Newly elected Movement for Democratic Change treasurer David Coltart has called on Zimbabweans to be realistic in their expectations adding that if Nelson Chamisa were to become president, it would take him more than a year to turn around the country’s economy.
He said President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s administration had already been in power for 18 months but things were getting worse.
In an interview with Techmag at the just ended MDC congress in Gweru, Coltart said the problems in Zimbabwe were deep rooted.
“We need to lower our expectations both nationally and as a party,” Coltart said. “If Nelson Chamisa became president of Zimbabwe tomorrow, he would not be able to turn around the fortunes of Zimbabwe in a day, in a week or in a few months. The problems in our nation are deep rooted and are gonna take a lot of determination and some hard work……”
Coltart was one of the new faces in the MDC hierarchy elected at the congress together with Welshman Ncube, Tendai Biti and Lynette Karenyi Kore as vice-presidents and Chalton Hwende as secretary general.
Chamisa promised fireworks after the congress saying 2023 was too far to wait for the country’s next elections.
His lieutenant, Tendai Biti, said Mnangagwa will be out of State House by the end of this year.
Zimbabwe is currently experiencing cash, fuel and power shortages while prices have skyrocketed.
Coltart, however, said there was a lot of work that had to be done to turn around Zimbabwe’s economy.
Zimbabwe Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube has mapped out a two-year transitional programme but is facing stiff resistance from both consumers and the business community.
Coltart said while it was easier to stop hyperinflation, it was much more difficult to turn around the economy.
“We can stop hyperinflation very quickly,” he said but added: “Stopping hyperinflation is just the beginning of the process. You then have to restore confidence in the banking sector, you then have to rechart the international community to the private sector, and that takes quite a few months to convey that message, but even then the economy doesn’t pick up quickly. What happened after 2009 is very instructive, we stopped hyperinflation after a few weeks, but the economy only started to grow in 2010, so it takes months if not over a year to start the engine of the economy again….”
Coltart was Minister of Education during the inclusive government of 2009 to 2013.
Zimbabwe’s inflation is currently at 76 percent but Mthuli Ncube says it will start dropping from October.
Inflation was only 5.4 percent in September last year but rocketed after Mthuli Ncube’s fiscal policies and the new monetary policy that was announced by Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe governor John Mangudya.