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Zimbabwe president pleads for patience to fix economy from 'dead'

Zimbabwe's President Emmerson Mnangagwa

Zimbabwe's President Emmerson Mnangagwa

HARARE - Zimbabwe's President Emmerson Mnangagwa on Tuesday pleaded for time and patience to bring the economy back from the "dead," as his government faces blame for surging inflation evoking dark days under Robert Mugabe.

Hopes that the economy would quickly rebound under Mnangagwa, who took over after Mugabe was deposed in a coup in November 2017, have faded fast with Zimbabweans grappling with acute shortages of fuel and electricity and soaring prices.

In a state of the nation address in parliament, boycotted by the main opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) which disputes his election, Mnangagwa acknowledged the economic crisis as well as the need for reforms.

"I'm aware of the pain being experienced by the poor and the marginalised. Getting the economy working again from being dead will require time, patience, unity of purpose and perseverance," Mnangagwa said.

Zimbabwe has suspended the publication of official annual inflation data since August 1. In its last official figures, inflation hit more than 175% in June, its highest level since hyperinflation under Mugabe wiped out the economy in 2009.

Mnangagwa's opponents accuse him of lacking commitment to political reforms and using his predecessor's heavy-handed tactics to stifle dissent. The International Monetary Fund said last week that Zimbabwe needed to intensify reform efforts and meaningfully improve transparency to boost economic growth.

Mnangagwa and senior officials say they are doing their best to lay the foundations for future growth and blame Western sanctions for hampering recovery and deterring investment.

A United Nations human rights envoy said on Friday that Zimbabwe's political and economic environment was deteriorating, causing anxiety as hopes fade for a long-awaited improvement in people's living conditions.

In his address on Tuesday, Mnangagwa repeated his commitment to implement recommendations made by election observer missions to Zimbabwe's 2018 election, as well as a commission of inquiry led by former South African President Kgalema Motlanthe.

The observers and the commission had called for broad security, political and electoral reforms. Mnangagwa, whose election last year remains disputed by the MDC, once again invited the opposition party to dialogue.

The MDC, led by Nelson Chamisa, has refused to take part in a dialogue forum convened by Mnangagwa, insisting on talks led by a neutral mediator.

Comments

+1 #1 kabayekka 2019-10-04 13:38
This is an African gentleman who has been in the same government of President Mugabe now 30 years.

And such was the talk of President Mugabe when he was trying to rule that country to the age of 120 years old. Mugabe's wife drunk with power, declared that even if her husband dies at 120 years old, he will rule that country in his grave.
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+1 #2 Lakwena 2019-10-04 16:24
What happened to Zimbabwe and Zimbabweans under Mr. Mugabe and Mnangagwa, is what Nelson Mandela (RIP) described as "a tragic failure in leadership".

In other words, because you can't separate leadership from management, it was a tragic mismanagement of what was built by the colonial masters; when in the 70s Zimbabwe was the 2nd largest economy in Africa South of the Sahara.

This is also not to forget that; after 34 years under Mr. M7/NRM self-serving leadership, Ugandans are also suffering from a "tragic failure in leadership"
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0 #3 Akot 2019-10-04 22:19
kabayekka, thanks.

Thanks God even these demons die! I remember Mugabe saying, when voting to block his main opponent, "they took my place & I am voting against them"!

Mugabe, like Tunisian Bin Ali would have died in office leaving their countries in complete mess!

Ugandans MUST throw Museveni out before he drops dead in office leaving the dangerous tribalistic system on & without common National Leadership, while tribal leaders will too, be lost completely without the demon!

Even forming Independent Tribal States will be better & safer for Ugandans, than letting Museveni dying in office!
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0 #4 Akot 2019-10-04 22:24
Lakwena, thanks.

Bringing down the tribalistic system before Museveni dies or forming Independent Tribal States will save Ugandans!

But of course, Ugandans can take chance with mp Bobi Wine, but the tribalistic system MUST forst be brought down if Bobi's tribe is to be kept safe & not destroyed, isolated... as Acholi was/is!

Ugandans are in a boiling oil pot & that they alone can save themselves from, but in UNITY or by going seperately tribally & this MUST be before Museveni drops dead while in office!
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0 #5 Muwanga the Ugandan 2019-10-05 01:16
Quoting Lakwena:
it was a tragic mismanagement of what was built by the colonial masters; when in the 70s Zimbabwe was the 2nd largest economy in Africa South of the Sahara.
"


Like all leaders they have their shortcomings but in the case of economic failure (especially in comparison to the colonial days) we need to look at why it was strong then and why it is weak now.

In the colonial days Zimbabwe traded freely hence a strong economy but under these 2 leaders, the country has grappled with sanctions by the colonial elements (who are trying to make it look like without them the country cant work).

We should know that it is close to impossible for any country to grow whilst under sanctions.

The sanctions came abt becoz Mugabe returned land (that was seized by whites during colonialism) to the Africans. So the colonialist used sanctions to cripple the economy.Now its crippled.Guess they are happy.
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0 #6 Lakwena 2019-10-07 08:27
Quoting Muwanga the Ugandan:

Like all leaders they have their shortcomings but in the case of economic failure (especially in comparison to the colonial days) we need to look at why it was strong then and why it is weak now.

In the colonial days Zimbabwe traded freely hence a strong economy but under these 2 leaders, the country has grappled with sanctions by the colonial elements (who are trying to make it look like without them the country cant work). ...


Mw. Mwanga, I want to agree with you on the one hand, but disagree on the other.

My biggest disagreement is that we so easily excuse our political leaders for their "shortcoming", when actually they are incompetent, and above all, self-conceited.
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0 #7 Lakwena 2019-10-07 08:51
In other words, like almost all post independent African countries, greed overshadowed prudence. E.g., in our backyard Kenya: after independence the Kenyatta Family shamelessly grabbed most of the premium land in the Kikuyu land.

Not only in Kikuyu Land, butalso along the Coast, which was why a few years ago some of the Coastal people were threatening secession.

Colonialism or not, nothing has changed. Right now in Uganda who are the land grabbers?

It is the Kiconco grabbing Muwanga and Mukasa's land. Just like their former Brit Colonial masters, the Smiths grabbed the best chunk of land from Zimbabwean; it was the Mnangagwa turn to grab repossessed land.
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0 #8 Lakwena 2019-10-07 09:01
It was and still are the corrupt politicians and their cronies who are grabbing the lion share of the national resources. Go to South Africa, except maybe Mandela (RIP); it is the same story.

Before he was ejected Xuma was on corruption spree sic mismanaging the South African situation.

Back to Zimbabwe, 40 years down the road, after the land was returned to the Zimbabweans; what did they do with it? Almost nothing: the Zimbabweans couldn't and still can't even feed themselves.

In other words, the Zimbabwean basket case was not merely leadership shortcoming, it was indeed "a tragic failure in leadership"! Just like what is happening in Southern Sudan, fueled by greed and personal social and economic insecurity.
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