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Zimbabwe should adopt 'you eat what you gather' policy

24 Feb 2022 at 05:43hrs | Views
ZIMBABWE is in crisis, but to expect the Zanu-PF government to resolve this is impossible.

Today, nearly four out of every five Zimbabweans survives in abject poverty. On average, Zimbabweans are poorer now than they were at independence in 1980. Informal employment is at 95%, which is why the civil service has more than doubled over the last 10 years to 600 000 employees — this is the only place the government can create jobs.

But the crisis Zimbabwe is facing is no accident. It is a man-made calamity. Over the last 42 years of independence, Zanu-PF has presided over the disintegration of the productive sector of the economy. Driven by sheer incompetence and greed, the party has completely destroyed a once thriving economy.

Firstly, industries closed in the face of vanishing foreign investment.

Secondly, infrastructure was not maintained and no investments were made.

Thirdly, the backbone of Zimbabwe's economy was ripped open when land was politically redistributed.

In today's Zimbabwe, the elite prosper in the midst of misery because of maladministration. Furthermore, they have created cartels that control the importation and distribution of fuel in the country.

The military and other privileged corporates and individuals are offered mining concessions that are then parcelled out opaquely to friends, local and foreign.

Zanu-PF cannot be expected to reform a system that it not only profits from, but on which its rule depends.

During the government of national unity between 2009 and 2013, three critical things were introduced.

lIt was recognised that the government could not spend what it does not have. We described this as the "eat what you kill" philosophy. This immediately provided confidence and clarity to foreign investors and international partners.

lWe dollarised the economy, thereby ridding the country of arbitrage opportunities against the inflating Zimbabwean currency.

lWe opened up the economy thereby incentivising the private sector.

Without governance and transparency, the only investors we will get in Zimbabwe are cowboys and opportunists, a mafia by another name. Without political change and the necessary will, reform will only amount to empty words. It is like putting lipstick on a crocodile.

Source - NewsDay Zimbabwe
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