WASHINGTON DC —
Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition on Wednesday said gains made during the inclusive government’s tenure are being eroded daily as the country struggles to deal with economic stagnation resulting in massive loss of jobs and company closures.
Speaking at the launch of the organization’s first edition of the ZimGov Barometer, which tracks the implementation of government policies that enhance democratic and economic progress, researcher Thulani Mswelanto said many of the gains recorded during the unity government have been devastated by declining economic growth.
“Zimbabwe has stalled progress. We are facing possibilities that we may regress and we may backslide,” said Mwelanto.
The report, which focuses on public accountability, constitutionalism, electoral reforms and the economy, blamed Zimbabwe’s current harsh socio-economic situation to flawed elections and lack of democratic reforms.
The coalition believes that the government should urgently align the country’s laws with the new constitution.
“There is no political will to implement the constitution and in terms of elections Zimbabwe is found wanting with only 12.5% compliance on the SADC guidelines governing democratic elections,” said Mwelanto.
The report added that Harare should stop its Look East policy and re-engage with the West and other countries interested in investing in the country.
“Government needs to revisit its investment policy. It must consider creating competition for investors," he added.
"We need to look globally for investors rather than look East where there is evidence of an exploitative relationship.”
Commenting on the Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition report, economist Farai Mabeza said for him Zimbabwe is not stagnant but regressing.
“I find it surprising that they say Zimbabwe is stagnant because I think we are going backwards. If you look on the ground indicators show that we are going down,” said Mabeza.
Former Economic Planning and Investment Promotion Minister in Zimbabwe’s 2009 inclusive government, Tapiwa Mashakada, likened the economy to a frozen corpse, adding there’s an urgent need for fresh capital to be injected into the economy.
“Zimbabwe's economy is like a corpse that is frozen waiting for burial. All economic fundamentals have gone down and theses are signs of a moribund economy. I have always said that Zimbabwe needs capital injection,” said Mashakada.
Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition said it is currently in the process of producing what it says is an alternative economic blueprint to ZimAsset, which it argues, has failed to deliver.
The organization’s will be called ZimSmart and will provide possible solutions to the country’s economic problems, according to the coalition.