Zanu PF Congress ends amid a bleeding economy

By Watmore Makokoba

The much-anticipated Zanu PF Congress came to an end on Sunday with the delay in appointments of the remaining politburo members having earlier selected 10 members on Saturday.

The Congress, which was running under the theme “Accelerated Implementation of ZimAsset” was expected among other issues to map the bailing out of the ailing economy, employment creation and improve investor confidence to pave way for the revival of industrial sector currently operating below capacity.

Outstanding from the congress itself was the announcement of “the expelling”, “booting out” and suspensions of senior party officials which saw high profile party members falling victim to the purported clean-up exercise. These include VP Mujuru, Didmus Mutasa, Ray Kaukonde; Nicholas Goche, Jabulani Sibanda, Rugare Gumbo and 9 provincial chairpersons who had all have been slapped with a vote of no confidence.

Running up towards the congress, investors, various stakeholders and the general public had developed a “wait and see attitude” as events with an unpredictable outcome took centre stage within the ruling party.

The media which was highly reflective of the precedent polarisation indicated no sign of any commitment by the powers that be towards addressing the plight of the general population. Rather, focus was on the “witch hunt”, “character renouncing” and “name calling”. All the drama did very little for the ordinary person given the challenges the nation is currently facing.

Analysts view the just ended congress as shortchanging for people’s expectations and see very little development and good towards the economy coming out of it.

Political analyst Dr Pedzisai Ruhanya says the congress was “more of a power consolidation, clean up for potential reformers and a witch hunt exercise and as far as addressing the current economic trajectory is concerned, there is nothing to celebrate”.

“This was not an elective congress; neither did it address the implementation of the party’s blue print ZimAsset as purported. Rather it exhibited the existence of power wrangles characterised by the sacking of the Vice President Dr. Joice Mujuru and some of the business elite in the party, this will have a negative impact on the already bleeding economy”, he said

As of November 2013 the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange indicated that foreign investors had bought $275 million worth of shares and sold only shares worth $164 million since the beginning of the year 2014.Economic analysts blame this subdued trading regime on the prevailing political bickering which they say caused potential investors to be hesitant and jittery on committing their resources into the country.

“The ZSE index has fallen with value of shares also declining ,investors buy shares looking at the future prospects, right now there is political chaos in the country resulting in investors losing confidence in the stock exchange” said economic commentator Trust Chikohora.

Zimbabwe needs a holistic approach to policies that promote investment into revamping the industrial sector hit by shut downs and massive retrenchments. The few operating ones are facing challenges that include power outages, high cost of operation and a growing liquidity crunch. This is crucial to the addressing of the country’s number one challenge: unemployment.

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