Budget to indicate new government economic thrust


The 2016 budget to be presented today by Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa will indicate the government’s new economic thrust as the country tries to regain the confidence of the West without upsetting its all-weather friends from the East.

Chinamasa and Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa who has been tasked with turning around the country’s economy have been reported to be at loggerheads with President Robert Mugabe who reports say continues to shun the West.

The budget speech will clear all this as it will have been sanctioned by Mugabe and his top officials before being presented to the nation and the world.

Zimbabwe has indicated that it intends to clear its arrears with the international financial institutions by April next year so that it can access new credit.

Some quarters have viewed this as an about turn by a government that had adopted a Look East policy but the fact that Chinese President Xi Jinping is visiting the country next week clearly shows the countries are still friends.

There are even reports that China may have put pressure on Mugabe to catapult Mnangagwa to his deputy at last year’s ZANU-PF congress so that he can eventually take over.

Mnangagwa was trained in China in the 1960s but is also close to the West. Though publicly denigrated as a carbon copy of Mugabe, business likes him because like Mugabe, he is a man of principles. He sticks to his word, which is good for investors.


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Charles Rukuni
The Insider is a political and business bulletin about Zimbabwe, edited by Charles Rukuni. Founded in 1990, it was a printed 12-page subscription only newsletter until 2003 when Zimbabwe's hyper-inflation made it impossible to continue printing.


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