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Recovery possible in three years

September 15, 2008

 makumbe.jpgJohn Makumbe, University of Zimbabwe

 The signing of an agreement between Robert Mugabe’s ZanuPF party and the two formations of the MDC marks the beginning of an exciting period in the political history of Zimbabwe. The national economy has been devastated by, inter alia, disastrous political and economic policies formulated and implemented by the Mugabe regime. Fortunately, most of the development and economic infrastructure still remains largely intact, and the Zimbabwean economy could recover from the current meltdown in a fairly short time.

Zimbabweans are reputed to be hard-working people. Although many highly skilled Zimbabweans have since left the country for greener pastures both in the region and further afield, the country still boasts a highly skilled labour force.

There is also significant goodwill from several developed countries, and some of them have already promised to provide significant amounts of money to assist Zimbabwe in its economic recovery programme.

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. Part of the MDC’s RESTART programme seeks to attract both domestic and foreign direct investment in order to revive previously existing industries as well as expand the ones that are currently operating at 25% to 30% of their original capacity. The RESTART programme also seeks to encourage as many skilled Zimbabweans as possible to return home and help in re-building the shattered economy.

Several development co-operation agencies have already indicated their interest in resuming or renegotiating appropriate development assistance programmes with the new and inclusive government of Zimbabwe. The RESTART programme will also focus on the revival of the crucial agricultural sector by, for example, creating a land commission to examine such matters as multiple land holding practices, under-utilisation of arable land, and the critical shortage of agricultural inputs. The restoration of a vibrant agricultural sector will re-energise the Zimbabwean economy to recovery in a very short time, indeed.
 

Comments

There is so much optimism in the air about the current deal between the new ruling party (MDC) and the opposition ZANU PF, but history tends to repeat itself especially when un-sincere players to an agreement are involved such as the back-tracking on previous agreements that ZANU has done in the past. Most Zimbabweans are more comfortable in taking a wait-and-see position with regards to the level of honesty that Bob has brought to the negotiating table. Economic recovery is and can never be a one-party show, the RESTART plan can only be fully and effeciently implemented with the complete cooperation of ZANU PF. The level of confrontation and friction ZANU brings towards MDC policies will be a clear indicator of how much will be potentially achieved

Posted by Ngoda Boy | Report as abusive
 

IT HAS ALWAYS BEEN MY CONSIDERED VIEW THAT MR MORGAN TSVANGIRAI CAN DELIVER IF GIVEN AN ENABLING ENVIRONMENT. BUT I AM AFRAID THAT CROCO OR HYENA IS ALWAYS THERE TO SPOIL OUR PARTY.I DON’T SEE THAT CROCO CHANGING ITS BEHAVIOUR. THE SAME CORRUPT OFFICIALS WILL BE RETAINED AND CONTINUE TO BOG OUR EFFORTS OF TURNING AROUND THIS ECONOMY. MR TSVANGIRAI SHOULD BE BRAVE ENOUGH TO FIRE THOSE CORRUPT MINISTERS

Posted by KOWANAI MHLANGA | Report as abusive
 

Without a change of those running public sector institutions, there is no improvement in sight. The rot started 10 years ago and all government departments and parastatals are occupied mainly by related people who are there on patronage. It may be painful but a some may have to march. Even Mugabe had lost trust of most of the people he put to run these institutions, but he had no choice as he could not rock the boat literally speaking. He was too busy fighting the “enemy” and no one supervised these guys. The public utilities are down.

It may also be time to think about the country in an honesty way and let the past be the past;there are professionals who were sacrifized for political reasons;these guys should be considered and they in turn should bury the hatchet and accept the call when it comes. We need the best brains in electrical supply, in taxes and customs, in banking and finance in aviation, in telecommunication. We can grow when our best flowers are shinning in neigbouring countries and abroad.

Posted by Godfrey | Report as abusive
 

I still believe that genuine reconciliation still need to take place before any meaningful recovery can take place. For decades of injustices to be wiped out, coalition government still need to reach out to the family of those that have been affected by the decades long injustices. White farmer that lost their farmland should be compesated and some moribound public enterprises that serves as a conduit pipe for looting should be check.
By these, economy recovery will take place.

Posted by tope ogidan | Report as abusive
 

John is wrong in expressing so much hope. The rotten corrupt Mugabe cadres will still be in place, the million of agricultural workers will still be afraid to return from exile when Mugabe thugs are free to roam around terrorising them. The very fact that spiteful Mugabe refused to refer to the presence of Tsvangirai as the new PM speaks a lot about Mugabe’s evil intention!

If law and order, transparency and accountability do not return to normalcy, then Tsvangirai will find it very hard to deliver. Foreign assistance will continue to get into the pockets of Mugabe cronies.

Real take off can only begin in a substantive way after the forthcoming elections in 18 months. For the time being murderer Mugabe’s presence at the head of all security institutions will not help funds to flow in.

Tsvangirai will ahve to play with time to keep his supporters in a mood to return en masse to the forthcoming polls.

Posted by Prem | Report as abusive
 

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