Zvamaida Murwira Senior Reporter
Zimbabwe has lost billions of dollars in revenue, with the manufacturing sector deprived of at least $4,8 billion in 2010 owing to illegal sanctions imposed by the United States of America and Western countries, a University of Zimbabwe (UZ)-commissioned research has revealed.
The volume of production declined significantly, while Zimbabwe lost it’s traditional markets due to the sanctions that have ravaged the country for the past 18 years.
The sanctions were imposed in retaliation to Zimbabwe’s Land Reform Programme which sought to correct historical land tenure imbalances that saw white minority farmers owning vast tracts of fertile land at the expense of the black majority, the institution of higher learning has said.
UZ academic experts concurred with this view during a validation workshop of the research which explores the impact of sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe that was commissioned by the Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education Science and Technology Development.
Presenting the findings, Dr Nyasha Kaseke from the UZ Faculty of Business Studies said their research in the manufacturing sector had shown that revenue fell drastically due to the sanctions.
“We now have low production. Trading partners are no longer willing to be associated with us as a result of sanctions.
“There have been no credit lines and whenever we get loans, they will be provided at a high interest rate. It is now a challenge for us to reclaim our markets. We have to produce better quality products,” said Dr Kaseke.
“According to the figures we got, the manufacturing sector lost $4,8 billion in terms of revenue in 2010, in 2015 they lost $2,1 billion.”
He commended the new dispensation led by President Mnangagwa for its re-engagement efforts with those countries that imposed
sanctions on Zimbabwe.
Giving an overview of the research, UZ chairperson of the Department of Economics Professor Albert Makochekanwa said their research was comprehensive as they interviewed several stakeholders in 11 economic disciplines.
“It was not a desktop study. According to our findings, sanctions have never achieved their objectives without inflicting negative consequences to the innocent ordinary citizens,” said Prof Makochekanwa.
He said the economic sectors they researched were on health, water and sanitation, information communication and technology, infrastructure, mining and mineral processing, industry, trade and finance, human capital, agriculture among others.
In his keynote address, Secretary for Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development, Dr Desire Sibanda said universities and colleges should focus on research that would help the Government on policy formulation.
“As a Ministry we want to commend the President for approving that the country get up to at least one percent of its Gross Domestic product on research. This is highly commendable because we are working towards the transformation of universities into centres of excellence, we are pushing for research,” said Dr Sibanda.
“We want our universities to be the think-tank of Government. We bureaucrats do no have enough time for research. We will also be pinning our hopes on economic recovery on the Dream Team of Cabinet appointed by the President,” said Dr Sibanda.
The research was coordinated by the UZ’s Department of Social Studies led by Professor Charity Manyeruke.