Zimbabwe’s Economic Crisis: A Revolution or a Disaster?

Deputy Finance Minister compares current situation to war of liberation and land reform

by Victor Adetimilehin

Zimbabwe is facing a severe economic crisis that has lasted for more than two decades. The country is struggling with hyperinflation, currency instability, poverty, and corruption. But according to Deputy Finance Minister Kudakwashe Mnangagwa, the son of President Emmerson Mnangagwa, this is not a disaster but a revolution.

A different type of revolution

In a recent interview, Kudakwashe Mnangagwa said that Zimbabwe has gone through two revolutions in its history: the first one was to gain independence from colonial rule, and the second one was to gain control of its natural resources through the controversial land reform program. He claimed that the current economic crisis is the third revolution, which requires a different type of agility, mental stamina, and resilience.

“We as the youth have to stay strong and avoid somewhat of a manipulation that may come as a result of those powers that may not be entirely happy with the journey Zimbabwe has taken,” he said. “It is time for youths to carry the mantle and stay strong for future generations just as our forefathers did.”

A questionable comparison

However, not everyone agrees with his comparison. Some critics have argued that the economic crisis is not a revolution but a result of poor governance and rampant corruption by the ruling party, ZANU-PF, which has been in power since 1980. They have accused the Mnangagwa administration of failing to implement meaningful reforms and violating human rights and democratic principles.

According to the World Bank, Zimbabwe’s GDP per capita was $1,463 in 2020, down from $2,376 in 2000. The inflation rate was 348% in 2020, the second-highest in the world after Venezuela. The poverty rate was 49% in 2019, up from 29% in 2011. The unemployment rate was estimated at 90% in 2019, one of the highest in the world.

A glimmer of hope

Despite the bleak situation, some analysts have expressed optimism that Zimbabwe can overcome its challenges and achieve economic recovery and stability. They have pointed out some positive signs, such as the improved agricultural output, the increased foreign currency inflows, the reduced fiscal deficit, and the stable exchange rate.

They have also urged the government to pursue more reforms, such as liberalizing the foreign exchange market, resolving the public debt arrears, improving the business environment, and enhancing the transparency and accountability of public institutions.

Zimbabwe has a rich and diverse culture, a resilient and hardworking population, and abundant natural resources. With the right policies and leadership, it can realize its full potential and become a prosperous and peaceful nation.

Source: New Zimbabwe

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