‘Politics taking away attention from real economic issues’

Zanu PF internal fights and First Lady Grace Mugabe’s rallies have shifted attention from real economic issues and are likely to contribute to the slowing down of economic activity in the country, an economist has said.

BY TARISAI MANDIZHA

Grace used her rallies to attack perceived political opponents into submission through threats and public accusations.

Economist John Robertson said in the next six to seven weeks before Zanu PF’s December congress, the country would not witness anything positive that would make a difference to the economy.
He said most of the attention had been diverted to Zanu PF internal politics with government business virtually drawing to a halt.

“These are political issues and, of course, will slow down economic activities in the country. The people’s attention has been diverted from the real economic issues and this will lead to a decline in investors, employment creation and reduction in investments which the country needs,” Robertson said.

“Also, this will lead to further shortages in government tax revenue.”

Most cabinet ministers have been falling over each other bootlicking Grace while also virtually abandoning their offices to follow her to her countrywide rallies.

Some even opted to snub important cabinet meetings just to accompany Grace on her tours which analysts said has done nothing but further divide the ruling party.

Robertson said the 2014/2015 farming season was likely to be a disaster due to lack of preparedness by the government.

“It is going to be a disappointing agricultural season due to lack of preparation. Nobody is ready for the new farming season. The politicians are talking of how to get the seed and are yet to get the seed,” said Robertson.

“We have got every reason to be concerned, while government is into factionalism and personal fighting. They are taking away all the sensitivity and attention from the real economic issues.”
He said there was need for government to change the current policies to attract investment.

“We have to change the policies and all other things that are standing in the way for investors. Currently, government officials have put themselves in the way,” Robertson said.

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