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Zimbabwe Cabinet Approves 5-Year Plan to Promote Economic Growth

  • Gibbs Dube

Investment Minister Tapiwa Mashakada in a statement said the new plan will be funded through domestic savings and new investment from abroad - though foreign investors and donors have not been forthcoming

The Zimbabwean Cabinet has approved a five-year plan to promote economic growth and sustainable development through the investment of US$9 billion. But critics have already dismissed the medium-term lan over-optimistic and lacking credibility.

Investment Minister Tapiwa Mashakada in a statement said the new plan will be funded through domestic savings and new investment from abroad. But he did not explain how Zimbabwe will attract foreign investment and international aid when it has failed to do so since the formation of the current unity government more than two years ago.

The plan projects average annual growth of 7 percent with inflation of between 4 and 6 percent. It replaces the Short-Term Emergency Recovery Program published in 2009 but still needs parliamentary ratification to receive budgetary support.

Parliamentary Budget Committee Chairman Paddington Zhanda said the Medium-Term Plan will not work in Zimbabwe. “There are many economic development plans drafted long back that are currently gathering dust in the country and as such indications are that this new one will do the same,” Zhanda commented.

Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce President Trust Chikohora said business leaders have warmly embraced the latest economic recovery plan.

“We are happy that we now have a five-year strategic plan that will give us a proper framework [for] turning around our businesses,” Chikohora said.

But economic commentator Walter Nsununguli Mbongolwane said the plan is too ambitious for a country whose jobless rate approaches 90 percent.

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