Zimbabwe has been ranked dead last among African countries and 154th out of 157 countries worldwide in terms of economic freedom in the latest survey by the Heritage Foundation in Washington and the New York-based Wall Street Journal.
The two conservative institutions looked at tax rates, property rights and labor freedom in concluding that the Zimbabwean economy is 35.8% free. Zimbabwe was ranked last among 40 African countries covered by the survey.
The survey stated that Zimbabwe, once relatively prosperous, has deteriorated into hungry and destitute authoritarianism. It said Harare has stifled economic activity and that expropriation has become common under what the report characterized as a "resource-redistribution-by-angry-mob" economic policy.
Independent economist John Robertson told reporter Blessing Zulu of VOA’s Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that among other problems Harare is not doing enough to lure foreign investors and that its economic policies have been ineffective.
Economist Godfrey Kanyenze, director of the Labor and Economic Development Research Institute of Zimbabwe, concurred with Robertson but said the study’s conclusion that the labor market is restrictive was not accurate.