Numbers never lie

Since dissolution of the GNU, Zimbabwe has seen numerous company closures. To be specific 634 companies were taken off the company register this year, between April and July. Knowing that joblessness is a far worse prospect, bank employees – once envied by the country’s labour force – are working half their normal hours, on weekly shifts, as the liquidity crunch bites.

According to the Retrenchment Board, 2,060 retrenchments were recorded in the first half of 2014. This does not show the full picture as one in three employers do not inform the Retrenchment Board. Of late, the board handles a minimum of 100 retrenchments per week.

Only recently, it was revealed that the Zimbabwe National Army – normally used to getting special treatment – is switching to cheaper meals at its canteens and that soldiers are being encouraged to seek alternative accommodation away from barracks, because the government is broke.

Since January 2014, civil service paydays have been moved back and forth, as Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa borrows from Peter to pay Paul. Except, from what we learn in the media, not even this mythical Peter would dare lend money to a government on the brink of insolvency.

Men lie, women lie, but numbers don’t. If President Mugabe can show by way of numbers that the economy is really on the mend – by showing us just 100 names of youths who found new jobs in July, by showing us five new construction projects in Harare or Bulawayo – nobody would dispute his claim.

He had very little credibility left after his 2013 claim of 2,2 million jobs. Whatever droplet of credibility the president had has certainly evaporated following this latest lie.

Post published in: Analysis

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