Mugabe left us in a mess which was much worse than we imagined- Cross


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President Robert Mugabe, who was forced to resign two years ago, left Zimbabwe in a mess that was much worse than most Zimbabweans appreciated at the time, economist Eddie Cross says.

Writing on his personal log, Cross said 2020 will not be easy but the new administration of President Emmerson Mnangagwa was on the right track.

“We have a fiscal surplus to help meet over expenditure, inflation has dealt with the domestic debt mountain and our balance of payments is almost in surplus,” he said.

“We have started paying back our debts – both internal and external. We have secured a Staff Monitored Program with the IMF and although there are problems and the program will have to be extended to give us more time to get our house in order.

“Our exports are growing and investment is slowly gathering momentum.

“We have taken the harsh medicine of income restraint and are now in a position to start servicing all our other priorities. Fixing our infrastructure, improving power supplies and reducing the cost of doing business.

“Our economic fundamentals are sound and the way clear to dealing with our international liabilities. I am hoping that by December 2019 Zimbabweans will be able to see the start of a slow, but steady recovery.

“Next year inflation will come back to low levels by the end of the year, exchange rates will strengthen and start restoring value to earnings and capital.

“Our farmers will get some security of investment in the form of a negotiable lease over the land and assets they are using and our urban areas will slowly be able to restore service delivery.

“2020 will not be easy, but after what we have been through it will be like the morning after the rain. To really succeed we have to work together and have faith in who we are as a nation. If we do those few simple things, the future will look after itself,” Cross wrote.

Full Blog:

Next Year will be Better

It’s that time of the year when we should reflect on the year that has now almost passed and think about what might happen in 2020. 2019 has not been easy for anyone. We have seen a sharp rise in inflation, worse, the exchange rate for our local currency has collapsed and living standards have declined for the great majority of our people.

 

We now know that the mess the Mugabe era left us in was much worse than any of us appreciated at the time. When Morgan Tsvangirai was faced with the choice of going into the Government of National Unity in 2009 or staying out, I said to him when we were reviewing the economic plight of the country ‘do you really want to take responsibility for this mess?’ Fortunately for all of us his decision was ‘yes, for the sake of the people.’ It opened up 4 years of relative stability and recovery. We need to remind everyone that over those 4 years the average annual recovery in State income and expenditure was 70 per cent, in hard currency.

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The Insider

The Insider is a political and business bulletin about Zimbabwe, edited by Charles Rukuni. Founded in 1990, it was a printed 12-page subscription only newsletter until 2003 when Zimbabwe's hyper-inflation made it impossible to continue printing.

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