MDC-T warns of looming humanitarian crisis in Zimbabwe

Economist Tapiwa Mashakada said debate should not be about currencies

Harare – The Zimbabwe opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC-T), led by former prime minister Morgan Tsvangirai, on Sunday warned of a humanitarian crisis in Zimbabwe, saying an economic upturn for the country was highly unlikely given the macroeconomic instability.

MDC-T economic development secretary Tapiwa Mashakada said in his Christmas message to the nation that 2017 would be a “meltdown” year for the country.

“I think 2017 will be a meltdown year. We are going to see bond notes flooding the market and the withdrawal of the US [dollar] as a domestic legal tender,” he said. Mashakada predicted the introduction of foreign currency rationing and the reintroduction of foreign currency accounts, adding the budget would remain in deficit.

“The budget deficit will worsen as the state will begin to roll-out patronage funds on projects to woo voters,” he said. The former government of national unity economic development minister said voter registration and preparations for the 2018 polls would drain the economy and push inflation up to 10 percent by December 2017.

“There may be another humanitarian crisis as the state fails to provide basic social services. [Governing party] Zanu PF factionalism will reach crescendo levels rendering government dysfunctional.”

Mashakada said fuel and food shortages were likely as the nostro accounts gradually depleted.

“These are not far fetched scenarios unless something dramatic happens in the body politic that will bring back sanity and confidence. Unfortunately, Zanu PF is incapable of introducing economic reforms. In short, the economy will remain in its junk state in 2017,” he said. – African News Agency

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