New Govt economic contributions positive

by Derick Tsimba

The country has since benefited from its economic sectors owing to the positive enabling environment the new Government has ushered in.

Since last year when the New Government under the leadership of President Emerson came into power, the President emphasised the need for opening up the country for business through engaging the international community. To date the President has managed to walk the talk, bringing the country on the international limelight opening up endless possibilities .

The journey taken by ED on implementing the economic interventions can be clearly outlined from early this year when His Excellency attended the World Economic Forum in Davos Switzerland.

Howbeit I shall dwell on the following recent economic successes by the New Government; Ziscosteel deal, Hwange Thermal Power Station expansion, command agriculture and the Presidential input scheme distribution programme.

Ziscosteel, Zimbabwe’s own steel manufacturer had been crippled by under performance and credit. Close to 5000 workers were left jobless in 2008 when the company closed, with the steel manufacturer owing close to $495 million to foreign and local creditors and suppliers.  

Under the New Government, changes in policies have brought hope for the resuscitation of the steel manufacturer. Recently, President Mnangagwa signed the Zimbabwe Iron and Steel (Debt Assumption) Bill in May this year. Under this bill, Government inherited the close to $495 million debt Ziscosteel owes to various foreign and local creditors.

On the same note, during the President’s State visit to China he managed to secure a deal for Ziscosteel worth $1 billion with Mr Zhang Li, a Chinese investor, to revive operations at the steel manufacturer.

The signing into law of the Zimbabwe Iron and Steel (Debt Assumption) Bill has been a positive development that should ensure that Ziscosteel becomes lucrative for investors to take part in its resuscitation without them committing themselves to additional payment of the company’s debt.

Zimbabwe continues to face power outages because of increased electricity demand on the national grid. The New Government has commenced a process of addressing this challenge through the establishment of various electricity generation projects among them the Hwange Thermal Power expansion which requires $1.5 billion for its completion.

In support of Zimbabwe, China Exim Bank has already released $200 million to commence the expansion works and currently work has already commenced in Hwange.

The agriculture sector has also been on a revival path under the New Government. Farmers continue to be provided with the much needed inputs which have led to the improvement of their production output. Zimbabwe has now moved towards reclaiming its bread basket status which it used to enjoy during its yesteryears. The command agriculture programme has been a success which has resulted in the New Government adding some of the following programmes, command livestock, command wheat, command tobacco, command cotton and command fisheries.

As for the Presidential input scheme distribution programme for small scale farmers, the New Government this year has already started the inputs distribution with more than 1.8 million small scale farmers expected to benefit. In recent years, communal farmers were affected by late input distribution which led to poor harvests. This year’s distribution of maize, cotton, small grains and fertilizers will give farmers a head start that should enable them to properly plan their farming calendar for the season to harvest maximum yields.

The New Government continues to employ drastic measures that are aimed at ensuring that Zimbabwe’s economy becomes fully operational with better living standard for its citizens. Hence, Zimbabweans should compliment efforts by the New Government in redirecting the nation towards a brighter future by working in tandem with this vision.