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Why the smear campaign?

03 Jul 2019 at 08:25hrs | Views
Zimbabwe has been under economic sanctions for nearly two decades.

To date, it is still reeling under the effects of the ruinous Western economic embargo that is estimated to have cost the country nearly US$50 billion, leading to de-industrialisation and massive socio-economic depredation. It is the resilience of the people of Zimbabwe that is inspiring and that has held the country together amid the ravages of the disproportionate and illegal actions.

The people of Zimbabwe have endured unimaginable distress, perpetual poverty and destitution as a result of the economic sanctions imposed without any due care or attention to the plight of the ordinary people.

Under the circumstances when you look and analyse how the country has performed when compared to other African countries in terms of economic growth then you begin to understand the resolute spirit of the people of Zimbabwe.

Zimbabwe adopted the multi-currency regime in February 2009 and the economy recovered quite significantly since with annual growth rates of over 10 percent until about 2012 and eventually and gradually declining to growth rates thereafter of below 5 percent.

The significantly high economic growth rates when the country started using the multi-currency needs to be clarified to highlight clearly that the decline to the lower rates of present day had nothing to do with Government policy, but rather the economy readjusting and reconfiguring itself from the high inflationary period of the domestic currency era to the US dollar anchored period.

That is a fact and what we are witnessing in the economy is indeed, real growth. From 2009 to 2012 Zimbabwe had little manufacturing capacity to back the over 10,5 percent economic growth rate that was being touted as Tendai Biti’s economic genius. The growth we currently have in Zimbabwe is real growth from a normal base.

There are a number telling key statistics about economic growth in some African countries picked randomly and all these countries are not and have not been under economic sanctions for the past 13 years. Kenya had a growth rate of 4,7 percent in 2017, Lesotho 3,4 percent in 2017, and Namibia 4,3 percent in 2017.

Zambia had a growth rate of 6,5 percent in 2017 and Angola had a growth rate of 5.1 percent in 2017. Botswana had a growth rate of 5,4 percent in 2017, Uganda 5,2 percent in 2017 and Mozambique 7 percent in 2017.

Zimbabwe under the full impact of economic sanctions posted a modest growth rate of 4 percent in 2017. Food for thought. The construction of the Beitbridge-Harare-Chirundu Highway has already commenced.

Completion of this massive infrastructural project is going to make Beitbridge Border Post the busiest border in Southern Africa and possibly the continent. Zimbabwe has generally been the gateway from southern to north Africa because of its strategic location.

In excess of 300 000 jobs are going to be created directly as a result of the project while additional employment would come through downstream industries. The Tokwe Mukosi dam with a height of 89,2 metres and storage capacity of 1,8 billion cubic metres of water, it is the highest and the largest inland water body in Zimbabwe.

The main purpose of the dam is for irrigation and hydro-power generation. Tokwe Mukosi Dam is designed as a rock fill dam with an upstream concrete face, the first dam of this type in Zimbabwe.

The Kariba South Expansion Project is currently under construction is now over 85 percent complete and to be commissioned later this year. This is a US$5333 million project currently happening in the country. The Hwange Thermal Power Station Project at a cost of US$1,5 billion is also another positive development.

The power projects will help stimulate industrial development. The Tel-One Fibre Optic Broadband Backbone Project at a cost of nearly $100 million is on course and due to be completed soon. The National Pharmaceuticals Warehouse Project will be launched soon and the project entails investment of over $50 million.

The new Parliament Building Project at a cost of $100 million is coming together nicely with designs and preparatory work at an advanced stage. The Kunzvi-Musami Harare Water Project at a cost of $600 million is also on course with Sino-Hydro having expressed interest and signed an agreement with Harare to carry out the project.

Now these are just, but a few of the many developments taking place in Zimbabwe. The question to pose now is, why the intensification of the negative campaign against Zimbabwe at a time when such major projects are nearing completion? Why now specifically?

Well, the answer is very simple; those behind the anti-Zimbabwe smear campaign do not want to see progress in Zimbabwe under President Mnangagwa’s leadership. With all those projects that will benefit Zimbabwe and its citizenry already underway, complete or nearing completion, surely it should be a time for celebration.

Alas, suddenly the smear campaign is in overdrive to overshadowe the great work that is being engineered by President Mnangagwa and his team and a lot of mega initiatives come to mind. These include the US$533 million Kariba South Expansion Project was completed last year and was commissioned in March that year.

Construction of the Hwange Thermal Power Station Project at a cost of US$1,5 billion was commissioned early this year. The power project will help stimulate economic activity in the country. Also, TelOne’s Fibre Optic Broadband Backbone Project at a cost of nearly $100 million is course and due to be completed soon.

The National Pharmaceuticals Warehouse Project is set to be launched soon at a cost over $50 million while new Parliament Building project poised to start to start at a cost of $100 million is coming together nicely with designs and preparatory work at an advanced stage. Government also has its focus on completing the Kunzvi-Musami Harare Water Project at a cost of $600 million with the project right on course after Sino Hydro expressed interest and signed an agreement with Harare to carry out the project.

The Government’s Command Agriculture initiative has been a huge success with projected harvests of over 2 million metric tonnes of maize and this has been over-subscribed with even more farmers having registered interest for next season.  

The question is, why the intensification of the negative campaign against Zimbabwe at a time when these massive and positive projects are nearing completion? Why now specifically? Well, the answer is very simple; those behind the anti-Zimbabwe smear campaign do not want to see progress in Zimbabwe under ZANU-PF. With all those projects that will benefit Zimbabwe under way and many nearing completion, surely it should be a time for celebration, at least among locals.

The smear campaign has taken centre stage to overshadow the great work that is being engineered by Zanu-PF led Government. The challenging economic situation in Zimbabwe is being used to paint a dismal and bleak scenario judging through news headlines and contrived country economic reports.

In as much as the present state of the economy appears gloomy, Zimbabwe is on the doorsteps of a phenomenal economic recovery. The silently impending economic revival is due to country’s policy indigenisation, the land reform and economic empowerment.  Zimbabwe has struggled economically due to sanctions. Various major investment deals have been signed since president Mnangagwa took over the reins of leadership; evidence of Government’s determination to turnaround Zimbabwe’s economy.

Since coming into office and setting in motion reforms under the Second Republic, the President has made attracting foreign investment one of his rallying calls in the quest to establish a middle-income economy by 2030.

After President Mnangagwa visited the People’s Republic of China,  Zimbabwe got US$1,3 billion for the Hwange Thermal units 7 and 8 expansion.

So far, nearly US$200 million has been drawn down. Also funded by China are the Robert Mugabe and Victoria Falls international airports. The project will cost over US$300 million. While contractors are already on site in Harare, Victoria Falls Airport was completed last year; and critics choose to ignore this for selfish reasons. There’s also the US$4,2 billion investment by Cypriot firm, Karo Resources, underway somewhere near Chegutu; it is in two phases: the first phase is US$2,5 billion and they are already drilling.

In a democratic country like Zimbabwe, people are allowed to dream and criticise, but also abuse the privilege. But no one should lose sleep because of such negativity; because of people who just criticise, for the sake of it. But only when you are not doing anything, will you not be criticised. If you are doing something, then you find people are criticising you until the results of your sweat proves them wrong.

The Batoka Gorge scheme, it has been on for the last six or seven years. But look at what progress has been made now between Zimbabwe and Zambia.

The Great Dyke Investments project in Darwendale is another initiative giving reason for people to smile and believe brighter days are not far away.

The Great Dyke Investments initiative is huge platinum project that will further elevate the country’s profile as a significant player in the global platinum market, which must serve as further testimony to bolster the resilience and collective strength of the Zimbabwean people.

Zimbabwe is moving towards an inevitable economic reconstruction which will be strongly backed by a resurgent agricultural sector, mining, manufacturing the enhanced contribution of the Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and the steady rise in foreign direct investment. The Chinese and Russians have been supportive to this end, including through their investment into Zimbabwe. The EU and the UK have continued with the carrot and stick approach to investment and the removal of sanctions against Zimbabwe.

Government has also embarked on a wide range of reforms under the Transitional Stabilisation Programme 2018-2019, which is already bearing fruits through budget surpluses, ease of doing business initiatives, alignment of legislation, fighting corruption and restoring Zimbabwe’s position among the global family of nations.

Zimbabwe is currently facing significant challenges economically and to get out of this mire requires the collective spirit of the people of the country. It requires a positive mind-set, positive attitude and that patriotic desire to free the country from this economic burden we find ourselves in. It is just a matter of time before Zimbabwe reclaims her rightful place as the continent’s economic hub.

Source - chronicle
All articles and letters published on Bulawayo24 have been independently written by members of Bulawayo24's community. The views of users published on Bulawayo24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Bulawayo24. Bulawayo24 editors also reserve the right to edit or delete any and all comments received.

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