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Looming Elections Weigh on Zimbabwe Economy - But Some Welcome Polls

  • Gibbs Dube

Employers Confederation of Zimbabwe Executive Director John Mufukare said Zimbabwe stock exchange prices are reflecting uncertainty in the wake of President Robert Mugabe’s call for elections next year

The Economic Intelligence Unit has added its voice to those voicing concern that rising political uncertainty in Zimbabwe amid talk of 2011 elections could hinder an already frail economic recovery not only next year but into 2012.

The International Monetary Fund has also expressed such concerns, cutting its growth projection for next year to 4.1 percent from 5 percent in an earlier forecast.

Employers Confederation of Zimbabwe Executive Director John Mufukare told VOA's Studio 7 reporter Patience Rusere that Zimbabwe stock exchange prices are reflecting uncertainty in the wake of President Robert Mugabe’s call for elections next year.

Economist John Robertson said political tension, skewed economic programs and power shortages will weigh on growth next year though he sees it running over 7 percent albeit not as high as the government’s optimistic 10 percent forecast.

But Robertson later said on VOA Studio 7 LiveTalk that despite the risks to growth it would be better to get past elections to have a government with full powers.

Clashes between Harare's three power-sharing parties and calls for new elections are deterring investors from committing funds to Zimbabwe, as is the indigenization program under which the government wants major stakes transferred to black Zimbabweans.

Robertson told VOA Studio 7 reporter Gibbs Dube that unity government leaders must resolve their disputes if growth is to be sustained in 2011.

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