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Zimbabwe's Employers Group Calls for Shelving of 2011 General Election

  • Gibbs Dube
  • Tatenda Gumbo

Reports said EMCOZ Chairman David Govere told Deputy Prime Minister Thokozani Khuphe at a business meeting that early elections will reverse economic gains achieved after the formation of the unity government.

The Employers Confederation of Zimbabwe (EMCOZ) says the inclusive government should shelve elections for at least five years to consolidate current economic progress in the country.

Reports said EMCOZ Chairman David Govere told Deputy Prime Minister Thokozani Khuphe at a business meeting that early elections will reverse economic gains achieved after the formation of the unity government.

According to reports, Govere said the business community believed Zimbabwe would be plunged into another economic crisis if elections were held next year.

Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and President Robert Mugabe have both proposed that elections should be held next year.

Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara is the only one of the principals opposed to early elections, arguing Zimbabwe is not yet ready for polls after the harrowing 2008 election violence.

However, some economists differ with the national grouping of private business leaders saying elections should be held as soon as possible.

Economist John Robertson told VOA Studio 7 reporter Gibbs Dube that elections are the only way of promoting economic growth in the country.

Indications are that the country’s economy is set to grow by at least five percent this year after recording a similar increase last year following 10 years of crippling hyperinflation.

Industrial capacity utilization remains at almost 40 percent. Zimbabwe has failed to attract foreign investors due to political uncertainty and a skewed indigenization program.

Meanwhile, although inflation eased to 3.6 percent during the 12 months through August and down from 4.1 percent in the year through July, prices of basic commodities continue to go up in an economy facing serious challenges.

Economists said only a significant injection of capital into the market can see the cost of the bread basket going down.

The Consumer Council of Zimbabwe says that a family of six needs at least US$500 dollars to survive for a month.

Economist Eric Bloch told VOA Studio reporter Tatenda Gumbo that the bread basket is affected by prices of various essential commodities.

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