Movement for Democratic Change founding president Morgan Tsvangirai says Zimbabwe’s economic problems can only be overcome if President Robert Mugabe’s legitimacy is resolved.
Critics also believe that Zimbabwe should address various political issues and fight corruption in order to turn around the ailing economy.
Officiating at the launch of a campaign for jobs organized by the youth wing of his party, Tsvangirai said the country’s current economic crisis is largely driven by the disputed victory of President Mugabe and his Zanu PF party in the 2013 general election.
Mr. Mugabe won last year’s national elections by a wide margin in polls that the former premier claims were rigged.
Zanu PF spokesman Rugare Gumbo told the Daily News newspaper yesterday that his party is willing to engage opposition parties with a view to find solutions to the problems affecting the country but insisted that Mr. Tsvangirai must first accept that Mr. Mugabe is the legitimate leader of the country.
Mr. Tsvangirai said lack of jobs in the country is now posing a security risk to Zimbabwe. The MDC-T leader claims that more than 300 companies have shut down since the last elections, owing to the economic meltdown.
President Mugabe promised ahead of the national polls last year that his government would create more than 2.2 million jobs if Zanu PF was re-elected.
Acting chairperson of the MDC-T youth assembly, Costa Machingauta, told the jobs launch meeting that most youths in Zimbabwe are now resorting to using drugs due to lack of jobs.
Machingauta criticized the Zanu PF government for failing to fulfill its promises.
Gumbo, however, told Studio 7 over the phone that his party is working flat out to fulfill all its election campaign promises.
Political analyst and chairperson of the Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition, Dewa Mavhinga, told Studio 7 by phone from Johannesburg, South Africa, that the Zanu PF government needs to tackle a lot of issues, such as fighting corruption, in order to improve the country’s economy.
Mavhinga also urged MDC-T youths to engage the majority of people with a view of conscientizing them on the need to create jobs in a nation where observers say the unemployment rate is believed to be hovering around 80 percent.
The MDC-T youth wing also took the opportunity to launch its website that it says will be used to collate data of all unemployed youths in the country as well as relaying information to its membership.
The government says the country’s unemployment rate is pegged at 10.7 percent and the economy is likely to grow this year by at least 6 percent. But international finance institutions say the economy is likely to grow by less than 2 percent in 2014.
It says it needs more than $27 billion to implement its economic blue print, the Zimbabwe Agenda for Sustainable Socio-Economic Transformation or ZIMASSET.