At the time it was unveiled the Vigil described the five-year economic programme as â€˜Pie in the Skyâ€™. Now itâ€™s clear there is indeed no pie in prospect and Zanu PF doesnâ€™t even know the recipe to bake one.
Economic planning minister and Zanu PF spokesman Simon Khaya Moyo admitted ZimAsset had missed its targets. The growth rate was supposed to increase from 3.4% a year in 2013 to 9.9% a year in 2018, an average annual growth of 7.3%. Instead last year it remained at 3.4%, about half the forecast rate for the year. This year will be even more dismal, with finance minister Chinamasa saying he expected growth to be only 1.5%. Others put it even lower (see: http://www.zimbabwesituation.com/news/zimsit_w_moyo-admits-zimasset-failure-newsday-zimbabwe/).
As for ZimAssetâ€™s promise of 2.2 million new jobs, the reality is that people are being sacked at an increasing rate as the economy continues its death spiral.
Chinamasa â€“ in his mid-term review â€“ lamented that agricultural performance was below expectations. So much for the promise to regain our â€˜bread-basketâ€™ status. He also mentioned the failure to attract foreign direct investment, noting â€˜failure to speak with one voice over critical policiesâ€™ and â€˜failure to honour obligationsâ€™ (see: http://www.zimbabwesituation.com/news/zimsit_w_economy-expected-to-grow-15pc-the-herald/).
This reflected the chilling message for Zanu PF from China, which bluntly told Vice President Mnangagwa it was not going to bail out the bankrupt party. In fact, it said it wanted to see arrangements in place to repay the billion dollars or so it has already advanced to Zimbabwe (see: http://www.zimbabwesituation.com/news/zimsit_w_repay-us15bn-china-tells-zim-the-zimbabwe-independent/).
As far as the Vigil can see, Zimbabweans – apart from Dr Grace â€“ have little to celebrate from the rigging of the elections two years ago. The embittered people expelled from Zanu PFâ€™s inner circle certainly feel so as their farms and businesses come under threat. They are eager to spill the beans about vote rigging, violence and corruption. Mugabe, of course, â€˜knew nothing about itâ€™.
We take a different view. But Mugabe and his mafia must be relieved that international attention is diverted from what the Chinese rightly identified as Zimbabwean corruption by the sad case of Cecil the lion. His death has prompted outrage around the world. The Vigil thinks it is a pity that the same interest has not been shown in the plight of the people suffering from Mugabeâ€™s misrule. Someone who passed by the Vigil today asked us whether we were a protest about what had happened to Cecil.
In a recent article the Japanese scholar Ken Yamamoto said only Zimbabwean children now under the age of 10 could have any expectation of a better life (see: http://www.newzimbabwe.com/news-23813-Yamamoto+Six+areas+of+misplaced+hope+in+Zim/news.aspx). The Vigil believes the prospects are indeed grim. We understand the British government expects the regime to last for another decade.
As the MDC-T again flipflops and decides after all to contest elections, the Vigil begs them to insist this time that foolproof reforms are in place before 2018. No repeat of 2013.
â€¢ Vigil supporters were happy to hear that President Obamaâ€™s comments at the AU condemning African dictators were punctuated with applause. Nevertheless, we cannot forgive the organisation for electing Mugabe as AU chairman and know that he is still greeted as a hero in South Africa and elsewhere
â€¢ ROHR members organised a protest at the Vigil today in support of workers back home and the many job losses resulting from recent legislation on the termination of contracts.
For latest Vigil pictures check: http://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/. Please note: Vigil photos can only be downloaded from our Flickr website.
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