Joseph Madzimure and Nesia Mhaka
A United Kingdom-based think tank, Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), a member of The Economist Group has predicted a comfortable win for the ruling party, Zanu-PF in the 2023 harmonised elections.
In its report that was released last week, the unit said the main opposition party, the MDC-Alliance, had no political ability to hold the Government to account.
“In the most recent presidential election, in July 2018, President Mnangagwa won 50,8 percent of the votes just enough to avoid a run-off against his nearest rival, Nelson Chamisa of the MDC,” said the unit.
“Mr Chamisa secured 44,3 percent of the vote, with the remainder spread across the other 21 candidates.
“In the legislative election, which was held at the same time, Zanu-PF secured a two-thirds parliamentary majority, with 179 out of 270 seats. Zanu-PF remains in a dominant position because any group splitting from the ruling party would lose access to the benefits of incumbency.
“The opposition has little political authority or ability to hold the Government to account. The next presidential and legislative elections are due to be held in 2023. We expect Zanu-PF to win comfortably given its stranglehold on the political scene.”
The EIU also predicted a sharp increase in economic reform from 2021.
They said the journey towards creating a productive economy will require massive trimming of public expenditure.
“Government revenue will decline in 2020 as the economy contracts by almost 13 percent,” it said.
“However, as economic activity increases steadily in 2021-24, and Government capacity to collect taxes improves, we forecast that revenue will pick up steadily.
“In 2021-24, as revenue increases, expenditure will rise steadily, as the Government seeks to repair infrastructure following years of underinvestment, support broader economic growth and maintain the substantial public-sector wage bill.
“We expect the fiscal deficit to narrow slightly in 2020, to 6,3 percent of GDP, before trending down in 2021-24, to 5,9 percent of GDP in 2024, as revenue growth out paces spending growth.”
The unit said a greater access to external credit will arise only if Zimbabwe successfully implements reforms and clears arrears to international institutions.
The unit has over 60 years in intelligence gathering and report, as well as providing forecast and advisory services to assist entrepreneurs, financiers, and Government officials to more than 200 countries.