WASHINGTON DC —
The Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency (ZIMSTATS) insists that the country’s unemployment rate is around 11 percent and has dismissed independent economists’ estimated figure of 85 percent.
ZIMSTATS director general Dzinotizei Mutasa is quoted by the state-controlled Herald newspaper as saying findings of the agency’s 2012 national survey are a true reflection of Zimbabwe’s unemployment rate.
Mutasa said ZIMSTATS regarded as employed or economically active persons who stated in the survey that they were a paid employee, employer, self-employed and unpaid family worker.
He told the newspaper that “one is either a farmer, selling juice cards, driving an emergency taxi or you are working as a hair dresser, all these people are economically active”.
But independent economists argue that some of these people cannot be regarded as employed as they do not even pay income tax. They put the unemployment rate at between 70 and 85 percent, citing economic stagnation.
Political analyst, Morris Ngwenya, who is aligned to President Robert Mugabe’s Zanu-PF party, said ZIMSTATS figures are correct.
But George Nkiwane, president of the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions, said the ZIMSTATS figures are off the mark.