Mashudu Netsianda Bulawayo Bureau
VICE PRESIDENT Kembo Mohadi says the country’s economy is on the verge of recovery as Government has stepped up its re-engagement efforts in line with its economic trajectory of transforming Zimbabwe into an upper middle income economy by 2030.
In an interview yesterday, VP Mohadi said the austerity measures, which Zimbabweans were undergoing, were part of a painful reform process to achieve transformation and modernisation of the economy.
He said last week’s meeting between the Government and the European Union (EU) ambassadors in Harare marked the beginning of a formal dialogue process for re-engagement which seeks to reintegrate Zimbabwe into the global family of nations.
The meeting was based on Article 8 of the Cotonou Partnership Agreement which governs relations between member states of the African-Caribbean-Pacific regions and the EU.
“These are temporary austerity measures and soon it will come to pass and the economy will soon stabilise as long as we are getting foreign investors trooping into the country. Last week, we had a historic meeting with EU ambassadors in Harare, something which was never heard of before. It took 20 years to destroy this economy and it will take a few years to get it back on track,” VP Mohadi said.
Zimbabwe and the European bloc have endured frosty relations in the past two decades and the dialogue opens a fresh page that will have major geopolitical implications and benefits for Zimbabwe, whose international relations soured domestic prospects for growth economically and socially.
VP Mohadi said the raft of measures that Government had adopted had seen the economy showing signs of improvement, with growth forecasts revised upwards.
The Vice President said Zimbabwe is seeking partners in the global community to help its upward leap and urged the generality of Zimbabweans to be patient with the economy. Economic development is at the centre of the Second Republic as evidenced by multi-billion dollars investment commitments which lay the ground for the creation of an upper middle income economy by 2030.
Key anchors of President Mnangagwa’s vision include a policy of economic diplomacy, international re-engagement as well as domestic policies tackling underdevelopment, marginalisation, poverty and corruption.
VP Mohadi said the Government was working on measures to fight corruption including cartels and monopolies, which have been blamed for arbitrary price hikes and distortions in the market.
“This is only the beginning of better things to come. It should be noted that investment is like farming, you ought to plant a seed first and then it starts to germinate and grow before you eventually get the yields, it is not possible to harvest overnight and this is exactly what is happening with our economy. As Government we don’t have cartels, but they are within our corrupt people and they are the ones creating all these monopolies and as such Government is now fighting them,” he said.
VP Mohadi said the Government, in its endeavour to fight corruption in every sector of the economy, will not hesitate to dismantle monopolies in industry, which are benefiting a few individuals.
“We have people who are doing wrong things all the time and we hope with time our people will see sense and subsequently get rid of these useless cartels which somehow benefit very few people. We are fighting them and we have measures that we are putting in place to fight them. We can’t just let them do as they please,” he said.