HARARE – In our print edition today, the Daily News has sought to interrogate Zimbabwe’s economic stewardship over the past 13 years and its prospects after July 31’s key election.
As seen in the graphics above, the white line — representing a wretched economic growth rate — plunged to a record minus 16 percent between 2001 and 2003 before stuttering to an upward movement, a few years later, thanks to the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe’s quasi-fiscal operations.
And at the back of President Robert Mugabe’s controversial election in 2008, the economy also touched a dangerous level or territory when even salt, bread and mealie-meal shortages were at their most acute.
How bad could it be that even a commodity so abundant in Nyatsimbamutota’s medieval Mutapa empire was so scarce and, as things stand today, we are even importing maize from Zambia and Malawi? It is pathetic!
While the sorry state of our economy was attributed to Zanu PF and the octogenarian leader’s toxic policies, including land and company grabs, the relative gains post 2008 were largely attributable to policies from the inclusive government and these include dollarisation.
And as the print edition shows today, a “red zone” has been given or allocated to the country’s poisonous past — under Zanu PF's moribund group — while the “green zone” depicts a modicum or sense of order enjoyed under the now-derided government of national unity, and which stability is now under threat.
But as Zimbabwe decides in 15 days, the question of who is likely to take us to the cherished nirvana — through workable policies — looms large.
And as even a kindergarten kid would tell you, one ought to have their head examined to believe the man better placed or suited to keep that growth trajectory is Mugabe and his Zanu PF.
There is simply no malice in it, but a review of the man’s record and policies would tell you that — even for the party’s greatest supporters and zealots — there is no excuse for the point we reached in 2008 and where hungry soldiers rampaged on the streets of Harare.
And in view of the persistence of such toxic policies as company seizures, under the so-called indigenisation programme, it is time for a sober analysis of who is better suited to take you to the Promised Land.
Even, though, we maybe labelled merchants of doom, the IMF data — as captured on our front page today — speaks for itself.
In a nutshell, we are simply saying use your vote wisely for it is nothing but a guarantee to a better future – and Zimbabwe!