We are in for the long haul


HARARE – The Zanu PF government’s first 100 days in office are proving testing and hair-raising.

This is driven by the grim picture that statistics are painting — hopes for an immediate economic turnaround are receding to the back burner.

It is slowly but consistently becoming a tough journey for the government and the rest of the populace.

A cursory glance at the things-to-do list will reveal urgent attention is required for the revival of the manufacturing sector whose capacity utilisation has plummeted to 39, 6 percent.

Since 2011, the manufacturing sector’s capacity utilisation has fallen by more than 17 percent and 100 companies have shut down, according to the Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries stats.

But latest figures which say 700 companies have shutdown are a chilling reminder of the herculean task that faces government.

The closure of these 700 companies is a result of an overburdened economy which creaked and gave in at the last minute.

Yes, before the formation of the inclusive government, Zimbabwe had been in the throes of an economic decline and volatility, but new elections have failed to stem the tide.

Reviving and revving up the economy may seem a herculean task, but there are no other options for government.

What the first 100 days in office have brought are key areas that need urgent attention to instil confidence and douse the economic flames similar to those of pre-2008 which are beginning to grow.

Government needs to come up with a strategy that allows sub sovereign bonds to attract capital needed to resuscitate manufacturing and agricultural sectors.

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A clearly crafted blueprint should be able to identify the resources and instruments that we can leverage on in attracting short to medium bonds as a way of raising money.

As it is, it  is futile to expect Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa to get meaningful assistance from the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.

There is a Staff Monitored Programme (SM P) which curbs borrowing.

So the only way to go is to try and prepare a comprehensive package that could be appealing to those willing to snap sub sovereign bonds if we choose to go that route.

The recently launched economic blueprint does not list deliverables, and as such, hopes to pin support for struggling sectors on those performing yet those are compartmentalised — meaning there can never be room to fund other sectors.

It is time for sober thinking and to start parking utterances such as those by Foreign Affairs minister Simbarashe Mumbengegwi which militate against what Zimbabweans want to achieve.

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