Hundreds of thousands of peace loving Zimbabweans especially in rural areas are being frog marched and forced by ZANU PF militia, CIO elements and so called war veterans at gun point to sign the useless and unnecessary so called petition. ZANU PF‘s legendary uncanny propensity to harass and ride roughshod over Zimbabweans who are fed up with that stinking , dying and divided sunset party, is now a serious political and policy cancer than cries for urgent national containment. It is in this context that the several mantras that has been advanced by ZANU PF ad infinitum needs to be interrogated and exposed
Mantra number 1: Western sanctions are denying Zimbabwe credit lines
This mantra has been pitched by ZANU PF as justification for the lack of imagination in terms of policy statecraft that has led to more than 90% of the populace leaving in abject poverty .To justify the failure of the party’s failed economic policies, sanctions has been conveniently used as a scapegoat
No self respecting financial institution either in the west, east, north, south or even in heaven for that matter will lent money to any person or entity that is not creditworthy. Zimbabwe already owes several financial institutions including the World Bank and IMF among others more than 9 billion which the politically and economically bankrupt country is failing to pay. Therefore any financial institution, including those in so called friendly nations like China and Iran cannot throw money in bottomless pits. That is why even China is demanding exclusive rights over platinum in the latest deal where Zimbabwe is looking for a 3 billion loan as a guarantee.
The conditions financial institutions put on their money are not only unique to Zimbabwe but apply globally. That is why countries like Greece, Ireland, Portugal, Italy and Spain who are facing a serious sovereign debt crisis were facing punitive interest rates on their loans and had to implement IMF and EU supervised tough austerity programmes to get financial bailouts
Because Zimbabwe is not yet ready under the out of touch geriatrics pretending to be in leadership to embark on orderly economic renaissance programme underpinned by the sacrosanct respect of property rights, no sane investor will extend any credit lines and this has nothing to do with sanctions but gross incompetence by the regime
Mantra number 2: Western sanctions are impeding economic growth in Zimbabwe
The ZANU PF led regime is shouting hoarse to anyone who cares to listen that the stagnation facing the Zimbabwe economy is due to western sanctions and that there won’t be any economic growth as long as sanctions are in place. Assuming that indeed there are blanket sanctions against Zimbabwe from the west, it still shows that the regime is still caught in the economics of the past when the world has moved and is in a constant flux
The west is no longer the dominant economic power in the world today. If anything, the west is actually in decline. Any economist worth his salt will tell you that the current configuration of global geo-economics shows that the balance of power has shifted to the emerging economies like the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) countries as well as oil rich Arab countries. That is why even little Qatar and Russia won the rights to host the World Cup ahead of most western countries.
Although many people predict that China will become the biggest economy in the world in a decade, in real terms, China is already ahead. Unlike the USA and Europe for example reeling under trillions in sovereign debts, China is one of the few countries with forex reserves worth trillions and trillions more in sovereign wealth funds. That is why China has even come to the rescue of the EU and the euro by buying Greek, Spanish, Portuguese and Irish bonds
Therefore, even without any trade with the west, which is actually in decline, Zimbabwe can still enjoy massive economic growth by positioning itself as a lucrative investment destination for emerging economies that have no sanctions whatsoever against Zimbabwe. The reason why the emerging markets that are hungry for resources that Zimbabwe possesses are not coming big time to the party in Zimbabwe is just because of the bankrupt ZANU PF economic policies. Capital, whether from the west or east is timid where policy is at the whims of self serving geriatrics who now have no business anywhere outside an old people’s home
Mantra number 3: Western sanctions has destroyed production in Zimbabwe
ZANU PF is barking again and again that production in the major engines of the economy like mining, manufacturing, tourism, agriculture and other critical services are in the doldrums spawning an unemployment rate of above 90% with most goods and services in Zimbabwe being dumped from countries like South Africa and China. ZANU PF charlatans would like the country to believe that if sanctions are lifted, then bang, production increases overnight
The major issues affect ting production in Zimbabwe is obvious. Many have been written and explained several times .However, one simple issue is the lack of strategic planning .For example as early as 1990, economists and engineers warned the Mugabe government that Zimbabwe was going to face an electricity deficit in a decade. Instead of building a new power station like the Batoka project or harnessing the natural gas in Lupane, the government paid lip service hoping that the problem will go away. There were no sanctions from 1990 to 2000 yet the government failed despite repeated warnings. Now how can production be increased when Zimbabwe cannot produce enough power for its industries with load shedding being the norm of the day?
THE REAL SANCTINS THAT MUST BE REMOVED
It is clear from the above that the real sanctions that are affecting Zimbabwe more are the self inflicted internal sanctions
These include the blatant disregard of the rule of law that is scaring away investors from the west and beyond. The failure to uphold property rights that chases away capital in this hyper competitive globe
Corruption is also the biggest sanction in Zimbabwe. When national resources like the Chiadzwa diamonds which are enough on their own to turn Zimbabwe into a tiger economy overnight are privatized by Mugabe and his cohorts and billions of dollars in proceeds stashed in Asian countries, then there can never be economic growth. If a country like Botswana can build a whole economy based on diamonds, what can Zimbabwe do if diamonds were being used transparently?
For a country that has alluvial diamonds that are very cheap to mine because they are not underground with an estimated value of more than 800 billion dollars to fail to pay its civil servants even a minimum of 500 dollars a month and then go on to blame western sanctions is the height of idiocy. Yes, there might have been problems with the Kimberley process but anyone who believe that the regime was serious about the Kimberley process outside international geopolitical window dressing, will need his head examined
Diamonds are being flown daily from Chiadzwa to China and other Asian countries in opaque deals smelling of corruption with the proceeds lining the pockets of Mugabe and his acolytes who are not even ashamed to forcibly evict poor Chiadzwa villagers for 1000 dollar compensation yet billions from their ancestral land are being stashed in individual accounts.
It is thus in this context that Zimbabweans must reject the anti-sanctions mantra that is being peddled by the Mugabe regime that is nothing short of a campaign and propaganda gimmick. If anything, the true and real sanctions that has impoverished Zimbabweans are those that have been put in place by Mugabe and his sychophants.The starting point in removing these obnoxious sanctions is to boot out the sunset party out of office come election 2011
Garikai Agenda Chimuka is a member of the Dutch Third Chamber and also the senior political analyst at GMRI CAPITAL