Jonathan Moyo says there is no sabotage in price hikes in Zimbabwe, just problems with no solutions


“Business pulling govt down”


 23 May 2023

Dear Minister 


I read the above cited article in Tuesday’s Herald newspaper with great interest.

There is a historic reason with important lessons for the global south why China undertook comprehensive root and branch reforms to adopt a socialist market system in the last century and is doing exceptionally well today, with even better prospects for all its people beyond the horizon.

Since the dawn of decolonisation, textbook theories of unbridled market centred economies have not worked for developing countries, especially for those in the eye of intrusive and meddlesome geopolitical storms from Western powers.

In the early 1990s Zimbabwe uncritically adopted a World Bank sponsored economic structural adjustment programme – dubbed Esap- and sought to use the ill-fated programme to recklessly liberalise the economy leading to major structural dislocations and policy gaps that had disastrous consequences, which spiked between 1998 and 2000 and got worse in 2008, from which the country is yet to recover.

In the recent past, Zimbabwe’s economic direction has basically been the injudicious pursuit of a policy of appeasement of some vested Western interests, under the veil of market-centred mantras.

It is therefore little wonder that, instead of getting the country out of the hole it dug itself into when it uncritically adopted Esap in the 1990s, Zimbabwe has fallen back into its 1990s hole to the depth of its horrifying 2008 levels to now dig itself even deeper into it.

As a country, after some 23 years of hard times we have learnt enough from treacherous experience that by their very nature, structural dislocations and policy gaps cannot be resolved by pointing accusatory fingers at persons or groups who are either convenient scapegoats or are political opponents, but only by undertaking thorough going root and branch reforms for everyone and everything to fall into place, as amply shown by the instructive lessons from China’s reform experience.

Professor Ncube, there is no need for a rocket scientist to tell you that the business community now being blamed for the current pricing and currency mayhem across the economy really has no horse in the forthcoming harmonised general election.

If anything, Zimbabwe’s business community knows the country’s power dynamics and how they work, only too well. Besides, memories of November 2017 are still very fresh across the economy and society.

In the circumstances, I have two suggestions for your consideration.

Continued next page


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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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