job losses, Moyo said, many cases were piling at the Retrenchment Board.
“We have been moaning on the number of applications, a clear indication that the industry is struggling,” Moyo said.

Moyo said the continuous shifting of civil servants’ paydays and the number of companies that were unable to pay salaries showed a particular picture of the state of the economy.”

The ZCTU boss said government should address the fundamentals including laws that attract investment, tax laws and favourable industrial relations.

“All these mean a lot to prospective investors. The informal economy is growing by the day. The question is: what makes people do business under the radar of the authorities but without paying taxes? People run away because government has stringent rules,” he said.

Willowvale’s plans to retrench have already received approval while newly appointed board chairman of the National Railways of Zimbabwe, Alvord Mabena said the board had to prepare “to take painful decisions to bring about the desired change” at the struggling rail parastatal.

In his acceptance speech, new Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) governor John Mangudya said the central bank had no tools to influence the economy directly under the multi-currency regime.

Mangudya said the bank’s strength “rests on relationship management, policy advice and the ability to put in place national beneficial financial structures to increase liquidity and resuscitate the economy so as to unlock value in the economy and to work towards meeting some of the critical objectives enunciated in Zim Asset”.

The outlook however remains gloomy with the World Bank lowering Zimbabwe’s growth projections to 2% this year from the 3% it had forecast in April.

Government projects the economy to grow by 6,1% this year and despite the new challenges facing the economy, it has not made any adjustments.

Last week, power utility Zesa announced a load shedding schedule which will be another blow to the manufacturing sector already beset by the absence of long-term funding.

Already, the manufacturing sector has warned that capacity utilisation was likely to dip to 30% this year from the 39,6% in 2013, painting a gloomy picture on the outlook.

The informal sector which caters for a big chunk of employees has not been spared from the power cuts.

In his 2014 national budget presentation, Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa said the old economy was dead and a new one, based on the informal sector, had been born, urging financial institutions to cater for the small to medium sized enterprises.

But at Bernito Complex in Mbare, Midreck Zengeni complains about his dying business. He said power cuts had hamstrung operations. Zengeni runs Zengeni engineering which manufactures window frames and scotch carts.

“We are working three days per week and this has affected our business,” he told The Standard yesterday.

Zengeni said very often nowadays, electricity was cut all day, only to be restored in the evening, meaning that they would have lost a day’s production.
He said in some instances when power was restored, it would be insufficient to run heavy machinery.

Lazarus Zokota, who is into furniture manufacturing, said the power cuts meant that they were unable to supply goods ordered on time.

“We are now having problems with clients. They think we dupe them and yet we cannot afford generators,” Zokota said.

In the banking sector, a report by IH Securities, a research firm, said a significant threat to the economy and the banking sector in particular is the deflationary pressure that the country was experiencing.

“Due to subdued levels of demand, local businesses cannot maintain margins and have in some cases been forced to decrease prices. In our view, this began in 2013 and has worsened in the first half of 2014,” the firm said.

“The concern is of course, that declining prices would further discourage investment in those industries targeted at the local market.”

It said low revenue on the back of this development would also place further pressure on firms that are already faced with viability problems.

“Highly leveraged firms are especially of concern as these will be facing higher real debt burdens.”

Chinamasa could not be reached for comment yesterday.

Former Finance minister Tendai Biti said Zanu PF should apologise to the nation for having failed to run the economy.

“The economy is now worse off than it was in 1957 and Zim Asset [Zimbabwe Agenda for Sustainable Socio-Economic Transformation] is a joke,” he said.

Biti proposed the setting up of a National Transition Technical Council to run the affairs of the economy.

“You don’t put a bunch of failed politicians into running a struggling economy because it will worsen things,” he said.

16 Responses to Mugabe flies out as Zim melts

  1. Diibulaanyika June 15, 2014 at 10:14 am #

    If the citizens get hurt by economic meltdown in other countries they stand up and chase away those who are responsible of the meltdown but in zimbabwe a country which is full of people docile like donkeys and kuku nothing is going to happen shuwa mama kamina nothing at all .

    • QTrne941 June 19, 2014 at 8:29 am #

      ᴍʏ ᴄʟᴀssᴍᴀᴛᴇ’s ᴍᴏᴍ ᴍᴀᴋᴇs $74 /ʜᴏᴜʀ ᴏɴ ᴛʜᴇ ɪɴᴛᴇʀɴᴇᴛ . Sʜᴇ ʜᴀs ʙᴇᴇɴ ᴜɴᴇᴍᴘʟᴏʏᴇᴅ ғᴏʀ ɴɪɴᴇ ᴍᴏɴᴛʜs ʙᴜᴛ ʟᴀsᴛ ᴍᴏɴᴛʜ ʜᴇʀ ᴄʜᴇᴄᴋ ᴡᴀs $19254 ᴊᴜsᴛ ᴡᴏʀᴋɪɴɢ ᴏɴ ᴛʜᴇ ɪɴᴛᴇʀɴᴇᴛ ғᴏʀ ᴀ ғᴇᴡ ʜᴏᴜʀs. ᴡᴇʙsɪᴛᴇ ʟɪɴᴋ
      ================== >>>>>>>>>>>

  2. Mtongi Gava June 15, 2014 at 11:32 am #

    A country of educated IDIOTS. The vaPostori took the lead and we just watch now frm a distant instead of continuing ythe struggle. Hamheno ifai kuZim ikoko muchangwara

  3. tiktak June 15, 2014 at 11:35 am #

    you can say that again diibulaanyika,but for yourself what are you doing to help the situation.

  4. Musona June 15, 2014 at 12:14 pm #

    Speaking at the burial of Nathan Shamuyarira on the 6 June 2014, Mugabe rubbished reports that 70 percent the country’s population is unemployed, arguing the Land Reform Programme had given people employment.
    “There are false reports going around that over 70 percent of the population are unemployed, this is false.
    “Most of our people live in the rural areas and in those parts we have the A1 Resettlement Scheme.
    “So if you have a home in the rural area you therefore possess some acreage so you cannot be unemployed,” he told the cheering crowd.
    According to Mugabe we don’t need these relics of Imperialist, colonialist industries. Some years ago Mugabe said this country will not rely on industry but on agriculture in the year 2000 when MDC started calling for “Stayaways”. To hell with colonialists industries. The demise of industry is planned – it could be 4th or 5th Chimurenga I am not sure?

    Endayi kuma misha munorima tsimbe dzevanhu sezva taurwa na Mugabe, hero/liberator/inventor of electricity and air.

    • peter matibiri June 16, 2014 at 10:48 am #

      while it is a noble idea to go and rima kumusha lets not also miss the point to say after rimaring one needs to sell besides the eating of the maize. I have just come from home this weekend and found that people have maize and food but they need money for other things like school fees. Thier main problem has become how to convert their maize into money. For starters they used to rely on the GMB for selling their maize and getting quick returns. Unfortunately that is not happening coz GMB has no money. So when Mugabe says they are gainfully employed then i begin to wonder. When he refuses to relinquish power and go into farming is it not because he fears to gpo farming because he doesn’t want to entrust his life on unpredictable agriculture. Iye he erlies on being formally employed as president so that he steals money from the state to fund his businesses, does not pay electricity he owes gets allowances during his endless trips and he lies to us that you are gainfully employed in agriculture. For others it takes more than a season to sell your produce when the prices pick up. But in the mean time what will people be surviving on. Kare zvinhu zvakanaka vanhu vaimbo complainer here.

  5. Musona June 15, 2014 at 12:26 pm #

    I made a few errors above – Shamuyarira’s burial was on the 7 June 2014.
    And one paragraph should read, “According to Mugabe we don’t need these industries – relics of Imperialist colonialism. In the year 2000 Mugabe said this country will not rely on industry but on agriculture when MDC started calling for “Stayaways”. To hell with colonialists’ industries. The demise of industry is planned – it could be 4th or 5th Chimurenga I am not sure?”

  6. Chamboko June 15, 2014 at 12:46 pm #

    That’s why Gorden Moyo and some former MDC-T youths in Mutare had to be called to create a sin so that people can start talking about MDC-T instead of the one eyed 90 year old Mugabe who is destroying the country. The CIO have to engineer petty stories of MDC-T each time they want to cover up Mugabe’s scandals.

  7. Diibulaanyika June 15, 2014 at 2:36 pm #

    @Tiktak as a cio yo self you want to know what i am doing to solve the situation so that you rush to tell one eyed kondo ,tekwane siakabenge mazita kufekerana son of a malawian migrate . For yo own information i have never voted for zanu since 1980 during the days of gukurahundi i refused to be intimidated bcoz i am not a coward and i will never vote for this kak never,never.

  8. Musona June 15, 2014 at 3:06 pm #

    My responses to Newsday editorial staff on 14 June 2014 posing as ordinary commentator Ruramai

    *Newsday (ND) – “If it had been the case, we would not have had black people earning less than their white counterparts for the same job”
    *Musona (MS) – outrageous generalisation. If anyone felt they were going to earn less than their white counterparts why accept the job(s)? You earn what you negotiate with your prospective employer. You don’t give concrete examples of where this happened. We were not all employed by one employer – different people were employed in different fields – doctors got doctors’ pay, nurses got nurses’ pay, garden boys got garden boys’ pay etc etc.
    *Newsday – “Such hostels like Matapi in Mbare were meant to cater for black people who were not allowed to bring their families into town”
    *Musona – the white authorities were absolutely right in not allowing people to bring in their families. Those hostels were built to accommodate single urban workers ONLY not whole families – that was the agreement made with those who stayed in these hostels. The hostels were built by the whites and they had every right to dictate who should live in those hostels and how. If you own a hostel you will dictate terms NOT the tenants to dictate terms. If the hostel occupants were not happy they were free to leave. I don’t see a problem there. If you have a lodger renting one room at your house you wouldn’t want them to bring all their relatives from the Reserves to live in this one room, would you? Simple straightforward logic.
    *Newsday – “Schools for white kids were better resourced than those for black kids”
    *Musona – rightly so because their parents paid much more than black people. There were hundreds of black kids whose parents were affluent who went to white schools because they could afford the high fees. Examples – Kelvin Sifelani, Albert Chanetsa, Arthur Mutsonziwa, the late Sandra Mungwira nee Mwamuka, the ex-Ambas*ador to Australia, Jacqueline Zwambila, was educated in an all-white school in Bulawayo in Rhodesia.
    *Newsday – “My own grandparents were evicted from their farm near Svosve and taken to the same arid African purchase area some 60 km from Zvishavane. Our crops fetched less than those of white farmers irrespective of grade”
    *Musona – there is a simple explanation to this. Your grand parents probably did not have enough money to do serious commercial farming and were wasting good farmland and moved to make way for some commercial farmer to do serious farming. It’s nonsense to say your crops fetched less than those of white farmers – it could be because your produce was of inferior quality? Crops grown with fertiliser and irrigation in commercial farms are far more superior than crops grown without fertiliser and dependent on natural rainfall in the Reserves this is why crops from Reserves fetch less. Did you try and find out why this was the case? Or you could have taken your produce elsewhere for a better price. I have heard these statements all my life coming from non-farming politicians to galvanise people against the white governments. Are you getting better prices now? I am sure to bolster your argument you are going to say “Yes” you are now getting better prices. What is the point of giving large tracts of fertile land to poor people who had no money or skill to do serious commercial farming?
    *Newsday – “The reality is that the reason the country degenerated into civil war was due to the racist policies which dehumanised a majority of the population”
    *Musona – there was no racism. You people mix up racism and poverty which existed even before whites came to this land. If you are poor there is only so much you can do. There is discrimination in Zimbabwe right now based on party-membership or those who skipped the border in the 1960s and 70s. Top ZanuPF officials own multiple farms, were given gratuities, and generally enjoy a high standard of living at the expense of the poor majority. I lived in Highfield and worked in commerce and industry and had no problems whatsoever. I was not dehumanised by anyone. There were black millionaires in Rhodesia. Examples – George Tavengwa the first multi-millionaire had 9 commercial farms, a fleet of 150 buses, hotels etc, Phillimon Murambiwa (Machipisa), Mwamuka, Ruredzo, Matambanadzo, Mucheche, Mwayera, Mwamuka, Pswarayi, Mundawarara, Bhule etc etc. If these blacks could be millionaires in Rhodesia what was stopping others doing the same?
    *Newsday – “…so marginalised as to want to take up arms”
    *Musona – who are these who took up arms? A motley bunch of power-hungry politicians and thousands of school dropouts, drifters, fugitives from justice for non-political criminal offences such as murder, rape, fraud, theft, mbanje-peddling. And desperadoes who skipped the border to try their luck in newly-independent Mozambique. Let me give examples of school dropouts who knew sod all about politics who skipped the border in their early teens – Joice Mujuru, Monica Mutsvangwa, Opah Muchinguri, Chiwenga, Nyikayaramba etc etc. These kids had no clue what was going on – they skipped the border to have a fun. Juvenile delinquents. What did these kids know about racism when they were living in the Reserves supported by their parents?
    These people did not know Rhodesia was the second most prosperous economy in Africa – what is it now? Second last.
    *Newsday – “If he had been inclusive, as expected from a leader who is concerned about all his people, we would not have fought one another”
    *Musona – I don’t know what you mean by “inclusive”? I did NOT feel excluded. Do you mean being given wads of cash for free?
    One other thing is that in Rhodesia we blacks were exempt from paying income tax and black businesses were exempt from paying corporation tax. Only whites were compelled to pay these taxes in Rhodesia – but after 1980 Zanu compelled everyone to pay these taxes. Income tax is at a rate of 45% of take home pay. This is the positive discrimination I know which existed. What was wrong with that? Are you not aware of this development? No black politician ever talks about this.
    The system in Rhodesia was definitely based on merit. From my own experience and observation I did not see any favouritism in Rhodesia. What most people do not understand is that the whites did not travel all the way from Europe to indulge us black people by giving us jobs, building free schools, industries, hospitals for us while we sat on our back sides waiting to be invited. These whites did not sign any contract to indulge blacks and give them jobs in their factories. Our people did not make any effort to build their own factories or schools. Some people did. Others just sat back and moaned. Your account is full of moans – they did not do this or that for us – why didn’t you do something about improving your self like what George Tavengwa and others did? George Tavengwa had more money than most whites.

    • Franklin June 15, 2014 at 10:49 pm #

      Musona may have a point but to deny that there was racism and denial of rights to indigenous people is way off the mark.

      Let us call a spade a spade.

      There were so many injustices committed against the indigenous people in this country and elsewhere across the continent by colonial settlers, beginning with the slave trade and so on and so forth.

      There may have been some positive developments like the building of industrial infrastructure, schools, hospitals etc but to justify privileges given to a few citizens on the
      basis of the colour of their skin while the vast majority of the rest of the population wallowed in poverty, discrimination and dehumanization is a bit preposterous.

      The present crop of political leaders have their own problems of greed, corruption, clinging to power at whatever cost etc and should be censured for that, not to defend an unjust dispensation for the sake of defending.


      • Musona June 16, 2014 at 3:17 pm #

        @Franklin – I don’t accept so on and so forth… in my arguments. You only know the white-on-black slavery what of black-on-black slavery? The Ndebele used to raid the Fort Victoria area, loot and take slaves back to Matebeleland before 1890. The Kalanga are a mixture of Ndebele and Karanga from Fort Victoria. There was also the Arab-on-black slave trade which resulted in the Arabs building the Zimbabwe Ruins as a station for the slave trade. There descendants of these slaves in the Arabian Peninsula.
        Colonialism was by far and away the best thing that ever happened and will ever happen in Africa – it catapulted us from the Stone Age to modernity.
        For years I have studied so-called racism in Rhodesia and I am afraid some of the examples are laughable – you would not think the examples were coming from university graduates who are supposed to be more analytical than the ordinary man in the street. The example of Mbare Matapi Hostels is a case in point. The tenants knew the hostels were for single men only, accepted, but later wanted to bring their relatives into single men’s hostels! How stupid is that? They wanted to dictate to the owners how the hostels should be run, and someone says that was racism! Utter nonsense. If I owned single men’s hostels I would chuck those who brought relatives out.
        No mention is made of “Murambatsvina” – eviction by a black government. What of those moved from their homes at Chiadzwa by this government?
        Colonialists are accused of murders but people conveniently forget Rwanda, Guk*rahu*di, Marikana in S Africa where we saw black-on-black mas* murders.
        It is nonsense to say whites gave themselves privileges while blacks wallowed in poverty. I did not see that. Rhodesia was the second most prosperous economy in Africa and some of us took advantage. Those who wallowed in poverty chose to do so and those like multi-millionaire George Tavengwa chose to work hard and got their just rewards. There was nothing stopping any black person being multi-millionaire like George Tavengwa. Your excuses are flimsy.
        As far as I am concerned and as someone born in Salisbury I have no hesitation in saying there was no racism in Rhodesia.

      • Musona June 18, 2014 at 11:11 am #

        @Fraklin – idiot how was the rest of the population wallowing in poverty in what was the second most prosperous economy in Africa? What is happeing now whenit is the second worst economy in Africa?

  9. Denis June 15, 2014 at 5:55 pm #

    Tazvinzwa wangu toenda musango kunorwa here kuti zvinake here wangu coz voting system is not working

  10. vortex June 15, 2014 at 9:39 pm #

    IT is greed and corruption coupled by bad governance that hasruined this country. it iswhat Ian Smith called

    irresponsible government.. Heclaims to have brought democracy to Zim, but it was only ademocracy if you voted for him. other wise of you voted fpr some one else it was called toppling the government.

  11. Fosholo Kapwepwe June 16, 2014 at 5:23 am #

    If only Mugabe had opted to stay single after Sally died perhaps we could have a different situation prevailing. Our problems like in biblical times started with Eve. (Grace). Perhaps the true ideals of Mugabe have been lost in translation. He ate the forbidden fruit, look at our problems, greed, corruption, travel extravaganza, disrespect for others and for life, true capitalists (mutton dressed as lamb) behaving like socialists. However, there is lots of hope, chisingaperi chinomama.

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