Media wrong about Zimbabwe’s inclusive government- investment advisor


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Zimbabwe’s inclusive government has made positive progress since it was established two years ago despite media attempts to suggest otherwise says one of the country’s leading investment advisors John Legat chief executive of Imara Asset Management Zimbabwe.

Legat said the media, especially the international media, was too negative about Zimbabwe and seemed to concentrate on what was not working and not on what was working.

He said governments of national unity were not a perfect solution to a political crisis anywhere in the world and only really worked successfully if all the members of the GNU had the same goal and spoke with the same voice.

“This is clearly not the case in Zimbabwe and as a result badly needed reforms take time to be enacted, whilst ministers within the GNU often contradict each other thereby bringing about confusion both domestically and abroad,” he said.

This was not helped by the obvious splits within the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front as various factions attempted to gain the upper hand in the succession battle to take over from 87-year-old Robert Mugabe who is “clearly mortal”.

“It is further argued that one of those factions would like to bring about the demise of the GNU so that early elections can be called and, one assumes, rigged to allow a ZANU-PF win, and hence to allow that faction to gain the upper hand,” he said.

But despite all of this, Legat said the GNU was the government of the day and business had to proceed as best it could with decisions on policy made at cabinet level.

He said the early adoption of the multi-currency system and ultimately the US dollar was perhaps the single most crucial decision that was made because it had killed inflation boosting rapid economic growth.

Though the US dollar has been weak on the global market, this did not have any negative impact because Zimbabwe’s primary exports were all priced in dollars and its main imports were also priced in dollars.

“A weak dollar against the South African rand has also helped Zimbabwe exporters to compete and has encouraged local producers to buy raw materials from China and India in dollars rather than from an expensive South Africa in rand,” he said.

Legat also said Zimbabwe was well on its way to mend relations with the International Monetary Fund whose seal of approval opens doors to lines of credit.

“This is a process and not an event but we hope it will lead to an IMF sponsored programme being adopted in some form or other. A return to legality will be one key pillar in this process both from an economic but also from a human rights perspective,” he said.

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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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