Mnangagwa determined to forge ahead despite sanctions


Q: Sanctions were imposed in 2002 and it feels strange that they are the source of turmoil because inflation has gone up very rapidly. Do you not think it is the financial policy that you have put?

A: We have some austerity measures that we have put in order to resurrect our collapsed economy. We also removed the basket of currencies; now we have our own.

We have also opened the exchange rate of our currency, it is finding its place. It has been stable for the past two months, at 8-10 with the US dollar.

Unfortunately, we had a serious drought, which was worsened by the devastating Cyclone Idai, causing damage to infrastructure and crops. So, we were facing drastic damage in the country as a result of Cyclone Idai, which also hit Malawi and Mozambique.

We are determined now to put policies to make sure that whether there is drought or no drought, we have a programme on irrigation so that we make sure we have enough crops under irrigation; so that whether there is drought or not, we are able to produce enough grain to feed our population.

That programme is ongoing. Government is also subsidising farmers in terms of seed, fertiliser, chemicals, ploughing and so on. So we are making sure that we are putting in place measures to guarantee food supply and food security for our people

Q: Besides political and economic reform, are you seeking international aid?

A: About two weeks, we launched a disaster appeal to the international community and we had a really good positive response . . . and we are happy with the response. We have bridging support from the international community up to March and April next year. That is the period which we think we need support.

Q: You mean in terms of food crisis, but are you seeking help from the international monetary authorities?

A: ZDERA constrains us. For the past 20 years we cannot access support from the IMF, World Bank, IFIs (international finance institutions). Those Bretton Woods institutions cannot extend any lines of credit to Zimbabwe. So, we are surviving through our own domestic means. We are doing our best. We cannot bury our heads in the sand and blame the Bretton Woods institutions for not giving us credit. We are doing our best and using our domestic resources to grow.

However, for us to leapfrog and catch up with the rest of the region, this is why we have opened up, and we are inviting global capital to come into the country by creating an environment that is conducive to attract global capital.

Q: So what are you seeking now? Is it international assistance or just the humanitarian assistance (food programme)?

A: It is both. There is specific arrangement to deal with the current disaster that we are facing, then there is the global approach, where we need investment into the country.

Q: I believe that the source of funding is restricted to China?

A: No, it not restricted to China. Japan can also come on board. Just before I left for Tokyo, I held a ground-breaking on a project that is being financed by Japan. So it is not only China. Japan is participating, Spain is participating, India is participating, Russia, Spain, Brazil are participating. In fact, when I go back home, I am going to be launching an irrigation project funded by Japan.

Q: Is there a way you can receive support from the IFIs?

A: Currently, they are unable to extend any financial support for us because of ZDERA.

Q: What about funding? Are there any discussions on loans coming from Japan or China or any other country?

A: I will be meeting the Japanese Prime Minister to continue to support us in our endeavour to revive our economy. With regards to China, there is the Focac, where African countries are invited to participate and apply for funding for projects. It is of the same platform as TICAD.

Q: EU has already lifted sanctions, what are your expectations?

A: Most of the member states of the EU are now in discussions with us. We have discussions with France, German has sent a Minister to discuss and open old ties that we had. Italy has done the same. Brussels has also done the same. With regards to the EU, there is a lot of progress . . . But with the US, this is where we have the problem, but we are doing everything possible to appeal to the Trump administration to revisit the ZDERA sanctions.

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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