HARARE – In a graph – pieced together with information obtained from a 2013 International Monetary Fund report – the Daily News' print edition has today attempted to interrogate Zimbabwe’s economic stewardship over the past 13 years and its prospects after July 31’s crunch poll.
As seen in the graphics, the white line – depicting economic growth – plunged to a record minus 16 percent between 2001 and 2003 before stuttering to an "upward trend" between 2003, and 2007 due largely to the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe's unsustainable quasi-fiscal operations.
And as fate would have it, the economy dipped to new and unprecedented lows in 2008 at the back of President Robert Mugabe's controversial election around that time – and as central bank governor Gideon Gono's printing press jammed.
While the sorry state of Zimbabwe's economy was attributed to Zanu PF and the 89 year-old leader’s disastrous policies, including land grabs and other toxic operations, the modest gains were largely attributable to post-coaltion government stability.
With the ‘red zone’ representing Zimbabwe’s toxic past, the “green zone” depicts a semblance of order enjoyed under the government of national unity – an animal, which partly owes its existence to Prime Minister Morgan Tsavngirai's magnanimity.
And as the country decides in 15 days, the issue of who is better suited to take us to 'nirvana' – through workable and sustainable policies – remains key.
This is also key when considering that a lot among the improverished would not want to lose that relative comfort, hope and stability – aptly captured by the arrows showing a journey to Canaan or the threat of Egypt, and Syria today, if not the ultimate abyss!
Full story in today's Daily News.