Economist blames Robert Mugabe’s party for cash crisis

People sleep outside CABS Fourth Street branch on Thursday night. Pictures: Tapiwa Zivira

Harare – The current economic crisis in Zimbabwe is a result of Zanu-PF’s sole control of government after the end of the Government of National Unity (GNU), a senior economist said on Monday.

Godfrey Kanyenze, director of the Labour and Economic Research Institute of Zimbabwe (LEDRIZ ), told a Civil Society Organisations’ co-ordinating meeting on the introduction of bond notes that Zanu-PF had never made the economy an issue since they took over sole control of government in 2013.

“The economy was never on the centre of things. In fact the people were never a centre of discourse for Zanu-PF, the issue was always about power and succession. The rebound that we saw in 2009 started trending downwards,” he said.

He said people should not expend their energies on whether or not they wanted the bond notes, but rather deal with fundamental economic issues affecting the country like rampant corruption and warped policies.

“The issue is not so much about bond notes because they are just a symptom.They are just (a) desperate attempt at plugging holes that the government created as a result of fiscal indiscipline,” he said.

The LEDRIZ director said bond notes were never about export incentives, arguing that the denominations of $2 and $5 were proof they were not meant for exporters, but the general public.

He said the $200 million in bond notes that Reserve Bank Governor John Mangudya said was being printed was only three percent of the country’s liquidity and would not be able to resolve the crisis as the problems were much deeper.

Kanyenze said the current economy was structurally different from the economy of the GNU era. He said the economy had seen increased retrenchments and increased informalisation.

The country, he said, was too dependent on inputs, with the country recording $3.4 billion of exports compared to $6.2 billion imports, which he said was tantamount to creating jobs outside the country.


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