African business, politics and lifestyle
How quickly can Zimbabweans expect economic change?
For Zimbabwe’s long-suffering people, the true meaning of the signing of a power-sharing agreement between President Robert Mugabe’s ZANU-PF and the opposition MDC would be how quickly it leads to an improvement in their daily lives. An economic crisis that began in 1998 has turned the once prosperous Southern African country into a basket case economy with the world’s highest inflation at over 11 million percent. Millions of Zimbabwean’s who have fled across the borders to escape unemployment and severe shortages are waiting to see if the political deal will result in economic rebound paving the way for their return.
The agreement negotiated by South African President Thabo Mbeki provides for the sharing of power between veteran President Robert Mugabe and Morgan Tsvangirai, leader of the main opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC). Tsvangirai takes on the new role of Prime Minister with extensive powers, with Mugabe’s 28-year hold on power significantly eroded.
But will Tsvangirai wield sufficient powers to place the new coalition government on a new policy track needed for rapid economic reform? Will the international community be confident enough to unlock the needed economic rescue package to help accelerate economic change? How quickly can the collapsed commercial farming sector start to turn around? How will business raect to the new deal? Most important, how quickly will ordinary Zimbabweans begin to feel the impact of the power-sharing deal? Read the following insights from two leading analysts and have your say.
“The government should trust the ingenuity of the Zimbabwean people and allow their creative energies to rebuild teh country with minimum bureaucratic hindrance.” (Read full analysis)
“The major political party, the MDC, has devised a very promising economic recovery and rehabilitation programme for the transitional period. It is my considered view that if that programme is effectively implemented, the Zimbabwean economy could recover within as short a period as two to three years.” (Read full analysis)