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World Bank Slashes Zimbabwe's Growth to 4%

The World Bank is projecting Zimbabwe’s economy to grow by only 4.2 percent this year, compared to the government’s ambitious target of 6.2 percent.

The bank’s chief economist in Harare, Nadia Piffaretti, told an economic conference Wednesday that the slowdown in agriculture and mining will seriously impact growth and recovery.

Pifaretti said the banking and mining sectors were also facing challenges that did not augur well for the economy.

"Amidst uncertainty around mineral prices and recovery in the agricultural sector, the baseline projections forecast economic growth at 4.2 percent in 2014," she said.

The World Bank’s unflattering projections came a day after the Economic Intelligence Unit delivered an even gloomier assessment, putting Zimbabwe's growth prospects at just 2.6 percent.

Economic commentator Rejoice Ngwenya told VOA he agreed with the low economic forecasts, saying the government projections were not reasonable.

Parliamentary portfolio committees are holding meetings in Harare to analyze the 2014 national budget as it affects the ministries they shadow.

The committees will then produce reports that are expected to be debated in parliament when it opens Tuesday next week.

Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa presented the $3.6 billion budget last month, but many analysts have already pointed out that the funds allocated to various ministries are not enough to sustain their operations.

Zanu PF chief whip and Mberengwa West Member of Parliament, Joram Gumbo who thinks the budget will sail in parliament without any problem.

MDC-T chief whip and Mutare Central member Innocent Gonese, said his party will oppose the budget as it is not pro-poor.