A statement issued recently by the United States Embassy in Harare, blames the country’s economic crisis on government mismanagement and cites corruption and “reckless” fiscal practices including the wholesale printing of money.
Responding to questions from a reporter for the Sunday Mail newspaper, the embassy in an unsigned statement said that economic collapse and lack of confidence in the government has led to the flight of American and other foreign investors.
Harare has insisted that the economic collapse was brought on by Western sanctions. But the U.S. statement said only about 100 top officials including President Robert Mugabe are affected by the “targeted travel and financial sanctions.”
The U.S. statement called on Harare to adopt policies urged by the International Monetary Fund, foremost among which is to rein in government spending, which most economists say has driven annual inflation to 1,281% as of December.
Reporter Ndimyake Mwakalyelye of VOA's Studio 7 For Zimbabwe sought comment on the U.S. statement from Luxon Zembe, an economist and executive member of the Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce. He said the U.S. analysis is not far from the truth insofar as the causes of the economic crisis are concerned.