World Economy

Mugabe Insists Zimbabwe Is Not Fragile

Mugabe Insists Zimbabwe Is Not FragileMugabe Insists Zimbabwe Is Not Fragile

Zimbabwe’s 93-year-old president, Robert Mugabe, sat slumped in his chair, wringing his hands, as he told a World Economic Forum for Africa panel discussion Friday in a low murmur that his country was not a fragile state.

Mugabe’s government is struggling with a debt crisis, a fall in foreign exchange inflows, and acute shortages of cash that have forced banks to limit withdrawals, as well as growing resistance to his three-decade rule, News24 reported.

But he told a panel discussion on fragile countries at the WEF in Durban that Zimbabwe’s economy was on the mend. “Zimbabwe is one of the most highly developed countries, second after South Africa,” he said.

He pointed out that the country had universities and the highest literacy rate on the continent at 90%. “You cannot even talk about us as a fragile state from an economic point of view.” Critics have accused Mugabe of wrecking one of Africa’s most promising economies and causing unemployment of over 80% through policies such as the violent seizures of white-owned commercial farms.

 “This year we will have a bumper harvest. Not just maize, we have cotton and tobacco . . . we are not a poor country,” Mugabe said.

Despite numerous protests against his leadership, he said many people still supported his government. “Economies cannot grow as quickly as our people expect them to. Investment should have come long ago.”

Reports indicate that an estimated three million Zimbabweans were economic refugees due to Mugabe’s failed policies.

Economist and banker, Bhekithemba Mhlanga pointing out that that most people thought of fragile states in terms of countries such as Somalia a few years ago—but Zimbabwe was now a caricature of a similar state by most comparisons.

“…When you have a situation where the country has no currency of its own, faces massive liquidity crisis, unemployment at 90% and cannot provide effective health care—then it is a failed state, especially given that it once had all this in place,” said Mhlanga.

Mhlanga stressed that the fragility of Zimbabwe stemmed from two major sources—weak economic fundamentals and the opaque succession politics.

“Anyone who says otherwise is simply floating in the sphere of the angels—they are dreaming. Mugabe needs to wake up and smell the chaos,” said the banker.




Add new comment

Read our comment policy before posting your viewpoints