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No Growth But Misinformation From Your Government-Mugano

By Shingirai Vambe

Zimbabwe Economist, Professor Gift Mugano has warned citizens and the healthcare sector that the future of the country’s economy is negatively going down due to misgovernance, lack of transparency and accountability of national resources.

Addressing delegates in the Resort Town of Nyanga, Prof Mugano told health practitioners that statistics by ZIMSTATS are not corroborating with what the government is saying to the public about the economy and national budget. He said on the supplementary budget, wet copy, Minister of Finance Prof Mthuli Ncube is expected to spend almost ZWL $25 trillion against the presented national budget of ZWL$4 and $10 Trillion dollars by the end of this year 2023.

“Our growth means nothing if there is no production and if we have a smaller base. For the last 25 years or so, we have lost a significant share of the economy as our gross domestic product is still floating at US$20 billion dollars after the 1998-2008 economy loss and contrary to the government figures, a growth of 5-6 percent is good indication that we are progressing but doesn’t mean anything to you,” Mugano said.

He added and said the Government is lying to you, looking on the figure released by ZIMSTATS.

“Now to make things worse, the government is lying, there is a lot of misinformation about those figures, be careful, they know you guys are targeting the mining sector, it’s a big economy US$12 billion, right? They are lying, why is it a lie, check the numbers by ZIMSTATS.

It is saying the share of the mining sector in July and the share of the economy is 13 percent, in the same month the country’s economy was standing at ZWL$120.3 trillion dollars divided by the official rate give us $20 billion by 13 percent it give us $2.6 billion and the current share of the mining sector to the economy is 40 percent, which translate to $2.8 billion,” said Mugano.

According to the national budget 60 percent of the economy with 15 service categories which includes Mining, agriculture, tourism, health to mention just a few. Agriculture was projected to about $8 billion adding the $12 billion mining economy, its already $20 billion.

Zimbabwe Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Prof Mthuli Ncube

Mugano said there was lack of transparency.

“The currency, ZIG, exchange and interest rates are cause for concern in our country. ZIG and bond note are the same even with gold coins. Zimbabweans don’t have confidence in the Finance Ministry and Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe monetary policies. They lack consistency,” added Mugano

Private Healthcare Association of Zimbabwe (PHAZ) held its annual general meeting last week at Troutbeck Resort and a number of sustainability issues in the digital era where discussed.

Zimbabweans have suffered economic meltdown that has seen public institutions failing to deliver while medical health insurance premiums continue go beyond citizens’ reach dividing the poor and the rich pushing practitioners to come up with more innovative ways of channeling every dollar into their pockets.

Currency inconsistency has made it difficult for the medical aid societies to offer their best services, at the same time taking advantage of the situation leaving citizens in limbo. The public sector continues to receive salaries in Zimbabwe currency, forcing them to make a co-payment each time they want to access health care service.

Health insurance, just like any other insurance in Zimbabwe, has proved to be not working, exacerbated by the trodden banking sector where majority of the citizens prefer keeping money in their houses and paying cash when need arise.

Private healthcare practitioners have lamented over the current economic environment which requires them to purchase most of their tools of trade in United States Dollars forcing them to also charge in foreign currency, this is despite the effort by the central bank to make available foreign currency to various listed sectors which include the health sector.

Instead of encouraging medical insurance, with the growing challenges between the medical aid societies and service providers, practitioners are said to have come up with a new product where citizens pay direct to the service provider in premiums.

It is alleged that medical aid societies are failing and delaying to pay service providers in time, which has resulted in service providers charging exorbitant fees to cover their losses caused by the exchange rate and inflation, however for the past few months, the Government has tried to stabilize the market forces that caused the running away of the exchange rate.

In his presentation, Prof Mugano said it is highly likely to change, after the recently made statement by the President, Emmerson Mnangagwa that the country is going to forcefully use the local currency, the exchange rate and inflation is expected to also go up. Mugano said there is going to be changes in the market and 2025 going up will be the most difficult years for the country.

He pleaded with the Confederation of Zimbabawe Industries (CZI), Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce (ZNCC), CEO Africa Roundtable, Grain Millers Association of Zimbabwe (GMAZ), Zimbabwe Chamber of Mines to mention just a few to have a great indaba before they convene their independent annual conferences and meet with the ministers and the President, so that they tell him the true state of the economy not lies from individuals who seek political relevance.

Mugano commended the work being done by ZIMSTATS and the Auditor General and said more resources must be channeled into these offices as they guide citizens and the government on daily trading.

“Political and economic stability is key to the nation’s growth agenda; investors look at these 2 things. Our politics is costing the nation, economic instability, where the minister confuses himself with the governor of the central bank, pushing for policies and statutory instruments that are not environmentally friendly, these shy away investors and promote corruption,” Mugano said.

Meanwhile politics continue to center on the other arm of government, the Parliament of Zimbabwe as recalls rock the institution. Exclusion of the opposition political members and zeal to maintain two thirds majority by the ruling ZANU PF party continue to destroy the confidence and the little democratic space that was left for the country. Citizens have given up; government business is at stand still and constitutional crisis looms.