The Zimbabwean economy is in a deep crisis as manifested by a proliferation of unresolved deepening monetary, fiscal, social and political headaches which the illegitimate regime has clearly failed to arrest.
The problem in Zimbabwe is a Confidence-cum-Legitimacy crisis.
The recent SONA and the preceding RBZ ban on cash-in, cash-back and cash-out platforms are desperate attempts to provide white wash and token solutions based on manifested symptoms of a sick economy.
The business as usual SONA must be roundly condemned by all right thinking Zimbabweans for the SONA failed to provide answers to the suffering Zimbabweans.
Indeed, the SONA failed to provide answers or solutions to the following:
1. An unprecedented energy crisis (fuel and electricity shortage)
2. Record price increases and inflationary pressures (hyperinflation)
3. The collapse of Social Services especially the Health Sector
4. The Exchange rate crisis
5. The Currency Crisis
6. Low Productivity
7. The Inflation tax on Wages and Salaries that has resulted in Incomes erosion
8. Unemployment that is now estimated at 90%
9. Sluggish economic growth estimated by the IMF to decline by minus 6% in 2019
10. A crippling debt crisis
11. Policy Reversals and Policy Ambiguity
12. Failure to sterilize TBs
13. No firm measures to curb corruption and state capture.
Further, there are glaring policy gaps in the SONA. One could go on and on pointing out many omissions and commissions.
What is the alternative?
The country is at a cross roads.and one year after the stolen election the illegitimate regime has driven the economy on the cliff edge and plunged the country into a socio-economic Armageddon.
The regime remains unrelenting in its quest to inflict suffering on the people by clearly committing an economic genocide.
The MDC has the solutions to reverse the current economic catastrophe.
We propose the following:
1. The first order of business is to address the confidence and legitimacy question through a genuine process of all-inclusive national dialogue, followed by a national transitional mechanism, comprehensive reforms and a free and fair election.
2. On the currency and exchange rate crisis the MDC is very clear. The Zim Dollar is a debauched currency which is not backed by anything. The market has already dollarized on its own. An MDC government will officially redollarize the economy with immediate effect.
3. The MDC will make the economy to work again by investing in production and boosting social spending on Health by allocating at least 15% of the budget towards health in line with the Abuja Declaration.
4. The MDC will stop irresponsible borrowing by completely putting an end to the issuance of Treasury Bills which are feeding and driving up parallel market rates.
5. The MDC will stop command and economic dirigism in all its dimensions, including Command Agriculture which is feeding trough for Zanu PF.
6. The MDC will stop state capture and corruption by the removal of partisan state funding by individuals and focusing on domestic revenue generation and investment. The Queen Bees will no longer exist.
7. We will re-engage civil society, labour and business and construct a genuine Social Contract.
8. The MDC will address the current infrastructure deficit through syndicated loans and infrastructure bonds. On the fuel crisis, the MDC will liberalize the oil industry and allow more players with free funds to import fuel. On Electricity the MDC will pursue clean energy and the implementation of IPPs which have been stalled by corruption.
9. On food shortage, the MDC has an Agrarian Reform Program which links land tenure to agricultural financing and productivity including addressing the whole agricultural value chain pricing distortions.
10. Confidence boosting measures will be implemented through devolution, rule of law, constitutionalism, and political, economic, institutional, legal and electoral reforms including the protection of property rights.
Fellow Zimbabweans, the Zanu PF regime is a bunch of clueless politicians. The country is being milked and the future of our posterity is already being auctioned. Under Zanu PF rule the situation can only get worse.
Zimbabwe is going to see more and more policy inconsistencies such as banning and unbanning; freezing and unfreezing etc. The country is now being run by a mafia which does not care. Mthuli Ncube is doing his experiments with the economy with disastrous consequences. His neo-liberal agenda has brought pain and suffering to the poor. Yet this implosion can only be addressed by the return to legitimacy. Clearly there is no method in the madness.
lssued by the MDC Policy and Research Department