Another looming drought, worsening foreign currency shortage and 18-hour rolling power cuts are set to push Zimbabwe’s troubled economy closer to the precipice this year, experts warn.
The once-formidable economy has been lurching from one crisis to another since the turn of the Millennium when the government started repossessing fertile land from the white minority for redistribution to landless blacks.
A severe drought during the 2018/19 farming season, described as the worst dry spell in a century, saw the economy contract by nearly seven per cent and the country’s sole source of hydropower—Kariba Dam—virtually dry up.
- The once-formidable economy has been lurching from one crisis to another since the turn of the Millennium.
- Zimbabwe remains mired in crisis as investors remain unconvinced that Harare is ready to embrace reform.
- Aid agencies estimate that 2.2 million Zimbabweans in urban areas are at risk of starvation and 5.5 million others in rural areas do not have adequate food due to drought.
Halfway through this 2019/20 season, the country received very little rainfall, signalling another drought.
Listed companies such as Delta Corporation and Econet Wireless Zimbabwe in their results for the year ending December, said their viability was threatened by the widespread power cuts and foreign currency shortages.
Delta, Zimbabwe’s largest drinks maker, reported a 48 per cent drop in half-year beer sales compared with the same period in 2018, after output and distribution were constrained by shortages of fuel and electricity.