'Africa is on the move' said President Obama - not Zim, not until implement reforms!

'Africa is on the move' said President Obama - not Zim, not until implement reforms!
Published: 27 July 2015 (1214 Views)
US President Barack Obama on his first official visit as President to Kenya tells his the people of Kenya and the rest of Africa that the continent is on the move.

"I wanted to be here, because Africa is on the move, Africa is one of the fastest growing regions in the world," Obama said.

"People are being lifted out of poverty, incomes are up, the middle class is growing and young people like you are harnessing technology to change the way Africa is doing business."

Whilst many African countries have enjoyed significant growth in the last two decades, Zimbabwe is one of the few countries whose economy has shrunk throughout those years. Zimbabwe suffered it world record beating economic shrinkage of 84% in the six year period 2002 to 2008. The country recorded its other world record of the highest inflation rate for a nation not at war when inflation soared to 500 billion %.

Zimbabwe's unemployment rate soared in line with the country's shrinking economic fortunes to 80% plus by 2008 and has never recovered.

The country's economic down turn plateaued during the GNU years of 2008 to 2013 and took yet another nose dive after the rigged July 2013 elections. Shares on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange dropped 35% on hearing that Zanu PF had blatantly rigged the elections to get back into power. After 33 years of mismanagement and corruption the national economic was disappointed to learn the Zanu PF misrule was to continue.

Mugabe was confident he would rig economic recovery just as he had rigged the July 2013 national elections with his ZimAsset plan. The plan was to overwhelm all the inherent economic waste through mismanagement and corruption with cash $27 billion - which is seven times the government's collected $4 billion annual revenue. The plan failed because Mugabe failed to get any donor willing to bankroll the hare-brain scheme.

Mugabe's ZimAsset plan is dead!

Whilst Zimbabwe's neighbours have enjoyed some modest economic growth spurred by increased Direct Foreign Investment (DFI) Zimbabwe has failed to attract any DFI. Since Zimbabwe passed its 2008 Indigenisation law compelling investor to sell 51% of their company shares to local blacks many investors have shied away from Zimbabwe. In 2013 Zimbabwe had 4% of what Mozambique got in DFI, for example.

 Mugabe promised ZimAsset would create 2.2 million new jobs in the five years 2013 to 2018. It is now half way down the line and the nation has registered net job losses and the situation is set to get worse not better.

Yes, President Obama, Africa is on the move but whilst many other countries are registering economic growth and reducing poverty Zimbabwe's economy is in total meltdown and poverty is on the rise. Two decades of economic recessions have taken a heavy toll on the Zimbabwe economy, unemployment is now stuck of 90% plus and 76% of our people now live of less than $200 per month with 16% or 2 million living in abject poverty.

Zimbabwe is now the second poorest nation on earth.

Whilst many African countries are racing to escape poverty, we in Zimbabwe are leading the rat race to the bottom!

President Obama did not mince his words when it came to naming Africa greatest enemy to economic progress - corruption.

Zimbabwe has a diamond bounty worth $800 billion from Marange and Chiadzwa alone and yet the nation is not getting even a dollar in revenue. Beginning of the year Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa, tired of giving feeble excuses why government was failing to collect and revenue of the diamond mining, told the nation that there were no alluvial diamonds left. That was a blatant lie because the Russians had only started mining in September 2013. In May the Minister changed his story, he told IMF government was not collecting any tax because the diamond mining industry was experiencing some financial difficulties. That too was just another lie.

Foreign diamond mining companies and their local partners are NOT declaring the quantity, quality or dollar value of their diamond mining activities, according to the late Edward Chindori Chininga, a Zanu PF MP's, 2013 parliamentary report. Since no one in authorities knows how much in is being mined, no one pays any tax.

According to Africa Partnership Canada, a Canadian GNO monitoring the diamond industry, Mugabe got $2 billion as his share of the looting and plundering of Marange and Chiadzwa diamonds in 2012 alone!   

35 years of mismanagement, corruption and misguided economic policies are dragging Zimbabwe down into new depths of economic poverty and despair. Zimbabwe will need to carry out serious economic reforms to end its economic decline and then to reverse the process to register economic recovery and these economic reforms will only happen after serious political reforms resulting in free, fair and credible elections.

Kenya is the one country that is enjoying significant economic growth and recovery after decades of mismanagement and corruption. The country's turning point was the successful implementation of the democratic reforms by the country's 2008 to 2012 GNU resulting in free and fair elections.

Sadly Zimbabwe's 2008 to 2013 failed to deliver the free and fair elections because not even one of the reforms were ever implemented.  Unlike Kenya's opposition leader, Raila Odinga, who stuck to his set task of implementing the reforms, Zimbabwe's Morgan Tsvangirai sold-out ; he "was busy enjoying himself and forgot why he was in the GNU", as SADC heads later of his performance.

If Zimbabwe is serious about joining many other African countries that are enjoying economic recovery and pulling their people out of poverty then we must implement ALL the democratic reforms necessary for free, fair and credible elections. Like it or not, good governance is the pre-requisite of economic prosperity!


- Wilbert Mukori

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